Ever heard of Klout? If you haven’t then it probably won’t be long until you do. Klout - www.klout.com - is a handy online tool that offers users of social media a method for gauging their networking influence. Put another way, Klout offers a measure as to how well other users interact with all of your posted content across all social network platforms.
It does this by assigning users a value of between 1 and 100 (1 being very poor, 100 being excellent), through the analysis of their social media visibility and authority through every interaction of each post, tweet, Facebook Like and comment, etc.
In short, the more a user’s content is more widely distributed, commented against or acted upon, the higher their score!
Lose your ego!
Now, this may, at first glance, look like a good way to simply massage one’s ego and claim bragging rights over one’s social peers! I’ll be honest, when I first came across Klout, I thought exactly the same. However, when I looked at Klout a little more deeply, I personally found that it could actually be a great way to understand the impact of an organisation's social media strategy. Furthermore, it’s a marketers dream come true.
Intrigue had now got the better of me. What follows is my personal view of how I think Klout could work for organisations wanting to gain a good measure of their social media strategy's gravitas.
I was talking with a digital consultant friend of mine recently, who asked me if I used Klout myself. Now, I'd like to think that I’m reasonably aware when it comes to most things ‘social media’ and as such I had indeed previously dabbled with Klout. As do many other people, I personally became mildly obsessed with taking my initial score of 11 to something far more respectable.
Sure enough, over the following weeks I managed to reach what I considered to be the dizzy heights of 51! To really give my Klout score the potential to go even higher I linked just about every social media platform that I used regularly. This included, amongst others, my Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare and Flickr profiles. Unfortunately for me, it didn’t quite work out as I’d hoped as Klout’s methods of calculation are based upon focused influence and not quantity. But still, 51, I felt was a respectable score and certainly got me up into the higher echelons of the Klout hierarchy.
At this point, I should also highlight that not many individuals get a score of much above 60 or 70. So my score of 51 wasn’t at all bad, all things considered.
Take your ‘social influence’ seriously!
Upon reflection, it could be beneficial for people to keep plugging away at their Klout score as it would appear that there are several blue-chip companies out there looking to recruit people with high social media influence. Why? To promote their products and have them spread the good word of their company across the Internet.
A recent example of this came about when a major US-based laptop manufacturer approached one of Klout’s highest scoring influencers, with a view to giving them a free laptop to test at their leisure. There was of course a catch! The laptop company’s ultimate goal was to have the user then shout about how great the product was across all of their social networks.
There are, of course, potential negative PR risks associated with this approach, but if managed properly it could ultimately be a fantastic new concept in – and I hate the term, - ‘viral marketing’, and one certainly worthy of consideration by all marketers.
I'd be really interested to hear how you and your organisation ranks in Klout - why not let me know using the comments facility below. As I write, my own personal Klout score has since fallen away to 34 – it seems that I have some work to do again!
By Sean Greentree, Marketing Manager, NetXtra
For more information about this and other online communication strategies, call NetXtra on 01787 319393. Alternatively, send us a message via our website.