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What Is Klout and Why Is It So Important?

By November 7, 2011 Social Media

If I’m going to be honest, I have to say that I did not hear or know about Klout and a Klout Score until a few months ago. But after some in depth research and googling, I have come to find that it is a pretty important measurement when it comes to social media! Now maybe I’m in the minority when it comes to not knowing about Klout, but I have to believe that I am not only one who was confused about what it is and what it means. So, what is Klout and what is it so important when it comes to social media? Well I now find myself to be quite knowledgeable about it, so I will tell you!

Lets start off with the basics. Klout is a San Francisco based company that provides social media analytics that measures a user’s influence across their social network. The analysis is done on data taken from social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook and measures the size of a person’s network, the content created, and how other people interact with that content. Klout recently added LinkedIn, Foursquare, YouTube and Google+ data to its algorithm. The scores range from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Klout helps you understand your influence and how to leverage it. Benchmark your success, understand who you influence, and discover who to trust in the topics you care about. Klout uses variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score.

  • True Reach is the size of one’s engaged audience and is based on those of their followers and friends who actively listen and react to messages.
  • The Amplification Probability Score is the likelihood that one’s messages will generate actions (retweets, @messages, likes and comments) and is on a scale of 1 to 100.
  • The Network score indicates how influential one’s audience is.

Klout is the standard for measuring your influence on social media sites like Twitter. For starters, Klout is a much better measurement of how “well” you’re doing on Twitter than your follower count is. Since unfortunately follower counts can be faked or can be full of accounts not interested in what you have to say, using this as a way to measure your Twitter success is not the best idea. Klout, on the other hand, uses a bunch of different measurements, including engaged follower count, to come to one single Klout Score.

Secondly, Klout is important because it’s social currency. It’s the standard measurement for influence in social media, and simply knowing your Klout score shows that you know a thing or two about tweeting.

Thirdly, focusing on increasing your Klout score will actually make you a better tweeter. Klout emphasizes things like getting retweets and using @mentions to engage with your community. So if you change your Twitter strategy to try and increase your score, you will likely end up tweeting more frequently, replying to more users, and sharing more retweetable tweets.

So what is a good Klout score? Well, influence is relative so it depends on your goal and peers. The average Klout Score is not 50. Instead, it is around 20. The Score becomes much more harder to increase as you move up the scale. For instance, it is much harder to move from a 70 to a 75 than from a 20 to a 25. The best way to increase your Score is to consistently create great content that people want to share and respond to.

The higher your Klout Score is, the longer life your tweets have. Klout recently did a study on the impact of a tweet over time, based on a user’s Klout score. Specifically, they wanted to know how many retweets different types of users accumulate and how much time it takes before those retweets are cut in half. Klout measured a week’s worth of retweet data to figure this out. Tweets created by users with a Score under 40 have a longer half-life but a much lower volume of retweets. Those with a Score between 40 and 70 get their messages spread out to the network within minutes, but are not as proficient at having their messages last longer within their network as the highest scoring Klout users. They also noticed a growth curve where online influencers with higher Klout Scores get their messages retweeted by more users, which is not surprising whatsoever.


If you didn’t know about Klout before, I hope this will give you some insight into what it is and why its important. If you’re interested in finding out your own Klout Score go to Klout.com and see how influential you are!




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