How influential are you, really? Not you personally, but rather your brand. This is the question that Klout.com aims to answer, by assessing the impact that your online presence has on others. Do people flock to Like, Retweet and Digg your content? Are you seen as an authority on any particular subject? If so, then your Klout score is probably quite a healthy one.
Klout tracks the “ripple effect” that people have on social media beyond the visible comments. Its measurements are divided into True Reach (the number of people you influence), Amplification (how much you influence them) and Network Impact (the influence of your network). Klout’s algorithms automatically detect and remove spammers and bots in order to give you as realistic a figure as possible.
It was announced back in late 2011 that over 100 million individuals now have Klout scores (although it is unclear how many of these people are active Klout users). A potential audience of even half that many people is enough to make one think that there might be some benefit to be reaped from this Klout business.
There have been a few well-documented exceptions to Klout’s accuracy, the most famous instance being US President Barack Obama, whose Klout score last year came in as considerably less than that of “lowly” technology pundit Robert Scoble. However, this was explained by the Klout staff as an example of somebody’s real life influence outstripping their needs for an online presence.
For those of us who aren’t the President of the United States, here are a few quick tips to help boost your Klout score:
Get social. Mentioning or tagging other Facebook or Twitter users is an easy way to encourage interaction and build your engagement levels. So join in conversations where you think you genuinely have something to contribute – you will soon be seen as somebody with an opinion worth listening to.
Be topical. Trending topics and hashtags on Twitter relate largely to flash-in-the-pan Internet memes or news stories from a particular day; jumping on the bandwagon and adding your two pennies worth will place you on a global platform with thousands (if not millions) of users reading what you have to say. This strategy works best if you can relate the topic at hand naturally to your business or area of expertise.
Quality over quantity. It can be tempting to tweet constantly and post new content a couple of times per day, but the fastest way to put people off following you is if you pollute their timelines with repetitive updates. Think before you tweet; is this a story, or just an advert? It is important that you don’t saturate your feed with junk. Be sure you are posting or linking to something that people will genuinely want to read about, and avoid tweeting for the sake of it.