Have you run across the little orange box with a white number inside it while engaging in social media? If not, you may be considered to be a little bit in the dark. The orange box I am referring to is an application called Klout.
Wikipedia defines Klout as, “A website and mobile app that uses social media analytics to rank its users according to online social influence via the “Klout Score”, which is a numerical value between 1 and 100.”
Klout is a San Francisco based company focusing on analyzing and assessing online influence by collecting data from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media platforms. Klout refers to itself as the standard for influence with more than 400 million social media users engaging with the application. Based on the Klout scoring system, Klout recognizes those with a higher score as influential social media users who are providing useful content to their followers that is being shared with others.
There is debate over the value of a Klout score, its scoring methods and how much weight it really carries; or if it matters at all. However, advocates tell us the score matters more than we may want to think.
We already know most buying decisions follow an online search of you and/or your firm. Prospective clients are looking for an outward signal displaying your established credibility, influence and expertise. Social media users are looking at your Klout score and don’t forget those savvy prospective clients utilizing the tool to finalize their purchasing decisions as well as the experienced hiring manager seeking top candidates.
While you are determining how much weight your Klout score will hold for you, keep in mind, Klout will be providing a number based on the amount of influence you hold with your online community. If your competitor owns a Klout score and you don’t, who has established more credibility with a number? Probably your competition. Therefore, I advise caution in delaying what is most likely the inevitable.
Klout Scores & Hiring
There has been a lot of buzz about Klout scores and the hiring process. While it is unlikely to believe a Klout score will replace a resume, many hiring managers are utilizing Klout scores as a filtering system throughout their hiring process.
It is important to manage your Klout topics to reflect your areas of expertise. Keep your profile current by adding and deleting topics at any time through the options in your Klout dashboard. Your profile topics will look similar to the diagram below.
Photo courtesy of © Klout: http://support.klout.com/customer/portal/articles/679131-how-do-i-manage-my-topics-
Klout scores are updated daily and appear in your Klout dashboard on your history graph. The dashboard tracks your score for the last 90 days.
Photo courtesy of © Klout: http://support.klout.com/customer/portal/articles/1186238-where-can-i-find-my-score-history-graphs-
According to Klout, an average score is 40, while users with a score of 63 or higher are in the top 5% of all users. Learn more about Klout scores.
Increasing Your Klout Score
How many times have we heard the phrase, “Content is King”? Klout is no exception to the well-established rule. Creating content that your online community shares and responds to is the best way to increase your Klout score. Engagement from your community through likes, comments, shares, retweets and mentions will increase your score; making it important to connect all of your social networks to Klout. Sharing your knowledge through content, research papers, videos and photos that drive action and provide solutions to clients and prospective client needs, increases your influence, builds trust and positions you as an influencer.
My suggestion is to have fun with Klout. Utilize it to gauge your influence levels compared to your competitors and as a guide to ensure you are providing relevant content to your audience. If you have questions about Klout accounts, contact Ironstone or leave us a comment.
Photo courtesy of ©iStock/Getty Images/Thinkstock