If you don’t know what Klout is, you should probably spend 15 minutes of your time to learn about it. I wondered about this for sometime and I am here to share with you what I learnt when I researched as to why and how much does it matter today.
If you have a Twitter account, you already have a Klout score whether or not you’re aware of it. If you are on Social Networking websites, you have a Klout score already though you may not know. I tend to think it is worth finding out anyway.
If you live in the United States, you probably know your credit score. Does a high credit score alone guarantee you a loan/mortgage? It doesn't though it's very helpful! There are several other factors involved in getting a loan. However, a bad credit score can definitely hurt.
Similar is the concept of the Klout score. Coming from the background of business intelligence, I find this tool very interesting. Whether you are an individual or a company trying to gain on social media, it is a handy analytical tool.
You can easily learn how are you engaging your friends, fans or followers. You might be spending a lot of time and money online in your branding efforts. But, if your fans/followers/friends/subscribers do not engage with you, does your investment of time and money really worth? I doubt.
Before Klout, it was difficult to measure one's influence on the social media. But today, as a company, if I have to hire a social media consultant and candidate's Klout score is really low (say 32), I personally would doubt the candidate's ability to handle the responsibility.
Is Klout Score Always Accurate?
Probably not. I feel Klout doesn't give accurate results all the time. My personal score dropped from 59 to 10 overnight a few weeks ago. I emailed them and got them to fix it and next day, it came back to 59. I believe they are consistently improving the tool and it will mature as time goes.
Does Klout Score Really Matter?
Yes it does! It especially matters if you care about your branding. If you are working to leverage social media and internet marketing, you should know your Klout and work to improve. It's a reality checkpoint!
Again, Klout score matters to those who think it does. The risk with not caring about Klout however is, the person who thinks it matters could be your next employer or your next prospective client. I tend to believe it's a good idea to think it matters. An interesting article with title " It's Not What You Know, It's Who You Know " came on Forbes around this subject. I encourage you to check with a few examples where the Klout score mattered indeed.
Does Klout Score Really Indicate My Influence?
This is the part that confuses people. Warren Buffett has a much lower Klout score when compared with that of Justin Beiber who has a score of 100. Who do you think really is more influential?
Klout score is not about how really "influential" you are. It actually indicates how engaged your fans and followers are with you and your brand. Klout may not be about how your real life influence. But if you ever care about creating third party credibility, it definitely indicates if people online engage with you and care about what you say or do.
How Does It Calculate My Klout Score?
Klout scores you based on the public data available on you on the social networking websites. Those who sign up for Klout or are connected to those who do, have a “Klout score” that ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater strength of their online influence. Though it started scoring based on Twitter activity, today Klout pulls data from as many as 12 social media platforms, depending on the user’s preference. But take note – Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn have the most impact according to unofficial sources.
The analysis is executed using data taken from these sites and measures the size of a person’s network, the content created and how other people interact with that content.
How Do I Increase My Klout Score?
Mark W. Schaefer, the author of the book “Return On Influence: The Revolutionary Power of Klout, Social Scoring, and Influence Marketing” shares following simple steps to grow your Klout score. I found them very valuable and would like to share them with you here:
Build Your Network
It's similar to finding success on the social media and on the internet. Build a targeted, engaged network of people who would be legitimately interested in you and your content.
Create Meaningful Content
As they say, "Content Is King". Create or aggregate meaningful content that your network loves to read, watch and share with others. The more people love your content, the higher goes your Klout score!
Engage Your Audience
Actively engage with others in a helpful and authentic way. Increase your social interaction, comment on interesting content of other people in your network to start dialogue, ask questions and answer questions. The more people interact with you in public, the higher goes your score.
Any manipulative behaviors that fall outside the basic genuine strategies will eventually catch up to you. For example, adding a lot of people to your network with who you do not interact anyway, manipulating conversations or annoying people with high Klout scores etc, may not help you in the long run. If you keep focused on your network strategy and your content strategy, your Klout score will shoot up and it will stay there!
Interact With Everyone
Be willing to interact with Klout users with lower scores too. It will help build their score and in turn makes your influence climb the ranks.
Use Publishing Tools As I discussed in my eBook on Personal Branding, access to free publishing tools such as blogs, video and Twitter have provided users with a tremendous opportunity to create and build a brand. Take advantage of these many platforms, publish your own content, share on these platforms and get your Klout score soaring!
Stay The Course
Like everything in life, your consistency is the key to your success. Do not get discouraged with your current score in short term. Work at increasing your score for 90 days and if you keep at it, your Klout score is bound to go up.
Question: What do you think about Klout? Do you think it matters to you? Would you share your thoughts in comments now?