Klout Brand Squad Pages…and the Coming Backlash!

Written by Scott

Topics: Archives, Reviews, Social Media

Red Bull

Digital Trends wrote a fantastic review of the introduction of Klout’s Squad Pages last week (here), and in that review they alluded to a possible issue with how users were ranked.

Yet there are some unresolved issues, too. While Klout has not officially revealed what data that goes into its ranking algorithm, it’s evident that Klout points weigh more heavily than Klout scores. That means users could potentially game the rankings.

They had no idea.

Now that’s we’ve had a week’s worth of rankings for the Red Bull Top Influencers, there’s a growing trend toward gaming the system.  Because +K appears to most heavily influence the rankings (and seemingly might be the ONLY factor), people have begun doing things from +K trading (not as big of a deal, frankly) to effectively staffing a user’s twitter/Empire Avenue/Facebook accounts with friends around the clock to solicit +K,   to actual buying of +K (check out Fiverr.com for examples).

For one who’s been in the Top 10 since just after the Red Bull Squad page was introduced, that’s disturbing…and not just because I got steamrolled out of the #1 spot over a single particular night. It’s disturbing because a Klout user can potentially buy their way to the top. It’s disturbing because the whole idea of being an Influencer loses all meaning. And THAT should be a concern for the brands.

Unless adjustments are made, Klout will see a backlash in users no longer putting forth effort to increase their influence for a brand (to the detriment of the brand, and thus Klout itself) to actually leaving Klout. I personally know of one, still in the Top 10, who is no longer putting forth any effort, just because it takes too much time and energy to fight against the gaming.  Sad part is, Red Bull would have a great ambassador in that person.

So, Klout…fix it before it hurts you.

Interested in your thoughts about Klout’s Brand Squads in the comments.

Also…if in the mood to help me fight the gaming, you can leave me +K here. 😉

1 Comment For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. cozthegrov says:

    Since Klout first came on the scene and in the few major algorithm changes they've made its clear that their scores cannot be trusted.  After all, no one wins a game when the ref keeps changing the rules in the middle of play.