You Nedd Klout

Whether You Like it Or Not You Need Klout

It seems to me that whenever I bring up the topic of Klout, I get three types of reactions. One type of reaction is confusion – “what is Klout?” or “I have heard of it but not sure what it really is”. Another type of emotional response is passionate hate and anger whenever anything about Klout is mentioned. Then the last form of response is understanding it and wanting to learn ways to work with Klout and use it to the individual’s best advantage.

If you happen to be in the group of people who are confused about Klout, then let me enlighten you. Klout is a company in San Francisco that was established in December of 2008, that uses social media analytics to measure an individual’s influence and engagement through her or his social networking platforms.

The individual is given a score based on how influential and engaging he or she is throughout those networks. Currently, Klout calculates data from Twitter, Facebook. Google Plus, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Klout itself. In the future the company hopes to have other networks contribute to its scoring system.

The Klout score is calculated on a daily basis from 400 different signals from these networks such as the amount of Facebook likes, comments, shares and wall posts the user receives.

In addition, Klout looks at the mentions as well as retweets the user receives on Twitter- and how many lists he or she is on. In regards to Google Plus, Klout calculates the amount of +1’s, shares and comments the user is given. Klout also looks at the user’s LinkedIn title, endorsements and recommendations, as well as Foursquare tips. Other factors such as votes from other Klout users (+K’s) are calculated and Klout is now taking into account whether a user has a Wikipedia page and how many inlinks the page has.

The score is given a numeric value, from 0-100, 0 obviously being the lowest and 100 being the highest. The higher it is the better and the average score is 40. However only 5% of users have a score of 63 and above which is considered to be high. I also want to mention that if you have a Twitter account, then you automatically have a Klout score. If you are active on social media or better yet, if you are in a career or field where social media is widely used, you need to listen up.

Your Klout Score Does Matter

Yes, it does. Especially if you are a business owner or are in fields that involve marketing, PR, coaching, music, writing, politics, or anything that involves social media – which has become more prevalent now and will continue to do so – you need to face the fact that your Klout score is looked at more than you realize.

A low Klout score will create more harm than good, especially over time. In fact there was a case where a marketer of many years of experience and education applied for a VP position at a marketing company in Toronto and did not receive the position due to his low Klout score. The position was given to someone with the same experience with a higher score. So therefore, a low Klout score will cost you opportunities in the future. There are plenty of people who absolutely despise this reality.

I have read a lot of harshly critical blog posts about Klout. A lot of people resent the fact that your online activity is given a score. Then they do everything in their power to criticize everything they can about Klout. I have read so many statements about it across the web such as “it’s total bunk”, “it’s not that accurate”, “the whole thing is stupid”, “the whole score can be gamed”.

As far as the accuracy issue about Klout goes, let me ask you this. Tell me one thing that is measured that is completely accurate. Nothing is, even your credit score or your weight! However, Klout is accurate enough to indicate how engaging and influential someone is online.

As far as Klout being gamed, that used to be more of a problem when it was still in its infancy. Not so much now. Just like at one time you could game SEO, but it is a lot more difficult to do that now. For those who absolutely loathe Klout, then I have a suggestion. Why not forget about social media all together and get involved in fields that do not involve it as well (good luck to that)?

However, for those who want to learn more about Klout and who want to find a way to improve their scores, I am happy to help you out. I will give you six tips on how to do that right here.

  1. Make sure your Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn profiles are filled out completely. People want to know about you, your career, your interests, your education, and anything else you would like to share.
  2. Be sure to post intriguing posts on Facebook and Google Plus whether they are pictures or links to informative articles.You can tweet those out onto Twitter and you can add information about your business sometimes but never spam.
  3. Once you have some interesting content on your profiles, grow your network by following Twitter and Google Plus users, and adding new Facebook friends from networking groups.
  4. Talk to those who are on your lists, interact with them all of the time. Retweet their tweets, mention them on Twitter, like their Facebook statuses and comment on them, +1, share and comment on their Google Plus statuses. In other words, show them that you care about what they are talking about.
  5. Be consistent in your activities and before you know it, you will be receiving those retweets, likes, mentions, comments, shares, +1’s, and your Klout score will rise.
  6. Give users on Klout +Ks in their topics of choices and they will do the same back to you.

I want to mention the benefits that you will receive as well for having a high Klout score. I already talked about being given opportunities. But you will also be given better customer service, perks, freebies and in the long run, if you are a business owner with a high Klout score, this alone can help grow your business.

