Category Archives: Klout

What Does Klout Say About Your Lowered Score?

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.

Klout’s advice

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.

My Advice

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.

The Power of Being Nice

There’s nothing better than the Thank You Wave.  You’re stuck in traffic, but you decide to let a car into your lane.  After merging, they raise their hand up to acknowledge what a nice thing you just did.  It doesn’t cost a penny, and yet it doesn’t happen as often as it should.  It’s a simple gesture that can make someone’s day.  Why would the online world be any different?  Whether you’re an individual or a business, taking the time to be the Nice Guy of Social Media can reap big rewards.

Just like in real life, being a Nice Guy costs nothing.  There’s a whole world of online “Nice Guy” currency right at your fingertips.  Here are five ways to be a Social Media Nice Guy, that only take a click… maybe two:

+K: If someone looks up The Social Vista on Klout, they’ll see that we are influential about Social Media (among other things).  By clicking the little +K next to the topic, you let everyone on Twitter know that you also think TSV knows their stuff when it comes to Social Media.  It’s easy, it’s simple, and you can give out five +Ks per day.  But don’t go overboard!  Only give them to people you actually think are deserving or it will just look phony.

Endorse a Feed:  If you’ve spent any time on Empire Avenue, you’re familiar with Eaves (their fake currency).  Using Eaves to buy someone’s stock will certainly boost your nice factor, but you’re overlooking an even easier way to make nice.

Endorse a Feed.  Most users have a blog or RSS feed listed because it ups their stock price.  An endorsement is the equivalent of giving them a thumbs-up and is a simple way to acknowledge others on the network.  Plus, you can endorse an endless number of feeds and blogs without ever running out of Eaves.

Retweet:  When you find interesting things on Twitter (and you WILL find interesting things on Twitter), show a little appreciation.  Every time you hit the Retweet button, you make someone on Twitter very happy.  That one click amplifies the reach of their message and validates that someone out there is reading their posts.

Comment on a blog

There is no greater accolade for a blogger than when you leave a comment.  The Nice Guy button in this scenario is checking that little box that will alert you whenever there is a follow up comment so you can jump back into the conversation.  Talk about getting on someone’s radar.

Like Something:

It seems obvious, but most people will read a Facebook post and either comment or move on.  Liking lets your friends know that you saw what they wrote.  Spread the love around and “Like” interesting comments that follow a post (whether you commented or not).

When it comes to Social Media, Nice Guys get noticed.  It’s like the barista who memorized your order because you ask about her morning while she’s brewing your latte.  It’s no different online.  With every Nice Guy click, you make someone’s day a little better and you make yourself a little more memorable in the process.

Why I’d Rather Be a Social Media Rock Star than a Supermodel

Future brand endorsements belong to Social Media rock stars.  Forget athletes and pop stars.  Websites like Klout are breeding a whole new type of celebrity – Influencers.  When Influencers tweet, people pay attention.  Brands are already finding ways to tap into this advertising goldmine by capitalizing on their follower cache.  This monumental shift is changing the world of Marketing and determining who is worth a company’s advertising dollars.  Celebrities will slowly be edged out by those who are leading the Social Media movement.

Klout looks at your Social Media profiles and scores you based on both the number and quality of the people you associate with online.  A high score reflects two things: 1) You are interesting enough that people not only care about what you say but they spread the word when you speak and 2) your following is vast and desirable enough that your message can influence.  Major brands are quickly taking notice of Influencers and moving endorsement dollars in their direction.

Imagine planning a trip to Vegas.  The hotel concierge notices that you’re a Social Media pro and upgrades your room.  Throughout your trip, you tweet about living it up like a Vegas god and post pictures of yourself in the Hugh Hefner Suite on Facebook.  Your hotel just earned advertising that comes across as both genuine and convincing.  Not a bad trade considering what the cost of a billboard on the Vegas strip goes for.  It’s not as far-fetched as you think considering The Palms Hotel has been reviewing guests’ Klout scores and handing out upgrades and free Cirque du Soleil tickets for almost a year now.

Unlike a Vegas billboard, Klout allows companies to evaluate specific Influencers, analyze their following and direct their message to a very targeted group.  Why would Coors Light want to give an incentive to just anyone with a high score when they can instead target the top 10 Influencers on Beer (Yeah.  That’s a real category).  Whether they’re offering to let you test drive a new Audi or handing out a free Frappuccino, the bottom line is that they want you talking about their brand and they will give you a reason to give a glowing review.

The Influencer’s emergence in brand marketing is still in its infancy, but you don’t have to look too far back to see history repeating itself.  Almost any American Vogue cover through the 90s featured the likes of Cindy, Naomi, Kate and Giselle.  Fashion covers were reserved for supermodels.  But when editors took notice that readers were more interested in what their favorite actresses had to say, they were quick to make a change.   The most recent Vogue coves to date showcase singer Rihanna and actresses Reese Witherspoon, Penelope Cruz, and Emma Watson.   Not a supermodel in sight.  The shift reflected a fundamental change what type of celebrities had influence.

Social Media has created an entirely new type of celebrity and their endorsement is a lot cheaper than that of Tiger Woods (pre scandal) or some Hollywood starlet.  Of course, today they might be getting a free hotel upgrade and tomorrow they might be signing an official ad deal with a six figure paycheck.  Either way, there’s no denying that life as Social Media superstar certainly comes with its benefits.