What Is My Klout Score and Who Cares?

What Is My Klout Score and Who Cares?

By Janette Leon-Speyer, Web Success Team ––  

We do!

I was asked yesterday during a Twitter Chat that I religiously follow called #blogchat to write a blog about why I see Klout as a benefit.

There are many facets to this growing platform and many use it as an indicator to measure their success online. However this is not the focus of this article. I want to answer the many questions that I get from clients asking me what Klout is and why do we need to use it? In this article I will tell you about the platform and how it can be useful to your brand.

What Is Klout Anyway?

Klout is a website and a mobile app that calculates a score for social media users based on their online influence. The score is a numerical value from 1 to 100 for each user and it fluctuates over time, depending on your current reach in social media. It recognizes your influence through a variety of online networks: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Instagram, Flicker, Tumblr and many more. A Klout score average is 40 with users with a score of 63+ are in the top 5%. New networks are being added regularly.

According to Wikipedia, the exact formula for how these scores are calculated is proprietary, causing many users to be suspicious of the platform. Critics have pointed out that Klout scores are not representative of the influence a person really has.  A recent update to Klout’s algorithms now ranks the importance of high profile celebrities in a way that is more reflective of the influencer’s popularity.

So Why Do We Like It?

We are a PR/Social Media firm that works with bloggers and brand ambassadors from all walks of life. Often times we need to screen them to see if they are a fit for our brands and our client’s products. This process requires finding a combination of influence and engagement to calculate ROI and value. It’s our responsibility to weed through the maze of social media users to get to the right people.

Our first process of selection starts with Klout. The score, although not our final decision maker, is a starting point and an indicator so that we can take a closer look at a brand ambassador or an influencer blogger. We recognize a Klout score of over 50 to be worth consideration. An analogy would be when you go for your physical and the doc does a blood panel. The results are a screening that will tell the doctor to look further if necessary.

Screening Bloggers and Brand Ambassadors

Once we have taken a hard look at the brand ambassador’s blog and page rank, the Klout score is next in line and it says a great deal about a future social media spokesperson. A high score is an indicator that helps our agency determine if we have to dive deeper to examine the brand representative a little more closely. We will them go on to look at the individual social profiles to make our decision. Without this little measurement our job is a little more complicated. We take the Klout score, examine the tweets and the dates they were posted using HootSuite. Now we are in a better place to make that final decision.

There are many other uses for Klout like Perks and HR use but that’s another blog.

Are you for or against Klout? Continue the discussion and follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

 

10 comments

  1. Warren Whitlock
    March 19th, 2014 18:18  / 

    Klout can be a useful indicator but not the definite line drawn around a circle that the graphic here implies.

    A person with clout may have a high K score, that’s good.

    They may have a low score, maybe bad if you you are choosing a person to tell your story on line.

    A person without Klout can spend his days building a K score and will waster your time if you let mie.

    And there are some people who have a low K and low Klout. Still not certain, but an indicator that they won’t be much help.

    A lot of the last group play games to get PERKS. They are usually sold to clueless advertisers as a way to reach people online. Well, if you throw a lot of paint at the wall, the color changes, but you’ll miss a lot of spots

  2. Miriam Slozberg
    March 19th, 2014 22:36  / 

    What a great post and I am a complete supporter of Klout for the reasons you had stated and the fact of the matter is, it is looked at more and more and treated like an online credit score. I have written a lot of material on Klout myself and it needs to be better understood. The more awareness about it that goes out, the better.

  3. dylan
    March 21st, 2014 13:30  / 

    great article. thanks. any idea when Klout is going to incorporate Pinterest into user ratings?
    i have nearly 3 million followers there that i’d love to be part of the equation.

  4. WebSuccessTeam
    March 21st, 2014 13:35  / 

    Hi Dylan, thanks. I would also love to know. I have just tweeted out to Klout to ask them 🙂

  5. WebSuccessTeam
    March 21st, 2014 13:36  / 

    Thanks for your input Miriam. I am a big believer in Klout. Not the final answer but a useful tool none the less.

  6. WebSuccessTeam
    March 21st, 2014 13:38  / 

    Hi Warren. Good to see you here 🙂 :). Thanks for your input. This article does not relate to perks it is more about choosing brand ambassadors and you are absolutely right Klout is only an indicator not the final answer but boy does it help us get started. Take care.

  7. Deb Scott
    March 22nd, 2014 8:31  / 

    Very good article Janette!! I do check any individual who wants to be a guest on my radio show in the same way you described.
    I find for myself, it is really difficult to bring a klout score up. I am grateful to have a score of 70, but would love to know what those people are doing who are in high 70’s 80’s!
    Thank you again for the great content!
    Deb

  8. Lori Ruff
    March 22nd, 2014 12:00  / 

    The reason Klout matters is to give us a sense of social influence. It’s certainly not the end all/be all, but like Warren said, it does offer some place to begin your search. Kred does an interesting job of influence based on topic and PeekAnalytics, Little Bird and others do a good job of overall influence. But the social proof and public influence is a better “score” or indication of success than a gut guess… lets call this an educated guess.

  9. margaux damain
    March 28th, 2014 12:58  / 

    Thanks for sharing this article !
    Klout can be useful as well for people looking for jobs in Social Media or PR !
    Having a good or even great score might influence candidates-hunters in their recruitment decisions.

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