Klout: How Influential Are You on Social Media?

While browsing through social networks, have you ever noticed how certain people’s posts and tweets seem to always generate a lot of discussion? Have you also done a quick mental comparison to see the difference between your ability to create a discussion and theirs?

I’m always noticing these little trends, like so-and-so simply cannot create a conversation to save their life, while only the same four people comment on this guy’s posts. Enter Klout, a website that has developed a standardized method for calculating what I was actually processing in my head.

Klout is an emerging website that analyzes a person’s overall influence over their social networks. Whether you use your social media profile for yourself or your business, Klout can effectively rate your performance. The site connects to a user’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Foursquare accounts and uses an algorithm that includes 35 variables to determine a Klout Score. The higher the score, the more influence and power a user has in driving their friends and followers to reply, retweet, comment, or click their posts. Scores can range from 1-100, but only one person can have a perfect score. Right now, that person is Justin Bieber (sigh).

In addition to the Klout Score, the site also gives three other metrics to evaluate influence. The Network Influence is the ability to capture the attention of a user’s audience. This is measured by retweets, follows, comments, @ messages, and likes. The Network Influence score assumes that the more actions that are generated, the higher quality the content is. The Amplification Probability score asses the likelihood that friends and followers will act on a user’s content. This score is similar to Network Influence but analyzes more specific variables. Lastly, the True Reach score is the size of the audience that normally engages with a user’s posts.

Klout also packs in additional features for users. One displays which of their social media friends a user influences and who, in return, influences them. Additionally, users also get placed into one of sixteen Klout Style categories based on their scores. The category helps define to the user what others see their role is in social media. For example, Broadcasters “create content that spreads like wildfire” and these social media users “are an essential information source in [their] industry.”

Klout is not intended to be a game for users to try to reach a higher and higher score. Some people simply will not care that your score is seven times higher than theirs. However, others may use their scores to help them figure out how to be more influential. For example, if you are disappointed in your score, some ways to improve it are to create content on a consistent basis, produce quality content that people want to discuss, and engage with others who have high influence.

To differentiate their product from competitors, Klout is working on a new feature called Klout Perks to give influential people access to exclusive experiences and products and then let them express their feelings to their audiences. The idea is to reward those influential people who help generate sales and income for businesses.

What’s your Klout Score? How do you feel about it? Please discuss!


About the author: August Drilling works for CliqStudios.com, an online site for kitchen cabinets, and is an avid social network user and an aspiring advertising and marketing guru.

1 Response

  1. If someone only gets responses from the same four people, it’s likely they don’t have many followers – you don’t need Klout to tell you that much. Likewise, someone that gets a lot of discussion likely has a highly focused base of active followers, rather than a random collection of autofollows and spambots.

    The problem with Klout is that it doesn’t really tell you anything you didn’t already know. For instance, True Reach seems to be based almost entirely on your number of followers.

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