Using Klout To Position Yourself as an Authority Online

by Ivan on March 7, 2011

Klout is to Influence what Google is to search. You can use Klout.com to determine how much influence you have online, how to change your level of influence, and identify other influencers to network with. Like Google, Klout uses a complex algorithm (factors, weights, and criteria) to calculate your Klout. Once you understand this, you can refine your online behavior to adjust your Klout and network more effectively online.

klout-social-media-influence

How Klout Calculates Your Influence

While the exact algorithm is kept secret, Klout.com outlines some of the criteria it uses to calculate your score. Your Klout Score is the measurement of your ‘overall online influence’.

It ranges from 1 to 100. The higher the score, the greater the sphere of influence.

What Social Media networks are used to calculate your Klout?

Klout uses over 35 variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure this including:

  1. True Reach
  2. Amplification Probability
  3. Network Score

It also factors in your Social Media activities on LinkedIn and others networks. See this screenshot to see some of the Social Media networks it uses to calculate my Klout.

klout-hootsuite

Note: you can follow me on Twitter here.

Klout: True Reach

This is the size of your engaged audience. It is based on your followers who actively listen and react to your messages.

Klout: Amplification Score

This is the likelihood that your messages will generate actions, such as retweets, @messages, likes and comments. Scale from 1 to 100.

Klout: Network Score

This indicates how influential your engage audience is. Scale from 1 to 100.

klout-social-media-engagement

Therefore, the Klout score is a combination of:

  • Clicks
  • Comments
  • Retweets

How is Klout Calculated?

According to the site, Klout is the ‘influence is the ability to drive people to action — “action” might be defined as a reply, a retweet, a comment, or a click.’

To calculate your Klout, it does the following:

  • Defines 25+ variables to generate scores for each category.
  • Runs these through its analytics engine.
  • Applies a specific weight to each data point.
  • Runs the factors through its machine-learning analysis.
  • Calculates the Klout Score.

The Klout Score shows how successful you are at engaging your audience and the impact your messages have on others.

Klout: True Reach

This is the size of your ‘engaged audience’. It removes inactive and spam accounts, and only include accounts that you influence. To do this, it calculates the overall influence for each relationship.

Tip: our Facebook page is here.

Klout: 3 Different Types of Reach

True Reach is broken into the following subcategories:

Reach

Are your tweets interesting enough to be shared?

How many have shared your content across Twitter (and other Social Media channels)?

Are you on lists? Are those lists followed?

Demand

How many people do you have to follow to get followers in return?

How often are your follows reciprocated? i.e. they follow back.

Klout Metrics

Next are the metrics they use. These include:

  • @ Mention Count
  • Followed Back %
  • Follower/Follow Ratio
  • Followers
  • Friends
  • List Count
  • List Followers Count
  • Mutual Follows
  • Total Retweets
  • Unique Commenters
  • Unique Likers

Amplification Probability

This is the likelihood that your content will be acted upon, eg shared, retweeted, or commented upon.

‘The ability to create content… that spreads into networks beyond your own is a key component of influence.’

Amplification Ability

This is determined by:

  • Engagement – How diverse is your group of followers? Are you participating in conversations?
  • Velocity – How often are you retweeted? Do different people retweet you or is it the same followers?
  • Activity – Are you tweeting too little or too much? Are your tweets generating new followers, retweets and @ replies?

Factors measured:

Comments Per Post Follower Retweet %

  • Follower Mention %
  • Inbound Messages Per Outbound Message
  • Likes Per Post
  • Unique @ Senders
  • Unique Messages Retweeted
  • Unique Retweeters
  • Update Count

Klout Network Influence

This is the influence level of your engaged audience.

klout-social-media-metrics

Engagement is measured based on actions such as:

  • @messages
  • Comments
  • Follows
  • Likes
  • Lists
  • Retweets

Network Score

This looks at the Klout score of each person who interacts with you. It determines the influence of people who:

  • @ message you
  • Follow your lists
  • Follow you
  • List you
  • Retweet you
  • Other factors measured include:
  • Followed Back %
  • Follower/Follow Ratio
  • Influence of Followers
  • Influence of Friends
  • Influence of Likers and Commenters
  • Influence of Retweeters and Mentioners
  • List inclusions
  • Unique Commenters
  • Unique Likers
  • Unique Retweeters
  • Unique Senders

Will Klout Increase Your Influence Online?

This brings us back to the original topic, using Klout to position your blog as an authority online. How do you do it?

Jason Keath suggests that you listen for pain points and solve them.

Jason Cupp recommends that you add value to a trending topic.

Trey Pennington, in his excellent article Klout is Necessary explains that ‘Klout gives companies something they are immensely comfortable with, readily understand, and can quickly use for decision-making—a two digit number.’

