How I got a 51 Klout Score Without Really Trying

I have a 51 Klout Score and I’m not really trying. Klout says that most scores are in the 20’s, that if you’re at 30 you are probably decent at social media, and that a score at 50 puts you in the 90th percentile of all scores.

I only have 197 Twitter followers, 80 Facebook friends, and only 119 people have me in their Google+ Circles. There are many days on weekends where I don’t check in anywhere on Foursquare, I don’t have an Instagram account or regularly record wacky YouTube videos. I blog about once a week (I started out at 2x a week, burned through my ideas and have lately been slacking, only putting out a new post once every two weeks for the last little while here). So how is it that my Klout score is as high or higher than quite a few people who spend time every day “working on their Klout score”? I’ll tell you how I’ve had success with Klout:

  1. Cultivate REAL relationships in social media channels. For example though my Facebook account is linked to my Klout account, my Facebook is 100% private. You can’t even see that I exist in their ecosphere unless you’re already a friend of a friend, and I regularly go through my friends list and cull it of people I don’t interact with in real life on a regular basis. I know that Facebook started as sort of an exclusive thing and people collect friends- in fact, a good friend of mine and I just had a conversation about how he’s afraid to unfriend anyone on Facebook- but FB is my one private social network where I can share whatever I want and not censor myself. That being said, I do watch what I say and follow some old, sage advice about the Internet: If you wouldn’t say something out loud in a crowded room, don’t say it online. Or, as Leo Laporte so succinctly put it on his radio show last weekend, when you are online, you’re in public, so you’d better get used to it.
  2. Don’t share just to share; make it something noteworthy. I have to say this is a pet peeve of mine- people that vomit out a stream of Tweets all day to…what purpose, exactly? Do I really need to see your inspirational quotes every 15 minutes? Do you really think I believe that you are sitting there at your PC, waiting to inspire your Twitter followers with inspirational things that someone else said? If I Follow you on Twitter and your first post is an inspirational quote you scraped off some website, you’re getting unfollowed fast. Speaking of which, here’s my list of reasons why I will unfollow you on Twitter:
    1. If you auto- DM me after I sign up
    2. If you follow many more people than follow you
    3. If your Twitter bio reads like an MLM marketing pitch
    4. If you are completely irrelevant to my online persona
    5. If your account is dead (no tweets recently)
    6. If you curse or are offensive
    7. If your Tweets are never personalized and just a stream of links

There are more reasons, but I probably only follow back 5% of the people who follow me; if it’s not relevant to my online persona, who is a guy that is into social media, SEO and marketing, I’m not going to follow you back. This means I get unfollowed a lot, but I don’t think that Klout thinks that Tweep ‘xXX_SexxxyGurrrrl_XXx’ is relevant to me anyway so I don’t sweat it much.

  1. Don’t sweat missing a day or even a week, it doesn’t seem to matter. It’s literally as simple as that. Klout doesn’t work based on how much you Tweet/Like/Circle/Share, it works based on the quality of interactions. If I have 5,000 Twitter followers and only 20 of them Tweeted last week then those are not relevant followers and won’t contribute to an increase in score.
  2. Don’t “work on” your Klout score. Your Klout score is not an end to any means. If you are wasting time trying to game Klout’s algorithm you are wasting time that could go to any one of at least 100 more productive activities. Be natural, be spontaneous, pepper in some personal stuff with your “business persona” and the relevance- and score- will come naturally.
  3. Do interact with Klout a few times a week. Using the site to suggest topics for friends, grant Klout to influencers and of course, Perks- will encourage others to do the same for you. Klout has also recently implemented User surveys where you can directly affect how their algorithm calculates authority- instead of complaining when your Klout score temporarily dips, help ‘em out!

Last of all, don’t take Klout too seriously. Anyone that makes a hiring or firing or business decision based on a Klout score probably isn’t someone you’d enjoy working for, anyway. At the end of the day, it’s one of the first of what will likely be many imperfect systems for gauging and commoditizing digital influence, but it’s what we’ve got and if you actually run a Perk as a publisher, the upside can be substantial.

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