Understanding Your Klout Score: What Does Klout Measure and What Does a Klout Score Mean?

Written by Robin WildingMarch 24, 2011

So you think you have a lot of social clout? Social clout is a more difficult concept than most people think. The creators of Klout have created an algorithm to determine exactly how much influence someone has over their social networks. The interesting thing about a Klout score is that numbers mean nothing and true influence means everything. You cannot fake a Klout score—so far anyways.

What Does Klout Measure, How and What Does a Klout Score Mean?

Your Klout score measures your sphere of social influence on a scale of 1 to 100, based on 35 variables. Scores are not calculated like grades on as pass or fail basis; someone with a score of 30+ shows expertise while a score of 50+ means leadership and expert status. The variables measure your influence on Facebook and Twitter in three categories: True Reach, Amplification Probability and Network Score. The score calculates how influential you truly are, in correlation to your clicks, comments, interactions, tweets, posts and retweets.

True Reach
True reach is very indicatively named and measures how far your influence truly reaches. This variable is measured by your Facebook and Twitter followers and friends, and by how engaged your audience is. For example true reach eliminates any inactive or nearly inactive accounts and only measures how many accounts are true and interactive. True Reach measures your friends and followers and how likely they are to read your content, react to it and then share it with their crowd. Measured within True Reach are: followers, retweet totals, friends, mutual followers, unique commenters and Likers, follower to follow ratios, mention and list counts, and back followed percentages.

True Reach is calculated on two factors:

  1. Reach – how far is your content spread and how many people are listening to you.
  2. Demand – how many people are you following vs. how many people you follow, and by how often those followers follow you.

Amplification Probability
Amplification Probability means how often your content is reposted or retweeted; or more plainly put how compelling to action your content is. This category measures: uniqueness, likes per post, comment per post, retweet percentage, unique senders, follower´s mentions percentages, inbound messages per outbound content, and how often you update content. Amplification Probability is measured in three subcategories:

  1. Engagement – this metric measures if you are simply disseminating information or engaging in meaningful dialogue.
  2. Velocity – this measures how many different people are re-posting your content and how likely your content is to be reposted.
  3. Activity – this measures the quality of your activity and gauges whether you are posting too much or too little information and if your content posts are effective at earning new followers and engagement.

Network Influence
This metric measures engagement and how effective you are at capturing your audience´s attention and the attention of other influencers. This metric is the hardest one to earn and the most difficult part of a Klout score as it measures the influence of those who influence you, the influence of your followers, and the influence of the people you engage with. This metric measures: list inclusion, unique senders, Commenters and re-posters, influence of followers, influence of Likers and commenters, influence of friends, your mentioners influence, follower/following ratio,  and followed back percentages.

How Can I Improve my Klout Score?

1. Spread your Name - Having influencers with a high Klout score mention you will help boost your score. Easier said than done though. The easiest way is to look up the most influential people (in your vertical) and begin engaging with them. The higher your engagement with these people the more influential you become.

2. Thinning the Crowd - Eliminate the people on your social networks that are dead weight; people who have inactive accounts, carry no Klout, and rarely interact with you. This isn´t cold this is calculated as inactive accounts are pointless anyhow.

3. Have more Followers than Followed - Having more people follow you than you follow will improve your score. If you follow and engage multiple people who in turn follow you, you should then dump those users off of your lists so that you appear more influential.

4. Amplify - Follow the daily trends and talk about it. By re-amplifying current trends with posting or retweeting you will attract larger audiences while staying on top of the trending curves.

5. Create Action - When you encourage others to take action through your own action your score skyrockets.

6. Participate and Ask Questions - Asking questions and participating in earnest forums will help earn you more influence and therefore Klout. Ask and answer genuine questions though as faking it will only have your efforts ignored and your score lowered.

7. Chats - Hosting established and regular chats on Twitter will increase people who @name you and retweet you.

8. Be Thankful - Literally be thankful. The more thank-you notes you send the more you will generate further engaged conversations and connections. Each conversation that derives from a thank-you will boost your score. While this strategy takes time it is effective.

9. Unleash your Personality - You´re fun—hopefully. Let it show. If you have a good personality use it for your content posts and tweets. The more entertaining you are the greater audience you will reach.

10.  Keep it Short - Retweets become long and often go over the allowed 140 characters. If you keep your tweets under 70 characters it is more likely that your name won´t be cut from retweets to save space. Retweets are obviously critical.

11.  Hashtag It - Use hashtags whenever possible as they integrate trending content and therefore boost the virality of your tweets and posts. 

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