How Much Does Klout Score Matter? | WebProNews

How Much Does Klout Score Matter?

How Much Does Klout Score Matter?

“While you may abhor the idea of a company like Klout judging or grading you on a daily basis, it’s already happening and companies are paying attention, so we shouldn’t just ignore this trend.”

That’s a quote from the book The Tao Of Twitter, by Mark Schaefer. It comes from a chapter about influence on Twitter, something that many businesses and individuals continue to strive for. Sure, there are no doubt plenty of influential people who could care less about their Klout scores, and certainly plenty that feel they are above this kind of judgement, as Schaefer says, but you have to admit, he has a point.

How much does Klout score matter? How much is it being paid attention to by others? We reached out to Schaefer for more thoughts on the subject. After all, he did also write a book about Klout score.

“I think the most succinct answer is that if you cut through the emotion of being publicly ranked, Klout’s PR missteps, and the silliness of being an influencer on a topic like lamps or teddy bears, then yes – they are on to something,” he tells us.

“A Klout score simply shows whether you are somebody who can move content over social media channels that creates reactions,” he adds. “And if you think of how many jobs depend on that ability these days, this can be a very useful number to consider. I hear of more and more companies using Klout scores as a topic in job interviews. Controversial, but it’s happening.”

Indeed, there have been quite a few articles to come out this year about this. Consider this one from Wired, which begins:

Last spring Sam Fiorella was recruited for a VP position at a large Toronto marketing agency. With 15 years of experience consulting for major brands like AOL, Ford, and Kraft, Fiorella felt confident in his qualifications. But midway through the interview, he was caught off guard when his interviewer asked him for his Klout score. Fiorella hesitated awkwardly before confessing that he had no idea what a Klout score was.

The interviewer pulled up the web page for Klout.com—a service that purports to measure users’ online influence on a scale from 1 to 100—and angled the monitor so that Fiorella could see the humbling result for himself: His score was 34. “He cut the interview short pretty soon after that,” Fiorella says. Later he learned that he’d been eliminated as a candidate specifically because his Klout score was too low. “They hired a guy whose score was 67.”

More recently, Forbes reported:

…Klout is on its way to becoming an integral part of the job search and recruiting process for many individuals and companies.

“We look at this as similar to an SAT,” says Klout spokeswoman Lynn Fox. “It is one of many factors that is considered when a person applies to a university. Likewise, the Klout Score can be used as one of many indicators of someone’s skill set.”

Here’s Klout CEO Joe Fernandez talking to TechCrunch about the trend in hiring managers taking Klout scores into account:

“On the other side of the aisle, companies like Nike, Disney and American Express are using these social scoring platforms like Klout and Appinions to connect to powerful word of mouth influencers,” Schaefer tells us. “When companies like that are involved, it kind of gets your attention. And of course Microsoft just invested in Klout as a partner. Yes, you need to pay attention to this.”

Yes, Microsoft just invested in Klout, and Klout has been integrated with Bing (which just came to Xbox in web search form, not to mention Windows 8).

Klout also recently started taking Facebook Pages into account, which could actually serve to make the score a more significant factor, given the fact that Facebook has 1.01 billion monthly active users.

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How to Increase Your Klout Score | PCWorld

How to Improve Your Klout ScoreMaybe you’ve never heard of Klout, the San Francisco-based startup founded in 2009 that purports to measure how influential users are across social networks. But that doesn’t mean Klout hasn’t heard of you: If you have a Twitter account, you have a Klout score.

According to Wired, marketing consultant Sam Fiorella was recently passed over for a job when, during his interview, he confessed that he had no idea what a Klout score was. He subsequently learned that his Klout score was 34–not too bad–but the guy who got the job had a Klout score of 67.

Klout assigns people a score of between 1 and 100–with 1 being someone who’s never seen social media, and 100 being Justin Bieber. The average person has a score of 20; anything higher means that you’re at least moderately influential in your area of expertise. Everyone with an active Twitter account has a Klout score, though they can opt out of the system if they wish.

