Why Businesses Should Pay Attention to Klout Scores

If you’re one of the thousands of businesses who have started using social media for marketing and promotion, you’ve probably started trying to measure the results of your efforts.

New users just beginning to swim in the social media waters may at least be paying attention to the number of “likes” for their Facebook fan page or their number of followers on Twitter. Sophisticated users you may even be calculating real dollar ROI.

Attempting to combine all of these individual metrics into a consolidated measurement of social media authority is a company called Klout.

Launched in 2008, Klout attempts to quantify your social media influence with a Klout score, taking into account activity on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (and soon Google Plus). In addition to this algorithmically generated number, Klout also lets other users “vote” for your influence with what it calls “+K.”

Initially more of a niche ego-checking tool, Klout has taken off substantially in the last year and was given a significant boost in July when music-streaming service Spotify’s closed U.S. launch was limited to invites—and people with high enough Klout scores.

So why does this matter for businesses?

Here are 3 reasons businesses and organizations should pay attention to Klout scores — both their customers’ and their own:

Reward engaged fans.

With the Involver Klout application, you can limit the content displayed on your company’s Facebook page to visitors with a certain Klout score. Use this gate-keeping to build buzz or reward the socially engaged—but be careful not to alienate your existing fans.

Focus your efforts on influencers.

While it’s important to engage with as many people as possible on Facebook or Twitter, your social media team’s time is limited. Focus their efforts by identifying key influencers. The Hootsuite social media management app, for example, allows you to sort messages based on users’ Klout scores.

Be seen as an influencer.

On the flip side, the higher your company’s Klout score, the more likely others are to engage with you. Let’s say a journalist is using Twitter to find companies like yours. Who will she contact first: you—or your competitor with a higher Klout score?

And it’s easier than ever to see someone’s Klout score in your Twitter stream with browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.

To be sure, Klout has detractors. And like any other scoring system, don’t take the numbers as a final word.

But given the rising clout of Klout, it pays to pay attention to what its influence could mean to your business’s social media efforts.

Your turn to discuss Klout scores

  • Are you paying attention to Klout scores?
  • What other ways are you measuring your social media efforts?
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