If you’re confused by Klout, don’t worry. You’re like most people.
Klout is a website and mobile app that uses social media analytics to rank users according to online social influence via the “Klout Score”, which is a numerical value between 1 and 100. Essentially it’s the size of your social media network and a score based on how people are influenced by the content you create and share.
I will be writing much more about what Klout is and why it can be important for your online ‘life’. But for now, let me tell you what not to do.
If you value you Klout Score whatsoever, don’t take a month of and unplug like I did. Granted, it was my choice. But it’s very simple. If you don’t tweet, share, like, check-in, favorite, boost, love, click and do anything else online that you’re doing each day, your Klout Score inevitably will drop. Like a rock.
Klout Score dropped like a rock
Here’s a good chart of my (lack of) Klout. I was once at 67 and when I came back online I had dropped 10 points. But as you can see, there is some promise after getting back in the mix. I am currently at a 61. It requires work on a range of networks. My goal here is to see how long it takes to get back to where I was and surpass my 67.42.
How do I build my Klout Score?
It’s a question those who truly care about Klout really want to know. How do you build your Klout score? Klout offers up hints on its website. They claim to use more than 400 signals from eight different networks to update Klout Scores every day.
Here is how you build your Klout Score by using elements of the networks you’re using:[su_list icon=”icon: check”]
- Facebook. Likes, comments, wall posts, friends.
- Twitter. Followers, retweets, mentions, list memberships
- Instagram. Followers, likes, comments, photographs submitted
- Google+. Comments, +1’s, reshares, on your personal profiles only
- Bing. Coming soon. (Yeah, I don’t use it much either, but you can see, it will matter.)
- LinkedIn. Connections, recommendations, comments, on your personal profiles only
- FourSquare. Tips saved by others, Tips liked by others, Friends, Check-ins, Likes, Mayorships
- Wikipedia. Inlinks, ratio of inlinks to outlinks, PageRank (this one was interesting.)
- Klout. +K received from others (and you can get +K’s by answering questions on Klout)
Does your Klout Score even matter?
Well, that depends. It seems to be ‘cool’ these days to think that Klout is just another social network that doesn’t matter. Many say it’s cliche or will be a fad that’s short-lived. I disagree.
If you value your online influence, then you need to care about Klout because it’s truly one of the best metrics for influence online. Word of mouth, networking and relationships all work offline and have determined people’s influence forever. But this new, online life is much more dynamic and tougher to distinguish when it comes to determining what someone is about, their influence and if they are actually who they say they are. Klout helps vet out who you are and if people really care what you have to say.
I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention Klout Perks. Who doesn’t love free stuff?! If you’re on Klout and you’re doing a good job influencing people then Klout rewards you with free stuff. I’ve gotten a few perks, free food, magazines, even a pack of wipes you use, well, we won’t go there. My girlfriend once got a box of expensive girl-stuff like cleansers, facial masks, makeup, and much more. Just for being on Klout and having some, well…clout.
If you really have some influence in the right areas, you truly get rewarded. Some of the early adopters of Klout with high scores go free round-trip tickets on Virgin Airlines. Others, Sony cameras. Pretty good stuff.
Whether you love or hate Klout, know that it serves a purpose. To build your score you need to engage with people around you – online. Send out content that matters. Make connections. Just be involved. If you want to lower your score, go offline for a month and watch it fall!
I’ll be interested to see how long it takes me to build the score back up. But so far so good. Let me know what Klout Perks you received in the comments – and let us know if you think Klout is ‘worth it’ or not.