Klout is a online influence measurement website formed back in 2008. The name is derived from the word “clout” meaning “influence” specifically in business or politics. Klout uses a score from 1 to 100 with 100 being the highest social influence. Every Twitter user has an already established Klout score. When you attach other social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Google+, the score is even further affected and a better score.
Klout receive much publicity and usage early on but it has since dropped. It has received some backlash over the years for its algorithms and usage of data. Specifically regarding the algorithms, the score seemed very unstable and many people wanted it to show real-world influence. At a point, Justin Bieber had a higher Klout score than the president.
Later on, Klout introduced its “Klout Perks” which awarded influencers of certain products with a related products. For instance, I, personally, was very influential on the topic of “coffee.” My “perk” which was sponsored by Green Mountain Coffee was to be one of the first to receive a carton of their new iced coffee to be sold in grocery stores. It seemed to gather attention from Marketers.
As recently as last week, Klout finally launched a new design and business concept. The new Klout is attempting to not only measure your score but also help you manage or boost your influence. It has partnered with Bing to bring the newest articles crawled by the search engine before they reach the search results page and allow you to share them with your network of friends. The default for this news feed of sorts are topics you are currently influential for which may seem random. For some reason Klout thinks I am influential on the topics of “Facebook” and my alma matter “Suffolk.”
As for if you should care about your Klout score, my answer is yes and no. I would not worry too much about it. If your Klout score is low, not to worry. Many small businesses that may be just starting or fairly new won’t have a lot of Klout. However, I would check in on it on occasion. My reasoning is to watch your topics. You should be very influential for topics related to your business. If your business is “oranges” and you are considered influential for “apples,” you may want to reexamine what you are posting about.
I would recommend watching Klout over the next year. It is in the process of being acquired by Lithium Technologies whose software helps companies manage their customer experience. No word yet on future plans for Klout but I hope Lithium will add some of their technologies to help make Klout better.