Did you know that as a blogger, you’re uniquely positioned to influence not only your readers, but entire social networks as well? Every item you publish has the potential to be seen not only by people who visit your website, but by countless others as it is shared across the blogosphere. As a result, measuring online influence has become big business and a growing number of companies now specialize in providing individuals and businesses with these metrics. Today I’d like to introduce you to the leader in the field – Klout.
CEO Joe Fernandez founded Klout in 2008 to measure online influence across a variety of social networks. Klout analyzes data in the public domain to derive Klout Scores – meaning, you may be one of over 100 million people that has a Klout Score, whether you know it or not!
Klout likens these scores to social media credit scores and a growing number of companies now take Klout Scores into consideration when making business decisions! For instance, Waterbrook Multnomah recently announced plans to use Klout scores as a major factor in determining how books were allocated in their blogger book review program.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Klout – and those trying to gain a better understanding of how Klout works – here are ten things you need to know to understand how Klout works!
Ten Things You Need To Know About Klout
1. Klout defines influence as your ability to drive action across networks in various topics. They measure success by the degree to which people respond to you. For instance, Klout considers a person with 100 followers and a highly engaged audience more influential than a person with 1000 followers and no interaction.
2. Klout assigns you a score from 1 (low) to 100 (high) based on your level of influence. Based on their scale, the average Klout Score is 20 – not 50. If you score above 40, you are considered highly influential on Klout! Only one person – Justin Bieber – has a perfect score (100)!
3. Your Klout Score is comprised of three components:
- True Reach – The number of people you influence
- Amplification – The degree to which you influence them
- Network Score – How influential the people in your network are
Since Klout updates occur daily, you may see minor fluctuations in your score based on current activity. You may see more signicant changes from time to time when Klout fine tunes its proprietary algorithms.
4. Klout evaluates how you communicate on social media and places you into one of 16 Klout Style categories, which may change over time as your Klout Score and communication style changes. Bloggers with identical scores can have different Klout Styles.
5. Klout believes you influence others topically and over time, assigns up to 20 Topics it believes you are influential in. If you disagree with its assessment, you have the ability to delete that topic from your profile. If you are influential in Klout, you also have the ability to choose the topics you are influential in. A person with a lower Klout score but with expertise in a particular topic wields greater influence in an area than a person with a high overall Klout score who lacks topical expertise.
6. Klout users have the ability to award +K to users it believes have topical influence. While awarding someone a +K does not currently affect their overall Klout score (it may in the future) it DOES impact the level of influence they have in the topic (low, medium, high, or strong), which is used in determining eligibility for Klout Perks.
7. Klout recognizes the Top 10 Influencers in key topics and the Top 100 +K Recipients in a topic during the past 90 days by awarding them Gold and/or Blue Sashes on their Klout badges. If you are in the Top 5, you are featured at the top of the Topic Page!
8. Another nice feature of Klout is that as your score grows, you may be eligible for Klout Perks! Klout Perks are exclusive experiences or products, offered to select Klout members, based on a variety of factors, including Klout Scores, Topics and sometimes Location. Klout Perks, when offered, are available in limited quantities – you can choose the ones you want to participate in!
9. You can use Klout to track your social influence across a variety of networks. Currently, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Foursquare activity counts towards your Klout score. Klout allows you to connect a number of additional networks, but those networks don’t currently influence your Klout score.
10. Additional features on Klout include Achievement Awards, the ability to create lists, and the ability to monitor who you influence – and who influences you – based on your personal interactions across your networks.
Now that you know a little more about Klout, what do you think?
- Does the concept of scoring online influence and its implications excite you, scare you, or intrigue you?
- If you’re a current Klout user, has your experience with Klout been positive, negative or mixed?
- If you are new to Klout, will you be opening an account to see what your Klout score is?
Please leave a comment and share your thoughts!