Your next job interview may not include a question about your Klout score, but I wouldn’t recommend ignoring it entirely. According to Matt Thomson, Klout’s VP of platform, having a higher Klout score may soon enable you to nab earlier plane boarding times, free access to airport lounges, hotel upgrades, and discounts from retail stores. Gilt Groupe recently offered discounts based on Klout score–from 20 percent for users with scores of 20 or lower, to 100 percent for users with scores of 81 or higher.

What Is Klout?

Klout attempts to measure your online clout–that is, your ability to influence people on the Internet. Using data aggregated from social networks, Klout determines how good you are at persuading other people to act.

“Klout defines influence as the ability to drive action,” says Lynn Fox, Klout’s head of communications. According to Fox, “we analyze a number of social media engagement variables to measure influence, including Twitter retweets and mentions, Facebook comments and likes, LinkedIn comments and likes, Foursquare tips and to-do’s, and Google+ comments and reshares.”

Klout’s website notes that a Klout score takes three major factors into account: True Reach (how many people you actually influence), Amplification (how much you influence those people), and Network (how influential your network is).

To increase your Klout score, you need to focus on these three things–increasing the number of people who respond to and share your content, ensuring that your tweets and status updates are easy for people to respond to and share, and strengthening your network by engaging with people who have high Klout scores.

How to Increase Your Klout Score

Though Klout does not share its reputation calculation algorithms with the public, figuring out how to increase your Klout score doesn’t require an advanced degree in Bieberology. Here are ten unofficial tips on how to become a social media maven and a VIP at venues responsive to that sort of status.

1. Go Public

Everyone who has a semi-active Twitter account automatically has a Klout score. If your Twitter account is private, though, your score will hover around 10–no matter how actively you post to it. That’s because Klout, as a third-party application, can aggregate only public data or private data that you explicitly grant it permission to access.

If you currently keep your Twitter account private, a surefire way to increase your Klout score is to log in to Klout, allow Klout to access your private data, and make your Twitter account public. Having a public account increases the chance people who are not in your network will share and respond to your content, thereby increasing your score.

2. Link Your Social Networks

You may not be a Twitter superstar–I’m certainly not. But even if Twitter isn’t your thing, you can cobble together a respectable Klout score. You can link up to 13 social networking accounts to Klout, including Blogger, Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, Google+, Instagram, Last.fm, LinkedIn, WordPress, and YouTube. Klout plans to add at least seven more social networks, including Yelp and Posterous, to its roster.

Link your social networks to your Klout account, and watch your score steadily climb.

Klout says that connecting networks can only help your score, and it recognizes how “nearly impossible [it is] for any person to be consistently effective across every network.” That said, you should link only to accounts that you keep up with, according to social media expert (and founder of new media agency Plastick Media) Tori Kyes. You should also make your linked accounts public.

3. Build Relationships

Your True Reach is a measure of people who not only follow you and friend you, but who actually engage with the content you produce. Having 3 million Twitter followers won’t mean much if they follow you but otherwise ignore you.

To increase your True Reach, you must build online relationships with people. The easiest way to do that is by talking to them–responding to their content, asking them questions, or commenting on their profiles. This will put you on their radar, and in the future they’ll be more likely to respond to your content.

Klout says that it never punishes users for interacting with people who have lower Klout scores, so you should try to talk to everyone when you have the chance.

4. Pay Special Attention to Influencers

Since Klout rewards you for engaging with people who have higher Klout scores, it’s worth your while to identify “Influencers”–people who have high Klout scores in your field of expertise–and try to engage with them without looking like a suck-up or a social climber.

“Don’t just retweet them; that means nothing,” says Rachel Hutman, an account executive at Clearpoint Agency. “Respond to what they are saying. Ask them additional questions. Be enlightening, funny to get their attention. The more followers someone has, if they then talk about you, your Klout score will undoubtedly go up.”

Klout uses mysterious algorithms to compute who your top influences are.

