The Curtain Slowly Lifts On The Klout Score Algorithm

by Jason Keath on Nov 18, 2011

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You may have heard that Klout recently changed the way they score influence. A lot of folks were upset, which is unavoidable for a service like theirs. I think that likely means that the change was for the better.

As much as my ego loved having a Klout score of 70+, deep down I know I have not been active on Twitter that much in the last 6 months. And that my real score should likely be lower.

The community that forms around Klout includes a lot of marketers interested in what the scoring platform can do to help them find influencers. But probably 100 times bigger than that is an audience of social media users (and junkies) who just want a higher score.

If we all cared about our credit scores this month I wonder how the economy would be doing today. But I digress.

Their Community Loves And Hates Their Product

The thing is, I doubt that the smart folks over at Klout have enough time in the day to deal with all the questions and complaints they get about their scoring and the algorithm they use. The truth is, even when the Klout scoring algorithm was spelled out in rich detail on their site, no one bothered to read it before asking questions that were answered there.

Recently though things are changing. When Klout released the big change to their scores, they called it a change in transparency as well. They detailed a lot of the changes to the Klout score on their blog and went in to even more detail today. Not only are they spilling out very specific details about what raises and lowers your Klout score, such as:

  • Adding social networks where you are not active no longer lift your score
  • Retweets count more when the person amplifying your message is more selective
  • If you are very active on multiple social networks, your score better reflects that now
  • The Klout score is based of the past 90 days of activity, not 30 days. So vacations will hurt your score much less

But they are also ACTIVELY answering many of the questions and complaints in the comments.

Klout Makes Simple One on One Corrections

People are confused about why they are influential in the term “water”. So Klout tells them how their influential topics come about.

Klout Claims The Good with the Bad

Another user asks why Football is on their profile as a topic when they never talk about it. And Klout replies with some of the same points above, plus they admit that their semantic analysis might just be wrong. That maybe Linda is talking about a something similar to a football team name and their system is guessing the topic incorrectly.

That is huge.

This is transparency that users love to see. Admitting the flaws of a product and taking the time to respond to users one on one.

Klout Goes Above And Beyond

As I said before, answering ALL of their questions and comments they get is likely impossible, but they are giving it a good shot as we see above. One commenter laid out 4 fairly detailed questions. And Klout went through each of them, responding very quickly to his concerns.

I doubt they can keep this up unless they have hired an army of community managers (have they?). But nonetheless this is a great example of transparency and community management.

One of Klout’s challenges is pleasing their community while creating a valuable information based product. Their ultimate goal is to perfect the algorithm. But if they lose the support of the people behind the accounts they are grading, it will make things pretty difficult. Providing as much info as they can about how the scoring works is their best bet. And it looks like they are ready to give it a shot.

Post Author

CEO and founder of Social Fresh, the social media education company. Jason is a social media consultant, a social media speaker and industry analyst. He consults with corporations and agencies on social media strategy, building community, and influencer...