Do you think you have clout online? There’s a California-based startup that can tell you whether you really do or don’t. Klout is a website that measures your level of online influence through a special, proprietary algorithm. It looks at variables such as your number of followers, the sharing of your content, your likes, and other activity to create a ‘Klout score.’
This score varies from 1 to 100. If your score is one, you’ve never even heard of ‘the Facebook’ before. If your score is 100, you’re Barack Obama!
Klout uses 400 signals from a number of different sites including Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Wikipedia, Blogger, Flickr, Instagram, last.fm, YouTube, and WordPress. It’s constantly adding more.
The way to boost your Klout score is to connect each of these accounts to your Klout account. In fact, if you have a Twitter account, you already have a Klout score whether you want it or not. It’s automatic and you have to opt-out if you don’t want one. However, your Twitter account must be completely public in order to contribute to your score.
Klout values engagement rather than sheer numbers. If you have a small following of active supporters who interact with your content, this is better for your score than thousands of followers who never do anything. A hundred retweets from a handful of tweets counts for more than 1,000 retweets from 100 tweets. It doesn’t reward people that are just hyperactive on these sites, but rather influencers.
How to Increase Your Klout Score
Of course, the site’s algorithms are mysterious, but there are some things you can do to raise your Klout score. One is to build online relationships with people. Rather than simply broadcasting content from your social media profiles, engage your audience. Interact with their content and they’ll reciprocate. Use your content to ask questions or get discussions going.
Make your content as easy to share as possible. Tailor it to your specific audience. Content that’s extremely niche-specific is better for your Klout score than content with broader appeal. Remember that a small core group of followers that loves your content is more important than appealing to large numbers of people.
It also helps to make friends with influencers in your field. If you interact with people who have high Klout scores, this will raise yours as well. Identify these people and interact with them. The tricky part is doing it in a way that doesn’t appear that you have ulterior motives.
Finally, you can monitor your Klout score at any time on their website. Conduct some experiments with the sites mentioned above and see which make a noticeable difference.
Why Bother with Your Klout Score?
Is your Klout score really so important? Isn’t it just another online metric among many? No pun intended, but Klout is starting to have a bit of clout. Companies are increasingly looking at Klout scores to assess potential candidates for jobs and joint ventures. A high score can also get you discounts and exclusive access to services from airport lounges to restaurant deals.