Lately, there has been a lot of talk about something called Klout. You have most likely heard of it or seen tweets announcing that someone received a +k in some topic or another or even announcing that a particular person has a specific Klout score. Undoubtedly you are probably curious about what exactly all the fuss is about and more importantly is it even something you should be concerned about. The answer is not as clear cut as a simple yes or no at this time. However, there are changes happening in business, human resources, and even airport noodle bars in San Francisco that just might make Klout something you should be paying more attention to.
First off, klout is a numeric representation of your social media reach which is based on your activity on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and your other social media networks. It takes into account how many followers you have, how much engagement you get from them, and how much klout the engagers that interact with you also have. In a nutshell if someone with a large following shares your content, it is worth quite a bit more than if someone with a small following does the same. Your Klout number ranges from 0 – 100 and a score in the mid-thirties is actually considered average. Once you pass the 40 mark, your score tells people that you have influence and then considerable influence once you cross a 50 Klout score.
Klout began as simply a metric based ‘game’ that you played via your social media activity but has become much more than that today. The reason is that it has attracted serious attention from the social media community and businesses at large. Companies realized quickly that people with more influence where worth more to them when it came to promotions and utilizing the person’s influence. Klout scores very simply became the perfect measuring tool that allowed a business such as Schick or Neutrogena to target higher klout scores with free gifts or perks as klout calls them. I have received gifts from both of the exampled companies and they have received a few positive endorsements from me as a result.
Perks are very awesome as we all love free stuff. However, Klout is beginning to progress beyond being just a number and a source of some free perks. Some employers, especially in marketing and other social media based employment, have begun to factor in a person’s Klout score as part of their hiring process. There has been one instance in Toronto, Canada where a more experienced candidate for a marketing position with a Klout score of 34 lost out on the position to a lesser qualified applicant who had a Klout score of 67. It is happening and it is exactly why you cannot afford to ignore Klout. On the lighter side, there is a current promotion being run by Cathay Pacific Airways that provides free access to their First Class lounge to anyone with a Klout score over 40. The lounge is really nice with workstations, showers, and even a noodle bar.
Now that we have established that it is probably a good idea to have at least a 40 or higher Klout score, it is time to discuss just how to get there. If you are new to social media and you don’t have a lot of followers or your network is kind of new then you don’t need to worry too much about Klout initially. You do though need to sign up and get your social media networks connected to Klout. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are mandatory and I recommend you attach anything else you have. Numerically, Facebook will have the highest impact on your Klout score followed by Twitter and Google+. Once everything is connected to Klout, you need to be working on building up your networks by increasing and engaging with your followers. As you build your networks, your Klout score will rise without much effort.
Once your networks are starting to look good you can then begin to really focus on your Klout score and how to hone your online habits to keep it on an upward trend. It does get harder to raise the higher the score is and you will probably hit your first plateau around 50. Don’t let this discourage you, as it is just a number and keeping up your engagement with your followers is what is really important. You can also begin to work on specific +K topics. We have not talked about the topics or specialties yet and that is because they do not impact your Klout score. They do, however, provide you with a peer endorsement which could be useful if you are applying for a job with a Klout concerned employer. Imagine if you were up for that marketing job in Toronto and had a decent Klout score and were in the top 10 +K getters within the marketing category.
There is a lot more we could talk about in regards to Klout and as such you can be sure that we will be revisiting Klout in the near future. Obviously, Klout is not something you should ignore and if the trends continue it will become an essential part of securing employment. If you are not signed up to Klout, do it today and start working towards a respectable score. Don’t be left behind when Klout is no longer considered a ‘game’ but becomes just as essential to employers as a social security number.
Candace Mountain is the author of the supernatural thriller The Daughter of Man which is available on Amazon for the kindle or as a trade paperback. Candace is also one of the major contributors for digiLAUNCH which is due out in 2012.Pin It