Klout makes influence matter… a lot!

by Amber Dermoudy

It’s always a good feeling when you know people pay attention to things you post online. When your friends on Facebook are liking, commenting on and sharing your various memes and anecdotes. And let’s face it, who doesn’t like to get a retweet on Twitter spanned by your unassuming wit?

Sometimes it’s nice to feel that your opinion matters and people listen to you – but does a couple of likes on Facebook mean you have any actual influence?

In today’s article, I would like to discuss the importance and measurability of your social influence using an analytics tools called Klout.

So what is Klout?

Klout is a social media analytics platform. In a nutshell, social media analytics is a research method that the computer and math people use to crunch some numbers out of what people talk about on Twitter or Facebook. Of course, it gets way more complicated than that. But what you need to know about social media analytics is that it systematically measures trends and changes that happen within the social network’s sphere of activity. These trends usually pertain to the most popular issues, people or moods. The information gathered from social media analytics like Klout is used for a huge range of valuable things.

Klout in particular measures your influence in the social media network by letting you know how popular you are within your network on Facebook, Twitter and others like Google Plus. Feels like high school all over again? Not quite. Klout’s definition of influence is your clout within your interests. The way it works basically is that you sign up for free and you identify your areas of interest, whether it’s entertainment, gaming, cooking and so on. Once that’s done, Klout tracks the activity in your network to see how influential you are in those respects.

You will then be issued with a Klout Score, which is determined by three main factors: True Reach, Amplification, and Network.

Your True Reach is our circle of influence. These are your true friends on your Facebook or Twitter profile who read, respond to and/or share what you say or post about. Klout is smart enough to weed out your “generic” friends or those whom you added on Facebook never to talk to again. On the other hand, your Amplification is how big of an impact you make within your True Reach. Do people respond to your posts and share them? Lastly, your Network is how big your circle of influence gets beyond your True Reach. It basically measures how influential the people you influence are.

If any of these factors increase over time, your Klout Score increases proportionally as well. Of course, the actual algorithm gets way more nerdy, but that’s basically how it works.

So in essence, the Klout Score is not just there to boost or shrink your ego – at least that’s not the point of founders, Joe Fernandez and Binh Tran designed it to be.

Different brands and businesses use the Klout Score to keep track of the most influential people – and this is where it gets interesting.

Klout Perks are products or services offered free to the most influential people in any or all the social media networks. These businesses want to use your influence to get insight on how their target market responds to their products. The higher your Klout Score is, the more perks you’re eligible to redeem. These perks can range from discounts on food to getting the latest iPhone for free. If you like the product, you can choose to post about it. If you don’t like it, you can post about it, too. If you don’t feel like saying anything about it, you can keep silent. Regardless of what you do, the brands get insight – without any strings attached. For these businesses, using the social media for growth is the name of the game – it just happens that your influence can be part of it.

Best of all, Klout doesn’t post or publish anything to the advertisers. What all the brands will know is your Klout Score and the nature of your influence. Klout takes privacy very seriously – which makes sense as their business depends on it. There really isn’t anything to lose. Just when you thought being influential was just a bit of fun, , Klout has changes the game entirely.

What experiences have you had using Klout? Care to share your Klout Score with us?

by Amber Dermoudy

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