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Klout Makes You A Marketing Maven Like Farmville Makes You A Farmer

By Chris Sheehy | Sidewalk Branding Company

Klout Ri farmers market signThe social media influence measure – “Klout” is NOT a measure of professional achievement or ability, but increasingly it’s being pitched as one.

Klout is a social media game, an advertising platform if you will; designed to generate revenue for the companies “Klout Perks” advertisers – Audi, Disney, Spotify, Subway, HP, and Nike to name a few.

 

In the industry; this type of technology is known as “GAMIFICATION”, and the “Klout Score” is of little value to non-gamers and is meaningless in any capacity as a marketing professional.


So much confusion surrounds Klout, that there has even been references lately of people listing their Klout Score on their resume’, and of companies listing the Klout score of new hirees on press releases.  That’s about as valuable as knowing their shoe size.
Here’s how Klout describes their product: {http://klout.com/corp/perks}
“Build Brand Awareness
Your customers don’t trust advertising, they trust their peers and influencers. Get your product into the right hands and let them do the talking for you.”
 
Don’t get me wrong – I like social gamification, in fact, I’m an early adopter of Klout {OG badge as proof}, PeerIndex, Gowalla, and Foursquare and I enjoy gaming-it-up with my online friends to see who can score the highest, get the most +K’s, or have the most Mayor awards.  I get it.
 But Klout makes you as much a marketing maven, as Farmville makes you a farmer.

The problem for me is the increase from marketing and media firms pitching these things {like Klout} as a viable professional influence metric.  These firms are knowingly or unknowingly endorsing professional standards which simply do not exist.  And that’s exactly what’s happening now in Rhode Island as well as across the country.
Which brings to question: Who’s gaming who?
{for the record – my Klout score when I wrote this was 58 – woo hoo!}
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