If you are new to the world of Social Media marketing, you may ask yourself, why am I focusing so much attention and effort to build up my presence online and how do I know if it is paying off? One tool that has gained prominence in the circle of Social Media marketers and influencers is Klout, an online aggregator of your influence in your Social Media networks.
Webmaster’s Note: This is a Guest post by Daniel Day of Onerightclick.com
What is Klout?
Klout is an online tool for measuring your or your company’s influence in Social Media circles. The Klout score is calculated using a proprietary algorithm based on several different factors, such as the True Reach of your social network, your Network Impact and your Amplification. Recently, Klout changed its scoring algorithm to add more weight to your Amplification, basically a measure of how engaged and motivated your followers on various social media outlets are. Amplification is extremely important to more accurately measure the true influence you are having on your network. Having many followers who aren’t engaged or excited about the content you are posting doesn’t really have much use. Klout can be a useful tool for the burgeoning Social Media marketer, and because the score is updated daily, you can see how your efforts from the previous several days have affected your presence online.
I personally use Klout kind of as a bellwether to see if I am spending my time online wisely, if I am making the right connections and to make sure that I am engaging my audience effectively. I also understand that my Klout score may be used as a lens through which I may be viewed by my peers, clients or employers.
According to Klout, your score is based on three factors:
- True Reach: How many people you influence
- Amplification: How much you influence them
- Network Impact: The influence of your network
Some Social Media marketers swear by Klout as a means of vetting one’s influence online. Some marketers mention that if your Klout score is not above 50, you do not matter online. Don’t let this discourage you though. The world of Social Media is huge and it is getting bigger everyday. Use your score as a type of benchmark to see where you stand online.
With Social Media becoming a ubiquitous part of our daily lives, it may be important to have a single clearinghouse that helps to interpret influence and trustworthiness of the people you interact with online.
Of course the Klout score is not infallible. Many influential Social Media marketers have sworn off Klout and have actually searched for ways to disable their score availability online. Once you delve deeper into the world of marketing, you will find that there are many other more useful and sophisticated metrics available for you to gauge the effectiveness of your efforts. I think that the best way to use your own score and the score of others is with a grain of salt. You can use it as a sort of vetting tool to have an idea of the influence of the people you are interacting with through Social Media. There are many more traditional marketers who are new to creating campaigns online.
Should You Rely on Klout?
Being a successful Social Media marketer is about learning to effectively use tools at your disposal. No one tool or metric can be the basis for Social Media efforts. Integrating tools such as your Klout score can only show you a small part of your effectiveness. Every tool that you spend time using should have some usefulness to measure the effectiveness of your online efforts.
For small businesses and start-up initiatives, it is vitally important to have some measure by which you can gauge your Social Media efforts. Using Social Media marketing can be an cost effective alternative to other more traditional forms of marketing as well as more expensive outlets such as paid Internet advertising.
I personally use other tools such as Google Analytics, Webmaster to measure my traffic and sources and use Sprout Social to manage all of my Social Media campaigns. TunkRank is also one of the great ways to measure Twitter influence. Another useful tool that Klout offers is a dedicated plugin for web browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox that display scores next to Twitter usernames.