Clients will be looking at your score, if they are not already. I am not saying that Klout is the only thing that matters. But it is significant. Because of that, you will be better off in the end working with Klout, improving your social media tactics because this is today’s reality whether you like it or not.

Miriam Slozberg is a Canadian blogger, author, mom, astrologer, as well as an internet marketer, SEO and social media specialist and loves to network and teach others about social media and marketing.


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{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Nishadha February 21, 2013, 11:35 am

    Although not the most accurate measure it is a good way to find the social media authority of a person. Klout has come a long way since it’s beginning and it’s harder to game it now. You can definitely get a quick boost by gaming it but very hard to keep the momentum.

    • Miriam Slozberg February 21, 2013, 11:48 am

      Hi creately, I 100% agree with you. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Klout has come a long way since the beginning and it definitely is more difficult to game which is good. Genuine engagement and social interaction is what is measured. And yes, nothing is 100% accurate anyway 🙂 Again thanks!

  • Doina February 6, 2013, 2:04 pm

    Miriam Slozberg are very right in each and every point of you. Good research and well covered the whole topic. I think Klout should be added into social share as well.

    • Miriam Slozberg February 7, 2013, 1:00 am

      Thank you Doina. And yes perhaps it will be figured out how they will do that.

  • Evan February 6, 2013, 8:48 am

    Admit, I haven’t even heard about Klout… and actually wouldn’t regret about not using it after everything you wrote) Well, maybe curiosity will beat me and i try it but so far I’m not planning) Anyway thanks that reviewed it for us!

    • Miriam Slozberg February 7, 2013, 1:01 am

      Thanks for the comment Evan. You may want to consider it one day, as it is going to be looked at more and more.

  • babanature February 6, 2013, 3:37 am

    Hello Miriam,
    really, i am one of those people who have not heard of the name before 🙁 . but the name sound familiar dough:) . i’d like to know one thing before i bump in there; how effective is klout?

    • Miriam Slozberg February 7, 2013, 1:05 am

      Hi Babanature. Thanks for the comment. What do you mean by effective? Is it 100% accurate? No, however nothing is. However it is accurate enough to indicate how engaging you are on your online networks which is quite important if you are building a good online presence. It is recommended to do so since social media is becoming more and more prevalent unless you have a job where social media is not used. In that case, it won’t matter however most jobs require some knowledge of social media these days.

  • Ron February 5, 2013, 2:43 pm

    I honestly haven’t put too much thought into Klout. Though I am sure it has it’s place and has helped other get to where they want to be I haven’t really relied on anything like that for my business. After reading your post though I think I will look into it more and see if it’s not something that might help me in the long run. Thanks for the info on Klout as truly it’s not something I have really looked into.

    • Miriam Slozberg February 5, 2013, 11:10 pm

      Hi Ron. I am glad to have brought it out. In the long run Klout scores will be looked at more and more especially if you are in any kind of marketing field.

  • Thomas February 5, 2013, 8:42 am

    There is so much controversy around Klout, that I really don’t know what to believe any more. Personally, I think that it is a good tool and we can improve our blogs by checking our ranking. There are always certain areas to improve and these kind of tools are great to discover them.

    • Miriam Slozberg February 7, 2013, 1:07 am

      Thanks Thomas and you are so right. There is a lot of controversy around Klout and a lot of it is due to resistance of it’s presence. However it is here to stay and I do agree with you.

  • Ray February 4, 2013, 11:33 pm

    I am aware of Klout, but I really don’t follow my score or what anyone else has for that matter. It doesn’t matter to me if they have a 30 or 70. I think anytime there is a scoring or ranking system there will always be those that get tuned into it, and those that do not. I remember a while back people were talking about it a lot more. Could have been that was when it first started out. This is the first post I have read about it in a long time. I guess I just assumed it lost it’s fizzle.

    • Miriam Slozberg February 5, 2013, 1:22 pm

      Thanks for the comment Ray. On the contrary, in time Klout and other platforms like it will be looked at all of the time. This is just the beginning.

      • Ray February 7, 2013, 4:54 am

        Thanks for the reply Miriam,

        I checked your website, twitter, and klout. If it is 77’ish like you boast I would assume that it would lead to a spectacular amount of traffic and leads if klout were that great and meant so much. However, 20,000+ followers that one replies to in order to increase something like klout is fairly easy to accomplish. I know people that have a klout score much less than that and they get 1000+ unique visitors per day and 3000-5000+ pageviews per day. Honestly I would take that kind of traffic over a better klout score any day. I am sure I am not alone either. Some people go crazy over Google Pagerank the same way. They like to let you know that they have a 4-6 Pagerank and they are somehow an authority site (sometimes they are not even close), with low traffic, but there are 0-3’s that will blow them away with traffic and good rankings. Bottom line is I will always take traffic over any ranking system. Even if they are not targeted there is still the possibility that they will convert and that they will become regulars.

