Have you ever considered your influence, or “clout” online? Since 2008, a company called Klout has been using proprietary algorithms to measure online influence on a scale of 1 to 100.
A score of one questions whether you have heard of Instagram, and a score in the 90’s puts you in the company of Barack Obama, Justin Bieber, and Lady Gaga.
How Klout Scores Work
Klout uses data from a large number of sites, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Blogger, YouTube, last.fm, and WordPress. Additional sites are regularly being added to the list referenced to build your Klout score. Although the algorithms are kept secret, we do know that Klout uses this data to look at online likes, shares, number of followers, and other variables to create your “Klout Score”.
How to Boost Your Klout Score
According to Klout, the average score is 40 and anyone with a score of 63 is in the top 5% of all users. So how do you get a Klout score, and how do you improve it?
First off, if you have a Twitter account, you already have a Klout score unless you opted out when you created the account. One caveat; your Twitter account must be completely public for it to contribute to your Klout score. To check your score, link social media accounts, or just get started, visit Klout’s home page.
While Klout’s algorithms remain a mystery, there are a number of things you can do to increase your score:
- Value Engagement Over Volume: Klout is trying to rate influence, so it puts emphasis on engagement rather than sheer numbers. A smaller number of followers that engage with your content is viewed more favorably than a large number of followers that never do anything.
- Build Online Relationships: Instead of only broadcasting content, try to engage with your audience. Interact with their content, ask questions, and get discussions going. When they reciprocate, you’ll be building an online relationship.
- Make Friends with Influencers: Befriending people online with high Klout scores will help your numbers, so find out who the influencers are in your field, and start interacting with them. Just be sure that you do it in a way that doesn’t look like you have ulterior motives.
- Tailor Your Content to Your Audience: Content that is very specific to your audience is better for your Klout score than content with broader appeal. Remember, a small but vocal group of followers is more important than a large but silent following.
- Monitor Your Account: Check on your Klout score anytime via their website. Add or remove social media accounts and see if any changes make a noticeable difference.
Does Your Klout Score Matter?
This is a point of debate in the online world. While many people are still unaware of Klout scores, some companies are starting to look at them to assess job candidates and potential joint ventures. High scores could even lead to exclusive access to discounts and deals. Bottom line? The importance of your online presence is only increasing, so it’s a smart move to monitor your Klout score and improve it if you can.