You can also engage with Influencers who are not in your field of expertise, but you’re more likely to receive a retweet or a comment if they have a reason to talk to you. As a tech writer I’m more likely to get a comment from another tech writer (say, about technology) than I am to get a comment from rapper 50 Cent. Though it would be awesome if I got a comment from 50 Cent, it makes more sense for me to solicit comments from other tech-focused people.

5. Ask Questions

The more questions you ask, the more answers you’ll get. People love to give their opinions–whether about the weather in Seattle, which Android phone to buy, or how insane traffic is during rush hour in New York City.

Tweeting something like, “What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to get a cab at rush hour in NYC?” will elicit more responses than, “Ugh. Trying to get a cab in NYC.” Likewise, asking people if the sun ever shines in Seattle during the summer will net more answers than just complaining about the weather.

One especially effective strategy is to ask people to share their own stories. People love to talk about themselves, especially on the Internet.

6. Know Your Audience

Once you get to know your audience, you’ll be able to share, comment on, and ask questions about topics that interest them; and in turn, they’ll be more likely to engage with you. If your audience is mostly teenagers, you probably shouldn’t tweet incessantly about politics and finance. If your audience is mostly Silicon Valley computer engineers, you probably shouldn’t bore them with makeup tips.

It’s also smart to find out where your audience is located. If you have a ton of followers from Japan, for example, you might want to send out tweets at times when they’ll be awake. If the vast majority of your followers are on the east coast, you can taper off the tweets at around 10 p.m. Pacific time.

7. Make Your Content Easy to Share

One of the quickest ways to raise your Klout score is to pile up Twitter retweets, Google+ reshares, and Facebook shares. The key is for people to see your content and think “I absolutely have to share that.”

Aside from making your content appealing, you’ll want to make it easy to share. You can do this in a few different ways: by using tagging to give others credit, by adding hashtags and keywords to make your content searchable, and by cleaning it up–avoiding swearing, keeping your entries simple, using proper English when possible, and so on. People want to be able to click and share; they don’t want to have to edit your tweets to make them searchable (or inoffensive).

8. Post at the Right Time

If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? And if a tweet goes out at 3 a.m., does it have any impact? The answer to both questions is maybe. But “maybe” isn’t good enough if you’re serious about increasing your Klout score.

If you constantly think intriguing thoughts and achieve fascinating insights in the middle of the night, consider using a third-party application such as HootSuite, Twuffer, or FutureTweets to defer the posting time of these updates to ensure that they hit the Web at peak traffic periods. You can also use services such as Timely, which analyzes your followers to determine when your tweets should go out, and publishes them accordingly.

9. Quality Over Quantity

According to Klout, “being active is different than being influential,” and your score depends far less on how much content you create than on how much engagement you generate. So while teenage girls may be superactive on Twitter and Facebook, they’re rarely very influential, even within their own network.

The best course is to maintain a steady flow of interesting, engaging content–not just content for content’s sake. If you update your Facebook page 3000 times a day, but people comment on it only 5 times a day, your Klout score will be lower than if you update your page 10 times a day with the same amount of comments.

10. Don’t Stress

Your Klout score isn’t everything, of course. Just because one person reportedly was passed over for a job because of his Klout score, that doesn’t mean that you should treat your Klout score as the ultimate objective measure of your social and professional worth.

For one thing, your Klout score doesn’t measure your offline influence and success, which helps explain why, until very recently, tech pundit Robert Scoble had a higher Klout score than President Barack Obama. (Justin Bieber has the highest Klout score, period, but he is arguably more influential than even the President.)

Though Klout’s ever-changing algorithm remains somewhat mysterious, you can (and should) feel free to game it to your advantage, just like any other arbitrary scoring system. But don’t let such considerations cloud your judgment–and don’t lose any sleep worrying over your Klout ranking.

Sarah is a freelance technology writer and editor based in Silicon Valley, with a Klout score of 48. Follow Sarah on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.

