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.