What is Klout and what does my Klout Score mean?

What is Klout and what does my Klout Score mean?

Network percentages through the Klout view
Klout is a great indicator of how influential your social media activities are.  It can help you discover and be recognised for the influence you have in the world by reviewing your activity on social media.  The Klout website allows you to connect your social accounts to the service, which can then scan them to see how engaging and influential you have been.

So, it’s a kind of…grading system.

Klout is 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.

What does my Klout Score mean?

Here’s my Klout Score.  It’s a measure of my overall on-line influence on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the most influential. Klout’s system analyses multiple social networks based on which networks I have provided to the settings.

It is not to be confused with activity.  Being active on social media will not necessarily give you a high Klout Score; in fact, having a high number of people following you, but not engaging with your content is potentially a problem.  So if you’ve purchased followers, or have been going crazy on Twitter following people just to get follow-backs with the intention of padding out your networks, you may soon come to regret that decision.

My Klout Score is really low, should I be concerned?

It depends on what you mean by “really low”; the average Klout Score is 40.  It’s generally considered that folks with Klout Scores 50+ are pretty much rocking the social media world with regard to engagement and influence.  Users with a score of 63 are in the top 5% of all users.

But if your score is lower than that, there’s perhaps some [difficult] questions you could be asking yourself.

Possible reasons for a low Klout Score

  1. You haven’t connected all of your social networks -Simply put, if Klout doesn’t know where to look, it’s not going to look there.  Omitting networks from your profile will mean that influence on that network isn’t going to be counted.
  2. You’re connected to the wrong communities -Your community is your life blood for your social networking, it’s essential that your community is full of people who are actually interested in what you have to say.  I know, that sounds remarkably obvious, but a lot of people find temptation in “If you follow me, I’ll follow you back” accounts, follow trains, like ladders, in fact anything that promises a reciprocal like or follow will often be a short-lived benefit.  Build your community with people who are interested in you, your brand, not the fact that you followed them first and not the fact that you use a certain hashtag in your tweets.
  3. You’re boring -Yeah, I know, it’s uncomfortable concept right?  But it could simply be that what you’re saying isn’t engaging anyone because it just isn’t engaging.  If you’re a retailer, your timeline shouldn’t just be full of the products you sell.  Imagine that you’re actually having a conversation with a customer in your shop, it’s not just about selling, it’s about conversing, getting to know the person; why should your social networking be any different?  It’s social media, be social with it.

How can I increase my Klout Score?

A comparison of James Lane and Jayson Gurney's social network preferenceThe best way to increase your Klout Score is to create content that people want to share and respond to. For the most accurate Score, be sure to connect all of your social networks. The more that others engage with your content such as through retweets, mentions, likes, comments, +1s, etc, the higher your Score will be.

Asking questions or posting content that encourages responses/engagement is a great way to build your Score; but the key thing is to not try to ‘game’ the system.  Blackhat techniques have no more place in the SMO (Social Media Optimisation) world than in the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) world, and will likely result in your efforts being short lived and ultimately wasted.

Often adding all your social networks is all you need to do to get started.  Get an accurate Klout Score; once you’ve done this, you can look at how to build it.  Be aware though, there’s no trick.  Having a high Klout Score means that you have influence within your online community.  So if you want to increase your Klout Score, engage and excite your audience.

I’m not very active on [a specific social network], should I add it to my Klout profile?

Network percentages throught the Klout view

Absolutely.  Klout’s website notes that The Klout Score isn’t the average of your influence across all your networks, it’s the accumulation. Adding networks adds to your ability to share your expertise, and that helps your Klout Score. If you remove networks and then add them back later it could take a few days for your Klout Score to readjust.

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james

James Lane is a social coach & trainer. A Hootsuite expert, Certified Professional & Hootsuite Ambassador, he is pioneering digital training solutions for businesses. He writes about social media, technology and digital skills. Learn more about James Lane.

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