6 Unofficial Way to Increase Your Klout Score

6 Unofficial Ways to Increase Your Klout Score

Oh no… not another klout blog post!! YES! another one. Several months ago, I had my internship in Singapore and I didn’t really have much time to tweet, so I expected my klout score to decrease. It fell from 80+ to 72 within a month. (Little tweets and engagement in a month)

So I thought it would be fun to try out how I could get the score back up again, therefore I tried several methods from simply tweeting and sharing tweets to trying the other types of tweets. The results? Here are

6 UNOFFICIAL WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR KLOUT SCORE.

1. CREATE CONTENT WORTH SHARING

Easily said than done, what type of contents or tweets are worth sharing?

  • Niche tweets: Tweets regarding your niche. If you’re a social media consultant, you could share tweets on social media such as tips, how-to’s etc. Share something that people can benefit from your tweets.
  • Quotes from your niche: Quotes are great because people can easily relate to them. Two years ago, I shared tweets that get retweeted easily and one of them is quotes. The reason is because it is short and people can easily consume it compared to the links to a blog post.
  • Photos: A picture is worth thousand words, in this case, pictures get retweeted easily. Like quotes, it is easy to consume and the funnier the photo, the more it gets shared.

Example:

increase klout score

  • Share tips: Sharing tips is another great way to create contents that are content worthy. Be sure to keep that under 120 characters so people can retweet them with ease. One of my most retweeted tweets that has been retweet for more than a year is “retweet someone once, they will know you, retweet them a few times they will remember you”

2) START A DISCUSSION

Starting a discussion is tough, however when you have already built a community, you can start a discussion. One way you can increase your klout score is to have“feedbacks” from people or more “actions” taken upon your tweets. You can do so by posting tweets such as:

  • Questions regarding your niche: Ask questions or ask opinions and people will be more than happy to share their opinions with you. You can ask questions like, “What do you think the future of social media will look like?” or if you’re in another niche, try asking them questions regarding to your niche.
  • Wishes: Some twitter users say that you shouldn’t post tweets like “good morning” etc. I find that a bit ridiculous as it takes away the “human elements”. I don’t think there is any problem with posting such tweets. Usually every morning (In the US time), I’ll send out tweets like “Have a beautiful day/weekend” or “wishing you have a wonderful day ahead”. Tweets like these gets tons of feedback as people will thank you, and wish you have a wonderful day too.Join blog chats:
  • Blog chats are a great way to connect with new people and start a discussion. I find blog chats really active and good to start new and meaningful conversations with others. There are weekly blogs chats that you can join and participate in.

3) CONNECT OTHER NETWORKS

Recently klout allows you to connect other networks such as Facebook, Youtube, Foursquare and other networks. I recently connected my foursquare despite only having less than 100 friends there and It helped me to increase my klout score (only a point). Klout mentioned that adding new networks will not decrease your klout score, so you should try to connect it too. I’ve friends that were able to increase their klout score by 3 points by adding only one addition network.Start a small community

4) BUILD A SMALL COMMUNITY

This is a great way to increase your klout score. The reason is because when you have a small community of your own, you’ll be able to get retweets and drive conversations easily compare to just sharing RSS tweets which brings no value when you don’t have a community to read them.

5) ENGAGE WITH INFLUENCERS

The last method is to engage with influencer users in your niche. Jump into their converastion, tweet them, respond to their tweet but make sure that its something that they can respond back too.

Robert Lavigne (@RLavigne42) tested this on twitter and he manage to increase his klout score from 13 to 44 in two weeks.

6) USE BUFFER

Last week at iStrategy, I discussed how using Buffer will increase your klout score, in summary, buffer helps you to optimize your tweet to send out during high traffic hour, therefore giving you more exposure and increasing “actions” such as responds, clicks, etc.

The results? My klout went up from 72 to 83 in less than a month. What about you? Have you tried other stuff that has helped you increase your score?

Oh… I’m not trying to teach you how to game klout. Share your thoughts below.

This blog post is an updated and republished a blog post i wrote at iStrategy blog

Does Your Klout Score Determine Your Value? | Social Media Examiner

Does Your Klout Score Determine Your Value?

