“Klout Matters” Shows How To Improve Your Social Media Influence

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klout mattersReading Klout Matters: How to Engage Customers, Boost Your Digital Influence–and Raise Your Klout Score for Success by Gina Carr (@GinaCarr) and Terry Brock (@TerryBrock), you get the sense that the social influence platform Klout is on the right track.

I recall many posts praising — or criticizing — the Klout scoring platform.  For example: “Why do I care that Whatshisname has a Klout score of 55?”  Or: “What’s the prize for improving a score?”

This book answers those questions, as well as how the score matters to your business.  Carr is an entrepreneur and speaker, while Brock is an internationally recognized business coach. Both have leveraged their experiences to write a terrific social media guide. I discovered the book at a local bookstore and purchased a copy for this review.

What Matters When We Influence Others

This book’s release is notable, given how much content sharing and search engine results are becoming interwoven. Introduced in 2009, Klout was one of many platforms that relied on Twitter’s data, initially.  That singular source was also a source of criticism.

Some marketers argued that early iterations of the Klout algorithm did not reflect the true influence a person really has.  Other social media critics claimed that Klout scores undermine authentic online communication – promoting socializing by a singular score. In fact, a Business Insider article on Klout’s scoring system noted President Obama scored lower than that of a well-known blogger.

But as more social media platforms were created, Klout has undergone changes to incorporate influence from other platforms, and as a result, users now needed to understand how other platform usages play into their score and business.   The book’s introduction captures the value of that understanding off the bat.

“Business people are expected to have a strong working knowledge of social media and why it’s important … Those who deal with the ideas, thoughts, words, and concepts need to have especially strong skills with various social media platforms.”

The authors address the folly of gaming the system.  Score-building myths such as buying followers are dispelled, noted as a poor reputation-building practice. Instead, Carr and Brock suggest tips that can explain long advocated social media benefits, such as being a thought leader.

“One of the most important skills that any thought leader can develop today is how to learn. You are a person that sends information to others. This helps build your Klout score as more people are attracted to your message.”

Learn the Value of Each Social Media Platform Klout Monitors

Carr and Brock have a crafted flexible guide that ultimately organizes the details.  Chapters offer tips specific to the usual social media suspects – Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Google Plus – as well as the latest social media niche sensations such as Instagram.

There are also little known tips such as linking a Wikipedia page to your Klout profile – although the authors note you need to be “written up in reputable publications online or offline” to make this happen. An easier suggestion nugget may be focusing on Bing integration. Here’s what Carr and Block wrote:

“In an effort to further integrate an offline component of influence, Klout is now counting the number of times a user is searched for on Bing. In order for this to affect your Klout Score, you must add Bing in your settings in Klout and tag articles on Bing that reference you.”

There’s also a tip about adjusting the Klout topics under which your profile appears in the system:

“As there is not a way to say that you are an expert in a certain functional area – such as speaker, author, cyclist – it is wise to select these areas as “topics” you are influential in. While being a speaker does not mean that you are an expert in the business of speaking, it is currently one of the ways that you can let the world know that you are an expert speaker.”

Other useful tips like increasing twitter handle mentions to comments from posts shared on LinkedIn serve applicable ways to best manage your Klout score for the long haul.

The last chapter notes the authors’ wished-for features from Klout.  An aside:  one wish, adding YouTube among connect network selections, did come to pass just before the book’s publication.  Appendices offer additional resources, a reasonable value for new online sites and podcasts that cover social media trends. It also serves well for discovering productivity tools such as Bottlenose, a measurement platform similar to Hootsuite, and Eyejot, a video recording app.

Read this book to gain a better appreciation for Klout and to help organize your social media strategy. As multichannel strategies become more important in analytics and social media measurement, the capability to measure how your business manages across platforms is worth investing time to learn.  Carr and Brock, through an examination of Klout, offer a guide that makes such investments easier.

Read Klout Matters to know what matters in your everyday influence of clients and customers.

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Pierre DeBois Pierre Debois is Associate Book Editor for Small Business Trends. He is the Founder of Zimana, a consultancy providing strategic analysis to small and medium sized businesses that rely on web analytics data. A Gary, Indiana native, Pierre is currently based in Brooklyn. He blogs about marketing, finance, social media, and analytics at Zimana blog.