Some time between fourth and seventh grades, I grew taller than my mother. One morning, as I was heading off to school, she climbed up and stood on top of the bed, bent over, kissed the top of my head, and said, “You just remember, you may be bigger than I am, but I still have clout!”
I had no idea what clout was, but I got the gist of it: Don’t mess with Mom.
In much the same way, I’m not really sure I understand the point of Klout and Kred and all the other “social media influencer” stats, but I suppose it’s a little like a weird “Who’s Who” of the Internet.
I imagine a couple of So-Me Queen Bees, “doing lunch,” surrounded by yahoos at the Panda Palace, comparing their Klout scores, and getting all huffy over salade niçoise as they scowl at their iPhones, trying to outdo each other in a race towards better Kred by crème brûlée. The waitress, roundly ignored by the Queen Bees, rolls her eyes and spits in their lattes.
That’s how it goes, when you’re trying to outsmart an algorithm – it spits in your latte.
Does it matter what your “social media influencer score” is? Probably – to someone. Who knows – maybe you can trade in Zulilly sidebar ads for Harry Winston if you talk enough about your private jet and refer to your diamonds as your “best buds.”
Why You Should Care About These Scores at All
All kidding aside, let’s say you wrote a book about dinosaurs for young readers. You might want to look for the influencers among mommy and daddy bloggers, or among education professionals. Their reach and influence, if you can interest them in your book, may provide a boost to your message.
If someone’s harassing you or bad-mouthing your brand online, a low score may mean they created a new account just to complain; however, a high score probably means they have an established social media presence and a voice that will be widely heard. I wouldn’t advise ignoring customers whose Klout and Kred scores are non-existent, though. Social media influence isn’t an indicator of who matters most – just how much reach and amplification their voice has online.
Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and Barack Obama have similar Klout scores. Mine is only 20 points below Pope Francis’s.
Odds are good, if you’re reading this, you’re not moving in the sorts of circles that would express awe and admiration over a high Klout or Kred score. It’s probably best not discussed over dinner and drinks in polite company.
How You Can Use Klout in a Non-Krappy Way
We’ve discussed the importance of sharing other people’s work – giving them a boost and giving your followers added value, in a broader selection of informative, entertaining, useful content while you do. Klout has hidden value when it comes to kontent kuration – er, content curation; it unearths and lets you schedule (for free) Twitter and Facebook posts.
Go to Klout.com and register for an account, if you haven’t done so. Complete your profile, connect all of your social media networks and select your areas of expertise (up to 30).
- If you already have a Klout account, log in.
- Click your profile picture or name in the upper left corner.
- Select a topic you’d like to be recognized as an expert in and click Improve:
Alternatively, you can click Explore and choose a topic from My Topics.
- You will see a screen like this:
- Find articles you enjoy, then click Share.
- You can share them immediately:
- Or you can click the Schedule tab and schedule the post for later. Klout will suggest the best times to share, based on when your followers are most active:
- Here’s what a scheduled post looks like:
This makes the process of finding and sharing content that your audience will find interesting and useful, even if it’s not yours – easy, while helping you to build your influence in targeted topics.
This is more important than you may imagine. Search engines get confused, sometimes – particularly when it comes to us creative writers. It thinks Marian Allen is an herb farmer specializing in mushrooms and turtles. It thinks I have special knowledge of Naeglaria Fowleri and neti pots. It never hurts to give it a nudge back in the right direction.
Writer’s Block, or, Gimme a +K!
I feel like I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel, here, for a relevant “K word” for today’s post. The only other thing that was coming to me was “Killin’ It on Social Media” or “KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid,” which is generally sound advice but makes for a really short post.
Do you keep track of your social media influencer scores? What’s your favorite tool for doing that?
Do you keep track of your audience’s social media influencer scores? Do you pay much attention to how many followers they have?
Any thoughts on influencer marketing?