By Patricia Redsicker
Published August 16, 2012

social media book reviewsWhat makes Adele a better singer than Rebecca Black?

Is it her magical vocals or her higher Klout score?

And if Seth Godin (Klout score: 0) chooses not to interact on Twitter, does that mean he’s less influential than Uncle Pete, whose Klout score is 35?

These are some of the tricky questions that are being asked since the emergence of new systems that attempt to measure people’s online influence through social scoring.”

But the question is this: How exactly is “influence” measured? And how do those who make such personal yet inflammatory verdicts decide the scores?

seth godin twitter

Twitter would look very different if Seth Godin were on it.

You Have Become a Number

If you have a social media account, your value as an influencer is already being calculated based on how often you tweet, connect, share and comment.

The measure of your “personal power” is your Klout score. The higher your score, the more “powerful and influential” you are. A high Klout score (say 70 and up) will almost guarantee your chances of getting a better job, higher social status and maybe even better luck on the dating scene!

tom webster twitter

Influence determined by social scoring is the new way of online marketing.

Believe it or not, there are people who are taking this number very seriously. Some have even started to question the wisdom of going on long vacations after working so hard to build up their Klout scores.

In his book Return on Influence, Mark Schaefer explores these controversial new developments, discusses why they’re important for businesses and why you should be taking notes.

If you want to become more influential—or just want to figure out who the influencers are—here’s what you need to know about Mark’s latest book.

Author’s Purpose

mark schaefer pic

Mark Schaefer, author of Return on Influence.

Mark Schaefer wrote Return on Influence to help you understand how you measure up on the social web and what that score means to your career or your business.

“Why must I measure up?”, you ask. Because there appears to be a fascinating connection between unprecedented business opportunities and this new thing called personal influence.

For the first time ever, companies can now identify, quantify and even reward valuable word-of-mouth influencers who have the power to drive demand for their products.

While the idea of being rated by some obscure online system seems outrageous, the fact is you ARE being judged whether you like it or not! And so you need to educate yourself about this issue so you can make some important decisions of your own.

What to Expect

roi book coverAt 206 pages, Return on Influence (ROI) is a highly readable and provocative book. It introduces the notion of “personal power” on the social web, but it also cautions that influence is by definition elitist.

Through dozens of stories, interviews and case studies, Return on Influence will sway the way you think about your own power, how to leverage it, and of course, how you can increase it (if that’s what you want!).

Fair warning—If you’re lucky enough to have a high Klout score, you will LOVE this book! You’ll even pay closer attention to the care and nurturing of “your number.”

But if your score is low or mediocre (50 or less), then prepare to be thoroughly unnerved. In fact, you’ll probably be offended!

Highlights

#1: The Citizen Influencer

When Virgin America opened their Toronto route last spring, they asked Klout to find a small group of influencers to receive a free flight in the hopes that they would effectively spread the word.

Calvin Lee, a graphic designer from L.A., was one of the lucky ones on that free flight simply because he was a prolific tweeter. Lee, who describes himself in his Twitter profile as a “social media ho,” is a human news service. When Lee tweets, people respond and his growing influence has won him celebrity-status perks.

Lee says, “I tweet at least 200 times a day… I look for interesting links from my friends and sift them through for good stuff… I think people feel that I’m a real person who is part of their lives.”

These days, you don’t have to be George Clooney or Lady Gaga to get an invitation to the exclusive world behind the velvet rope. Brands are turning to regular folks (like you!) to tell their stories. Instead of spending millions of dollars on television ads, they’re inviting thousands of people—citizen influencers—to talk about their products and influence their friends.

#2: Klout, Social Proof and Reciprocity

Social proof is the idea that if you have a high Klout score, thousands of followers or hundreds of retweets on your blog posts, then you’re worthy of people’s attention. But let’s talk this through, shall we?

There are those in the online world who appear to have power and influence, even without a shred of experience, intelligence or accomplishment.

