I was on a call with a coaching client the other day and she was impressed by my Klout score, she said it was 65. Yikes, just a few days before hand it was 70… and for someone (me) who proclaims that these scores are meaningless and don’t measure real influence at all, I was crushed (in a shallow kind of way).
What is Klout?
When someone used to talk about clout, it would often mean a person who had considerable influence or pull with someone else. It would mean that the person has power over others and could influence them to do something or cause something to happen. And example of this would be if you were going for a job, you’d ask a friend with clout to put in a good word with the interviewer…
This is probably how the name came about for a social media influence measuring tool that has become popular over the last few years, a system aptly called “Klout.”
Klout is a website and mobile app that uses social media analytics to determine your overall social media impact, based on a score from one to one hundred.
It takes into account how large your social media network is and how much those users interact with the content you post on those social media networks. The social media networks that can be monitored by Klout and used to help determine your “Klout score” include the following:
- Facebook fan pages (separate from your personal account)
- Google Plus (business pages only)
- FourSquare (not sure how this works now FourSquare uses the Swarm app to check-in)
- Wikipedia pages (you have to email Klout to get these added)
- Klout itself (again not sure on this as I was active for a while and it had zero impact on my score).
How does Klout define your social media influence?
Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and LinkedIn, have the following determining factors:
1. How many followers/fans/people in circles/connections you have (although theKlout PR team say this isn’t a factor)
2. How responsive they are to the social media account you were producing, as well as any lists to which they added you in Twitter, etc. Essentially, as long as they didn’t ignore your posts and did something with them (“Like,” “Retweet,” “Favorite,” “Share,” etc.), your Klout Score would increase over time.
3. Another factor is how many spam accounts are following you, as these essentially inflate your follower numbers.
Other accounts that can be linked to your Klout profile include:
However, these accounts are not factored into Klout scores, though they may factor in at some point in the future. So you could be a red hot video blogger with thousands of subscribers, but be deemed as having no influence…
The higher your Klout score, the more influence you are alleged to have in social media and the online arenas. The average Klout score ranges between 30 to 40 points; anything above 80 or 90 is considered to be very influential. So now you know why I was upset at my 5 point drop (it turns out my Facebook account and LinkedIn account were inactive on Klout).
Your point values can vary with each passing day, based upon the activity on your social media accounts, but you must remember that Klout doesn’t check and update from LinkedIn and Facebook as often as it should. Yes, although Klout alleges it updates daily, a lot of people seem to think Klout doesn’t. However when I do a search to reference this claim, I don’t seem to be able to find any specific articles which would indicate I’ve read these observations in c0mments on posts about Klout.
Your Klout Score takes into account your various social media accounts and how influential you are with your fans and followers. Specifically, how interactive they are with your social media content will largely determine how high your Klout Score is.
A Klout Score can be anywhere from 1 to 100; the higher the number, the more influential you’re purported to be in the social media community. By knowing what factors go into making up your Klout Score, you can learn what it will take to boost and maintain a higher Klout Score.
I’m not the only marketer out there behaving like a sleeping tiger with one eye on my Klout score and the other eye snoozing, many online marketers have spent a lot of time and effort to increase their Klout scores.
But they’ve not done it in a sleazy way; they’ve taken the time to develop their social media marketing campaigns to increase their authority in their industry and boost their recognition with their audience. These efforts have often helped to improve their Klout Scores in the process.
Does this mean that a high Klout Score ensures marketing success?
A high Klout Score means that you are putting out engaging content on your social media networks and your friends/fans/followers/contacts are engaging with it via “Likes,” “Shares,” “Retweets,” “Favorites,” and comments. This means that people are paying attention to your content and responding to what you post.
Anything that’s controversial will get attention, political posts and rantings will get attention and posting pics of yourself naked at the beach will also get attention… This means it’s just the attention that’s measured and not the effectiveness of the content itself. Having a high Klout Score does indicate good interaction on social media, but not necessarily for the reasons that you’d want!
Interaction is important to you establishing trust with members of your target audience and having them see you as the authority in your sector. This is vital if you want to make sales from them; without them trusting you and seeing you as an authority, you have virtually no chance of making and money.
That said, however, a high Klout score won’t automagically lead to sales and instant authority in your industry, speaking gigs and a partner that’s grousing because you’re always working and more book sales. It really depends on your niche, your intended audience, and what type of content you are posting to your social media accounts and whom you’re connecting and engaging with.
If you are putting out content that provides a lot of useful information related to your niche that your target market is engaging with, then you’ll boost your Klout Score. But it doesn’t mean your audience is ready to buy or that they’re in a buying mood. No one (not even me) logs into Facebook thinking “I wonder what I can buy on Facebook today, instead of going out I’ll just shop on Facebook). People who buy on Facebook are in my opinion impulse buyers, and those with low self-esteem who need to purchase something in order to feel validated in some way. Just my observations, no data to back that theory up.
Your reader may just be in the process of gathering information for a later purchase or just because they like discussing the subject, or even researching for their own content creation purposes. They see you as someone who is knowledgeable about that topic, but they’ve no interest in buying from you.
And what if you’re new to Klout? Well you’ll start with a low score… and even if you have authority and credibility outside of the social media world, that won’t reflect in your score until you’ve been on Klout for a period of time. So if someone is checking you out on Klout and you’re new to it, you could be dismissed out of hand for not being influential enough.
A high Klout score can be an indicator that a person has a great deal of authority within their niche that can lead to greater awareness for their products and/or services. However, it is not a guarantee, especially if you are targeting the wrong people (i.e. information seekers rather than buyers) or if you have just entered the social media world or you only post controversial topics in order to raise your score.
In other words don’t just base whether someone has authority or not based upon their Klout Score, there are things that Klout doesn’t see such as offline success, certain social networks (You Tube, how can they not count You Tube?) the size of youremail list and how relevant you are to your audience and how influential you are with them.
Does a high Klout score make you a successful marketer?
It will if you think it does.