I saw an article on Mashable.com the other day whose headline really caught my attention. It read something to the effect of; Las Vegas Hotels to Give Perks Based on Klout.

I had, of course, heard of Klout before, but never really spent much time learning what it was or even finding out where I ranked on the Klout scale. However, after discovering that this thing called Klout was important enough to Las Vegas to offer upgrades on rooms and special access to parties for those with high Klout- I had to find out more.

Right off the bat, let’s answer the most basic question:

What is Klout?

Klout is, in its most basic answer- a numeric measurement of your overall online influence. Influence is measured as the ability to drive people to action. According to Klout.com- The scores range from 0 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Klout uses over 25 variables to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score. The size of the sphere is calculated by measuring True Reach (engaged followers and friends vs. spam bots, dead accounts, etc.). Amplification Probability is the likelihood that messages will generate retweets or spark a conversation. If the user’s engaged followers are highly influential, they’ll have a high Network Score.

You can find out what your Klout score is by punching in http://Klout.com/(yourtwitterusername).  I checked a couple accounts randomly and found that they did not even have a Klout score that registered- so imagine my relief when I checked my own Klout score (NewMediaFluent) and found that I made it on the map! Just barely… my Klout score is 5.  However, this is not at all surprising given the fact that I have not really worked to expand my Twitter base at all. I was actually excited when I dove a little deeper and found that Klout registered me as a “Feeder”.

@NewMediaFluent is a Feeder
Your audience relies on you for a steady flow of information about your industry or topic. Your audience is hooked on your updates and secretly can’t live without them.

You can find definitions of all of the Klout Hierarchy at http://Klout.com, for the purpose of this article I will not bore you with the other definitions. We shall suffice it to say that they range from Celebrity on the high end to Observer on the low end.

Now that we know what Klout is, let’s move to our next point.

How To Raise Your Klout

I often liken Social Media to popularity in high school and Klout has just further proved my anecdotal point- When people who are more popular than you are talk to you on Twitter, your influence goes up. Kinda brings back memories of being seen with the hottie in your school and next thing you know you’re being buzzed about, doesn’t it?

Here are the areas to work on in order to get your Klout score up there.

True Reach– Also known as the size of your engaged audience. The keyword here is engaged. If you follow someone who you have never spoken to, you don’t have many friends in common and you talk about different topics- Klout won’t be counting them.  Communicate with your followers- if they put you on a list, that’s a big one!  True reach looks at: Followers, Friends, Total Retweets, Follower/Follow Ratio, Followed Back %, @ Mention Count, List Count, List Followers Count.

Amplification Probability– The likelihood that your content will be acted upon. This is a measurement of how often your tweets spark a conversation or get retweeted. If you have a fairly broad group of people who communicate with you and pass your tweets on- then you have a high amplification. So be sure to generate content that people will want to respond to and pass along. Engage with your followers more and retweet messages of consequence to encourage retweets of your messages (it’s all social media karma!). Amplification looks at: Unique Retweeters, Unique Messages Retweeted, Follower Retweet %, Unique @ Senders, Follower Mention %, Inbound Messages Per Outbound Message, Update Count.

Network Influence– The influence level of your engaged audience. This is where the popularity metaphor comes full circle. Simply put, if you are able to captivate the attention of Twitter influencers- your klout will definitely benefit from it! Klout looks at the influence and klout scores of people who; @ message you, retweet you, follow you, list you, and the influences of other people on your list. Remember, think of it like the head cheerleader saying “Hello” to you in a crowded room.

Now that you have a little better grasp on what Klout is and how to raise your own Klout score, stop reading this- go out there, and engage some followers!

P.S. Oh, and feel free to retweet this 😉  RT @NewMediaFluent

Andrew Jones
CEO & Founder
New Media Fluent
http://NewMediaFluent.com