If you are engaged in any kind of social media marketing, your Klout Score should be important to you. It is a measure of your online influence, or you ability to drive action, and social media capital. Klout also identifies the topics in which a user is most influential. If yours is a home remodeling company, is it a good idea that you are influential about celebrities? Probably not, right?
The effectiveness of marketing is often difficult to measure. How do you really know that newspaper ad was worth the money you paid? If you are a small business or entrepreneur, the impact of your social media activity is not necessarily going to be measured in clicks to your website. It is also about awareness, and becoming “the name” in your area of expertise, which means you will be the first brand, or one of the first, that comes to mind when someone is ready to buy.
Try this little trick, quickly list all the brands of potato chips you know. Most people, unless they are a potato chip aficionado, will max out at five brands or less. The first brand on that list is the one you most identity with the product. Herr’s is my number one for potato chips. Doesn’t it make sense for your business to be “the name” known for home remodeling, swimming pools, or whatever your specialty is?
Moreover, let’s say you want to hire a social media guru to lead your online marketing. Don’t you want some way to independently verify they know what they are talking about? Don’t you want someone, once you get past their sales pitch and fancy jargon, who may be a little more knowledgeable and effective at social media than your teenage daughter?
What is a good Klout Score?
Klout Scores run from 1 to 100. If you have a Twitter account, then you receive an automatic 10 points. Klout uses Twitter as an anchor, which means you must have Twitter profile to get a Klout Score. However, Klout evaluates the top 14 social media sites, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, to evaluate which networks contribute to your effectiveness.
Klout also has the ability to “magically” (my word, not theirs) identify blog posts you have written, even on sites that are not your own. They then can measure how often your blog posts are shared, independent of your own social media accounts. Pretty awesome, right?
What is a good Klout Score for you is relative, depending on you and your business. Here is a quick and easy breakdown:
- Klout Score 10 – Just online. You don’t have a real online presence, and you are most likely using your social media accounts as placeholders or as a “yellow pages” style ad.
- Klout Score 40 – Average. Essentially, your online influence is equal to that of a teenage girl posting about Justin Bieber.
- Klout Score 50 – Top 10%. You are relatively successful on social media, and are in the Top 10% of all internet users. Good job!
- Klout 70 – Social Media Guru. You have effectively mastered social media, have a substantial amount of online capital, and are identifiable as an “influencer.”
- Klout 80+ – Celebrity. You are most likely someone who receives national or world media exposure, which greatly impacts your social media, and have substantial influence. Your last name may be Kardashian, Trump, or Obama.
What is a Klout Expert?
Your Klout Score does not tell the whole story. Being identified as a Klout Expert means you are in the “top few percent of all users” posting on any given topic. The Expert status translates into users following and engaging with your social media profiles that are most likely there because of the content you are creating and sharing on that topic.
We can go back to the example of the person who owns a home remodeling company. The topics he/she should be most identified with probably are:
- Cooling and Heating
- Faucets and Plumbing
- Gutters and Drainage
- Home Improvement
- Patios and Decks
- Roofing and Siding
Does that sound about right? It doesn’t make sense to have a good Klout Score, and then use all that online capital posting about Duck Dynasty, Celebrities, and Reality Television. Don’t you agree?
How can you increase your Klout Score?
Klout Scores are driven more by quality than quantity. This means that you can have a fairly descent Klout Score with relatively few online followers, if those followers are active and engaged with your content. We are really getting to the heart of social media marketing, and organic reach with this.
Don’t let anyone trying to sell you online marketing services tell you that a Klout Score does not matter at all. Check their score. They most likely do not have the online influence and social media capital to even be doing the job. Many “social media experts” are snake-oil salesmen who use complicated terminology and reports to validate ineffective practices. If they can’t get movement with their own brand, how are they going to be successful with yours?
Here is how you can increase your Klout Score, and become identified as an Expert.
- Post Frequently – Unless you are an actual celebrity, you are not going to get attention posting once a month, or even once week. A good frequency rate will depend on the social media site, but at least post daily, on average.
- Post Good Content – Good content in this case means content that people want to engage with, either by “liking,” sharing and/or replying.
- Curate Content – Share the good content of others, especially in your area of expertise. If you are seen as an expert, people will follow you for content on that specific topic, because you filter out the noise.
- Post at the Right Times – There are many articles about when the best times to post are, and for each social network. Those are a good starting point, but identify when the best time are for you and your followers.
- Engage with those who engage with you – Part of becoming “the name” on any given area is engaging with those who engage with you. If someone walks into your shop asking a question, you answer, right? Same idea here.
- Reach Out to Influencers – Engaging with those that have a higher Klout Score than yourself will improve your score. The tangible benefit is magnifying your organic reach and/or your authority on any given topic.
- Don’t Stress Over Followers – It is better to have a small number of highly engaged followers than many followers with little engagement. However, those highly engaged followers will attract more. Focus of quality, and the followers will grow.
- Follow with Discretion – Do not indiscriminately follow, specifically on Twitter and Instagram, large numbers of users hoping for a “follow back.” Follow those that are in or have interest in your area of expertise, existing customers and clients who you have a positive relationship, and those that you can identify as your ideal customer.