The Klout Score is the measurement of your overall online influence. The scores range from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Klout uses over 35 variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score.
Measuring social influence is not something new. Grader and plenty of others have been doing it for a long time. So, what is the big deal about Klout?
The big deal is that it has quickly become the social media score lots of companies care about.
What does that really mean? It means that your score could play an important role in your ability to be a part of campaigns, sell ad space, or even get noticed through customer service.
There is a lot of backroom shop talk about how Klout is being used. It is becoming widely known that big hotel chains use it to decide if you are worthy of an upgrade. There are stories of people being moved to large suites and penthouses simply by mentioning their score. There are theories that certain companies are using your numbers to prioritize customer service issues. Meaning, if Mrs. 50 complains about her broken X at the same time Mr. 70 does, Mr.70 is going to get priority. I personally had an experience where I had a service person come out after something I had tweeted about and tell me “you must be important because I was told in no uncertain terms to make this right.” Which I found disturbingly funny.
Your Klout score is public information and can be easily accessed by anyone. Services like hootsuite make it easy to view Klout scores right on the dashboard. All you have to do is click on someones name while in the service.
OK, you get now why this is important and I am sure your next question is going to be: How do I improve my Klout score?
Klout states it comes up with your score looking at 35+variables that have mostly to do with:
- True Reach: the size of your engaged audience.
- Amplification Probability: likelihood that your content will be acted upon.
- Network Influence: the influence level of your engaged audience.
BUT, if you google “How to increase Klout scores” you come up with a large variety of feel-good answers like:
Ask earnest questions
Make time for Twitter
or my personal favorite
Get important people to talk about you.
But for those of us who need more than generic responses, I think there is real merit in setting goals based on these pretty little badges. But before we go any farther: if you haven’t yet claimed your profile you need to by registering a free account. Add your twitter, facebook, and linkedin profiles (currently in beta). At first, I was reluctant to share my facebook because of privacy issues but in the last 6 months I have not had any issues with allowing them access to my profile.
Now lets take a look at some images that show how your badges tend to correlate with your score:
For those curious, 50 and 61 above are both ‘mom bloggers’. I will admit to being 61. 81 is a well known ‘social media guru’. You can see that while I have the 100 List Membership Badge (I am currently listed 380 times), 81 has the 10K badge. Obviously, my next goal is to get the 500 badge. Looking at what badges are possible helps me set attainable goals to raise my score.Each of these badges have achievement levels.
Things you can work towards:
- Being placed on more twitter lists. Formulists is great for creating more lists of your own.
- Having your tweets retweeted more and by different users.
- Increase your facebook comments and likes.
You need to expand who you talk to! You may have 30,000 followers but if you are only talking to 25 of them, you are not going to increase your Klout score.
There is certainly evidence that supports that WHO you talk is important. Many theorize that having Mr. 81 talk to you is better for your score than talking to Mr. 29. You can’t really disagree when one of the major factors Klout analyzes is how influencial your network is. But that sounds an awful like hanging out with the cool kid crowd in highschool. I would rather spend my day engaging with the people I like and reaching out to new people than trying to get one of the cool kids to talk to me.
In the end, it really does come down to the feel-good mantras though of creating things people are interested in, engaging with a variety of people, and promoting others more than you promote yourself.
And let me just preempt any comments that tell me how shallow it is to attach grades to engagement. I don’t disagree! But, it really doesn’t matter what any of us think of how our scores are used. The fact is, they are. And if you are a blogger, or have another online profession, ignorance is not bliss when it comes to Klout. This post isn’t about the ethics behind it. It’s about making you aware of one way your influence is being measured and giving you some concrete ways to cast yourself in the best light.