Klout 101 – Introduction to Klout

Have you ever heard of Klout?

No, not clout, like a strong influence or pull on a situation… Klout – the standard for influence across social media online.

If you haven’t heard of it, you’re in luck! I’m going to write a two-part blog about the analytics tool. Today, I’ll go over the basics of Klout and how it works, and next time we can talk about the controversy surrounding Klout, what it could mean for Millennials in the job hunt in the future, and what it means for businesses and their brands.

Klout accesses information from a bunch of different social media sites that someone is on and analyzes what type of content they are sharing, who they influence, how many people they reach, and basically how significant of a presence they have online. The result of the analysis is the Klout Score, a 1-100 number, the average being around 20.

More are added occasionally, but to date, the sites that can be linked to Klout to measure influence include Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress, Last.fm, and Flickr.

There are a number of factors that are measured to produce one overall Klout score. True Reach, for example, “is the number of people you influence, both within your immediate network and across their extended networks.” Amplification is “how much you influence people.” Network Impact measures the “influence of your network,” or how significant the people are that you interact with online.

Klout also has a cool feature called Topics, which tells you what you are influential about, as well as what your friends are influential about. Shockingly enough, the only thing I’m influential about is Social Media.

My favorite part of Klout, though, is Klout Style.

Depending on your activity on Social Media sites, you are placed somewhere on this grid. I am a Specialist, located in the bottom-right corner where “focused” and “consistent” meet. I guess this description is logical, since the only thing that I’m influential about is Social Media.

The last part of Klout that I’ll discuss is Klout Perks. Klout has partnered with brands to basically give away certain products to people who are influential and interested in those products. For example, if Starbucks had a new drink, they might give some free ones to a person with a high Klout score that is influential in coffee, their thought being that the recipient will tweet something about how great the coffee is, and their followers will buy the new drink.

Those are the basics to Klout and how it works. Now that we’re all on the same page, we can have a great discussion next time about what Klout really means, beyond the numbers. See you then!


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