Klout Loses Clout Thanks to Shortsighted Tweet


Klout will need to do some work to raise its own score after it retweeted that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have “an awesome Klout score,” adding, "Definitely!"

The company says its intentions were positive, but admits in hindsight that the tweet may have been in poor taste. Klout offered an apology and deleted the tweet. Still, the damage was done.
Screen Shot 2013-08-30 at 10.24.34 AMBuzzfeed, also known for ranking things, asked “Is This The Worst Tweet In History?” Perhaps that’s a bit hyperbolic. However, many in the Twitterverse also expressed their displeasure.

Screen Shot 2013-08-30 at 10.15.27 AMScreen Shot 2013-08-30 at 10.16.04 AMThis incident illuminates a few valuable takeaways that communicators should consider if they slip up on social:

  • Apologize immediately, but consider keeping a tweet/post up until after your apology. It shows that you are taking ownership for your missteps. Not only that, it prevents your content from being spread virally. In other words, control the conversation, rather than letting it control you.
  • Don’t force topical content. It’s commendable that brands want to acknowledge important cultural material, however you have to do it right. Klout didn’t, and it recognizes that.
  • Don’t disappear. Ok, you admitted that you made a mistake, you apologized and now it’s time to lick your wounds and move on. And that doesn’t mean it’s time to hide. Klout’s Twitter has remained pretty stagnant since it apologized, which is arguably a bad idea. Now is the time that Klout should be reminding its stakeholders why they are tied together.

Follow Caysey Welton: @CayseyW


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About Caysey Welton

Caysey Welton is Associate Editor at PR News and Folio: Magazine. He spent more than a decade as a chef and restaurant professional before switching tracks to pursue his passion for media and communications. Caysey has a deep interest in converging media landscapes and ecosystem disruptors, public relations and crisis communications. He holds a BS in Media, Culture and Communications from New York University.



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  • Elaine

    Not sure how that was “poor taste”? MLK was a master orater.. imagine what he could have accomplished by using social media! He WOULD have had an awesome Klout score.

  • Stuart

    I agree with Elaine. I think that is over reaction from PC-people. I found it funny and I think people need to relax in this day and age of real issues e.g. poverty

  • http://www.boom-online.co.uk/ Amy Fowler

    Yep I’m slightly confused about why this was in poor taste too?