What Exactly is Klout?
When you are using social media
, there is a tool called Klout
that measures your social media influence and it has been around since 2008. And if you are not already aware of this, your social media influence has a huge impact on your search engine rankings. Proper use of SM also gives you, as an individual (or a brand) a high ranking as it is. Klout is one of the tools to determine that as it has a scoring range of 0-100. The higher your score, the more influential you are in your social media community. And by the way, if you have a Twitter account and/or a Facebook account, whether you know it or not, you have a Klout score.
What is a Good Klout Score?
Most people who don't use social media often or just use it to keep in touch with their friends and family will have scores between 10-30. However, those who have started to build up a bit of a network of friends and followers and interact with them around 3-7 times a week will have a score between 30-40. When you are starting to really do some networking and sharing pictures on Facebook, and interacting with your followers on Twitter, you will have a score of over 40. That is when you can receive prizes from Klout called Perks such as a free meal from a local restaurant, business cards, etc. These Perks are a way of allowing brands to connect with influencers, so these influencers can Tweet about it, send a Facebook wall post about it or what have you. As long as the word gets out- it is advertising for them. Therefore, if you have a Klout score of over 40, you are becoming influential in your areas of expertise in the social media world. These Perks are there to also encourage you to keep using Twitter and Facebook and other sites, because the more you use them, the higher your score is. A score of over 50 is considered to be quite elite and users with that score are considered to have high quality profiles and are extremely influential.
What Are the Benefits of Having a High Klout Score?
There is a lot of controversy over this where so many people say that Klout is over-rated. And Klout does have to make many more improvements to their platform in order to make the scoring system more accurate such as adding Facebook pages, public groups you run, etc. Hopefully soon enough it will get there. I will start off by saying that having a high Klout score will earn you perks and freebies such as better customer service, free meals, big discounts, and even free vacations. But the fact of the matter is, social media is becoming more and more mainstream especially for business owners, marketers, consultants, entertainers, authors, politicians and experts. If you want to appear to be an expert in your field, you need to have a high Klout score. Simple as that. If you are looking for a job especially in the marketing field, the employer will look at your Klout score.
There is an example of how someone's low Klout score had ended up costing him a great job opportunity. According to Wired
, it was noted that a marketer was recruited for a VP position for a Toronto marketing company recently. He had 15 years of experience of consulting for huge brands like AOL, Kraft and Ford. He was immediately turned down in the middle of the interview because the interviewer had looked at his Klout score and it was at 34. He had lost that opportunity to someone else who had a score of 67. More and more examples of this kind of thing will be popping up, and are happening even now.
How Can One Exactly Increase Their Klout Score?
Well funny you should ask as Klout just updated their algorithm again. Here are a few steps you can take to improve your score:
Write up compelling status updates where you will get comments, mentions, likes and shares
from your friends. Share interesting photos as well and you will likely get the same reactions. Increase your friends and subscribers list.
Be sure to tweet interesting tweets. You tweeting alone will not increase your score but if it is retweeted
that will help. Be sure to strike up conversations with your followers including using the via and cc format. Direct messaging does not help. This way you can get mentioned
by not just your followers but by other users. Having 10 different conversations with different Twitter users even if you exchange comments/replies 4 times with each is going to have a better impact on your score than having a conversation with one Twitter user even if that same Twitter user mentions your name 100 times. Having a lot of good quality followers (not spam accounts) will increase your score too. If you are added to different lists, that will only help.
Google + has a large impact on your Klout score. Make sure your posts there are public, and share interesting stuff. You will get comments, plus 1's and shares, and that will only help your score.
Having a prestigious title will actually help your score, as well as having a large network and recommendations. If you share something on LinkedIn and it gets comments and likes, it will help.
Whatever topics of interest to you or whatever topics represent your field of expertise is shown on Klout. Other users validate it by giving you +K's. The more +K's you get over time (and it is right to give back +K's to them) will also help your score.
Klout is also making more changes and other social networks such as Foursquare, Yelp and bit.ly are going to shape it. Even Wikipedia is. That in itself will be interesting. Anyway, I would appreciate it if you gave me a +K on any topic listed on my Klout profile
and I will certainly return the favor.
I will be creating a course on Klout probably in the fall. If you want incredible perks, to be known as a true expert in your field and even your dream job, having a high Klout score will help you achieve those.