Should you include your Klout score on your resume? What is considered a good score? How do you increase it? (Will a high score get you free stuff?) Klout's Garth Holsinger gives us the inside line.
With just 45 employees, and $30 million in new funding, Klout is a unique player in the social media landscape.
Klout founder and CEO Joe Fernandez (Klout score at time of publication: 69/100) says, "It's simple -- if you create interesting content that your network interacts with and shares, you will have a high Klout score." Fernandez noted that the average score is about 20. Most consider a score above 30 to be reputable and a score above 50 to be elite.
But people have mixed feelings about Klout scores. For example, an algorithm change in late 2011 left users asking questions.
Klout says the algorithm change affected ratings in the following ways: allowing users to be measured on more than one primary network, filtering out bots and spam, and using a 90-day average instead of a 30-day average to calculate scores. But most scores went down. User feedback included site posts like: "Very unhappy with this change. My score went from 73 down to 53. 20 point drop. I've been working for months to increase my Klout score. Please fix this."
Despite the bumps, Klout's user base continues to increase. The company has assigned scores to more than 100 million people and brands. Klout analyzes 2.7 billion pieces of content and connections per day, receives more than 8 billion API calls per month and has worked with more than 5,000 partners and developers.
So...will future employers check your Klout score? Depending on the company, yes. Klout's Garth Holsinger (current Klout score: 38/100) describes current Klout score use to Questus' Joey Dumont. (1:15)
How do you increase your score? Here's what Garth recommends. See below for additional pointers. (0:45)
What's coming next? Will hotels give you incentives if your Klout score is high? And what if you're big on YouTube, but not on Twitter? (0:53)
Garth says despite initial outcry from users, the algorithm change had some positive results. (0:42)
Want more advice about increasing your Klout score? Mark Schaefer, author of "Return On Influence: The Revolutionary Power of Klout, Social Scoring, and Influence Marketing" gives these pointers:
1. Build a network. The key to increasing a Klout score is similar to finding success on the social web in general: Build a targeted, engaged network of people who would be legitimately interested in you and your content.
2. Create meaningful content. Adopt a strategy to create or aggregate meaningful content that your network loves to share with others. Provide links!
3. Engage. Actively engage with others in a helpful and authentic way. Ask questions, answer questions and create a dialogue with your followers.
4. Don't scheme. Any gaming behaviors that fall outside the basic strategies will eventually catch up to you. For example, specifically targeting conversations with high Klout influencers will probably be more annoying than successful. If you keep focused on your network strategy and your content strategy, you'll succeed.
5. Interact with everyone. Don't be afraid to interact with Klout users with lower scores -- it won’t hurt your own score. In fact, it helps build their score and in turn makes you more of an influencer.
6. Publish. Remember, you don't have to make a movie or be elected to office to have power now. All you need to do is publish. Access to free publishing tools such as blogs, video and Twitter have provided users with an opportunity to have a real voice, so take advantage of these many platforms.
7. Keep at it. Don't be discouraged by your score. It’s more important to just enjoy your social media experience and let the chips fall where they may.