8 Ways to Build Your Klout

There is a very good chance that you have never heard of Klout. This would be especially true if, like Yasir and I, your primary focus online is doing Internet marketing. When it comes to straight up making money online, Klout is not as important as SEO and social media. That said, it is somewhat important and it is also an indicator of just how successful you are in other things.

So What Is Klout Anyway?

Klout is an effort to try to give everyone a numerical score of just how much clout they have online. How much of an influencer are you in your field? To give you an idea of how Klout works, Stephen Colbert has a score on Klout of 90. By comparison, my score (I admit that I’ve been really negligent about this) is a lowly 41 (just above the average of 40).

Some people actually have multiple scores. Visit Klout and try looking up Jon Stewart for example (He’s the host of The Daily Show). I found that his score ranges from 47 to 91 depending on which version of him is actually looked at. Even Colbert has different versions listed so it’s a bit hard to figure out.

Most of us though will have just one Klout score. You won’t know what it is until you sign up and link every network you’re a member of to Klout though. The more networks you link up, the higher your Klout score will be.

Why Do I Care?

One of the most important reasons to worry about your Klout score is because it’s increasingly being looked at when it comes to getting a job. There are horror stories floating around the web of people who applied for a job, were offered the position and then lost it only because their Klout was too low for the job they applied for.

Increasingly, when there are a great many candidates looking to take a single job and the interviewer is looking for a reason to hire one person over the other, they decide whom to hire based on your Klout.

Now the thing is, Quantum SEO Labs primarily caters to people running their own businesses online or already working for a company and simply purchasing SEO services. So why would our readers care about their own Klout scores? Well, aside from bragging rights, there is one other very good reason to care: it affects your ability to engage in social media connections.

If you want to get the big boys in your particular industry to notice you then it’s important to have a decent Klout score simply because that is one metric by which others will judge you. If your Klout score is in the 70s or 80s, you are much more likely to get additional followers on Twitter, friends on Facebook and likes for your Facebook page. You are also likely to get more visitors to your website because of it.

Oh and did I mention the perks? This is yet another cool feature of Klout – the higher your ranking, the more “perks” you will be offered. In essence, these are freebies from people hoping that you’ll talk about them on your various social media connections. Not a reason in and of itself to worry about a better Klout score but hey, everyone likes to get free stuff once in a while…

Building Your Klout

So, you’ve decided that you need to improve your Klout score. Here’s what you need to do, based on my own research. By the way, this is the same advice I plan to follow myself in order to build up my Klout so that I can bump that average score up to something a little more impressive:

Don’t Post Fluff

Klout doesn’t care so much how often you update your Twitter feed or Facebook status. The important thing as far as they are concerned is how many people you are having an influence on. The more people who seem to be talking about what you’re saying and actively engaging with you, the higher your Klout score is going to be.

Want to know the best way to make this happen? The same advice we always give to folks trying to build their SEO – don’t post fluff. Nobody cares that you were out walking your dog or that you aren’t feeling well today. On the other hand, if you just tried a really expensive wine and it turned out to be pretty bad, that’s useful information which may get people talking and actually gain you some klout.

In general, you want to build up a good quality network of posts which people will actually look forward to seeing. The key however is to do it somewhere that will make a difference as far as Klout is concerned. Unfortunately, it doesn’t check everything. Otherwise, my Disqus activity (I’m an avid user of it) could well help me to build up my Klout score.

Build Your Network

The old adage that if you build a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to your door isn’t quite so true anymore. These days, you need to do more than just build a better mousetrap. You also have to go out and actively tell people that you managed to do so. The best way to do that is to build yourself a network of people around you who will actually care what you have to say.

This goes back to posting good content which people will find useful. However, it’s also important to ensure that you actually engage with others. Unless your name is in fact Stephen Colbert (and Mr. Colbert, if you are reading this, I love your show and hope to be a guest someday), you need to actively talk to people on the social networks.

Check what people are saying and help them with their problems. Post useful ideas and information about your industry on a regular basis and comment on what other people are writing. Is this work? Absolutely it is. However, it’s well worth your while to do so because it will make the difference in building a real social presence, not to mention gaining some additional Klout.

Don’t Try to Game the System

I know all about trying all kinds of tricks to game the system and make it appear as if you are more popular than you actually are. Sorry folks but that simply doesn’t work. This is not a matter of building some kind of automated program which will make it appear as if you have influence when you really don’t have it.

