As a social media marketer, I fully understand the need for metrics, measurement and analysis, which tools such as Klout provide. However, I’m starting to find that the rapid permeation of ‘scoring’ / ‘worth’ into individual social media use through sites such as Empire Avenue is proving detrimental to social experience.
For me, as an individual user of social media, the beauty of platforms such as Twitter has always been the ability to share, engage, connect and converse. As an individual, I’ve networked, discovered new friends, shared resources, assisted people’s queries and had several answered of my own.
The trend in gamification has also been enjoyable – tools such as Foursquare and Yelp! have blurred the lines between online and offline even further, with location-based applications also enhancing digital ‘community’ experience.
But for me, turning social media into a scoring system runs the very real risk of turning social media into a virtual playground, where the ‘cool’ kids hobnob in cliques and strut around puffing their chests out because they have a ‘high score’.
Social media is ever-evolving, but fundamentally, it remains about engagement, interaction and relationships. Empire Avenue is another recent classic example of how some users are developing over-inflated opinions of themselves, as their daily ‘stock’ fluctuates along with their egos!
I’m not hypocritical – I’ve checked my own Klout score and even had a go on Empire Avenue (which I have subsequently deleted)! But for me, social media is about ENGAGAING with people; holding discussions and building human relationships in a virtual world.
Yes; as a social media marketer, metrics such as Klout influence are valuable and necessary markers of performance from a branded social media perspective. They help to illustrate ROI and your position against competing businesses – I use them professionally and they assist me immensely.
But as an individual? I couldn’t give two hoots whether 3 million people you’ve never met are ‘investing’ in you because you have a high score.
I’d much rather engage with real people about real things.