What Does ‘Klout’ Really Mean?

“The Klout Score measures influence based on your ability to drive action. Every time you create content or engage you influence others. The Klout Score uses data from social networks in order to measure:

True Reach: How many people you influence
Amplification: How much you influence them
Network Impact: The influence of your network

An interesting story that i stumbled across one evening was that of Sam Fiorella. He had been recruited for a position at a well regarded marketing agency in Toronto. He had over 15 years of experience working with the likes of Ford, AOL and Kraft but there was one question that stumped him during his interview. He was asked for his Klout score, Fiorella pondered on this question and shortly after confessed to having no idea what a Klout score actually was.

The interviewer went on to show him what Klout was. They eventually came to find out Fiorella’s score, as it turned out his influence throughout his network was 34. The interview was cut short, Fiorella was eliminated as a candidate and lost out too someone else who was packing a Klout score of 67.

Much as Google’s search engine attempts to rank the relevance of every web page, Klout—a three-year-old startup based in San Francisco—is on a mission to rank the influence of every person online. Its algorithms comb through social media data: If you have a public account with Twitter, which makes updates available for anyone to read, you have a Klout score, whether you know it or not. You can supplement that score by letting Klout link to harder-to-access accounts, like those on Google+, Facebook, or LinkedIn. The scores are calculated using variables that can include number of followers, frequency of updates, the Klout scores of your friends and followers, and the number of likes, retweets, and shares that your updates receive. High-scoring Klout users can qualify for Klout Perks, free goodies from companies hoping to garner some influential praise.

But even if you have no idea what your Klout score is, there’s a chance that it’s already affecting your life. At the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas last summer, clerks looked up guests’ Klout scores as they checked in. Some high scorers received instant room upgrades, sometimes without even being told why. According to Greg Cannon, the Palms’ former director of e-commerce, the initiative stirred up tremendous online buzz. He says that before its Klout experiment, the Palms had only the 17th-largest social-networking following among Las Vegas-based hotel-casinos. Afterward, it jumped up to third on Facebook and has one of the highest Klout scores among its peers.

Klout is starting to infiltrate more and more of our everyday transactions. In February, the enterprise-software monolith Salesforce.com introduced a service that lets companies monitor the Klout scores of customers who tweet compliments and complaints; those with the highest scores will presumably get swifter, friendlier attention from customer service reps. In March, luxury shopping site Gilt Groupe began offering discounts proportional to a customer’s Klout score.

Here’s some high flying klout scores, who would have ‘belibed’ that Justin Bieber would have hit the perfect 100?

We like the idea of seeing how influential a person is when talking to them and that is why we have included Klout within Social Churn. You may be asking ‘why’? Well lets take for instance you find a good comment about your business, this is all very well and good but what if you could take the same tact as the hotel in Las Vegas? Be able to see an indication of how influential that person is and then cater to their needs. In return they may tweet/ comment about your service or business and the circle continues.

We’d love to know what you think of Klout? Our highest score in the office is 55, can you top that? Do you think it’s worthwhile or a load of hot air? Let us know via tweet