Klout is a tool that measures personal Influence. I am not going to go into a whole lot more detail because my pal Jennifer James wrote an excellent post on that topic and I couldn’t do it as well. There are two other tools in this space as well: Kred (great post about it from Mashable) and Peer Index (great post about it from Digital Business UK) which came along a little later than Klout.
While not as prolific as Klout, Kred’s approach to showing or explaining measurement is a bit more open than Klout. For example, on Kred you are able to see how your actions contribute to your score. However, the problem with Kred is that you only connect to two social networks at this time: Twitter and Facebook, whereas there are twelve platforms with seven additional ones to be added in the near future that Klout connects to. So Klout measures your influence on all your presences not just two.
There are so many great posts on all these measurement tools (like the ones linked above) that I would waste my time trying to do better here. This post is about my own personal Klout (and Kred) experiment.
While I was semi-living in Las Vegas in April (a joke, but spending two weeks there made me feel like it) a friend told me about a great Wired article about Klout in which companies like hotels were granting upgrades based on Klout scores.
I had definitely seen that some companies looking to hire in the social or digital marketing space sometimes had minimum scores requirements, but I had not heard about hotels doing upgrades based on these scores. As a traveler, that piqued my interest! Funnily enough I was sitting in the very hotel (The Palms) mentioned in the Wired article while having that initial conversation with my friend in Vegas!
In the article the reporter mentioned experimenting with Klout to see if he could increase his score. Based on advice from someone at Klout he started tweeting more consistently, selecting specific topics and tweeting at people with higher Klout scores. He went from a score of 31 to 46 during the period of his experiment (which I think lasted several weeks).
In terms of “tweeting at people” with higher Klout scores [on purpose] that is just not something that I am prepared to do [intentionally]. I tweet with people to have conversations and share info, not to gain [or game] influence.
This especially not going to happen with me being an introvert and all! So that was a no go.
The one thing I could control, change and monitor was the frequency of my tweets.
I have said many times that I read over 400 blogs a week. Well, duh. There was a light bulb moment.
I don’t comment on every one, but the least I could do is retweet a chuck of them!
It helps me and it helps others. So I developed a spreadsheet (I am Type-A by the way if you couldn’t guess) with seven days on it and time slots every 30 minutes between 6 am and 10 pm. Then as I did my normal blog reading I used Hootsuite to schedule tweets for a selection of the posts I read. (I still also adhoc tweet as well.)
This is another reason why I wrote “don’t make me think to retweet” because I was getting frustrated with how much work can sometimes be involved with a simple retweet!
I started the experiment on April 28. My Klout score at the time was 48. My Kred score was 738/6.
Today my Klout score is 50 (was 49 until this past Wednesday). And my Kred score is 743/7. As you can see, despite only having two networks (or maybe because it is only two networks) I made larger strides on Kred than Klout.
It was an experiment. I am glad I did it because it made me a better tweeter in terms of promoting all the great posts that other people write and that makes me happy.
Bottom line, that is really what is important, goodwill to others.
That is what influences me.
What about you? What do you think about Klout (or Kred)?
EPILOGUE: Late yesterday I logged into Klout (I try to log in every day to award people +K’s) and my score jumped up to 57! I think it’s a mistake (ssshh, don’t tell Kout) because I was logged in on Friday with a 50! They must have sensed my post…because now the conclusion I drew about the impact of my experiment may not be as solid…