Now I’m not saying that this can’t work in the short run. I’m sure that it is possible to game the system for a time. However, like Google and SEO, your ultimate goal isn’t going to be to gain a short term boost in your Klout score. You want something that will be sustained over a long period of time and that means that you need to build a real profile.

Otherwise, just as with Google when they catch websites which try to game the system, you will feel Klout’s wrath when they dump you down into the single digits.

Engage with Influencers

Another great way to build up your Klout is to actively engage with influencers in your area of interest. What does this mean exactly? Well first of all, it does not mean that you blindly retweet everything they have to say. Instead, you want to actually be thoughtful about things and offer them a reason to respond.

You should also find yourself a large number of people who are influencers in your area and actually engage with them. You may not get the Stephen Colbert of your particular industry but you may get a lesser known influencer to take the time to notice you and actually engage with whatever it is that you have to say.klout influencers

Once you have built that initial set of relationships, getting to the higher levels of the food chain is only a matter of time. You simply need to be consistent about building relationships and maintaining them. Eventually, the next tier of influencers will notice you and engage with you until you are the top dog and everyone is trying to grab your attention instead of the other way around.

Be Sure to Connect All Your Networks

Even if you don’t have many friends or followers on a particular network, every little bit helps. Put in your Tumblr feed, your Instagram feed and more. All of these networks can and will help you to build up your Klout score. By the way, if you are lucky enough to have a Wikipedia page about you, it may be useful to mention that to Klout as well (I can’t find a way to do it so you may need to e-mail them).  This does seem to help build your Klout score up though so it’s important to include it.

Try Using Buffer

This is actually pretty cool. I just found Buffer and I’m already in love. It’s kind of like Hootsuite used to be before they started charging for most of their services. In essence, Buffer allows you to set up lots and lots of content for your social media networks and then have it all shared automatically throughout the day.

In essence, the idea behind Buffer is that you set up lots of tweets, newsfeed and other stuff one time and then stuff gets sent out all through the day without the need to constantly remember to tweet or update.

You can also use the service to send out material you find elsewhere so that if you find a bunch of cool photos online somewhere and you want to share them, you don’t have to create your own content. Ditto for sharing news articles and whatever other content you happen to run across which you think folks who see your feeds and or updates would be interested in seeing.

Ask Lots of Questions

Yet another way to easily build up your Klout score is to ask plenty of questions on Twitter, facebook and more. People enjoy answering questions and telling you what they think (just check out the comments section on Yahoo! News and you’ll see lots of people sharing their opinions, some very graphically and inappropriately but still – you can see people like it).

If you ask the right kinds of questions, especially about things that are currently in the news, not only will you get more people to follow you, like you and retweet you but you’ll also improve your Klout. In essence, by doing this, you show the world that you are someone they should be engaging with and that is what klout is really all about.

Don’t Forget to Make Your Content Readily Available

If you really want to build your klout, make sure that whatever you post online is attributed to you and is easy to share. The more often people retweet you, post a link to you on Facebook or actively engage with you in any other way, the higher your Klout score is going to be. Of course, this is also a great way to increase the number of visitors to your website so it’s pretty much a win-win.

What You Post Is More Important Than How Often You Post

As I noted above, simply sharing fluff is worthless. In fact, if you post constantly but it’s also crap, you’re likely to lose points on Klout rather than gain them. Klout doesn’t just check how often you post. It also wants to know whether anyone cared that you posted something. That’s one of the reasons it’s so devilishly hard to game the system to begin with – because you have to get real people to notice you in addition to simply posting.

Bottom Line

I’m going to work on improving my own Klout score and hope to post an update to this post in a few months with a much improved score. However, I do know it will take time. There are no easy fixes and you should not expect to see your score change overnight (nor will I be expecting it to, even though it would be awesome if it did).

28 thoughts on “8 Ways to Build Your Klout

  1. I recently attended a webinar that was teaching people how important clout is for Google +. The instructors conducted a benchmark test where they tracked the traffic from identical web pages. One page had a high Google + rating while the other had a very low score. I forgot how the rest of the study went, but the results in traffic from the analytics were clearly different.

    1. As I said, Klout should be considered a good measure of how effective your SEO efforts are online.

  2. You did a great job on this post and I was able to learn a lot about building klout and things like that. I am looking forward to your next post you do great work and I am hoping you will keep posting because this was very educational and people need to learn more about this. Great work keep it up and I will make sure to return to your site.

