Do you track your Klout number? What do you think – is it accurately measuring your engagement?
In case you're new to social media, let me explain Klout. It's a site that measures social media influence. Using an algorithm they don't release to the public, they compare input from your activities on multiple social media platforms and come up with a number that scores your influence on social media.
Sounds good, right? The idea of being able to compare who's credible and truly influential when it comes to a variety of topics, and who's just posing is a great idea on the surface of it.
The problem is that accuracy might be an issue.
A few weeks ago, the people at Klout released a change to their algorithm. It seems there were a number of flaws in their initial scoring metrics. Flaws such as the curious fact that Justin Bieber had a higher Klout score than Barak Obama.
Seriously. I'm not even being political! Using their internal, proprietary metric, a teen heartthrob was rated by Klout as having greater influence than the President off the United States.
Let's think about what that says!
So the folks at Klout reworked the metric to take in input from more sources, as well as to eliminate the "Bieber effect." Again, at face value, it sounds great, right?
But the result has been less than exciting for many people!
I thought I'd try a little experiment to see just how much my engagement on different social media platforms affected my Klout score. I disconnected all of my social media platforms except for Twitter. And I waited 24 hours to see just how my score would change.
Except it didn't. My "influence," according to Klout, didn't change at all when I was engaging people on 1 platform versus multiple platforms.
So I reconnected my Facebook fan page – the very same fan page I had disconnected a day earlier.
And my score rose by 1.81 points!
That kind of score change doesn't make much sense to me, how about you?
On one hand, it would be nice to write off Klout if its metrics seem that arbitrary. If you've followed me for any length of time, you know I'm a huge believer in the reality that true engagement will bring followers, fans, and customers, and while having a high score is nice, those are the numbers that grow a business!
But…not everyone is ready to do that. In fact, there are even companies that are using Klout scores as a form of screening people prior to hiring them. Low Klout scores actually have prevented people from getting hired!
So – I may not like the apparent disconnect between Klout scores and real engagement but as the old saying goes, when in Rome, you've gotta do what the Romans do, right?
The secret then, is to find a way to practice real engagement that also boosts your score with Klout's algorithm. And here's how:
5 Tips For Great Engagement (That Might Even Boost Your Klout Score!)
1. Start Conversations via Facebook
Comment and respond to comments in Facebook (+engagement) and tag people in the process (+influence). Being tagged and mentioned in posts suggests people are directly engaging with you, which can raise your Klout score.
2. Reply to Mentions (Twitter)
I take time each day (throughout the day) to reply to people who have tweeted or retweeted me. And as I believe strongly in acknowledging my followers time in tweeting and/or retweeting me. For one, it's just good manners (engagement) but it also signals Klout that you're directly engaged with your audience, which can raise your Klout score.
3. Quality Over Quantity (Facebook, Twitter)
Numbers of followers and friends matter (influence). Actually interacting with them matters more (engagement).
4. Ask Customers for Recommendations (LinkedIn)
Do you have happy customers? Ask them to leave you a recommendation on LinkedIn! (influence and engagement). Recommendations from others strength the contribution that LinkedIn makes to your Klout score.
5. Ask for +1's on Google+
Don't forget a call to action on your posts on Google (engagement). Even the simplest form of engagement, asking people who like your post to +1 it (influence), signals Klout that your influence is increasing, possibly leading to an increase in your Klout score.
There you have it – 5 ways to practice great engagement that have the added bonus of being ways to improve your Klout score as well.
Which of these will you put into practice today? Did any surprise you? Leave a comment below – I'd love to hear from you!