By Nadine Caouette
You’ve probably heard of Klout, a tool that ranks its users according to their online influence through a “Klout Score.”
If you have a high Klout score (based on a scale of 1 to 100), you’re considered extremely influential online. The average Klout score is 40, but if you have a score of 50+, you’re rocking the engagement and influence game in the social media world.
Klout launched in 2008 as an online platform that measured social media influence. The tool became popular very quickly for its measuring algorithm. Klout reached its peak in popularity in 2012. Klout even offered rewards to users if they had high scores. It launched a service called “Perks” that rewarded influencers with prizes from companies that joined the program; however, Klout Perks departed in late 2015 due to Lithium Technologies’ buyout of the company in 2014. They wanted to focus more on the algorithm and social data.
According a paper released by Klout on how scores are actually calculated, the scoring system processes nearly 45 billion interactions on a daily basis and analyzes roughly 3,600 different actions—all of which translate into a user’s overall score. The results are seen by 750 million users from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Wikipedia, and Lithium Communities.
But with the rise of new social media platforms, such as Snapchat, Klout has struggled to keep up with changes to the social media scene. Since users can’t measure rising platforms, many influencers and business have turned away from tracking their Klout Scores.
But is Klout still relevant to highlighting influential people and brands on social media?
If you want to track your influence with the major social media platforms, Klout is still useful. If you want to build a phenomenal audience, your Klout score can help you attract the right fans and followers.
So how do you improve your Klout score? First, you need to be active on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. However, don’t get confused by “active on social media”: it doesn’t mean just having a ton of followers (though that certainly helps!). Klout grades how much activity you’ve put into your social media—and how engaged your audiences are. It measures how far your reach is in your online community.
For example, on Twitter, Klout tracks how many @ mentions and the number of tweets you have. One way to increase your Klout score on Twitter is to use hashtags, as well as joining conversations that have high user engagement. You should also connect with other relevant influencers on social media. The goal is to create posts that will make influencers (and your audience at large) want to engage with you, thus expanding your own influence and reach.
You can use your Klout score as a tracking tool to monitor your influence. If you or your brand is releasing a product, such as a book on your area of expertise, Klout can show you which networks and topics you’re doing well in and where you can improve engagement with your followers.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your social media influence, Klout is definitely a very simple tool to track how your social media platforms are doing online. Although Klout isn’t as popular as it once was (some companies even used to ask for your Klout score at job interviews!), it’s still relevant to use on a daily basis.