This week, Doug Haslam of Voce Communications (a Porter Novelli company) joined me on the Roundtable. We discussed Klout, which made waves this week first when it changed its algorithm and then when it was discovered that public comments on Facebook status updates were sufficient exposure to trigger the creation of a Klout score. We also talked about Chapstick’s social foible, and what the fallout from social campaigns can mean for a brand.
Today’s show is 33 minutes in length.
- Doug and I kicked off the discussion today covering the reaction online to Klout’s algorithm change. Doug says he believes Klout when they say the change is supposed to reflect a more accurate score–but what exactly is it scoring? It’s still more of a measure of online activity than true influence. Doug doesn’t blame Klout for the reaction–he says it lays bare the fact that many people were relying far more on Klout than they should. He also points out that the updates to Google’s search algorithm produce the same sort of wailing and gnashing of teeth among the SEO community–it’s a change and people tend to adjust to it. I point out that these changes, even if they are supposed to make the score more accurate, they aren’t going to sway those of us who are deeply suspicious of anything that purports to be an influence measurement tool.
- Next, we stay with Klout but move to the topic of the creation of Klout scores. Klout’s original scoring created scores based on the relatively open platform of Twitter. But several posts have noted a new twist: Klout scores are now being generated for individuals with Facebook pages. There’s a serious privacy question here, even for adults–but the real kicker is that this process auto-creates Klout scores for minors too. Since kids as young as 13 are permitted on Facebook, if they comment on a public status update, Klout can scrape that information and create a score–even if that user’s Facebook account is set to private. The question here goes beyond whether Klout can do this–they might well be within legal boundaries. The question is if they should.
- Finally, we talk about Chapstick’s social media kerfuffle. Chapstick posted a photo of a woman frantically searching for her lost Chapstick, throwing couch cushions all over the place (photo here at the Ad Week article we discuss). The photo apparently offended some, and they remarked on Chapstick’s Facebook wall, which is exactly where Chapstick had directed them to go to “be heard.” Chapstick then started deleting comments, and we all know how well that goes over. While this is obviously ill-thought out on the brand’s part (a written policy noting what kind of behavior will be deleted from the wall is advised), what’s more interesting to Doug (and me) is the suggestion that the brand is somehow in a “death spiral” (headline of the Ad Week piece) because of it. No–it’s an online dust-up. Doug says people need to “count to 10,” which is always good advice.