Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Do You Have Klout? An Introduction...

Klout/The Standard For Influence is a cool website which tracks people and entities on social networking sites, analyzing their interactions with and about each other. The more that people respond to someone, the more Klout that someone is considered to have.

Twelve social media sites are tracked: Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Linked In, Four Square, Youtube, Instagram, Tumblr, Blogger, Wordpress, Last.fm, and Flickr. The greater the engagement, the higher the  Klout score. To maintain score levels, posts made must have responses. Being talked about seems to be a plus as well.

Klout tracks a person’s interactions and then assigns an overall score, from 10 to 100, comprised of three separate areas: true reach, amplification and network. The formula for the interaction among the three is unknown.

True Reach is “the number of people you influence both within your immediate network, and across their extended network.”

Amplification is “how much you influence people.”

Network is “the influence of your network.”

People are also classified according to sixteen different style areas: Curator, Broadcaster, Taste Maker, Celebrity, Syndicator, Feeder, Thought Leader, Pundit, Dabbler, Conversationalist, Socializer, Networker, Observer, Explorer, Activist and Specialist. Each has its own associated behaviors. I won’t go into the definitions for each here; the website provides more information. People can  move from one category to another. I was moved from Networker to Specialist.

Topics of influence are assigned to each person who is scored.  Each person can have up to three topics assigned. These are sometimes accurate, but not always. I have several friends who have had questionable topics assigned to them. One lady had football assigned to her for some reason. She said that she never talks about football and is not associated with it in any way. Maybe Klout got their people confused. Another lady was said to be influential about chili. She is a writer, whose work I read regularly. I don’t remember reading anything about chili in her writings. I am said to be influential about music and Texas. I don’t consider myself influential in either area.

People have the opportunity to interact on Klout. They are encouraged to send invitations to others in their network to join. Many with high scores haven’t yet joined. Opportunities are also provided to vote for others as influencers. And, of course, members are encouraged by the website to post one’s Klout score on social media sites.

People are awarded various achievements based on established standards.

Perks are available based on certain criteria. Sometimes one has to have a certain score level to be eligible or a person must have a certain Klout style to be eligible for a particular perk. The perks may include free samples, memberships and opportunities to use a particular product for a term. One perk that I have received is a sample of hair gel.

The impact of a Klout score in the real world is still a question being answered. I know people who are very concerned about their scores; others are unaware that the website exists. Some people think that having one’s Klout score on a resume’ could be a plus for some jobs. As for me, I have enjoyed exploring the site, getting my score and watching how my different activity on the web impacts my scores and categories.

For a more information about Klout scores, I recommend LL Barkat’s article “Five Ways to Increase Your Klout Score Exponentially" at Green Inventions Central.

copyright 2011 by Kathy Robbinshttp://klout.com/home

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