If you look on the sidebar of The Online Newbie, you will see a badge with my Klout score. It seems as if a lot of people are not familiar with Klout. So what is Klout? Klout is an online social influence measurement tool. Klout supports all major social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Klout crawls your popularity. Klout links all your social media accounts and knows what your interests are so it can more accurately measure and publish your influence.
Why Does Your Klout Score Matter?
Why does your Klout score even matter? Does it actually affect you in any way? The answer is yes. Klout is often used as a discovery tool. If someone is looking for an expert in a certain field, they can look for someone with a high Klout score in that area. This could mean speaking engagements, business deals, invitations to events, etc.
More importantly, people often use Klout to research people they’re considering working with. For example, if you reach out to a potential joint venture partner, they might look you up on Klout to see if you’re a credible person. Klout isn’t just an online popularity contest. It’s a versatile research tool that other people use to make real decisions about working with you.
How Are Klout Scores Measured?
Klout scores are based on a 90 day running average. The algorithm is highly complex and proprietary, though you can read a reverse engineered version of the algorithm here.
Primarily, Klout looks at:
- Facebook likes
- Number of comments your Facebook posts get
- Mentions of you on Facebook
- Shares of your posts on Facebook
- Twitter retweets
- Twitter followers
- Twitter @mentions
- Google+ +1s
- Google+ reshares
- LinkedIn Connections
- LinkedIn recommenders
Klout takes into account a number of different social media signals and combine them all together into one score. It also assigns different weights to different likes and retweets. For example, a retweet from a well known celebrity is going to weigh more than a random person. Likewise, a retweet from someone who doesn’t retweet often is going to be worth more than a retweet from someone who retweets something a couple dozen times a day.
Adding in Real World Influence
Klout also has a mechanism for tracking your real world influence. This came about after Klout came under fire for ranking numerous bloggers as more influential than Barack Obama. Since bloggers were highly active on the social sphere, many of them did receive more tweets and likes than the President of the United States. However, by most anyone’s standards, the President has more influence than just about any blogger.
Because of this controversy, Klout implemented a Wikipedia scanning mechanism that allows Klout to gauge the importance of a person’s Wikipedia article. The more important their Wikipedia article, the more important that person is in real life. With this added change, the President now ranks as the most influential person on Klout.
Sorting by Topics
One of the most important features in Klout is its ability to sort influencers by topics. After all, you rarely need to know who the most influential people in the world are. But it can make a big difference to figure out who the most influential people in your space are. You can use this section to find potential business partners, potential speakers and people who you want to aspire to build connections with.
Are you on Klout yet? If not, now might be the time to take a look at your Klout profile, check out your Klout score and look for ways to give your profile a boost.