    1. Thank you. So glad you enjoyed it. Could you share with us what specifically you found so useful?

  3. I have not heard of clout other than the actual definition of the word and one of the more prevalent forms of clout, namely, Google +. I wonder how clout scores can actually affect your website traffic. Does it cause Google to rank a page with a high clout score higher on the search engines? I have often wondered this. Or is clout just a way that makes the perception of your site to be more relevant?

    1. It’s still fairly new but it is quickly becoming indispensable as a business tool. It is also very useful as a gauge of how much influence you have on the web (and thus how effective your SEO and SMO efforts are).

  4. This was a very interesting approach and I really like the idea. You have done terrific work here and I look forward to the next time you post something like this. This was very unique and very interesting to say the least. You have done a great job on this post and your other one so please keep posting because I am thrilled to read these and see what you have done.

  5. So if I understand this right, clout (or klout) should be considered a supplemental element of optimization and the generation of web traffic. I do not know exactly how it factors into your search engine ranking; Maybe the spiders and the Google algorithms factor a page’s clout into the overall ranking. The thing I like about the Panda updates is that no one element of SEO can be gamed because a page’s ranking is not based on any one element.

    1. Klout is not something that directly affects SEO. Rather, think of it as kind of a good measure of your influence online and as such, a measure of your SEO efforts.

  6. You did good work on this post, most people don’t think about this and they really should because building klout in the computer online world is just like building a reputation in the real world with co-workers and friends. Thank you for posting this I enjoyed it and will share it with my friends and family. Keep up the good work.

    1. I’m so glad we could be of help to you with this. I believe that Klout is going to be increasingly important and will become a metric for customers trying to gauge whether or not to use you or someone else online.

  7. I have a feeling that people might have misunderstood what you were talking about when you mentioned Klout. This was very interesting and I look forward to passing it on to my friends and see if they understand what he is saying here. Thank you for the information I appreciate the work you have put into this post.

  8. I love how you worded your post here and the way you laid it out step by step even down to the bottom line which was great by the way. I hope that more people will listen to your advice here because you have made it very easy to follow and I’m sure if you followed it right you’d have a great chance at success. I hope you plan to post more about this subject.

    1. I’m glad you liked it. Could you tell us though what specifically you liked? These kinds of generic praise posts are often difficult to tell whether they should be approved because many are spam.

  9. This isn’t at all what I thought it was going to be about but it was still very interesting and I hope that you will post some more of this information. You have done a great job and you can tell that you enjoy what you do and you really know your stuff. You put a lot of time into this and I have to say it really shows.

  10. I had a recent conversation with a colleague about the growing importance of your online personal brand for your career. He was hiring marketers in Europe to lead the digital and social strategy for the European business and told me, “I just hired a marketer because of her high Klout score. Think about that – A marketing executive is making a strategic hire based on a metric that didn’t even exist 4 years ago. I don’t know what to make of klout.

    1. Well, it’s no different from a few years ago when a friend of mine made a hiring decision by checking someone’s Facebook profile. The world is changing rapidly and we have to keep up with it.

  11. Many of us who try to compete in the social media and tech world find ourselves juggling multiple different social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn (not to mention multiple accounts on the same network). Across the board, I heard a large amount of support for Hootsuite, TweetDeck, and Buffer. I’m also seeing some social media analytics companies such as Marketing Cloud (formally Radian6) and HubSpot which provide you with an in-depth analysis of your social media reach, buzz, but what about klout?

    1. Klout is not so much about your social media marketing efforts as it is kind of a report card on your efforts. In essence, by building your Klout, you also are able to see your social media penetration improving.

  12. I am sure this made sense to someone but I am afraid it wasn’t me. Maybe I need to read it again or something but this is going to take a little bit of time for me to go through and make sense of. Thank you for posting this I look forward to the next one you do and what it will be about. Keep up the good work.

    1. Could you be more specific on what you found confusing? I’d love to be able to help you with it.

  13. What is the world coming to when a person’s ability to obtain employment or keep their current job hinges on their klout score? I am quite sure this is disconcerting for persons who come from generations before the advent of the personal computer. Many of those same people who might be afraid of this bold new world don’t even know how to use a computer. There are middle aged persons who don’t know computers and that hurts their chance for employment. Of course, they wouldn’t have a klout score.

  14. Thank you for the information on this I like the fact that you posted it the way that you did because this will make it out to a lot of people in a short amount of time. Keep up the good work I am looking forward to seeing more from you in the near future. You have done great work on this and I know your others will be as well.

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