How I Accidentally Raised My Klout from John Hewitt reflects the strategy I’ve adopted. The four steps are:

  1. Unfollow everybody you don’t feel a connection with.
  2. Write more tweets.
  3. Respond to other tweets.
  4. Follow people again BUT be very choosy about who you follow.

In other words, put some structure on the way you use Social Media. I’ve written an article about how I created an action plan for marketing on twitter and many of the principles I’ve used there I also use for increasing my Klout.

That’s it! If you want to raise my Klout  :) please leave a comment below or share this post with your friends. Thanks!

Related Articles:

Ivan Walsh, Internet Business ExpertAbout Ivan Walsh Got a question about running an online business? Contact me on Google Plus, @IvanWalsh, and Facebook

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{ 12 comments }

jakrose March 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Thanks for including a link to my site, but my name is spelled wrong, It is Jason Keath. Thanks.

Ivan Walsh March 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Sorry Jason. Will fix it now!

Sharon March 8, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Ivan, this is an amazing tool, I have never heard of it so your post is very informative and it is on my list of things to do. Just one of the reasons I love scanning key bloggers to help increase my knowledge of what is out there and it is a mindblowing mountain of stuff. Thanks for sharing and it such detail, continues to reinforce my view that we are all students of life and there is just so much to learn every day :)

Ivan Walsh March 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Thanks for the kind words, Sharon.

It’s one of those tools that I ignored for a while but then saw more of the big boys were using it *strategically* I went back to it again.

One thing I like about it – that I didn’t see before – is that it shows me how others interpret my Social Media activity.

For example, it sees me as an Explorer because I retweet others a fair bit… but I should be in the Thought Leader quadrant as this is where (ideally!) I should be.

The question now is to get there :)

PS – Brian Solis is also very good http://www.briansolis.com/2009/11/with-klout-comes-influence-measuring-authority-on-twitter/

Oliver Lawrence March 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm

This is all very well :) , but what actual, practical difference does it make whether or not you have a high Klout score? In other words, do the people who care, matter?

Ivan Walsh March 12, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Hi Oliver,

It depends… one of the problems with Twitter, fro example, is that it’s very hard to tell who’s genuine, successful and well-connected. There is also the problem with fake accounts and spambots.

The advantage that Klout offers is that if companies are looking for SM consultants, as one example, the Klout score is one independent way of telling is this person is ‘trustworthy’. It’s not foolproof but a good indicator is this person has genuine clout.

It’s also early days and this MAY become more important later or it may just be flavor of the month.

For me…. it’s an interesting way to see how others see me, ie the score and metrics dont lie. Using the quadrants is one way to see where youre spending time online and it this needs to change, for example, I retweet too much and should share original posts more often.

Regards,

Ivan

Neil Cocker March 13, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Hi Ivan,

Interesting article, thanks.

I’m surprised at just how regularly it updates your score. I went away for a few days, didn’t tweet anything, then found I’d dropped a point. Seems too “granular” if you ask me. Maybe a weekly or monthly calculation would make more sense.

Anyway, I’m interested to know how you connected it to your LinkedIn, Youtube etc. Can only see the option to connect it to my Facebook.

Cheers!

Neil
@neilcocker
http://www.neilcocker.com

Ivan Walsh March 14, 2011 at 9:48 am

Hi Neil,

I use a Wordpress plugin to randomly posts old tweets 3 times a day – so that keeps my account ‘active’.

.. how you connected it to your LinkedIn, Youtube etc.

There is no way to do this thru the klout site BUT it seems that if you share/post to these accounts, it gets added to your profile (see Hootsuite) and contributes to your overall score.

I’ve started to use Youtube more recently – my account is also called ivanwalsh which may help re: klout recognition – and have seen my klout go up.

So it seems to be factored in.

I assume it’s trying to factor in all Social Media networks so having the same name/brand across sites will help klout to identify who you are and adjust your score accordingly.

Hope that helps.

Oliver Lawrence March 14, 2011 at 11:13 am

Thanks for your comment, Ivan. As a freelance translator, it’s probably not a priority for me at the moment, but I shall bear it in mind :) .

Neil Cocker March 14, 2011 at 12:05 pm

That’s interesting, thanks Ivan. My client does have scheduling, so I could use that if I wanted to have it tweet while I’m away. Not sure I’m that fussed though. More intrigued by its calculation methods/algorithm!

So where would I find the dialog box that shows which networks it’s factoring into my score? I can’t find any such box on my profile.

Thanks!

Ivan Walsh March 14, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Likewise, I don’t spend too much time on it but just keep an eye in case :)

Ivan Walsh March 14, 2011 at 8:42 pm

i use Hootsuite and if you click on your own twitter handle, your profile comes up. Then click the right most tab and you’ll see your details. If you dont see it, let me know and I’ll upload a screenshot.

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