Why You MUST Ignore Your Social Media Scores

Social Media Scoring

Social Media as we know it is still in its infancy and has a lot more growth in the works.  We are still learning and growing in the digital marketing space because the industry is still evolving.  The scoring of social media creates an almost old school atmosphere due to its push to GRADE the quality of our engagement.

There are a few different social media platforms that I am involved with that actively score content based on the companies preformatted algorithm. Klout, Empire Avenue and Kred all have some form of ranking, grading, or number placed upon YOUR social media activity. I am not saying that any of these algorithms are wrong in general but should we base OUR engagement and or activity on ranking higher with any of these platforms? Shouldn’t we instead focus upon providing content that is of interest to our friends and followers?

Like I said, I am involved with these platforms but I do not base ANY of my online activity on increasing any of these scores, ANYMORE. It is very easy to allow your own competitive nature to dictate the types of content that you promote from your brand based on increasing your score.  I have been down that road and it really is not a good path to be on. This is primarily because it diminishes the purpose of social media to a degree and cheapens the value of your content because the focus becomes about increasing your score instead of providing content of value.

I’ve notice that due to a change in whatever algorithm Klout is using these days, people have begun to “game” the system with mass Facebook photo tagging.  I’m not speaking of an occasional tag from a friend that you interact with on a regular basis, I am speaking of mass tagging, everyday from acquaintances whom you have little or no interaction with on a regular basis. I just had to block a person that tagged me on 6 photos all within 3 minutes and the kicker is that I very seldom had any interaction with this person.  It was so bad that I couldn’t find my own content or content that was shared by legitimate engaging friends and followers.

I am NOT speaking about friends or people that I engage with, I am talking about random acquaintances that tag you on multiple photos on a daily basis. I love getting tagged on genuine content that is of interest, that’s engaging or friends think that I would like.  This post is not really about that, but more about the person that specifically tags with the purpose of a score boost.

How does this kind of behavior increase your social media engagement, legitimately?  The score gamers, post content and tag you on the content, so the person tagged either feels that they shouldn’t be rude by not responding or they automatically “answer when called” as we innately do. So does this increase your ability to produce engaging content that has the ability to speak to people, touch their heart or is though provoking? Umm NO! However they did increase their Klout score because they tagged the same 45 people that they tag every day and the people that were tagged responded, which creates dialog on the post.  So, since there were a high percentage of people to comment to the post, they get a Klout score bump. Oh yay!  This, to me displays that the person creating the tags do not have a firm grasp on what social media is about and the purpose of creating content. I will even venture to say that it is a n00b move for the so called social media gurus.

As a Digital Marketer that is listed on Klout, Kred and a player of Empire Avenue I am aware of my scores on all platforms but I am not driven to perform any action to increase my numbers. It simply takes away from the genuine ability to engage and create content that I believe people are looking for when they follow me on my social media channels.  Additionally, it takes away from the enjoyment of social media when it becomes a game to get the highest score at all costs.

I am not a hater of any of these platforms because they do have value in the social media arena. However, I would like to see less gamed content with the exclusive goal of chasing a score and more genuine sharing of content that is of value to readers.

The take away:

Simply, provide great content and people will respond.

What are your thoughts? Am I on point?  Am I off  base? Or Meh? I welcome thoughts, comments and questions, good, bad ugly or indifferent.

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About anisesmith

Anise Smith has a Masters Degree in Internet Marketing from Full Sail University. She is President and Director of Anise Smith Marketing which specializes in New Media Marketing Strategies such as Mobile Web, QR code Products, Virtual World Integration and more. She has clients primarily focused in the entertainment and music industries which include music producers, artists, managers and booking agents. Anise is also the Digital Marketing Specialist of a Full services healthcare Company, located in Cherry Hill, NJ. She uses her healthcare and pharmaceutical marketing background to implement cutting edge digital marketing strategies that merge traditional and digital mediums. She is in charge of creating and implementing marketing strategies for seven internal health services brands. Her strategy for a new media marketing mix includes digital marketing, social media optimization, web analytics, video creation/editing, eCommerce platforms, mobile web readiness, custom CMS driven iFrame pages, custom branded WordPress layouts, building traditional/digital brand awareness and more. Her ultimate goal is to merge traditional marketing with digital marketing strategies to increase brand awareness, increase exposure and potentially increase sales online and offline within the health care services industry. She also works as an advocate for a soon to be non profit organization which provides college and educational resources for inner city kids, Urban Freshman. When she is not online she is a rabid Philadelphia EAGLES Fan, closet Foodie and single mom to a miniature male version of herself.

