Klout (yes it is spelled with a K) is a system of scoring social influence on a 0 to 100 scale. It is a way to quantify what was previously only a gut feeling of how much influence someone exerts over others, particularly in the area of social media. More and more it provides a more quantitative way of finding out who businesses should focus their attention on predominately and in many cases who should be hired.
We have to look at “What is Klout about?” In it’s essence, Klout is a way to help vendors and brands determine who is the most influential and who they should target with their messages. Rather than wasting money with the old “spray and pray” method of broadcasting, it is more effective to target key people who are more influential and more likely to persuade others to buy.
So why should this matter to you? If you are an author, speaker, a coach, or some type of thought leader, your Klout Score is important. In the confusing world of social media, where things are changing very rapidly, Klout serves as a good barometer to determine if you are doing social media right.
Think of it like a FICO score for credit rating. If your FICO score is very low, you’re probably not going to get the loan that you want. By engaging in certain practices, you can improve your score. Where the FICO score is private, your Klout Score is public. Even if you haven’t connected with Klout, (which is a real good idea!) you can find out someone’s Klout Score by checking their Twitter handle at Klout.com. Unless a person has specifically requested to opt-out of the Klout system, their score will be available.
Since it is being used to decide how people are evaluated and even hired today, it behooves you to at least be aware of what your Klout Score is. If you’re in a field where it is used by buyers to make hiring decisions, you really want to know about it!
So having said that, how does one go about increasing their Klout Score? Well, that’s the wrong question to ask. Yes your Klout Score is important but focus on doing the right activities first. By engaging in the right activities, your Klout Score will go up as a logical and natural result.
We lay out a lot more details in the book, but I wanted to give you three quick steps to get you started here.
Step # 1 – Focus on Engagement
Social media is different than the advertising that we saw years ago. Today engagement with others is valued most. That means you have to listen to what others are talking about that is of interest to them. Stop talking about your stuff! Get interested in how you can help them first. Be genuine and authentic in what you present online. These are all vital parts of engagement.
Step # 2 – Focus on Creating Compelling Content
This requires work! You can’t just run out and ask people to buy what you’ve got. You’ve got to provide articles, video, audio, or other means of letting them know how your products and services can help them. If you listen of where they are hurting and provide help for that in the form of content online, you will get favorable attention from others. This is what Klout is about. By using a score that changes on a daily basis, you know if what you’re doing online is effective and the right thing to do. Create content so people feel they MUST read, watch, or listen to what you’ve created. This is also part of being what is involved in Step 3…
Step # 3 – Focus on Being a Good Social Media Citizen
This means you provide lots of help, being genuine and authentic. It means that you listen to what others are asking for, and provide answers when you can. It means you understand how to market – and more importantly how NOT to market. Social media is not going away. It is quite different than what worked before. Businesses who adapt to and use social media the right way will survive and thrive in this new environment. Those who remain stuck in the past will suffer the fate of “horse and buggy thinking” in an automobile world.
Klout is a great tool for discovering what you can do to reach more customers and build your business in today’s fast-changing social media world. Get to know what it can do for you. Find out what Klout is about. And to get a comprehensive and fun educational experience learning how you can use it best, look into our book, Klout Matters: How to Engage Customers, Build Your Digital Influence— and Raise Your Klout Score For Success! Available from McGraw-Hill where fine books are sold.