Should you have Klout?

I’ll try to make this short and to the point. I’m going to talk briefly about something that is either (A) a worthless timewaster or (B) the next big thing.

As always, I’ll put out my disclaimer— I’m not an expert in Klout. I happen to toy with it and, more or less, actively participate. Behind the scenes here at Indies Unlimited, there were discussions as to what, who, how and why of Klout, so here we go.

Klout = Influence and PerksKlout In their words: Klout was founded in 2008 to help you measure and leverage your influence. The theory is that Klout measures your influence online by using data from your social networks, providing you with the ultimate prize, a Klout Score *oohs and ahhs*.

Specifically, the Klout score is updated each morning based on the following parameters:

Twitter: Retweets and Mentions

Facebook: Comments, Wall-posts and Likes

LinkedIn: Comments and Likes

Foursquare: Tips, To-Do’s and Done

Google+: Comments, Reshares and Plus 1’s (+1)

According to the organization, the average Klout score is 20. So, what does that do for you? Who knows! My Klout score now is 44, big deal, right? That’s the problem, No one really knows if it really all means anything or even what type of matrices are used to determine the score. It’s all very secret and proprietary by Klout.

Another feature of Klout is its ability to determine if you are an “Expert” in a particular subject or topic. For example, our fearless leader, Stephen Hise has a Klout score of 47 and is influential in 14 topics including – DUH – Blogging, Amazon Kindle, and Goodreads. Another contributing and talented author here at Indies Unlimited is JD Mader. His score is a whopping 59 and is influential in 15 topics including Fiction, Marketing and Accounting? (I did not know that, is there anything this guy can’t do?) Finally, KD Rush sits with a Klout score of 50 and influential in 8 categories including Authors, Writing, and Blogging. Notice the trend here?

Klout Perks are another feature of the system. They are exclusive products or experiences that you earn based on your influence. I have engaged in a couple of these, I was invited to, but elected not to attend an event here in Miami, that was only open to individuals with a Klout score above 40. So you can begin to see how marketers who give credibility to the Klout score can use it to bring in a very specific, yet diverse crowd.

The final analysis is a big question mark. A while back, I was examining the breakdown of my score and it indicated that I was nearly non-existent on LinkedIn. That didn’t make sense, so I emailed Klout and their response back was that at this time they only monitor “status” updates and “likes.” If you use LinkedIn much, you realize that most interactions occur in groups through discussions. That kind of contribution is never tallied for Klout purposes. They did indicate that they are looking into fixing this in the future.

It looks like Klout is here to stay. As an actual tool, it just depends on who you are and how you use it as to how beneficial it can be. I use it to clean out my Twitter account in conjunction with Tweepi, where I can see the Klout scores associated with each tweep. Other than that, it is an ego booster to watch your score climb as you become more engaged in social media. In the end, don’t hesitate to throw out a +K to your colleagues that you trust and respect, it can’t hurt. But don’t get too hung up on the number or how to improve it just because it’s a score. Do the things you normally would do to create a platform and a following for your writing, and everything else will take care of itself.

www.klout.com

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Jim Devitt is a Contributing Author for Indies Unlimited. The author of the #1 Kindle Bestselling novel, THE CARD, has recently moved on to the second round in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition. For more information, please see the IU bio page or his blog:  http://jimdevitt.blogspot.com/

 

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Author: Jim Devitt

Jim Devitt’s debut YA novel, The Card, hit #1 in three separate categories on the Kindle Bestseller list in early January and was a finalist in the Guys Can Read Indie Author Contest this past summer. Devitt currently lives in Miami, FL with his wife Melissa and their children. Learn more about Jim at his blog and his Amazon author page.

19 thoughts on “Should you have Klout?”

  1. Well said Jim. The primary benefit that I've derived from it is in the form of a shout-out tool. It's just one way to show my respect to people that I admire and keep up with.

    Anyone that has used it for any length of time will know that the 'perks' are, shall we say, mundane. While I have no idea what type of perks are offered on the high end of the scale, I can tell you that the ones that are tossed my way have been little more than coupons. And even these are typically gone very quickly as the perks fill up. That is, the perk is no longer available once a number of people have taken it.

    While Klout is not the only company to offer a social media ranking (Kred is another new one), it does seem to be one of the more popular.

    I firmly agree with you about not obsessing over your score. By the way… my score is currently 54, not 50. 😉

    1. I hate to say this, yet again, but I agree with K.D. I also use it as a shout out, recognition, and sometimes encouragement to people that I follow.

      I don't really don't know what it means…I just use it as an extension of Twitter…though I've often wondered, if I can be at 47 then there must be a whole lot of people at 100…and that would be wrong.

    2. KD, sorry for giving you the shaft on the score, when I pulled you up on my network, it showed 50, today, it shows 54. I agree with you on the shout outs, that's one of the best ways to use it. Thanks for the comments.

      1. No problem Jim. It was actually only 54 for a day. Now it's back to 50, and according to the chart, it never went up…even though it did. It's a good thing I don't obsess over it. 😉

  2. Thanks for your insightful post, Jim. I am repelled by "Klout" for some reason, mostly related to instinct. It reminds me of the popularity contests in high school that I was also repelled by, although I won high scores in that arena. What good did it do, ultimately? Could I take that popularity to the bank? No. I suppose it solidified my self-esteem although at the time, I didn't recognize it.

    Personally, I have determined not to participate in Klout's scorecard, nor will I use it to measure anyone's influence.

    We attract what we are; and I'm taking alternative routes to seeking out others of like kind.

    1. A lot of people feel the same way. Sometimes it does just feel like a beauty contest. As for promoting ourselves and moving our craft forward, I don't think it really helps.

  3. You said it yourself it is a cool way of creating advertising demographics for the companies who created it I expect. i have Klout someone recommended I get it, I havent the faintest clue what the pointof it is and unless it helps sell my books I dont much care. Lol

  4. Great post, Jim. I can't even figure out how to get into my Klout account – there was one in existence before I even knew it. LOL I guess I'll have to check into it. Thanks for all the good info. 🙂

  5. Is that what the Klout "invites" I keep getting from Facebook is all about? Sheesh…I thought it was for a German restaurant or something. I ignore all FB invites where I have to use their apps…so I guess I'll have no klout and still be sitting at the uncool kids table.

    1. I'm with you Elena, I sign in to Klout with my Twitter account. For some reason I feel like it is better that way. There are very few apps on Facebook that I ever engage in.

  6. Great post, Jim. I check it, but I don't think too much of it. It's kind of like a little internet butt-kiss from the electrons. And there is one thing I can't do, but I can't tell you what it is. 😉

  7. Since I have only been on it for three days I am guessing the incredible leap in my score may have been the result of out linkedin love-in and the increase in connections there. I suspect tomorrow will show a drop. I had already concluded that I don't trust there measuring tools so I'm not going to take it seriously either.

  8. I checked out Klout a long time ago at someone's suggestion, but I had forgotten all about it. I just went there to find my score is a whopping 15. I'm supposed to be influential in 2 areas: religion and spirituality, and business. Business? I don't think so. I noticed quite a few of my Facebook friends liked Klout. Thanks for the post, Jim. I had fun for a few minutes. Now I'll probably forget all about it again. Back to the serious things in life. 🙂

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