Get ready to hear a lot more about Klout in the next few months.
What is Klout? In basic terms, Klout measures your online influence and your ability to drive interaction on the web.
My good friend Drew McLellen wrote this excellent overview of Klout, but the power can be summed up in this paragraph:
There are a wealth of tools that count what you do. The number of tweets, how many comments your Facebook status update receives, and the quantity of thumbs up you get on your YouTube videos. But there are very few that allow us to see how the sum total of our interactions are perceived and what actions they inspire.
That’s what Klout does…everything that you do on the web can be summed up with one little number…your Klout score.
Start Paying Attention to Your Klout Score
At the Exact Target conference a few weeks back, I had the pleasure of listening to Matt Thomson from Klout. Sometimes at events I have the terrible habit of multi-tasking during presentations. For this one, I was intently listening.
Matt discussed the future according to Klout, and you know what, I believe him. He gave this example:
When you check in at the Marriott after your long trip, your Klout score is immediately visible to the Marriott employee. While you may not have enough Marriott reward points to make a difference, your Klout score says that you are influential in travel, specifically hotels. You are immediately upgraded to a poolside suite AND you received a complimentary breakfast.
Matt says this is not fantasy. That it is starting to happen now.
Klout for Business & Your Career
Although you may start to see perks within the consumer space, like travel discounts and friendlier service when you call AT&T, businesses will start using Klout for situations like:
- Accepting speakers for an event that have a minimum Klout score.
- Creating a short-list of candidates for a job that have a certain Klout score.
- Invitations to be a guest blogger or published in your trade magazine because you have a higher Klout score.
Making Klout Work for You
First off, make sure you sign into Klout and work your profile by linking your Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other accounts so that Klout can see your full online influence.
Second, Klout can be a very important part of your influencer strategy. For example, if you are working a short list of influencers, you can rank them by Klout and see which topics, related to your business, in which they are influential. Your blog commenting strategy can be dictated, in part, by using the Klout score as an indication of where you should be spending your time.
Finally, you can look at the topics in which you are influential, so see if what Klout sees matches your intentions. If your goal as a business person is to be influential in small business marketing, but Klout doesn’t recognize that in your list of topics, then you have a bit of work to do in that area.
From a content marketing perspective, you can use Klout to tweak your content strategy. Drew gives this great advice on that topic:
You may see yourself as a thought leader but discover that the world sees you as a dabbler or activist. Your Klout score refreshes every day – so you can experiment with different blends of content on the various social media tools to see how your new behaviors are perceived. This allows you to learn and change.
So, for now, own you account and start experimenting. Klout, like other online services, is just a tool, but businesses are starting to pay attention. So should you.