Aug 31, 2011
Okay, I admit it, I have a love-hate relationship with Klout.
I think it is overly gamified, a bit inaccurate with its measurement, and kind of (totally?) narcissistic but for some reason it has been like a fender bender on the side of the highway and I just can’t look away.
When Facebook and Twitter emerged in the past several years I fought it. I didn’t see the “Business” value so I pushed it aside and deemed its users to be people that couldn’t make friends “Out there.”
First of all, I must (humbly) confess the idiotic nature of “Out there” as I used it. It was an unqualified idea that people on the internet are different than the rest of the world and guess what I learned…Not True! (They are in fact one and the same)
However, even once I came to that realization I still fought certain Social Media outlets. Namely Facebook (which I did recently join) and I continued to attempt to marginalize others. (i.e. Klout, Foursquare)
Since then I have come to the realization that many popular platforms have their place and based upon my goals of networking, sharing, and engaging via social media, it made sense to participate in most if not all of them.
That is why over the past year I have decided not to fight the inevitable when it works. Rather, I’m going to seek the knowledge to understand its place and then figure out how to make it benefit my social media efforts.
Bringing us back to the subject of Klout. When it comes down to it, with hundreds of millions of users in the world of Social Media, there has to be some way to filter and index people. Much like we seek to do “Out There,” we need to better understand how and why we are connected to certain people and then gain more clarity around how the continued relationship may develop. Klout is a good tool for this as it provides some insight into how a person uses social media as well as what their areas of expertise may be.
So, if you are going to use Klout, let’s think about how we can best utilize the tool and make the most out of it. Here are 3 ways I use Klout to engage, continue the dialogue, and build more meaningful relationships.
1. Give +k: Remember the concept of Follow Friday which was designed to share with your network your great weekly discoveries so your friends could decide on new folks to follow. Well for the most part Friday’s have created Spammy looking lists which almost no one uses for the intended purpose. Using Klout +K, I can reach out to 5 people each day and I can craft a unique message and let them know that I value their contribution to my social media experience. It is a great way to engage and it also leaves a lasting impression with those who you gave +k to.
2. Respond when Given +k: Seems easy enough. Send a response, Klout automates if for you if you choose. I suggest taking it one step further and customizing your thank you message. This shows the person that gave it to you that you are paying attention and that you took more than 1 second to acknowledge them. After all we are dealing with real people and real people appreciate a real effort. Try this and see…it really works!
3. Klout List: Create a Klout List or import one via your Twitter List and your listed parties will be notified. The nice thing about the Klout list is they are sorted by Score so “IF” that is important to you, that adds a layer of organization. Ideally the listing gives you another opportunity to engage those who you have added to the list. Just like any sales and/or relationship building activity, touch points are important, and this tool give you another one.
So yes, Klout is not Clout, at least not in all circumstances. However, it is getting to be more and more widely accepted and it does provide some good information (when taken with a grain of salt). With the continued growth of the Klout brand, you may as well use it in a way that will benefit you. Furthermore, if you can just be you, and grow your Klout at the same time then…I believe they call that efficiency.
How do you engage with Klout? Thanks as always for reading and if you feel so inclined, please continue the conversation below.