If you haven't used Klout before, here is a link to my profile if you want to see how it looks.
Getting startedWhen you first join Klout, you are asked which of your social media platforms you would like to link up.
To get a true reflection of your reach and influence, link up social media accounts you use regularly. For me that's Twitter, Facebook (note for Facebook you can only have a page or a profile, not both) and Instagram.
I also linked my blog up. You don't seem to get any credit for interaction on your blog, but it does display a summary of some of your recent posts to anyone who views your profile, and you never know when someone might click on one and become a new reader.
You will also be asked to choose some topics from a list that you are an expert on. Don't worry too much about the term expert. If you are a blogger, just choose the topics you blog about. All these really serve to do is give visitors a choice of areas to give you +K (more on that later) in.
Why it's usefulAs a blogger, I think your Klout score can have a huge effect, a high score can make PRs more interested in working with you, as it shows that you have an engaged social media following, meaning their product/brand is more likely to be seen if you promote it.
A lot of bloggers display their score on their blog. It's a great way of letting PRs see it without them having to go digging around for it. I am planning on linking mine up, but I'm waiting until I move now. If you want to link your score up, Franca from A Moment With Franca wrote a fantastic post about how to do it without slowing down your site! You can read it here.
I have also seen a lot of people saying that having a good score can help your employment prospects too. Unless you work in social media or online marketing/PR, I find this hard to believe.
Imagine going for a job interview at Asda, for example.
Interviewer: Why should we give you this job?It just doesn't ring true somehow does it?
You: Well I have a Klout score of 83.
What do the scores mean?The Klout score ranges from 1 to 100. 40+ is seen to be a good score for bloggers, but obviously the higher it is, the better.
As a guide for scores:
Barrack Obama has a Klout score of 99. I actually find it a bit worrying that the president of the United States feels the need to be on Klout!
Victoria Beckham has 86, as does Cheryl.
Robert Plant has 65.
More worrying still, Katie Hopkins has 79, which in essence says she is more influential than Robert Plant. Not only is this worrying, its also hard to believe.
Which leads to my next point!
Klout isn't always reflective of being likedKlout gives a certain score to the interactions per tweet, Facebook status, photo on Instagram etc. So someone like Katie Hopkins posts her usual attention seeking tweet that she knows will anger perhaps 85% of the people who see it.
These people then reply, mostly in a negative way, but Klout doesn't take the context into consideration, only the fact there was an interaction. So while not many people are swayed in their beliefs by her, her score goes up because people interact with her.
So in essence, Klout is pretty easy to manipulate. If you are happy to get negative responses, post inflammatory statements and watch you score fly up! (Disclaimer: I am not advising anyone to do this, just merely pointing out its an option!).
How the scoring system works
The way the interactions are scored vary for each network. Martyn from Inside Martyn's Thoughts wrote a perfect post about how the scoring works which you can read here.
Once your score starts going up, it becomes harder to reach the next number, and much easier for your score to drop. You have to post regularly across all the media you have linked up and you have to consistently get high interaction.
I removed my LinkedIn account, because it was just dragging my score down, as I very rarely actually post anything.
|You can see here what a Klout profile looks like. The search box at the top can be used to find specific accounts. The list under my name is the topics I am an "expert" in and the social media icons are the sites I have linked up.|
+KYou can also give and receive something called +K, which is like an endorsement. You are saying that person is good at whichever topic you +K them on.
Getting these also helps boost your Klout score.
Hand them out, people generally return the favour, but in truth, you should be giving them out because you genuinely believe the person is good in a particular area, not just to get them back.
To give +K, type the person's name into the search bar, choose a topic and click +K. You get five a day to give away. You can then choose to tweet them to let them know you gave +K. I tend to tweet them out as it seems to be the done thing, but after a discussion with a fellow blogger, we decided we weren't going to tweet each other them any more as we both felt they kind of annoy other people when your Twitter feed is full of them.
OverallI like Klout, there is something very addictive about it, about watching your score go up and trying to get it higher. I try not to let it affect what I tweet or post, because ultimately, its secondary to the accounts themselves.
I'm not an expert in Klout, but this is my understanding of it, and some of the things I wish I had known sooner.
If anyone is interested, my Klout score is 62 (I told you that as I didn't want it be like a dirty little secret!). My aim for the end of the year is 70, but I really think that might be a bit too ambitious and I'll be more that happy with 65+.
Do you have any other little tips or tricks to add to help improve your Klout score? Share them in the comments :)