Klout is a website that measures a user’s social media influence across various platforms. Klout defines influence as “the ability to drive action.” The site differentiates influence from activity in that a user can be active on an array of social media platforms but that activity isn’t guaranteed to elicit a response from others. Influence is the ability to drive action, as mentioned earlier, but specifically to drive action in others. Influencers or influential as termed in Paid, Owned & Earned, provide activity and content to encourage an audience to provide a response. Responses are obviously dependent on the social media platform in which the activity emanated but for example, an interesting tweet could result in a like and or retweet which could lead to a follow. The activity caused by the content provided by the original user would be included as a Klout measureable.
Additionally, Klout doesn’t just count the total number of influential impressions a user generates. Impressions (such as likes, retweets, reposts) are quantified depending on the profile of the user who provided the activity. Should the impression come from an individual who is less active on social media sites, his/her activity will be “worth more” than that of an individual who is prone to be more engaged than others. Klout also places a premium on the quantity of activity. Simply having one individual retweet or repost a piece of content several times doesn’t bulk up a Klout score. Authenticity is the key to increasing one’s social influence and the key to authenticity is compelling content that gives users no other choice but to share the content the original user provided.
There are a large variety of social networks that Klout uses to measure and record an influence score. As we learned in previous modules, a transmedia mindset is important when trying to increase one’s influencer score. Providing engaging content on various platforms is an important step to increasing one’s influence. Additionally, the proper usage of transmedia activity ensures that the content from network to network doesn’t remain identical. Recognizing the strengths of each platform that is used and exploiting those strengths to convey content is an effective way to not only set yourself apart as an effective communicator but also as a true influencer. The more platforms that are utilized by a Klout users increases the probability that that individual will reach more people and therefore become an influencer. But, if the content provided on those various and sometimes numerous plaforms isn’t compelling enough to elicit activity, then the point is completely negated. Transmedia when done properly elicits activity. When done improperly, it simply allows content to sit and remain unengaging.
Just like any other brand, a certain level of influence should be seen as very important. Utilizing Klout can lead a sport brand to better understand what content is compelling to its fan base and what isn’t. With the use of Klout, influential organizations can hone their influence with the knowledge they glean from their score. On the flip side, organizations can determine how truly effective their previous social media communications strategies were with a factual measurement of action and not simply activity. As mentioned in the Klout Score Signals section of their webpage, all activity isn’t simply good or effective for the bottom line. Klout seems to be an excellent tool in differentiating the good, the bad and the ineffective.