If you are involved in social media marketing, you are used to the deluge of new “must-try” tools on a daily basis. For me, Klout was just another one of these tools. Neat. You check your score and then move on. However, recently I decided to delve a little deeper, and I discovered that it’s actually an incredibly useful tool. And apparently, I’m not the only one.
Simply put, Klout measures your level of influence on Twitter. The scores range from 0-100 and a higher Klout score represents a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Klout takes into account 25 variables (the details of which are kept a secret) in assessing a Twitter handle’s ability to drive people to action (e.g. reply, retweet or click-through). It aims to show how effective a person or company is at engaging their audience and how big of an impact their messages have.
But Klout does more than just give you a score. It also tells you who you are influenced by and who is influenced by you, the topics you are most influential on, and what percentile you are in compared to other Twitter users. For those using the tool to report Twitter success for clients, it charts your growth and shows your top RT’s and links.
Best of all, Klout is pretty darn reliable. To test the tool’s accuracy I ran our teams’ and clients’ handles through the program to see if my perception of people’s/companies’ influence would roughly align with Klout’s. For the most part, it did. I was impressed
And so, Klout became a part of my life. And as I’ve used it more and more, I’ve discovered there are three distinct ways to use Klout.
1. Personal brand strategy – Sometimes we spend so much time working on our company’s Twitter handles or our clients’ handles that we let our own personal handles take a major backseat. However, we are missing a big opportunity here. How helpful is a RT of your company’s handle if no one is paying attention to you? Look at each section of the Klout report and make changes accordingly. Hint: If your score hasn’t changed in a while, scroll down to the bottom of the page to refresh your score every once in a while.
2. Social media metrics – Include Klout into your social media metrics reporting for your company or your clients. Personally, I’d feel comfortable allowing it to take the place of counting the numbers of RT’s, @ replies, bit.ly click-throughs, lists etc. All of those aim to show growth in Twitter influence and all of those are included in Klout’s calculations. Using this tool could save you bundles of reporting time. Note: even if you aren’t ready to use it as a replacement, it is an easy addition.
3. Identifying and rewarding influencers - a couple of early companies have already figured this out and created programs based off incentivizing influencers with high Klout scores. Virgin Air was one of the first to launch a program like this when they gave away free flights to select people with high Klout scores. I expect we’ll be seeing more of this as the tool continues to evolve.
So how about all of you? Anyone using Klout regularly or planning to launch a Klout rewards program sometime soon?