8 tips for boosting your Klout

Klout logo

Love it or loathe it, Klout has been making major inroads into the emerging social media measurement business. And, with other third party tools like CoTweet, Radian 6, and Seesmic now pulling in Klout data, a growing audience of social network users are discovering and exploring what Klout means to them.

But first, for the uninitiated, what is Klout?

Klout is a social media analytics service that measures a user’s influence across Twitter and Facebook.

Klout score for AllisterfUsing a proprietary algorithm, Klout generates a score (out of 100) which indicates a user’s overall online influence, as well as other measures like True Reach, Amplification and Network power. The exact formulae used to calculate these scores are not disclosed but Klout gives some general indicators on their site.

So, how can you increase your Klout score? Here are my top tips for intelligent Klout usage:

  1. Check out your own Klout score and compare with people or businesses you like. If your score is lower, what do the other people do that you don’t? What can you identify in their behaviour that marks them out as more influential social media players than you? Learn from others and your online influence may rise.
  2. Be selective about your social media activities. Quality is more important than quantity. Remember:
    • Content that falls on deaf ears is pointless
    • Content that attracts engagement is priceless
  3. Klout generally rewards good social media behaviour so if you are interesting and informative, and start attracting lots of followers without first having to follow even more your Klout score may rise. Think about the reasons people use social networks like Twitter and try to play to these motivations not your own ego or agenda.
  4. Klout cares more about what your followers do than what you do. If your content gets spread across Twitter or your name  gets added to lists that others follow, you Klout score may rise accordingly. So focus on keeping your followers happy, sharing content they’ll find interesting and be likely to pass on.
  5. Expect your Klout score to fluctuate. I’ve seen dramatic rises on the back of a single popular post, as well as sharp declines around four weeks later (when Klout’s algorithm drops the traffic peak from its calculation):
    Klout scores can rise and fall
    While imperfect, this is normal and shows that your immediate influence is a function of your recent activity and can only be sustained by repetitive high quality engagements with your followers.
  6. If you have an account on Facebook be sure to add this to Klout to provide additional data points to measure your online influence.
  7. As with anything social media related, test, test and test. With experience, you’ll soon learn what content your followers find most interesting, what times of day they interact with you, and which things have the most impact on your Klout score.
  8. Finally, and most importantly, don’t get hung up on your Klout score. If you do something interesting, attract more followers, or get lots of retweets, that’s great. And, if your Klout score go up, that’s nice. But if it doesn’t, don’t worry about it, as long as you know that you always acted in the best interests of your followers and weren’t using social networks inappropriately.

The primary criticism Klout receives is that it can only measure the quantity of a person’s influence, not the quality, and this remains a major shortcoming of the tool. However, until reliable automated sentiment measurement tools become available, Klout remains one of the best automated ways to assess your online influence and network. And, as long as you use it wisely and in moderation, Klout can help you learn how to engage in social media for better results.

For more information like this, follow me on Twitter. My Klout score would be grateful.