Klout What is it and How to Use it

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

It tuns out, you have Klout, and you probably didn’t even know it.

But, there’s a difference between Klout and clout.

Klout is a relatively new company – along with PeerIndex and Kred – which labels itself the “standard for measuring influence” when it comes to how much influence some brands have via the Internet.

Klout delivers personal and brand analytics which measure online social influence. If you have a public Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Twitter account, then you already have a Klout score.

But, in a column in the Nashville Business Journal, columnist Chris Kenny questions how much integrity should be put into a Klout score.

As the Internet shifts from an all-free, democratic world to a capitalist-driven enterprise world, companies which plow big bucks into the various types of Internet advertising want to know how much bang they’re getting for their advertising buck.

Klout and its peer companies are hoping to cash in on that craving for knowledge.

Kenny reports Klout scrapes data from up to 12 social media platforms, and, based on the amount of action an individual user of social media drives, scores that person’s social influence on a scale of one to 100. The more comments you make, things you like, tweets uttered, plus, of course, re-tweets, which are generated from a piece of content you post is used to measure your true reach, which is the number of people you influence, plus amplification, or how much you influence people, and the network impact, which is the overall influence of the people in your network.

Whew! And you thought you were just communicating with your friends and folks you knew. Klout is constantly following behind you, measuring everything, and scoring and storing away that information for inquisitive marketers to pore over and analyze to see if their marketing strategy is working to its intended full potential.

Kenny also reports in April, Klout partnered with Red Bull, the maker of energy drinks, to launch its new brand page for business. Kenny says the idea is to help brands engage their most influential social networking users – this means directly target individuals which have been pre-selected based on Klout scores.

The Red Bull page prominently features its top 10 and 100 influencers and their posts, and the rewards they can earn with their influence. In order words, the influencers are given “incentives” for their influence.

Kenny reports other brands did the same. The Las Vegas Palms Hotel and Casino launched an influencer reward program in which customers with high Klout scores are eligible to receive an upgrade to a suite or other benefits.

And, Popchips, the company whose television ads featuring Ashton Kutcher ran into some controversy, recently sent out free samples to key influenecers in new markets and allowed these influencers to pick five friends to also receive samples.

So, the little guy does have some clout through Klout. The question is, do all of these folks realize their every move is being recorded, analyzed, and their information is being sold to companies without their knowledge?

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