Klout is a bit of a strange bird. It was developed a few years ago as a — well, let’s be honest, the reason it was developed was to make money for its developers. That’s why all these things get developed.
But the idea behind Klout was for it to be an all-in-one assessor of how much online social influence you (or your company, or any entity) have. Instead of just considering how much online “juice” you have based on the reach of your presence on Facebook, or Twitter, or LinkedIn, etc., Klout aggregates all of those platforms (along with Google+, Foursquare, Instagram, Wikipedia, and a few others, including whatever big new social network comes along).
At the end, it determines your “Klout score,” a metric from 1 to 100, much like Rotten Tomatoes has its “Fresh/Rotten” ratings based on a percentage, or Metacritic, which uses a similar 1 to 100 rating.
Interestingly, if you have a Twitter account, you already have a Klout score, regardless of whether you’ve opted-in by registering with Klout. But those who don’t register are purely ranked by Klout’s assessment of their Twitter influence. By registering, you let Klout aggregate information from additional social networks.
According to Klout itself, the average score is around 40. Anything upwards of 60 is considered pretty good. The company also notes that follower numbers are actually the least important metric in determining the score. The highest metric is actually engagement.
How important is it to boost your Klout score? That’s hard to say, but there have been indications that a high score is starting to become more useful. For example, the Bing search engine incorporates experts and authors with high Klout ratings into search results.
With all that in mind, here are a few things you should consider to improve your Klout score:
Be sure your accounts are connected: It doesn’t help to have a bunch of different social media accounts that are independent of each other. All the top platforms make it easy to connect to each other, so be sure that happens. In addition to the networks noted above, Klout now lets you factor in Blogger, WordPress, YouTube, Tumblr, Last.fm, and Flickr. More undoubtedly will be incorporated in the future.
Don’t be shy: Which is to say — engage on your social networks frequently. When you tweet and post a lot, presuming you’re tweeting and posting things of interest and/or usefulness, you’ll get shares, retweets, Facebook Likes, Google pluses, etc. These are some of the most critical aspects of your Klout score. They show that people are enjoying your content and sharing it.
Get chatty: Participating in live blog chats, Google+ Hangouts, and popular discussions on Facebook is a great way to elevate your Klout score. The more you’re interacting with others on the Internet, the more Klout things of your, well, clout.