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Your Twitter Weekend Homework: Get Your Klout Score

Klout is the industry standard in influence measure, and if you haven’t checked out your Klout score yet, the Labor Day long weekend is the perfect time to do so. Trust me, you’ll need Monday for all of the things you’re going to want to do to make your score go up.

For those of you new to the game, Klout measures influence. It began as just a Twitter measuring tool, but now you can sync all sorts of networks to your Klout score – Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, FourSquare, tumblr and more.

Influence is a way to measure how effective your social networking efforts are. If you have a great deal of influence on Twitter, for instance, you’re likely seeing lots of retweets, engaging in plenty of two-way @mention conversations and you’re being listened to by other influential tweeters.

For marketers and brands, influence is the first step to measuring things like conversions and purchases made through a social media channel.

To get at all of this juicy data, all you have to do is visit Klout.com. Right there in the middle of the page you’ll see a shiny “Sign in with Twitter” button. Click it, and get ready for all of your future time to be devoted to maintaining a respectable Klout score.

If this is your first time getting your Klout score, you’ll be asked to authorize Klout.com to access your Twitter account using oAuth. Just sign in with your Twitter credentials.

Next, you’ll be taken to your Klout Dashboard. Get to know the layout, as I’m sure this is where you’ll obsessively check back into over the next few days as you try to raise your Klout score.

The first thing you’ll probably notice is the giant number on the right-hand side of the page. That’s your Klout score, and it goes up and down based on your actions on Twitter. In that same header box, you’ll see your Twitter profile picture and bio, as well as the invitation to connect other networks to Klout. You will also see a handful of the Twitter accounts you influence most, and the top three topics that Klout has identified as your specialty.

Scroll down, and you’ll get your score analysis. You’ll see a nicely laid-out chart showing you how your score has fluctuated over the past month.

Below that is the breakdown of how your score is calculated. First, there’s network influence, which is the aggregate influence level of the accounts you influence most. After that is amplification probability, which is the likelihood that your content will be retweeted or clicked on. And lastly, true reach is the number of people you influence (not how many follow you, but how many are actually engaging with your content).

See now why Klout is so addictive? I’ve known many people who agonize over a slight dip in their Klout score, and who pinpoint where they went wrong so they can bring it back up.

Klout is a much better measurement of your Twitter success than, say, simply counting the number of followers you have, but it isn’t everything. Check out your Klout score this weekend, and spend a little time seeing where you could use some improvements, but don’t devote so much time to improving it that you no longer actually enjoy using Twitter!

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