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Klout 101: What the Heck Is It and Why Should I Care?

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This coming week, our Brilliant Bloggers series here at BlogWorld Expo will focus on Klout. I’m not a Klout expert – and that’s actually a huge understatement. Until starting research for Brilliant Bloggers, I didn’t even really know what Klout was. I checked my score occasionally and though, “Oh, that’s nice…” but I didn’t understand what it really was, and I certainly didn’t know what I should care.

For those of you who are in the same boat, let’s go over some Klout 101 information – and stop back on Thursday for advice and advanced tips on how to use Klout to be a better blogger or social media professional!

Klout was founded by Joe Fernandez and Binh Tran and launched in 2009. The service measures how influential you are in social media by looking at certain Twitter metrics. In late 2010, they also introduced Facebook metrics to give a more comprehensive look at a person’s social media influence.

What’s so great about Klout is that it isn’t a clinical look at follower numbers and how often you Tweet. The metrics really study how you interact with others – and how they interact with you in return. They look at over 35 different statistics to give you a score of between 1 and 100 in three categories: True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score.

  • True Reach: the size of your audience – not just raw numbers, but how many active people are listening to what you say
  • Amplification Probability: how likely your audience is to care enough about your tweets/updates to reply, retweet, like, etc.
  • Network Score: the Klout scores of the people in your network

All of this is combined to create an overall Klout score. Some of the specific things Klout measures include:

  • How often your follows are reciprocated
  • How many degrees of separation you are able to put between yourself and your content (i.e., is it retweeted by friends of friends of friends?)
  • How often people mention  you
  • The diversity of the people in your network
  • How often you tweet
  • How influential are the people who mention you
  • What lists you are on

Like I said, there are over 35 metrics analyzed, so this is just a sampling of how Klout compiles information to give you a score.

Why should you care?

Klout can actually give you a good look at what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong when it comes to social media. They actually give you a pretty great report along with your score, so you can understand where you fall short. I don’t think you should go to extreme measures to change how you interact with people, but it can give you some things to think about. For example, maybe looking at your Klout score might make you realize that you’re following a lot of dead accounts and should purge or it might make you realize that you’re being a bit snobby and only interacting with a small circle of people.

Klout is just one tool to help you learn to be better when it comes to social media. Make sure to stop back on Thursday for some awesome advice about the topic from bloggers around the world.

Allison Boyer freelance writer and content marketing consultant. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (@allison_boyer) or contact her at allisonmboyer@gmail.com.


Feedback

6
  • Ayngelina

    There are so many analytics that I follow that I decided not to pay attention to Klout. Rather than scheme to find ways to increase my score I’m just going to provide quality tweets and hope people respond to it.

  • SaraJoyM

    Encouraged by knowing the extent to which I reach my intended audience, and my measurable affects. Turns out I care very much about the affect I have. I am not just typing to see my text. Being validated is important so you can do more of what is helping and less of what is not.

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