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The Ultimate Guide to Klout

What is Klout?
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Klout, established in December 2008, measures your social media activities by using analytics tools. The purpose of the San Francisco-based company is to score the influence of any individual through his or her social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Foursquare and even Klout itself. An individual’s score is calculated everyday from 400 different signals. How many Facebook likes and comment shares does a person receive? How many Twitter mentions and retweets does that person get? How many lists has the person been added to? How many Google Plus ones, shares and comments does a person receive? Klout measures all this and more. Klout has announced plans to add networks such as Quora to its system as well. Klout also heavily weighs the quality of the user’s LinkedIn profile such as the number of his or her connections, the type of tile, and the amount of recommendations. Klout also takes into consideration whether or not the individual has a Wikipedia page, and how many inbound links it has. The score is given a number from 0-100, 100 being the highest; no one currently has a score of 100. On the other hand, to score 0, you must not be involved on any social media. The average Klout score is 40, and 5% of users have “high” scores of 63 and above.

Why Should You Care About Klout?

Anyone who deals with the public on a professional level is active on social media. A strong social media presence is expected of professionals involved in any kind of marketing, PR, coaching, writing, politics, music, entrepreneurship—the list goes on. One way to find out how engaging you are online and whether or not others in your networks are receptive to your content is your Klout score. In fact, employers in marketing firms require that applicants have a high enough Klout score to indicate that they are active on their networks. And what’s more surprising? Hotel upgrades, better customer service, and other perks can come with having high Klout scores.

>How Can One Build His or Her Klout Score?

collage This infographic tells you the basics, but let me elaborate on what you need to do to build your score.

  • 1. The most important thing to do before networking is to make sure your profiles are filled out properly. Fill out your “About Me” sections, or hire someone to do it for you on microgig sites like Fiverr. A compelling “About Me” section alone will attract people to your networks.
  • 2. Klout says it measures influence, however, in order to be truly influential, be sure to post compelling, tasteful and even some niche-related content on your networks. (Of course, too much niche-related content can be a turn-off). If you do all of that constantly you will receive responses and engagement.
  • 3. Once you have enough content on your profiles, join networking groups to add more people to your networks who will engage with what you put out.
  • 4. Be sure to talk to others on your lists, show as much interest in what they put out in their networks as they show for you. Retweet their tweets, like, share and comment on their posts, you get the idea. If you do that, they will be more likely to do the same for you.
  • 5. Be consistent with your social media activities. Don’t be active for one day, and then absent for days after. Keep it consistent. If you are unable to participate in your social networks, either have a friend give you a helping hand, automate posts, or even hire a VA to keep up the activity. Either way, consistency is the key here.
  • 6. Give users votes or +Ks in their topics of choice and they will do the same to yours. Though this kind gesture alone has only a small effect on your score, you will end up with more engagement on your networks from those whom you connected with this way.There are people who do understand Klout’s importance and plenty more who, refusing to accept it, make misguided judgments about Klout without fully understanding its purpose. Below is a video on the common judgments made about Klout by those who refuse to accept it.

Klout and Online Influence

Klout markets itself as a tool to measure online influence. But does the company live up to its own hype? Yes, it is important to have an attention-grabbing high score. However, as mentioned in the video, you can gain a high score by receiving engagement on nonsense. The final word: In order to make the best of Klout and to be truly influential online, dish out useful, relevant and compelling content that will easily intrigue high quality individuals into networking with you!

   
Leelo Bush Phd
I am adding Klout to my list of resources at Circle of Influence so our members will benefit. Thanks for the post. Got Influence? http://www.igotinfluence.com
Edwin Dearborn
Great tips on Klout. Thanks.
Judith Kavanaugh
Thank you Miriam Slozberg. Very helpful.
Miriam Slozberg
I am glad you liked it :)
Sarah Howell
Great useful information.
Miriam Slozberg
thanks Sarah, glad you liked it.
Carly Alyssa Thorne
I would have to say I respectfully do NOT agree with the idea of disconnecting all Networks except for Facebook from Klout. The Only way that works is if You are Gaming Thru EA to Drive Traffic to FB. Social Media is supposed to be about QUALITY Engagement and NOT Gamification meaning not doing a ton of Empire Avenue Missions to have a ton of People just go to Your Page and do a LIKE Athon... At the end of the Day why are You in Social Media and... is what you are doing in Social Media bringing you any $$$ from all of those efforts... Just because You score on FB on EA is above 95 how did you earn it Thru posting quality content or just a stream of Beautiful photos etc... What is Your Message? What do you wan to be Know as? What is Your Niche? I LOVE Empire Avenue, and I even do mission however with a balance. Each Mission I do is never for more than 10 People and it is for a specific task to promote a blog post, video, article, Starting a New Page etc... I don't use it for LikeAthons... I want people engaging, commenting and sharing because they Like what they see. And.. The same goes across all platforms... And If You are Using TWITTER properly YES It does help Your Klout score as does if You are using Foursquare properly...
Miriam Slozberg
Carly thank you!! Great comment :)
Ron Sidwell
Nice treatment of the Klout phenomenon. I believe it's true that Klout is biased toward Facebook content. You'll get a higher score from posting on FB than on Twitter, but I've met some great people through Klout that I would not have known otherwise.
Miriam Slozberg
Thanks for your input Ron and I have to respectfully disagree. I have noticed some people with very high scores who don't use Facebook nearly as much as Twitter however they obviously receive super engagement there. However it is possible to have a high score if you happen to use Facebook less.
Ron Sidwell
You did the research, so I defer to your expertise.
Jorgen Poulsen
Apparently according to Michael all you need to do is disconnect all your networks except Facebook and then start posting interesting pictures on Facebook and tag friends with high Klout scores. He already proved it and wrote a blog about it. Seems a lot easier. Btw, Facebook accounts for more than 50% of my Klout score even though I'm significantly more active on Twitter. Secondly, I used to receive and give a lot of +K but have done nothing for months. My Klout score has stayed between 69 and 70 for a long time.
Miriam Slozberg
Yes I am aware of what he said in that post and what he found :) Thanks for your comment, cheers.
Ken Danieli
They overhauled Klout several months ago and the +K activity is now a mystery. Previously, I had reached high levels in certain topics, but now it's just a mess.
Carlos Newsome
Great info Miriam.
Miriam Slozberg
Happy you like it Carlos
Kevin Morrice
Very interesting & useful - good read!
Miriam Slozberg
Glad you like it Kevin
 
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