The paper “ Klout Business Model - Key Concerns of Klout, Implications for Internet Marketing, Demerits of Klout" is an intriguing example of a literature review on marketing. The current business environment is becoming very competitive and full of changes and organizations are trying their best to devise ways of surviving in the turbulent environment. The effectiveness of a firm’ s marketing strategy will determine the number of customers it attracts and hence its sales volume. A big percentage of firms are turning to social networks to market their products and services. Klout refers to an internet-based tool for measuring personal influence.
It uses proprietary algorithms to calculate the rate of a person’ s participation in certain social networks such as Facebook, twitter, foursquare and LinkedIn and gives the person a numerical mark depending on his or her activity. Marketers, customer service and public relations experts are currently using Klout as well as other measurement tools of personal influence, to easily and quickly identify individuals who are highly influential (Geron, p.34). This paper will discuss the key concerns of Klout, implications for internet marketing and demerits of Klout.
It will also give informed recommendations based on the demerits and concerns of Klout. Key concerns of KloutAccording to Ha (p. 8), Klout is being used by different organizations for different purposes. A number of public relations organizations are using the scores from Klout as part of their plan for crisis management. Human resource functions are starting to take into consideration an individual influence score in their hiring process. Moreover, Klout signs contract with brands to carry out campaigns which target influencers and offers Klout Perks.
Perks are free stuff intended to motivate the influencer. In other words, Klout is a good business model but several concerns have been raised in relation to its use and effectiveness. The first concern relates to privacy issues. Klout assumes that everybody is using it. Sometimes, Klout creates profiles for people who have not signed up for a Klout account. For those who have an account with Klout, there are opt-out and opt-in options. However, Klout’ s opt-out option requires the user to connect to a profile or send a message to them for deleting.
The website does not have privacy and even people who do not use twitter and Facebook are in a position to view information on the users. The lack of privacy makes Klout not appropriate for business organizations since competitors can easily access the company’ s information from the website. Moreover, access to organizations’ business strategies makes product differentiation very difficult and thus surviving in a competitive industry may not be possible (Ha, p.8). Fichter and Avery (p. 59) maintain that Klout is marketing to people who are under the age of 18 and who are considered as minors.
There have been a number of reports about children exploitation through Klout profiles that are formed from data scrapes obtained through Facebook API. This is more common with Facebook profiles which were set for a public or private viewing. Therefore, Klout uses profiles belonging to minors and lists them as influential just because they liked or commented on a post in one of the Klout profiles. Minors should not be included in calculating the score of personal influence. This is because; their thinking and decision-making capacities are limited.
It is not legally upright for Klout to include minors in their marketing.