Why Klout is Important (or Not)

As we’ve previously discussed, Klout is the number that shows how influential you are in the social media realm, and is calculated with a complex formula based on three categories – True Reach, Amplification Probability and Network Influence.

But why is Klout important for you?

First, your Klout score can earn you perks depending upon the topics you are influential about and the types of companies currently offering the perks through Klout. One recent perk offered was tickets to see an early screening of Kung Fu Panda 2 for influential moms and dads. Another perk was a $100 credit to buy wine for people who were influential about wine.

Perks are determined by Klout, and Klout will notify you via Twitter or email if you qualify.

It’s not only for the Perks

But more than just receiving perks, your Klout score and the list of topics you influence, is important if you want to work with brands for giveaways, product reviews, as a brand ambassador, etc. Many PR companies and brands prefer to work with Twitter users who have a high level of social media influence, and will check Klout.com before deciding which bloggers they want to work with. Some companies may even target a specific topic and just search for Twitter users who are seen as influential about that topic, instead of focusing on the overall score.

Either way, if you are a blogger who wants to work with brands and/or potentially earn money from the hours spent on Twitter, Klout matters.

Does everyone need to worry about their Klout score?

The short answer is: No.

Some people don’t want to receive perks nor make money from social media, and that’s perfectly understandable. It is important to note, however, that anyone with a Twitter handle has a Klout score, so you might as well take a couple minutes to “claim” your handle.

Plus? You can help your fellow bloggers increase their Klout score each time you engage with them.

Claiming your handle and also linking your Facebook and/or LinkedIn accounts to Klout increases your Klout score. Then, every time you reply, retweet, like, etc. a message that one of your followers sends, it, in turn, helps to increase their Klout score, too.

It’s important to understand the What, How and Why of Klout before deciding to work to increase it (or choose to ignore it). Whether or not you personally value Klout, there’s no denying that it has become a significant metric in the world of social media.

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*This is the second in a multi-post series explaining the ins and outs of this popular social media reach calculation tool and how it relates to bloggers and small business owners.

21 Comments

    • Jessica

      Thank you! I’m glad you found it helpful.

      Reply
    • Jessica

      You’re welcome. Glad it was helpful.

      Reply
  1. Steph

    These are great articles and make sense but I am confused about how Klout chooses what you are influential in. For example, my number one thing is the Pittsburgh Penquins. I have never mentioned them (that I remember!), not a fan, don’t live in the States let alone in Pittsburgh. So how did they decide this is my most influential thing?

    Reply
    • Jessica

      As far as I know the topics are based on what you talk about, how much you talk about it, and who you talk about it with. If you don’t feel that a topic is right for you then you can remove it from your profile.

      Reply
    • admin

      There are definitely some tweaks needed to the algorithm Klout uses. It seems like most people have at least 1 “off the wall” topic. I would think that, over time, your list will correct itself.

      Reply
  2. Chloe

    Klout really confuses me. I knew nothing about it, signed on to Twitter and then learned about it. I looked and my Klout score had miraculously gone form 0-60 in a couple of days. Wowza. Then I started to pay attention to it. I tweeted more, was retweeted, did things that I thought would generate more comments and likes, got more comments and likes and my Klout score decreased. It made no sense to me. How can it go down if your retweets and comments have increased?

    So, for now, I’ve decided to ignore it. Paying attention to it takes a lot of my time and I’m still not exactly sure if I’m blogging for sanity or will ever make any money.

    Anyway, thanks for the post. I’m still very confused by this klout thing.

    chloe

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Did you check out the first post on how the score is calculated?

      I’m not sure why your score would decrease if you were more active online but I would say keep engaging online and don’t worry too much about your daily score.

      Reply
    • admin

      It seems like it takes a bit of time after signing up for your score to steady itself. The up and down may be due to that. Give it several days and see if it becomes more consistent.

      Reply
  3. Allie

    One time I mentioned to someone on Twitter about eating ice cream and now Klout says I am influential on the topic of ice cream. Say what?!

    Reply
    • Jessica

      It is based on conversations you have online and who you have them with. If you missed it I would recommend you check out the first post on this series. You can also remove topics if you don’t feel they are correct for you on klout.com

      Reply
  4. Vanita

    Jessica, really great post. Klout is great for all the reasons you’ve noted above. My Klout score sits prominently on the top of my sidebar.
    Also, for those who mention Klout listing you as influential about topics you don’t usually tweet about, it could be because you’ve been mentioned in tweets with those keywords in them. You can go to your Dashboard to the topics area and uncheck the things you’d prefer you weren’t considered influential about. I sure as heck know I’m not influential about money. LOL

    My only issue with Klout at the moment, is the new change where users can add to another user’s Klout score. This adds a twist where the score can be rigged. So the 60 I worked hard for, that marks me as influential on blogging and social media, may mean something to PR firms today, but once everyone is at 60 or above (due to help from friends or from some new service that will probably pop up soon offering to help raise your Klout Score), my 60 will mean nothing. The bar will be raised and PR firms may no longer look at me. I’m hoping we can all share +K love with Integrity. I enjoy giving +K to those who influence me and I hope others use it for that reason too.

    Reply
  5. Kimberly

    Good post, Jessica! Thanks for clearing up some Klout confusion.

    Reply
  6. Poppy

    While I find it amusing that I am influential about kidney and avocado, I really am not thrilled to be influential about masturbation.

    Reply
  7. Jen {at} take2mommy

    I’m glad you posted about this Klout business. What do you think about the whole “+1” thing, where people can give their friends points to up their Klout score? Also, there’s a Klout widget for your blog that will show your Klout score on your blog. Would you ever install that do you think? (Sorry for all the questions!)

    Reply
    • admin

      It’s interesting because as of right now, Klout is not actually using the +Ks to change a person’s score. Many think it is a traffic boosting maneuver.

      We’re not a fan posting the widget. For one, it slows down your blog’s load time. And two, there are a lot of mixed feelings about Klout in the blogging community.

      Reply
  8. Janice

    Thanks for the info. Lookin’ forward to learning more!

    Reply
  9. Chelsea Slocum

    Thanks for all the great information. I haven’t signed onto Klout yet, but will ASAP!

    Reply
  10. Mama And The City

    Exactly what I thought. At least, it’s clear now.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  11. janie

    Just came across this post via twitter link. I’m getting the hang of klout and recently got a free ebook perk. 🙂

    Reply

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