Gaming Klout!

Klout LogoTools like Klout, PeerIndex, Kred[1], ProSkore and EmpireAvenue have been making noise recently and Kred’s the new social influence tracker on the block. Klout has been around for a while and has gained enough visibility & traction and hence the focus on Klout. All these tools use a series of algorithms to gauge the users influence in the social world. Off late, this is used by HRs during recruitment process and Sales & Marketing professionals during campaigns.

Influence score is similar to having a credit score. Recently at a “Fashion’s Night Out party” at Bal Harbour Shops in Florida guests had to have a Klout score of 40 or higher to gain entry. Samples are given out to users with a good influence score. This article is about understanding what the score comprises of to improve your social score.

Fashion’s Night Out party

Parameters that influence the Klout score to a significant level are captured based on the analysis of Klout for about four months between May and September 2011. One objective of the study was to maintain a consistent Klout score of 30+ for two months. The result of ~250 tweets and study of ~100 twitter handles, gives you some of the parameters that impacted the Klout score. Twitter handle primarily used for this study was _jk82.

Klout:

Klout Influence matrix with notes

Influence matrix with notes

Klout measures the user’s influence across social networks based on the network size, content created, and how others respond to your content. Klout scores ranges from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Klout’s 4×4 influence matrix plots the user’s participation style based on the scores obtained for True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score. To even out errors in calculation, Klout factors the users influence in multiple social media accounts like Foursquare, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, etc.

 

Parameters that have an impact on Klout score

Re-Tweets (RT):

Re-tweets by influential users (good Klout score). Making these influential users to re-tweet you is not easy. So identify this bunch of users who do nothing but re-tweet in exchange for being re-tweeted. Mostly this group tweets quotes so it is easy for you to re-tweet and is less suspicious. Caveat: Do not over do it.

Mentions (@):

Mentions by influential users increase Klout score. Tweet questions that will make your friends reply. Skim through random twitter handles with a decent Klout score (use Trending Now as a starting point) and search for controversial tweets. ‘Reply’ with your disagreement or another controversial tweet, and rest assured you would have your mention.

Unlike Re-tweeting, this one requires some hard work. Influential users know what you are trying to do and do not respond so you will have to do a lot of replies to hit the jackpot. However, Klout does seem to factor in all this effort so it is not a wasted effort. But your participation style might change.

Quality of users Followed

Influence Matrix score

Matrix score

Following active and non-spamming user handle is critical. Tools like Twitoria can help identify inactive users. Install the Klout extension for your web browser and see the influence scores of all the users you follow. Remove users with a very low score, say less than 10. Klout takes into account the influence score of your followers so try and follow more Twitter handles with a score of 80+.

Having a high follower base does not necessarily mean a high score. One can hit a score of 30+ with an average of 50 people following as Klout believes in Quality too and not just quantity.

Following: Followers Ratio

This is not critical but at one point during the study, decreasing the number of users followed to a number below the number of followers gave better spikes to the Klout score. As there are too many parameters involved at any point in time, it is difficult to gauge the effect of this one factor keeping all others constant.

Hash Tags (#):

Hash tags are very important when it comes to “amplification”. Keep a tab on trending topics and re-tweet or comment on tweets to amplify your reach. This is one of the simplest things to do so if required, Google that topic and pick out the best news item or a couple of images and post it with the same hash tag. This will enable other users reading the trend to click on your tweet and even re-tweet.

Links in tweets:

Have a generous list of tweets with links to images, posts, news items, etc. When others click on the links, Klout tracks it. It is good to have a Bit.ly account setup and have the API key supplied to Twitter so you can track the clicks too. Tracked a few twitter handles with fewer than 25 tweets but with links to some video or pic in each tweet and their Klout score was hovering in the range of 15 to 25.

Regular tweets:

Logging in regularly to tweet seems to have an impact on Klout score though minimal. Use tools like Timely.is, Bufferapp.com or Queued.at to schedule tweets. Primary objective is to keep inactivity at bay. These tools can be used to update the status in multiple social networks so if you have classified your user base between social networks like Friends in Facebook, Newsfeeds in Twitter, etc. then this can do wonders to your score. Never hesitate to send thank-you tweets as this increases the engagement score.

Linking multiple accounts:

Linking multiple social media networks is good as it can balance out any error in the calculation of influence. Not tweeting but staying active in another network say Facebook can keep your inactivity at bay as Klout will now search all your linked Social networks to provide the influence score.

Do not go overboard and link all accounts unless you have a good activity going on in each of them. For example, if you are not going to post updates in LinkedIn or YouTube, or there are not too many users looking at your profile, your score can go down. So be wise will linking multiple social media accounts.

Lists:

Create lists with users who have a good influence score or those who tweet interesting stuff and name the list properly. This will make other users follow your list. If you have interesting posts, then others might include you in their lists and more people might start to follow you through those lists. More the lists you are present in, higher the score.

 

Let me know your experiences with Klout if you decided to Game it! I definitely would love to hear how you fared and what more parameters can create that extra bit of difference. Happy fun! and Happy Gaming!


[1] Kred bases influence on community & reach, including 4 years summary of tweets.

Comments
Comment from Raja - October 3, 2011 at 10:59 am

Very well thought out article. Raja.

Comment from _JK - October 9, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Thank you… :)

Trackback from Quora - May 8, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Will G+ develop internal influence metrics or partner with Klout or PeerIndex?…

Given the fact that Google already has its own analytics platform (www.google.com/analytics/) why on earth will Google even think of partnering with firms like Klout and PeerIndex for influence metrics? Their first shot will be to incorporate Social In…

[…] Seriously. Go and opt-out of Klout right now if you haven’t. The score is meaningless, and Klout is easily gamed, like, really easily […]

[…] do. Seriously. Go and opt-out of Klout right now if you haven’t. The score is meaningless, and Klout is easily gamed, like, really easily […]

Comment from cra orga - May 8, 2014 at 4:56 pm

I simply could not go away your site before suggesting that I extremely loved
the usual info an individual provide in your visitors? Is going to be back
incessantly in order to check out new posts