If you’re new to Twitter and haven’t heard of Klout, you will soon. Klout is the gold standard for measuring your influence on Twitter.
But why does everyone talk about Klout like it’s the holy grail of who’s who in the Twitter-verse? Here are a few reasons why Klout is important to Twitter, and why it should be important to you.
Klout uses several measurements to come up with a Klout Score for each and every Twitter user. Looking at things like reach (how far a single one of your tweets potentially travels) and amplification probability (the likelihood of a tweet being amplified – or retweeted – by others), Klout assigns a number between 0 and 100 to represent how influential you are on Twitter.
This number may seem arbitrary, but it’s important for several reasons.
Firstly, Klout is a much better measurement of how “well” you’re doing on Twitter than your follower count. Since follower counts can be faked, or can be full of accounts not interested in what you have to say, using this as a stick against which to measure your Twitter success is not a great strategy. Klout, on the other hand, uses a robust suite of different measurements – which includes engaged follower count – to come to one single Klout Score.
Secondly, Klout is important because it’s social currency. It’s the standard measurement for influence in social media, and as such knowing your Klout score shows that you know a thing or two about tweeting. It might not be perfect, but it’s currently accepted by the mainstream – and, even if you have dreams of being bigger, better and more successful than the mainstream one day, you’ve got to play the game to score big.
Thirdly, focusing on increasing your Klout score legitimately will make you a better tweeter. Klout emphasizes things like getting retweets and using @mentions to engage with your community. So if you change your Twitter strategy to try and increase your score, you will likely end up tweeting more frequently, replying to more users, and sharing more retweetable tweets. Not a bad strategy, at all.
There are several other contenders for influence measurement on Twitter, and they’re not bad. Many people think they’re as good as or possibly better than Klout on some measures. However, Klout is the most talked-about, well-known influence measure out there, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with it so you can join in the conversation.