Do you have Klout?

There’s a lot of buzz lately about Klout – the website that measures your level of influence on the web using a number of factors taken from your social media activities.  Increasingly, people are realizing that engagement and influence are more important that fan/follower counts, and Klout offers a standard of measurement for people to demonstrate their own level of influence (or check on someone else’s influence).  Today, Klout announced in a blog post that scores will be automatically refreshed and updated daily (previously, scores could only be calculated weekly and had to be initiated by the user).

Here’s how it works.  You start by signing up for Klout using your Twitter login and password, which automatically connects your Twitter account.  You can also add your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to give a little more depth to your score (great for people who are more active on those networks and use Twitter primarily as a listening tool).

Klout has developed their own influence matrix that includes 16 categories like “syndicator” or “networker.” Each category comes with a small description of positive traits. I’m listed as a “conversationalist”, so mine reads, “You love to connect and always have the inside scoop. Good conversation is not just a skill, it’s an art. You might not know it, but when you are witty, your followers hang on every word.” Ok, sure.

Klout measures your influence on the social web

Klout scores are based not only on the number of followers/friends/fans you have, but also on their influence and reach. When I got a personal reply from Guy Kawasaki (Klout score = 85), I’m guessing that influenced my Klout score a lot more than a reply from others with less influence. Klout also takes into account the likelihood that your content will generate some sort of a response (clicks, retweet, reply, mention, etc).  I didn’t find much on how Facebook and LinkedIn can influence your Klout score, but my guess is that it’s similar.

A couple more cool things about Klout:  1.  you can enter someone else’s username in the search tool to quickly find out their true influence (at least in Klout terms), and 2. Klout gives you suggestions on influential people who follow you so you may return the favor and follow them back.

Klout also allows users to create a badge for their own website (which I haven’t been able to embed here, so I’ll use a screen shot instead), a hover card (java based), and they have a plug-in for WordPress.org users.

As for me, I’m listed at a surprisingly high 52.  My alter-ego (@rockoutkaraoke) is listed at 51.

Some of this Klout talk reminds me of Cialdini and his book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.”  There are interesting parallels between Dr. Cialdini’s time-tested theories and online influence.

While it’s interesting at the moment, I’m not sure people will be putting Klout scores on their resume anytime soon.  What do you think?  Do you have Klout?

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6 thoughts on “Do you have Klout?

  1. Hi John

    I’ve been playing around with Klout as well. My score is up and down like a yo yo at the moment LOL. But I don’t know about LinkedIN and whether it has any influence as you can’t link your profile to your LinkedIN account – only Twitter and Facebook. What have you found that makes you think LinkedIn might affect your score? Coz, I need to check that out!! I’d like to be able to link both my LinkedIN and Blog to Klout and see what happens. Wonder what their plans are?

    Regards

    Mike

    • Good question, Mike. I wrote the post three months ago and I remember at the time hearing that Klout planned on adding LinkedIn to the mix for calculating scores. To date, I haven’t been able to do so – might have been a rumor. I agree it would be a good idea to include more factors into the matrix, since Twitter and FB aren’t the only places folks can be influential and/or drive action.

      There have been several updates to Klout since I wrote my initial post, including the start of Klout online chats on Twitter (I think the first one was yesterday – hashtag #kloutchat). The chat idea seems like a great way to connect with company leadership and it appears that they’re very interested in having a dialog with anyone interested – good transparency.

      Thanks for your comments, Mike.

      John

  2. I agree that adding LinkedIn to Klout calculations would be inappropriate. The goal of LinkedIn isn’t about having a huge network to influence. That’s one goal of Twitter– but information sharing is the primary one.

    I like that adding Facebook to Klout is optional. Hopefully Klout or a similar score will eventually be able to measure complete online influence– aggregating data on interactions on all websites. Then again, what is the purpose of the score? We love a yardstick.

    PS- On my resume, one detail line actually includes the average Klout of the three Twitter accounts I manage for my company. To me, it is the beginning of sharing one’s social media GPA, which, as for a score reflecting ability, usually disappears from a resume after high school and college.

    • Thanks for the comments, Emily. I’m interested to know if anyone has asked you about the Klout scores on your resume (guess that probably depends on how many people you’ve sent it to). It occurs to me that most hiring managers may not know what Klout is or why it’s important. Have you had any experience with actually discussing it in an interview situation?

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