Recently there has been much talk about Klout. You could call it a swelling hype. Usually a new service goes all out to get noticed but Klout has been around for quite a while. Over time the service which attempts to identify and classify influencers on social media has gained considerable influence itself.
There are already lots of lists with Klout score optimisation techniques.
Some remind me of old school SEO. Indeed, some people propagate short cuts to boost your Klout influence artificially.
While many people rightfully contest the true importance of the Klout score, it’s still one of the best ways to measure influence on the Web without resorting to simplistic metrics such as followers counts. Klout also combines several profiles into one metric. You can connect your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts among others, so that you get an overview of your overall authority or activity.
Klout measures influence by relying on activity levels.
So when you stop tweeting, your Klout score dwindles quite quickly. Thus some of the most important influencers who are less actively social networking have a Klout score below their actual authority. Until Klout counts blog subscribers or website traffic as signs of influence, the Klout score does not reflect true authority on the Web – just the social media presence.
Knowing all the drawbacks, Klout score and the metrics that are used to calculate it are still very useful:
- Network Influence
- Amplification Probability
- True Reach
People from outside your industry or niche can quickly assess who is actively participating in the social media conversation on the topic of their interest. So when they want to spread something on social networking sites, they might approach these people. There is even one company in the fashion sector that announced a party where the entry depended on the Klout score. If yours is below 40, they wouldn’t let you in.
My Klout score is luckily above 50, which is good but not great. Strangely enough the official SEOptimise account - with many more Twitter followers and thus a higher “true reach”, as Klout puts it – has more or less the same Klout score. The explanation is probably simple – SEOptimise as a company does not socialise as much as I do as a person.
Our social media presence is more about broadcasting than about networking. Most companies social media accounts fall into this category, so that individual people and their personal accounts have (by and large) higher Klout scores, it seems. When the account holder and the brand are one, as in the case of Smashing Magazine and Vitaly Friedman, the score seems to be highest.
According to Klout, Vitaly Friedman is more influential than Barack Obama.
This might come as a surprise to people who are not interested in web design and similar resources, but not to me – especially as Barack Obama has neglected his social media accounts after winning the election back in 2008. His teams didn’t tweet much for months after the election, for instance. Still, most people might expect Obama to be more influential on the web than even the most popular bloggers.
There are two ways to use Klout for SEO: optimisation of your own profile as an influencer, or finding influencers for the topic you want to become known for. Today I’d like to focus on the making your own profile on Klout score higher. As you know, I don’t like technical SEO tricks but instead choose to practice human SEO. Nothing is better than to boost your Klout Score. How can you achieve it?
- Add all the important networks – at least Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – so that you get a realistic assessment of your reach.
- Encourage your readers and followers to connect with you on Klout as well. It’s not as time consuming as Facebook or Twitter but has more direct effects on your score.
- Use your existing networks actively and share great content regularly.
- Invite people who influence you and are not yet registered to Klout. Once they join and fill out their profile their score gets higher, and thus yours do as well.
- Give Klout to people who influence you; they may give you K+ as well when they know you already or check out your profile.
- Import your lists from Twitter so that everyone who is already on them gets notified as being on your list.
- Check the list of topics you are influential for and customise it by deleting the topics you don’t care about. Most people only look at the first three topics you are an influencer in.
- Socialise with people who have a Klout score similar to yours – do not just focus on those having huge numbers but no time to even notice you
- Encourage your friends who are influential on the web but not yet on Klout to participate in the Klout measurement: the more their Klout score reflects their true influence, the better will be your score as well.
- Add a Klout badge to your website and use a browser extension to identify influencers on Twitter.com.
That said, I strongly encourage you to join Klout and make sure your Klout score is representative of your influence. In the US, Klout already organises special product presentations just for influencers.
I can imagine that in future your Klout score might get very important in real life and that you’ll get discounts as a Klout-certified influencer.
Are you on Klout? Tell us your user name in the comment section. Let’s influence each other!
* CC image by Ken Yeung