Here’s why you should care about Klout & social influence
You may or may not know about Klout, a San Francisco startup that identifies influencers and provides tools for influencers to monitor their influence. The company is best known for its Klout score, a a number between one and 100 that represents an individual’s overall social media influence based on his or her ability to mobilize action on social networks.
In the past I’ve been critical regarding the validity of Klout scores. Too many highly influential people that I knew ranked lower than striving social media amateurs. There seemed to be too much emphasis on creating as much noise as possible rather than quality online content. And Justin Bieber was the only user to have a perfect score of 100, a score higher than even that of President Obama. Something wasn’t right in the Klout universe.
And just as I was ready to drop the service completely, the guys at Klout showed us all that they took our feedback to heart and officially announced some significant changes to their algorithm.
Klout increases its social & online signals by 400%
So what’s different about Klout today?
First, Klout now processes more than 2.7 billion pieces of information a day and its algorithm takes into account 400 different signals, unlike previously when it was about 100. In addition, signals which originally came only from Twitter, now come from Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Wikipedia. Today the science behind the Klout score examines variables beyond your number of followers and friends. It looks at who is engaging with your content and who they are sharing it with.
Klout now takes a lot more into account, including Facebook mentions, likes, comments, Twitter
retweets, mentions, Google+ comments, +1’s, LinkedIn connections, recommenders, Foursquare tips you left, and of course +K’s given to users on Klout for specific categories of expertise, and many more factors.
Klout has more recently begun to incorporate “real-world” influence into their metrics by evaluating Wikipedia data to help determine the actual influence one person may have. They are also in the process of releasing a new version of their website and service which is going to include metrics like “Moments” which highlight your most successful social media posts.
Here’s why the score matters — and how to improve yours
So why should you care? Because:
- Klout is getting more and more widely used by others to measure your influence. If your score is 16, then people will think less of you. No matter how you feel about that. It’s a fact.
- Klout is already teaming up with brands to reward people based on their influence in certain categories.
And what can you do to improve your score?
- Connect all your social media — and I mean all of them. The more influence you show you’ve got online, the better.
- Be active on your social media channels – the more you engage, comment, tweet and respond, the better.
- Make your engagement count – post interesting, relevant content that others will want to share with their network and discuss. No one wants to discuss what you had for lunch.
- Don’t neglect any of your social media accounts – make sure you’re consistently active on the connected social networks and continue to stay somewhat influential in all of them.
- Create online relationships. Hand a few +K’s to others, engage in discussion on others’ profiles and pages. These actions will serve you well both in increasing your online engagement levels and will also heighten your chance of receiving +K’s from others.
If you follow these rules, you will see your Klout score grow steadily and surely.
So who has the highest Klout score today? Barack Obama has a whopping ranking of 99.
That’s the highest I found. Seen a higher score? Please include in the comments.
I hope you found this article interesting and useful. And if you did, don’t forget to go
give me some +K’s (c’mon, you knew that was coming): klout.com/#/blonde20 (you can do this from the Klout app, but not on the Web).Ayelet Noff is a partner in Socialmedia.biz and founder and Co-CEO of Blonde 2.0, an award winning digital PR agency with branches in Boston and Tel Aviv. Contact Ayelet via The Blonde 2.0 website , email, or follow her on Twitter and Google Plus.