Everyone likes abit of an ego boost right? Well if your into social media then I may have something right up your street. Klout.com is a website which let’s you monitor how influential you are online. You have to log in using your Facebook or Twitter account. You can then add any of your other accounts such as, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Myspace (if anyone still uses that!), Google+ and many more.
Once logged in you get given a score based upon what influence you have on your network. It measures how many times people have liked your status, how many times people have retweeted you etc. From this generates a score from 1-100. Apparently the average score is 20 not 50 as you might think. They also mention that as your score goes up it gets harder to gain extra points, i.e. its easier to get from 20 to 30 than 60 to 70. They also have their equivalent to the Facebook “like” or the Google “+1” called the “K+” this serves the purpose of saying that person has influenced you.
So what’s the point?
Apart from people wanting to boost their ego and get bragging rights over their friends/colleagues in my opinion there are three key uses.
Find out if you are actually an influencer?
Most people who use social media in business use it as a marketing tool to promote their personal brand and/or their company. If you have a good Klout score, it goes to prove that you are doing a good job of influencing people(at least in the eyes of Klout). This may give you the motivation to spend more time developing your social network. You could use this tool to prove to your employer how well you can influence your network (existing and future clients). This could help give you some extra value to the organisation. This may even improve your job security or give you something to discuss in your next pay review meeting.
If your marketing department are very savvy with social media, they may want to use your reach and influence to help with their next campaign. This assumes what they want to say aligns with your personal brand.
Marketers have long realised if they can target the key influencers it is a lot easier to start a trend or to try to start a movement. Klout gives brands a way to identify who these key influencers are. Klout has a system called “Perks”, where it allows brands to give you free stuff with what appears to be no strings attached. They are going to be hoping that you will be telling your network about how great their products are, to help them sell more widgets. It says that the brands do not get your personal information unless they ask for it and you want to give it to them.
Corporations are becoming increasingly savvy about how they use social media. One example a colleague gave me; was that they was upset about being charged for wifi in their hotel room and then again in a meeting room. She tweeted about her views. The hotel chain’s head office picked up on this and before she had checked out it had been credited to her bill.
Another thing that some organisations may do but probably won’t admit to is to rank customers in order of importance. They may prioritize the most influential customers. If they annoy a customer who has a large network they can influence, the organisation might be a little fearful that if they don’t give them great customer service, if that person tweets about it their brand may be negatively affected. On the flip side if the organisation thinks you have low influence you may get a lower priority service. I don’t expect many companies will use Klout solely for this. I am sure they will have other factors important to their business, such as how much they spend per month or how close they are to the end of their contract.
I don’t expect any ones life to change off the back of knowing they Klout score but it may give you something to benchmark yourself again. If you care about your social media presence and influence it may make you review your strategy if you have 1000 twitter followers but no one cares what you tweet about.
On the customer service side of things it well worth tweeting about any positive or negative experiences you have. You never know what companies are listening and you might just get something fixed a bit quicker than you first thought.
From a personal perspective when I initially signed up I was given a score of 17 but when I signed back in again after 48 hours I had shot up to 38. After I got my first score by signing in with my Twitter account I added my LinkedIn and my Facebook which didn’t initially change anything. I can only imagine it takes some time to analyse the data (unless anyone else can explain?) I will be experimenting with Klout to see if my increased network activity has a lot of effect on my score.
Feel free to visit my profile on Klout – http://klout.com/#/theotherhef
Has anyone else had any experience with Klout? Have you received any Klout perks? What have you done to improve your Klout score? How have you improved it by?