In today’s world of online branding, it’s no longer about pull.
It’s about Klout.
Klout has elevated social media use to a new level–one at which the proof is in the numbers. It measures a user or brand’s online reach and overall influence with analytical software connected to various social media accounts, like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and LinkedIn.
The Klout score, measured on a zero to 100 scale (with an average score of about 20), draws from three areas of concentration: your true reach, your amplification and your network.
Klout defines your true reach as the number of people–legitimate users, not bots and spammers–you influence. It measures your amplification by the degree to which the users who receive your message engage with it through shares and responses. And it determines the strength of your network by measuring the amount of attention the top influencers within your true reach pay to your content.
All the while, the site takes note of the subjects you discuss, ranking their reach. It automatically hones in on the topics and keywords with which you have the greatest degree of influencing power.
And with increased Klout scores come more “perks.” Based in a variety of brand niches and target markets, these perks range from free AXE hair samples to test drives of Chevy cars and program previews on the Fox network. In an offer built to promote his new eBook, Stephen King even granted highly influential Klout users in the literary industry eligibility to score an early copy.
In all of these scenarios, bigger brands and users have taken advantage of the strength of word-of-mouth–friends trusting and telling friends–instead of advertising to promote a product. They’ve exploited the statistic and the Klout mantra that “90% of consumers trust peer recommendations, and only 33% trust ads.”
But big corporations don’t have all the fun. In fact, Klout’s perks can prove especially useful for smaller businesses. Consider the fact that improving your brand’s online presence, and subsequently your Klout score, can lift you further toward the highest ranks of movers and shakers in your business arena. Connecting via highly exclusive and sought-after opportunities helps you improve your networking abilities and your reach. And an increased reach in the realm of social media gives you free and easy leverage over your competitors.
Don’t be disappointed or deterred if you register for Klout and discover an underwhelming score. Instead, work to build it up. Let the site remind you, on a daily basis, of the goals and capabilities of your brand’s online presence. After all, you don’t need to do much more–just communicate.