The last two weeks produced a flurry of articles angry and frustrated over the change in Klout scoring. Klout measures your Influence. Your score gauges how many people will see your tweets or posts and how likely they are to do something because of it (such as Like, Retweet, or Comment). On October 26th, announced a new algorithm to measure scores. When scores dropped 20-30 points, the fallout was incredible. I began seeing headlines like, “Who cares about Klout” or “Does your score really matter?” Read through some of the 1440 Comments following Klout’s blog. Users threaten to close their accounts, arguing that the scores affect their livelihood. One gentleman even suggested that it was a conspiracy between Obama and Zuckerberg. The pure and unadulterated outrage over lowered scores means that Klout matters… a lot… to a lot of people.
Reading through the Comments, you’d be surprised to learn that many people saw their score increase. This new scoring method might be a good thing if you just knew what the score was based on. Reading through blog comments and responses from Klout, one thing is pretty clear – they are intentionally not revealing those secrets anytime soon to avoid people gaming the system for a good score. Instead they hinted at a few guidelines to point you in the right direction.
- Klout says it will only rate you on the Social Networks you influence. They posted, “We measure influence equally on every network. We care about your influence over your audience — not the network you influence them in.” In other words, if you think removing networks you don’t often use from your Klout profile will help you, think again. This also means that Twitter does not get preferential treatment.
- Currently, Klout determines which topics you are influential in, but soon will let you add topics as long as others can vouch for your influence. This will be a huge change in scoring because this may be the first time you can directly affect your gauged influence.
- You can link your Google+ account to your Klout profile, but it doesn’t affect your score… yet. Klout suggested that in the next week or two, your Google+ score will impact your Klout score. So if Google+ is your preferred Social Network, you may see a boost shortly.
- The closest you might get to Klout giving you specifics about raising your score is the Klout Star Series. This blog regularly features interviews with people who are killing it at Klout. These Influencers tend to be pretty generous with advice and tips to up your rankings.
Klout has not given away any substantial clues about how to influence, and they don’t plan on it. It all boils down to a few simple guidelines: Don’t spread yourself too thin, posting on 10 different networks just to raise your score. Stick to the networks you enjoy, are comfortable with, and most importantly understand how to be conversational on. Post with the intention of starting conversation, not just to get retweeted. Don’t wait for others to engage with you, but go out and start conversations on their turf as well.
Lastly, keep your score in perspective. I love Klout, and yes, I was a little hurt when someone alerted me to my dropped score. Then I read Klout’s tweet that “the average Klout Score is around 20 and a Score of 50+ puts you in the 95th percentile.” Suddenly, even my ailing score didn’t seem so bad.