Got Klout, Klout Score– Measures Everyone’s Degree of Influence on Social Media: Relevant or Too Goofy to Ignore…

Klout Score: Much as Google’s search engine attempts to rank the relevance of every web page, the Klout Score ranks the influence of every person online… Its algorithms comb through social media data; then if you have a public account with Twitter, which makes updates available for anyone to read– you have a Klout Score whether you know it or not (i.e., unless you actively opt out on Klout’s website).

You can supplement that score by letting Klout link to harder-to-access accounts, such as; Google+, Facebook, or LinkedIn. The scores are calculated by using variables that can include; number of followers, frequency of updates, the Klout Scores of your friends and followers, and the number of likes, retweets, and shares that your updates receive… High-scoring Klout users can qualify for ‘Klout Perks’, free goodies from companies hoping to garner some influential praise… But even if you have no idea what your Klout Score is, there’s a chance that it’s already affecting your life…

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Klout is a tool that measures social influence across the web. The higher the Klout Score, the higher the social influence; influence is defined as the ability to drive action such as– sharing a picture that triggers comments, likes, tweeting… for example; about a great restaurant that causes your followers to go try it for themselves… Social actions are a signal that friends and peers in your social networks have been influenced by your content… The Klout Score is a numerical value between 0 and 100. In determining the user score, Klout measures the size of a user’s social media network and correlates the content created to measure how other users interact with that content…

Klout utilizes Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Wikipedia, Instagram data… to create Klout user profiles that are assigned a unique Klout Score… However, some experts object to Klout’s methodology regarding both the process by which scores are generated and the overall societal effect. Critics say that Klout Scores are not representative of the influence a person really has…

According to John Scalzi; principle behind Klout’s operation are ‘socially evil’ in its exploitation of its users’ status anxiety… According to Charles Stross; the service is the ‘Internet equivalent of herpes’ and he advises readers to delete their Klout accounts and opt out of Klout services…  According to Ben Rothke; Klout can and should be applauded for trying to measure this monstrosity called social influence but their ‘results of influence’ should, in truth, carry very little influence…

In the article Klout Score: What’s In a Number? by Jenn Herman writes: Klout allows us to compare ourselves to others as well as mark progress over time. In all fairness, there is a lot of debate about the algorithms and metrics that Klout uses to achieve its rankings. But we all still talk about it and we all still check our scores. How much clout you believe Klout has, may vary, but we still know our score.

So, what’s in a number? What is good and what is bad? Why does it matter? According to Klout’s website; average score is 40. And anyone with a score of 63 or higher is in the top 5% of social media influencers. So, why do these scores matter? Well, if you were looking for a social media manager or someone to help grow your online strategy, would you hire someone with a score of 23 or a score of 70? If you are looking to reach new customers would you want to have more influence than your competitors? If you wanted to partner with another company, would you want to partner with one with no social influence, or a significant social influence?

Once you are signed in to Klout, you can search for others and check their scores. Check out your own company’s score and see how it stacks up against your competitors. When you’re looking to hire a new social media administrator, check their score and don’t be afraid to ask them to validate their score. But what if your score is low and you want to raise it? The most important thing is to be active and engaging on social media…

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In the article What Your Klout Score Really Means by Seth Stevenson writes: Klout is starting to infiltrate more and more of everyday transactions, for example; Salesforce.com lets companies monitor Klout Scores of customers who tweet compliments or complaints; those with highest scores will presumably get swifter, friendlier attention. Gilt Groupe began offering discounts proportional to customer’s Klout Score… But, not everyone is thrilled by the thought of a company using mysterious, proprietary algorithm to determine what kind of service, shopping discounts, or even job offers we might receive…

The web teems with resentful blog posts about Klout, with titles  such as; ‘Klout Has Gone Too Far’, ‘Why Klout Score Is Meaningless’, ‘Delete Your Klout Profile Now!’… According to Jaron Lanier; she hates the idea of Klout… People’s lives are being run by stupid algorithms more and more… However, Klout may be ridiculed by those who find it obnoxious or silly or both, but it’s on track to become one of the pillars of social media…

In the article Raise Your Klout Score by Michael Brenner writes: Many people hate Klout: Hate what it is, what it does, why it exists… I’m not looking to debate the merits of Klout, but to simply explain the tool that it is… Klout seeks to measure your degree of influence in the online social media world. It measures both– size of your network across many major social media channels and it measures the amount of engagement you get from that audience.

