How to use Klout & what you need to know about your score
Klout… What is it and what does it mean to you? I’m sure everyone has heard of Klout by now and seen people sharing their Klout score or the “perks” they get from being a member. There are a number of misconceptions about what Klout is and how to best use it. Ultimately, Klout is a measure of your social media influence. Klout takes a look at how you connect with a variety of social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, Foursquare, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Blogger, free WordPress, Last.fm, and Flickr. They regularly add new networks their list so this may change in the future. It’s important to note that Klout does not measure self hosted WordPress blogs at this time.
Klout measures how many people you really influence based on your numbers after they’ve removed the bots, how much they act on what you share and how much they share your post with their followers. In basic terms: followers, clicks, retweets, likes, +1′s, and shares. Klout breaks down your score into True Reach (followers), Amplification (responses), and Network (How often top influencers share & respond to your content). All of these things result in a specific number or Klout score which will fluctuate daily based on what you do and don’t do on your social media accounts. Take the weekend off or a vacation and expect to see a dip in your Klout score.
So, what’s the purpose. Do you really need another number to measure what you do online? Like any other measurement whether it’s page rank or Alexa score, Klout can give you a valuable way to gauge whether or not what you’re doing is working. The more people engage with you on your social media accounts, the higher your number will go. Engagement means people are listening and responding to what you’re posting. That’s good for you and for the brands you represent. Not only does Klout give you a score, they measure the topics you are influential about. If you write often about food, it’s like you’ll have a topic of food or recipes. If you share posts that others write, sometimes the topics may surprise you. This will also be the case if you belong to groups like Triber. Each topic you receive will have a score from strong down to low based on how influential Klout thinks you are about it.
Another added bonus of having a Klout account is that you can earn “perks” from various brands based on the topics you write about. Generally, the perks or freebies will correspond to things you write about. If you write about television programs, you may receive DVD’s. If you write about fashion, you may receive a discount to shop at an online jewelry store. You will more likely earn perks for topics that are strong or high than topics that are low. Some Klout perks are better than others. I’ve received some truly amazing packages and some that have left something to be desired. Either way, Klout sends them to you with the hope that you will give them a post on your social media accounts about the perk you received. I generally *tag* both Klout and the company that sent it with a thank you on Facebook and Twitter after I’ve received it.
Not all topics are created equally. Some topics will have a generic topic icon and some will have a custom topic icon. Usually, you are more likely to get a perk from a topic that has a custom icon than a generic icon. If you don’t want a topic on your list of twenty, simply click the “X” to remove it and have another take its place. Klout will let you see what perks are coming soon. This gives you a chance to up your score on that topic to have a chance of getting that perk. You simply ask your followers to +K you on a certain topic by clicking “tweet” or “share” next to “Get More”. If they give you more K on that topic, your score (strong, high, medium, or low) will rise. You won’t be able to get every perk no matter how strong your score is because some are available only in certain parts of the country. You can certainly influence your chances.
As a note, giving someone K+ on a topic has no influence at all on your Klout score. Your score is based on your engagement. Your topics are based on what you write about or what other people think you are influential about. If you want to increase your score, increase your engagement. If you want to improve your chance of getting a perk in a certain topic, ask for +K in that topic. Make sure you reciprocate and give others +K as well. You are more likely to receive +K if you give it. In your profile, click on “Influencers” and you will see those people who influence you. Next to their name/information you will see their top three topics. Click on the +K to give them Klout on that topic. Then click the Tweet button to let them know you did.
If you’d like to test your new Klout knowledge, check out my profile. Feel free to give me +K in any of the topics you see and make sure to tweet to tell me you did. I’ll be sure to give you a response which will help both our Klout scores! If you found this post helpful, tell someone by retweeting using the box below:
— Ellen Christian (@scentednights) June 27, 2012