Monday, May 14, 2012

Klout Scores

Alex Newby, Marketing Intern 

Lady Gaga is at 94, President Capilouto is holding steady at 41, and The Study is ranked at 24. For leaders in Social Media and Networking, Klout scores are the next big thing but what exactly are they and what do they mean for students?

What Klout Is:

Klout is a social media site that tracks users online activity across several social media platforms and converts it into a measurable score between 0-100. Using information about the way you interact with your friends online Klout rates each users level of influence. Re-tweets, re-shares, comments and likes are all types of engagement that count towards your score. In addition to giving you an overall score, Klout also breaks down the information into subcategories.

The Lingo:

True Reach:  Your true reach is the number of people that you influence, both in your personal network and across your friend’s networks. These people are the ones that tend to re-tweet or share something that you posted.

Amplification: If True Reach is the measure of people that you influence, amplification is the measure of how much or how often you influence them. If people often share your content, your amplification score will be higher.

Network: Klout’s network score is an indication of how influential the people in your network are. Are the people in your true reach influential? As a group, do you guys generate a lot of conversations or online activity?  If top influencers respond to what you’ve posted or shared, your network score will go up.

Topics: The topics category shows you what topics you are considered influential about. For example, The Study is influential about Math, Homework and other school related topics. These topics are listed based on how frequently you talk about them using your social media accounts.

Why It’s Important:

Klout can be important for students in any major but is especially important for students pursuing any degree in communications, marketing or journalism.  According to Klout’s website, knowing your Klout score is important because it helps you “understand your influence and how to leverage it. “ With Klout, you are able to “benchmark your success, understand who you influence, and discover who to trust in the topics you care about.” Future employers will be able to look at your Klout score and determine whether or not you have the credibility or reach that you resume says you have. For example, if you’re applying for a Social Media position but don’t actually have the reach or connections online to be successful, you may be passed up for the job. On the other hand, if you’re applying to be the editor of the beauty column, and Klout says your influential about makeup, fashion, and hair, your employer might find that you’re a perfect fit!

How to Improve Your Klout Score:

To improve your Klout score, connect all of the social media accounts that you actually use. Klout is currently compatible with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Wordpress, Last.FM, and Flickr.
If you don’t actually use these accounts, however, don’t bother. Since your Klout score is a measure of your engagement and influence, just having followers or friends on your account won’t raise your score. Klout's creators suggest that the best way to increase your score is "to consistently create great content that people want to share and respond to." My suggestion? Get on and try it out for yourself! Who knows? You could be more influential than you thought!

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