Klout Score: Measuring Your Social Media Influence
7 Tips To Help You Increase Your Klout Score TODAY!
This article is all about measuring your social media influence with Klout. Not familiar with Klout.com? If you are a corporate professional or make your living online, managing your social reach in the digital world may very well determine your success or failure. It all starts with sharing great content (thought leadership), not simply being a social butterfly. Great content is just the start. There are 6 more tips you can use to boost your K score, so read on.
If you are an online marketer of any kind (that means you use organic or paid search to reach your intended audience), no doubt you have felt the pinch from the search engines. Let's face it, if you're not paying to play, the search engines want you gone. Since 2011, both Google and Bing have quadrupled their effort to snuff out internet spam. If you're not Wikipedia, Amazon, eBay or one of the other trusted giants, good luck getting your webpage on page one of search.
Let's explore why.
SEO is dead. Long live SEO!
It didn't take online marketers long to figure out how to exploit the programmatic rules put in place by Google, Bing and Yahoo to achieve page one rankings. The massive onslaught of internet spam caused the search engine (SE) giants to wage a jihad on web spammers. To bat down the problem, all the SE's had to do was change the rules. And so they did.
Once the staple of good SEO, highly optimized keyword backlinks became target number one. Any website with massive volumes of obviously phony backlinks was easy prey. Networks of websites created for the sole purpose of gaming the system were the next target, followed by over optimized pages.
Let's face it, you'd have to be a true SEO ninja to navigate (and fool) the complex rules governing organic search rankings in 2013 and beyond.
What's Your Klout?
Have you claimed and setup your Klout account?
Welcome to the World of Social Media Influence
The universal solution to the world-wide web spam problem driven by a backlink scoring algorithm is social media influence. Not familiar with the term? It's muddy at best, and it means different things to different people. Here's a quote from MaximizeSocialBusiness.com that I think hits the mark:
Influence in social media is not only based on numbers that measure a network’s range and the resonance of a message, but also, and most importantly, on individuals who inspire confidence and who can engage through the relevance and value of their interventions. However, this aspect of influence cannot be measured with algorithms, as complex as they are.— Raymond Morin
Monitoring and measuring online conversations lets people learn more about a brand's or individual's overall visibility on social sites. Through measurement tools you can see the impact of marketing campaigns, identify opportunities for engagement, and monitor competitors.
Measurement data also offers valuable information about emerging trends, specifically when people talk about various topics, brands, people or products. It is this very aspect of social site data collection that the search engines use to help them determine the relevance of a web page to a specific search.
Think about it, if 50 people have engaged a blogger with comments on a recent blog post about green energy, isn't it a more likely candidate for top search results than a stale web page on the same topic with no interaction? This is exactly why collecting and measuring this data is so critical to the SEs.
Who is Measuring Online Influence, and WHY?
Obviously Google and Bing are interested in measuring social influence. Both SEs have adjusted their ranking algorithms to account for the social factors, called social scoring, but they're not the only ones.
Klout.com was the first company to spring up with the goal of developing a social scoring system. Since their inception in 2008, more than a half dozen competitors have sprung up, including PeerIndex, Kred, Social Mention, Crowdbooster, TwentyFeet and Sprout Social, to name just a few.
Klout says that:
Influence is the ability to drive action. When you share something on social media or in real life and people respond, that's influence. The more influential you are, the higher your Klout Score.— Klout.com
What Klout is essentially saying here is that the more people who Like what you put on your Facebook wall, re-tweet your Twitter tweets and +1 your Google Plus posts, the higher your Klout score will go. It has nothing to do with how much you post, and has everything to do with how much people respond to what you post. This mimics real world influence, because the most influential people in the world get people to take action.
Take Oprah Winfrey as an example. When she recommends a book, people head out to their local bookstore by the thousands to buy it. Talk about online influence... Oprah has it!
Knowing who the movers and shaker are online is critical to all businesses, large and small. And that's why there are so many companies monitoring and measuring what you say and who responds.
Learn more about it...
Will Your Score Get You Hired?
Still dubious about the value of your "K Score?" In 2012, Jeanne Meister published an article in Forbes detailing how companies are using your score to make hiring decisions. In other words, employers want employees that can influence buyers, business associates and other relationships.
