Everyone talks about their Klout score and either how excited they are when they gain a few points or how disappointed they are when they drop a few points. But what is Klout exactly and what does it measure?
Klout originated as a number from 0-100 that twitter acquired using an algorithm to measure your influence on twitter based on your ability to drive action. Along with â€œfollowersâ€, â€œfollowingâ€, and â€œupdatesâ€ it is one of the numbers that helps fellow â€œtweepsâ€ understand how influential someone is, and usually is a huge factor for deciding who to follow, retweet, etc. Â Recently Klout has begun to measure influence on Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn as well, meaning that to have a high Klout score, you would have to be â€œinfluentialâ€ on all four social platforms. Â Now you can even get a Klout account onÂ www.klout.comÂ and see just how you are being measured and even which topics you are influential about.
Iâ€™m going to give you a little rundown of the more complex features on Klout.com, for first timers it can get a little confusing. Klout.com gives a little more insight into how your Klout score is determined and which areas you can improve.
Twitter determines your score by analyzing your true reach, amplification and network impact. Read the explanations below to understand how each is determined.Â Remember â€œinfluenceâ€ means your ability to drive the people on your network to take action, not just through purchasing but also through promoting your name through â€œlikesâ€, â€œtweetsâ€, â€œmentionsâ€, etc.
True Reach:Â How many people you truly influence through your own network and your extended networks (the networks of your â€œfriendsâ€).
Amplification:Â Measures how much you influence others.
Network Impact:Â The influence you have on your direct network.
Twitter measures how influential you are on certain topics, and it is based on your networkâ€™s engagement. Meaning the topics that get the most interaction from your followers will be the topics you are â€œinfluentialâ€ about. Â For example Star Moose is influential in Advertising, Social Media, Tumblr, Facebook, Blogging, Marketing and more. If Klout says that you are influential about something random like ice cream, it is because you probably posted one random tweet or Facebook post about it and many of your followers/friends retweeted, â€œlikedâ€ or commented about it. So make sure what you post on Facebook, twitter, or Google + is something you want to be influential about.
Klout, based on the content of your posts, how frequently you interact, tweets, etc, and the response from your audience, will categorize you and give a Klout style. Styles vary from specialist to pundit to observer to celebrity.Â The style names Klout gives out are self-explanatory and describes their influence style. Your Klout style can give you an idea of where you are on the social spectrum and what you can do to improve or change your Klout style.
Perks are discounts and prizes that are awarded to those with high Klout score and those who have a narrowly targeted audience. Big name brands offer perks like airline tickets, free business cards, or even beauty product samples, the options are probably endless. Â It’s genius, because if youÂ receiveÂ a Klout perk, of course you are going to tweet about it and the companies hope that it willÂ in-turnÂ boost their sales and social engagement.
Achievements track your social progress based on your Klout score and interaction. For example every time you reach a new milestone on twitter, you are alerted and are given a badge of achievement, which serves no real purpose other than bragging rights.
Kloutâ€™s New Algorithm and What it Means
At the end of October Klout made a big change to their algorithm that has many tweeps calling foul play. Twitterâ€™s readjusted algorithm drastically changed Klout scores overnight. To many people on twitter this meant a huge drop in score. Those who suffered the most dramatic drops where typically those with scores from 40-60, while surprisingly, those above or below this range where mostly left unchanged. Star Moose itself which happened to fall within this â€œtargetedâ€ range dropped from 41 to 25 (though on a side note, we have managed to climb back up to 37).
Ever since that happened, there has been a deluge of blog posts either claiming either one of two things:
1). â€œKloutâ€ doesnâ€™t really matter. It is just a measurement of influence; the number itself has no true value, and business does not rely on Klout numbers.
2). The drop in Klout lead to a dip in sales. With some statistical proof from online businesses that saw sales drop with their Klout numbers.
In response to why Twitter adjusted the algorithm it can be assumed that Twitter adjusted Klout because they felt that too many people were gaining too much Klout too soon, making a high Klout score less of an achievement. Â But hereâ€™s what Twitter had to say about the change. â€œToday weâ€™re releasing a new scoring model with insights to help you understand changes in your influence. When someone engages with your content, we assess that action in the context of the personâ€™s own activity. These principles form the basis of our PeopleRank algorithm which determines your Score.â€
Klout really only has as much value as we give it. The reason people lost business over fallen Klout scores is because we deem Klout valuable and make decisions based on Klout scores. Donâ€™t be confused and led to believe that a Klout score is as important or accurate as a credit score. But fortunately, not all people do, if you have a genuinely good product or service that people want, you can still succeed. Strive for a good Klout score, but businesses do not end and start with Klout. The most important thing is to be socially engaged and interact with others, despite what your Klout score says.