Matt Ridings, founder of MSR Consulting, has a slightly lower Klout score than the mayor of his hometown of St. Louis. Both of them, however, have a lower Klout score than one @common_squirrel, a (spammy) Twitter account whose content consists only of posts such as “acorn,” “sniff” and “jump, jump, jump.”

spammy twitter account

Just about any online system can be gamed and Klout is no exception.

While he (Matt) engages on a one-to-one basis with his followers and tries to deliver useful content, the other account doesn’t engage, network or do anything for anyone—it simply doesn’t care.

So the question is, how did Klout assign this spammy account a higher measure of influence than an authentic person?

Mark concludes this section by reminding us that true and lasting influence is not the ever-changing badge of scores; rather, it’s about humanity, credibility, meaningful content and an engaged group of followers.

Reciprocity too is another thorny issue.

That’s because much influence on the social web is built on a promised return of favors; for instance, “You retweet this and I’ll retweet yours” or “I’ll like your page if you like mine.”

The trouble with reciprocity, as we know, is that it’s not always clear if you’re leveraging your relationships or just using people. Doing favors so that people owe you favors should never be the motivation behind developing relationships. But who knows what someone’s true intentions really are?

#3: Increasing Your Klout Score

Increasing your own Klout score boils down to three practical steps:

1. Build a relevant network that includes a content strategy and a network strategy.

Provide content that delivers some kind of personal or business benefit to a targeted audience that is interested in you and what you’re doing.

Have more people following you than you follow on Twitter. However, the size of your network isn’t as important as having those people react to your content.

Don’t just accumulate followers or only send links. Followers who never interact with you will not help your score. Neither will sending out links 100% of the time because it says that YOU can’t be influenced into acting.

2. Have a strategy to provide exceedingly useful, helpful, interesting and entertaining content.

You can either curate content or generate original content. However, creating original content from your own blog is a key element for success with Klout.

Create the kind of content that will survive longer and be passed along for several days—this really rocks your Klout amplification.

Finally you must be consistent. This is one of the most controversial policies of Klout, but if you stop participating in the social web for even a few days, your score begins to drop!

3. Systematically engage influencers who are most willing to distribute your content.

Klout has made it clear that engaging with people with higher scores will tend to increase your own score as well.

If you’re able to engage with influencers and they in turn respond to you, this is a validation of your potential power.

Try to connect with your offline friends and turn online connections into offline friends. In both cases, these people will be more willing to engage with you and share your content along.

When networking offline, make sure people know how to find your online platforms so that they can engage with you there as well.

klout score

Engaging with people with high Klout scores increases your own score.

Personal Impression

Mark’s latest book has definitely earned itself a space on your shelf. It’s highly significant, extremely relevant and you’d be ill-advised not to read it. But the subject matter is not pretty—quite the opposite, frankly.

Consider the evidence:

  • A system that cold-heartedly defines “the valuable” and “the irrelevant” members of our online society
  • The same system proceeds to encourage you to hob-nob with the former and toss aside the latter
  • This system can deem you influential and powerful, even without a shred of experience, intelligence or education
  • That one can devote so much time, effort and even brain cells just to increase a silly number that has no bearing on the quality of real life is remarkable
  • And when you consider that Klout is still in its infancy, you wonder how anyone can take such a flawed system so seriously

But to Klout-less rebels such as myself, Mark would argue that it has some value: Companies can now (cost-effectively) identify the people they should be interacting with, Klout helps to monitor and filter engagement and it opens up new marketing channels.

Mark presents a fair and balanced perspective on this hot button issue and he doesn’t sugar-coat the problems with Klout either. He is not saying that Klout is good or bad—just that “it is what it is” and that people are taking note of it.

In the end it’s your call, but Mark wants you to answer this question for yourself: What is true and lasting influence? After all, Seth Godin had clout even before Klout was Klout.

Social Media Examiner gives this brilliant and extraordinary book a full 5-star rating.

Over to You

What do you think? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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Tags: book review, content strategy, engagement, influence, influencer, klout, klout score, mark schaefer, network strategy, networking, online connections, patricia redsicker, return on influence, social proof