Forward-thinking companies and employers recognize that social media is the platform of the future. Whether or not you work in an industry where building your online influence matters (i.e. public relations, marketing or sales), over the next decade you will be hired and promoted based upon your reputation capital.— Jeanne Meister
Want a Better K Score?
Are you interested in improving your score?
7 Easy Ways to Increase Your Klout Score
Here are seven ways that you can start improving your K score today:
1. Create and publish content that's worth sharing.
2. Connect more networks.
3. Start an online conversation.
4. Engage influencers in your niche.
5. Start your own community.
6. Post your content when your audience is online.
7. Be generous!
Create Content Worth Sharing
Content is King!
How many times have you read "Content is King?" Personally, I'm sick and tired of it, but it's a good reminder that when trying to boost your value online, you must publish good content.
- Make it fun or funny.
- Make it memorable.
- Make it educational.
- Make it easy to share.
Good content has legs. As long as you're not hiding it, It will wander all over the internet with little effort by you.
Connect More Networks
... and other content you've authored.
Contrary to popular belief, the world does not revolve around Facebook. I recommend joining as many social media sites as you can that will allow you to spread the word about your content and interact with like-minded people. My preferences are Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus.
While you're at it, check your Google Authorship on all of the sites where you publish, including Squidoo. Make sure you're getting credit for the pages you create and your social media sites. Google monitors way more than Klout, so get everything connected. My Google Authorship is the New SEO lens will show you how.
Start a Conversation
And engage your influencers in your niche.
When's the last time you asked a question on Twitter or G+ to elicit a reply from your audience? How about with a specific individual? Let me tell you, if you're not making it a regular practice, you should. It works wonders. I directly engage my influencers and their influencers to drive conversation. More often than not I get a response.
When you engage someone once you get noticed. Engage them multiple times and you build report and trust. Twitter and G+ are the best platforms for engagement. Facebook flat out shuts you down with a stern "We don't think you really know this person." Whatever, Zuckerberg.
Start Your Own Community
In the 1990's I witnessed how conversations on automotive forums drove buying habits. When I decided to start my first e-commerce business in 1997 it was no accident that I built my own community to complement my line of products. In less than 7 years the community became a 70,000 member powerhouse.
You can do the same thing with the push of a few buttons by creating your own community page on G+ Make it a place where people come to engage in conversation and freely exchange ideas guided by the leadership of your unique content. I promise, you'll be amazed.
Post Content When Your Audience is Online
Just because you're a nite owl or an early bird doesn't mean your readership is. You need to post your status updates when your audience is most likely to see them. When you do this you are far more likely to get a response.
If that does not work for you, plan ahead and use a scheduling tool to post for you at the appropriate time.
It should go without saying that generosity begets generosity. So, if you want more people to share and comment on your content, share and comment on more of other people's content.
Unfortunately this seems counter intuitive to many people. I guess some people feel that if they post a tweet to share another person's good article it will divert them away from their content. My experience is the complete opposite.
Years ago I had a potential customer call and ask about a specific product. I told him that I didn't carry it, but I would happily give him the number of a seller that did. He was so taken by the fact that I would send him to a competitor to get what he wanted that he ignored the name and number I gave him and asked me my for my recommendation. That's the power of sharing and being generous.
I'm generous in my giving of +1's, Likes, re-tweets, and +Ks. Particularly +Ks. Klout only allows you 10 per day and I try my hardest to use them all. Each time I give a +K I tweet about it to make sure it gets noticed. That, in turn, brings more conversation. See how that works?
I don't get 100% reciprocation on my generosity, but I get a lot. Do it without any expectations and see what happens.
Klout for Squidoo Lensmasters
About now you might be asking yourself what a Klout score has to do with your Squidoo Lenses. The answer, my friend, is "plenty!"
Your K score is a valuable tool that can help you visualize your progress. It's not enough that you created a brilliant lens. It's not going to promote itself. You have to do that. You have to put it out to your social media network and get people to engage in conversation, and hopefully share it with their network. Klout helps you to see how well you're doing.
When you fall off the wagon, and stop engaging your network, Klout will show you that, too. From experience, I can tell you that not long after your K score starts to drop, your search engine results will plummet, as well.