Personality, Social Networks & Klout

Last week I asked a question on the Linkedin group Independent & Critical Thinkers. The question I posed was:

Has anyone seen a recent study on personality types and usage of the top social platforms (i.e. Facebook, Linkedin & Twitter)?

I’ve always been interested in personality types. What our personality says about us, how it influences our path in life and how it affects everything from the clothes we pick out in the morning to the career we choose. In this case, I was curious if there have been any studies done to see if people who have a particular tenancy toward a specific social platform share similar personality traits. For example, are Twitter users more prone to ADHD? Are Facebook users more likely to be social butterflies?  Is there any scientific evidence to show this?

This international group of thought leaders answered my question with a wide variety of answers. Themelis Cuiper added a wonderful list of different personality types, while Monica Franco provided an interesting study on why a group of users in Italy connect or don’t connect on Linkedin.

Our engaging discussion lead me to thinking about how Klout and similar services are being used to assess customers, service providers, and even employees. So I threw in this curve ball…

“So we have all these different personality types in life and online (I do believe your online and offline personality can be different). What happens when you take our personality types and throw in something like a Klout score (, PeerIndex, or other such reputation scoring services? This spring, the Wall Street Journal published an interesting article on the personality types and evolution of online reputation management.

Some people view these tools as nothing more than an outlet for a narcissistic personality. However, if you look more closely, I believe you can read between the lines and see that they have the potential to serve as the Gate Keepers to certain industries and potentially even careers in the near future. Anyone in social media, online marketing or a high profile career such as politics, acting, etc. are already being judged to a certain extent by these new tools. Every day new articles are coming out about the Klout score of a celebrity, politician, business or individual. We’re continuously reminded of the importance our online reputation. As callous as it sounds, we now have tools to determine if you are “worthy” of our business, our friendship or our attention.

It’s true, politics and Hollywood have always demanded a certain level of narcissism and openness to the public. Now that Klout and other such services appear to be catering to personality types that embrace online openness (number of followers, friends, posts, chats, etc.) and ego equating these traits to a high score, are we assuming that individuals in other careers (i.e. social media, online marketing, etc…) must adopt these personality traits as well in order to be successful? Is it right to assume that the individual who posts little on their own behalf, or keeps his/her digital life private is not as skilled at their craft as the individual who is overtly open?”

So dear reader, what are your thoughts on the future? Are we headed into a world where everyone must earn celebrity status, or is this just a fad that will evolve into something better or fade away?

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About Karin Khuhro

Karin Khuhro is a Digital Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Copywriter. As the owner of Strategy E-ssentials she works with other savvy marketers, digital specialists and business leaders to bring knowledge, know-how and solutions to small and medium sized businesses. Connect with Karin on Google+ or Linkedin.