It is a score that ranges from 0-100. If you have an online profile on any of the major social networks, you have a Klout Score… Many people initially criticized Klout because initially it was very focused on Twitter engagement. This caused Justin Bieber to have a higher Klout Score than the President of the United States. So Klout updated the algorithm to include Wikipedia ‘mentions’ (quantifiable measure of offline influence). This caused poor Justin to move from perfect 100 to 92 and Barrack Obama to near-perfect 99…

There are also competitors to Klout out there such as; Kred and Peer Index and many others. But Klout seems to be pulling away from the pack. You should care about Klout because like your personal brand, you already have one (i.e., Klout Score). You just might not be paying attention to it. Companies are starting to pay attention to it and may look up candidate scores when hiring.

But Klout is not an end in and of itself. It is an attempt to measure your online influence and like any tool has its flaws. A low Klout Score does not mean you are a bad person and a high one does not make you better than anyone. Mostly, I think Klout is just one of many tools that can help you measure the impact that various activities have on your score…

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In the article What Is Klout Score? Why It’s Important? by Michael Cohn writes: The variables that go into calculating a Klout Score are interesting and important for business: Understanding where you stand as a business owner within the sphere of influence is critical to the success of your business. If you don’t have a way of tracking how much influence you have, you will never be able to grow and change in a positive direction…

Of course, it takes time to increase influence and there are many ways to go about doing that, such as making sure that your content is top-notch, initiating as many discussions as possible, finding trends that have been around for a little while and re-amplifying them and connecting to as many high-quality networks as you can. The Klout Score gives you a solid way to track your influence level so that you can continue to increase it over time…

In reality, Klout Score is just a number, and what is most important in social media is if it is helping you meet your business or personal goals. Many use social media to network with other professionals primarily, but also to learn about– what’s happening in their industry, to inform people about services, get referrals, and to gain new business… The results can be somewhat subjective, for example; great new business connection, new friendship… but, it can also tie directly to the bottom line, like new customers…

So what it comes down to is that the Klout Score is only one of many factors in determining the success of social media for your business… According to Jill Duffy; for individuals, Klout largely tells you what you already know about yourself and your social networking habits. For business users, especially teams who are managing one account, it’s a different story, giving a very general snapshot of activity and success rate day-by-day over a month. For tips and tricks to improve, though, users will have to turn to other sources for advice…

According to Elijah Young; Klout is relevant because it measures things: Clients want to know ROI; managers want to know campaign reach, and so on. Klout is the closest thing we have to a social media credit score… There are several metrics that are important but there is no proverbial ‘one number to rule them all’…

The real question is; is it effective? Unfortunately, you have to define the word effective for your brand. On one hand, Klout does give you a set of ‘golden rules’ to live by online, e.g., join conversations, mingle with important people, make sure that you’re sending out valuable information and be there consistently. Who can argue against that?

If you’re a brand that’s simply engaging with an audience and wants to know if you’re in the right ballpark, I don’t see Klout’s deficiencies as reasons to avoid the metric all together… If you’re a brand that intends to use Klout to reach out to the influencers in a certain niche, then I would have to caution you against Klout… According to Miriam Slozberg;  a strong social media presence is expected of professionals involved in any kind of marketing, PR, coaching, writing, politics, music, entrepreneurship– the list goes on.

One way to find out how engaging you are online, and if others in your networks are receptive to your content is your Klout Score. In fact, employers in marketing firms require that applicants have a high enough Klout Score to indicate that they are active on their networks. And what’s more surprising? Hotel upgrades, better customer service, and other perks can come with having high Klout Scores…

According to Norman Witte; Klout has always been something of a joke. I have seen people get tagged for influence on anything from squirrels to magic. Just like everything else on the Internet, it’s imperative to take control of your digital destiny, rather than allow someone/something on the Internet to determine it for you…