Posted on September 14, 2012, in Empire Avenue, Klout, Kred, Social Media and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Spot on, Anise.

    Of course, for some folks (even me, much to my chagrin) it’s hard to resist the temptation to “game the system” (some of us just out of idle curiosity, others to be truly manipulative or try to pull the wool over others’ eyes). It’s a life-suck, though, if you let it be.

  2. Thanks Holly! I think everyone has gamed to a small degree at some time, that it totally normal. I think the competitive spirit can get to anyone. When that becomes the norm and that you care MORE about gaming the system than the content is when it become an issue.

    That it can become a life-suck is reason enough to focus on the content and not the game aspect. Trust me I learned this the hard way.

    Since I ignore the score what I do is so much more enjoyable.

  3. Solid advice, Anise. It bothers me that certain sites & software analytics include things like Klout scores, but as long as we take that with a grain of salt and really consider the content of any so-called “influencer,” then it’s benign enough. As you aptly illustrate, the trouble comes from placing so much importance on these scores.

    • Hi! Thanks for taking time to read and comment! You are so on point! I am not trying to minimize these platforms only stressing the importance of placing less focus on scores and more on great content!

  4. Reblogged this on ten Hagen's Blog and commented:
    Great story by Anise Smith.

  5. The photo tagging is an easy way for me to spot idiots – it helped me weed out the people that have no other goals except creating an illusion of online influence. I have met so many cool people on Empire Avenue, but it has turned out that more than a few just have an unhealthy addiction to the Internet, and no real goal, direction, or reason to try and generate online influence. I mean, if that’s what they want to do it’s fine with me, but they could increase their Klout score AND have something tangible to show for it (and possibly profit) if they went about it in an organic traditional way.

    I can honestly say that I’ve NEVER tried to game Klout, EA, Kred, or any other social scoring metric for that matter. Promoting content is easier when you can generate influence however – but I’ve found that real growth in this area comes when you concentrate on doing what you need to do, and not what Klout expects of you. Great post Anise.

    • Hi Adam!
      Thank you so much for commenting and for the great compliment, I always value your input and opinion. I, like you, have met amazing people on Empire Avenue. Some of which have a real understanding of social media and recognize what an historical era we are living through. Others, not so much. :-)

      With some of these platforms it is very easy to get caught up in the game, I was guilty of it for a short while. I can’t say that I ever actively gamed the system but I was caught up into focusing much more on the numbers than I needed to be.

      I had to take a step back and reevaluate the direction in which I was going. Now I am not lead by any number, my focus is on doing the things that I need to do online and enjoying myself while I am doing so. I try to provide content to people that I think would be of value to them, thats all. If this boosts scores, great, if it doesn’t oh well.

      I had a person say to me, “Hey Anise I was having a problem with my kids Xbox, I saw a Tweet from you and it helped me so much. My kid was super happy!” That beats any score that any platform could provide. Ultimately, there’s no platform that can determine what content is of value to my followers because there is absolutely NO way to measure that.

  6. A great article. I’m with you 100% My issue with these tools is that they scream ‘Me,me,me’ and are often about making a lot of noise and self promotion (v boring), instead of focusing on the audience and producing content that adds value in some way.

    • Hi Annie!

      Thanks for taking time to read and comment! I does indeed! I think it is partially an issue created by the one platform which will go nameless that is a huge promoter of this behavior. It really reaches right into your competitive spirit and almost forces you to play the game. I was guilty of doing it myself until I had to step back and look at the content that I was sending. Ultimately, it must be about providing great content that your readers find of value. We can’t get on a slippery slope of letting the scores dictate the quality of our content.

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