Klout is basically a social media aggregator that analyzes your activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare and other networks. Klout uses its own mysterious algorithm, to create a score between 1 and 100 for people on the their social media interactions. The company is very hush-hush about the factors that go into creating a Klout score because they don’t want users unfairly manipulating their scores.
Crunching the Numbers
The general guideline is that scores below 30 mean you are barely on the radar, above 30 is reputable and 50 and above is elite. Wired ran a very disturbing story in Spring of 2012 about Sam Fiorella, a marketing executive with 15 years of experience consulting with major companies who was passed over for VP position because his Klout score was only 34. The person who got the job had a clout score of 67. Employers have also posted help wanted ads that include a certain Klout score or above as a job requirement.
What Does it Mean for Marketers?
Being knowledgeable about social media and marketing jobs go hand-in-hand these days. Most marketing jobs require a significant amount of social media experience and knowledge of social media metrics. Now, think about what Klout measures…you got it, your social media sphere of influence. Therefore it is safe to assume that as social media becomes increasingly important to marketing, your personal Klout score will become a bigger factor in your prospective job eligibility. Consider it a definite possibility that you may not get a job that you are perfectly qualified for just because your Klout score isn’t high enough.
The good news is that Klout is only a 3-year-old company and many employers don’t take them all that seriously yet. However, marketing companies are more likely to know about Klout than other types of companies. While you shouldn’t panic and devote every waking moment of your time working on building your Klout score, you don’t want to ignore it either. If you want to stay on the marketing radar long-term, you really need to sign up at Klout.com and start connecting all your social media accounts. You will be surprised when you see how many they factor in like Tumblr, Instagram, etc. Sam Fiorella managed to bump his score from 34 to 72 in approximately six months.
Even though many employers are currently skeptical about how legitimate Klout’s ranking system is, that may change as the company’s reputation grows. Social media experts universally agree that building a significant social media presences takes time and continual effort. The same can be said for increasing your Klout score. As a marketer, you need to be on top of future trends and your Klout score may one day make a big difference in your career prospects.
About the Author: Nolan Karjala works from home, uses a fax online service, and has very little face-to-face contact with his clients. Despite that, he is still conscious of his Klout score and is constantly trying to improve his sphere of influence.