What is Klout?

When it comes to online marketing, most brands want to have as large a reach as possible and connect with as many consumers as they can. However, finding out if they are doing so can be difficult. The online service Klout gives users the ability to both measure their online influence and increase it.

Klout Scores

Klout gives brands the chance to see how influential they are online with a Klout Score. Based on a unique algorithm, the scores are a number between 1 and 100 that represents online influence. The more influential a brand is, the higher its Klout Score.

To come up with the score, Klout measures multiple pieces of data from several social networks, as well as real world data from places such as Bing and Wikipedia.

The majority of the signals used to calculate the Klout Score are derived from combinations of attributes, such as the ratio of reactions a user generates compared to the amount of content they share.

“For example, generating 100 retweets from 10 tweets will contribute more to your Score than generating 100 retweets from 1,000 tweets,” Klout writes on its website. “We also consider factors such as how selective the people who interact with your content are.”

Among the actions that can help increase a Klout Score include:

Likes, comments, wall posts, friends.
Followers, retweets, mentions, list memberships
Followers, likes, comments, photographs submitted
Comments, +1’s, re-shares, on your personal profiles only
Connections, recommendations, comments, on your personal profiles only
Tips saved by others, Tips liked by others, Friends, Check-ins, Likes, Mayorships
Inlinks, ratio of inlinks to outlinks, PageRank
How much Klout Scores mean, however, is up for debate. While some hiring managers say they use the scores to help judge candidates, especially those applying for social media jobs, others in the business world don’t put much stock in them.

To reward users for their influence, Klout provides them with perks, such as products, discounts and VIP access to special events. Perks are given to users based on a variety of things, including where they live, their influential topics and their Klout Score.

Examples of Klout Perks include free Sony X Headphones, early access to Nike’s Fuel Band and multi-day test drives of the electric Chevy Volt.

While Klout was previously known solely for its scores, earlier this year they increased their services to include ways for users to create and share content. The online service has added a new content platform to help users become better content creators. Klout now provides every user with a unique content stream that is specific to their topical interests.

In 2013, the online service introduced Klout for Business, which gives companies a set of analytics with pointed insights into how and where influencers are engaging with their brands in social media.

According to Klout, businesses can look at a dashboard that tells them whether they are engaging their influencers on the networks where they are most actively exerting their influence and on which Klout Score ranges they should be increasing their efforts.

“Most importantly, Klout can tell you which topics your audience influences others on, helping you maximize your content efforts to drive consideration for your brand.

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