        I am not complaining really even if it seems so. If klout is your thing great. I am sure you are not alone. I will just take traffic over any ranking system no matter what any day.

        • Miriam Slozberg February 7, 2013, 9:10 pm

          Thanks for your reply Ray. Firstly, there is no boasting on my part however why should I not put my score on my site? I have grown my network this way, not to mention gotten some business because of it. In fact tonight I received a speaking invitation because of it, and because I have a large network. Sure, you don’t need a high Klout score to drive traffic. Not at this point anyway. You can always rely on PPC and banner advertising for that even though it becomes expensive. As we know old style SEO is no longer effective and as you know social media is an excellent, not to mention a free way of getting loads of traffic. This is the norm now. The more you network, the more traffic you get, and at the same time your score will go up. Eventually all of it is going to go hand in hand and the majority of people will be paying attention. I respect your opinion and I also understand I may be one of the “fewer” people who sees the potential in this. Be well.

  • Pavithra February 4, 2013, 6:43 am

    Nice article. My Question is , is Klout useful for bloggers?

    • Miriam Slozberg February 5, 2013, 1:25 pm

      Thanks Pavithra. It depends on the blogger’s objective. If the blogger wants to reach a very limited audience and would rather lay low, then Klout won’t matter. If the blogger wants to reach out to a large audience and wants to be influential in whatever he or she is blogging about, and wants to grow networks in the meantime, then it would be in their benefit.

  • Darnell Jackson February 2, 2013, 4:53 pm

    Very Interesting Miriam.
    It seems to me that it pays to be skeptical when it comes to these new systems like Klout, etc. I’m not convinced they’re “needed” yet.

    Put it like this if you have time to accomplish something what should you do spend it doing?
    A. Working on your klout score.
    B. Writing a new guest post.
    C. Working out

    Which would be most beneficial ?

    • Miriam Slozberg February 2, 2013, 7:29 pm

      Thanks for taking the time for commenting Darnell. I understand that there are many others like you that are skeptical and that is okay. Klout is still in its infancy and not everyone has the vision for it like I do. However let me tell you this. Since social media is becoming so heavily prevalent it is a matter of time that the majority of people will paying attention to what you do with it. The first thing that will be looked at are your scores, then they will see your engagement and what you are putting out there. It is already happening however, if you are in a career where social media is not so important then there is no need to worry. That is however not the norm these days.

      As far as your question goes this is my answer. Realize how prevalent social media is. Know that people are going to pay attention to what you put out there, as again it is happening already. Why not make the best of your online presence. Engage with others. Put useful content out there.The Klout score will take of itself in that way. Guest posting will also help bring even more of a better online presence to you. And then find time during each day to work out. There is no reason that all three cannot be accomplished.

  • Miriam Slozberg February 2, 2013, 12:40 am

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. I have to say in the overall scheme of things, I respectfully disagree. You may not see too many bloggers looking at scores currently, however eventually most will (those who manage blogs that receive loads and loads of traffic anyway) because sooner or later it will catch on. I have had first hand experience with this myself, and the key indicator of how interactive a user is with their networks is shown by the score. However, I will say that the score by itself is not the end all. In order to have real influence online, you need to not only put out relevant and captivating content but to have others in your network responding to what you put out by sharing, liking, commenting on it, etc. People are looking at all of it and it will be even more prevalent as time goes on.

  • Vivek February 1, 2013, 11:22 pm

    I don’t think personally that any blogger or webmaster will ever care for the scores generated by this service ” Klout “. Just like Alexa rank, which is almost worthless and is not regarded as important factor by any search engine.

    ” This My my personal View “.

    Thanks for the post.

    • Robert February 3, 2013, 9:02 pm

      Although Klout score is not 100% accurate, it gives you an overview of your online presence and track your process of improving.

      • Miriam Slozberg February 3, 2013, 9:14 pm

        I 100% agree with you Robert. There is no such thing as pure accuracy in anything. However, it is accurate enough to indicate how interactive and engaging you are online. I would like to call Klout as my online accountability tool as well. If it drops then it is an indicator that I have gotten lazy online. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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