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5 Valuable Insights Even Klout Haters Can Gain From Klout Scores

by Kristi Hines

There is a major love / hate relationship amongst social media users when it comes to services like Klout that measures a user’s online influence.

So today, I don’t want to necessarily focus on your score, or the fact that the network creates an account for anyone regardless of whether they want it. Instead, I want to take a look at the good points of Klout. Specifically, all of the useful things you can learn from their service.

*Note that you will have to sign in to Klout using your Twitter or Facebook account to access the following areas.

Who is Well Known for a Particular Topic

Do you ever wonder who is popular for a particular topic on social media? If so, then try Klout’s Featured Topics. While some Twitter directories like Twellow and WeFollow allow you to see Twitter users by topic based on what the Twitter user categorized themselves as, Klout allows you to see users who talk about specific topics.

Klout’s topic categorization is not always spot on as some users can be added to a topic just by mentioning it once or twice.

But what is nice is that you don’t have to fully rely on Klout’s rating system. When you click on a topic from the Featured Topics list, you will be shown the Top Influencers based on Klout’s algorithms. I like to switch to the Top +K Recipients. +K is a Klout voting system – other Klout users can give someone a +K if they think that person is influential on a specific topic.

What it breaks down to is this – the top, most popular people on a topic will likely be listed as Top Influencers based on the Klout algorithm. If you want to go beyond the names you’d expect to find as authorities on a topic, then try the Top +K Recipients.

What You are Well Known For

Curious what you talk about the most on social media? Find out by signing in to your own account and going to the Topics section.

Here, you should find the topics that you targeting with your social media campaign near the top.

Since my main focus is social media, blogging, and SEO, the topics listed are on target as are some of the ones below it. But chances are, you will find some “stray” topics based on things you might have written about in the past. For example, my husband, a photographer, had Thor listed under his topics because of a photo he shared with the title “Thor’s Hammer.”

If you see any stray topics that you don’t feel fit your profile, you can always click on the X next to the topic to remove it from your profile. I typically don’t remove any topics that I have received a +K for as those are obviously topics others know me for, but it is up to you.

Who Looks to You as an Authority

Want to know who has voted for you by giving you a +K on a particular topic? You can see recent +K’s on your Topics list, but if you want to see a more detailed view, just go to your Notifications. You can access this by clicking on the Notifications icon in the top left menu bar of your account.

While the history isn’t complete, you may be able to see notifications for the last 70 days worth of activity. Here, you can scroll through to see what users gave you +K on particular topics.

If you see someone you would like to thank in particular, or just share the fact that they gave you a +K, click on the share button next to that particular notification.

Or you can go to their profile, find their Twitter handle, and send them a customized Thank You message. This is a great way to engage with your fans!

Who You Influence on Twitter

Curious who you interact with the most on Twitter? Find out under the Influencer’s section.

Here, you can see the people you influence (probably the people who retweet you the most) and people your influenced by (probably the people you retweet the most). This area might give you an idea of who you need to pay closer attention to on Twitter and other social networks.

What Other Social Networks People Are On

Last, but not least, if you want to expand your network on other networks, Klout is a great place to find out what other social networks people belong to. Anyone who has signed into Klout’s network has the option to add their other social connections to their profiles.

So if you see someone listed anywhere in Klout, check out their Klout profile to find links to their other social networks. And if you want others to be able to easily connect with you, be sure to connect to your other networks including Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Instagram, Tumblr, and others.

Do you use Klout to learn more about other social media users? What stats do you find are important?



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Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and professional blogger who helps develop blog content and lead magnets for businesses.


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  1. January 29, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Klout jumped the shark with their algorithm debacle. Until they make their score more transparent, it’s just a game that they use to sell advertisers on who the most “influential” people are in social media. It’s like Facebook in that way. If you’re not paying for it, you’re the product, not the customer.

  2. Pete Stean says:
    July 22, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I think Klout is improving as they are adding signals from newer social networks to add to the picture. I’m still a bit concerned about +K however – it always seems to me a bit like gaming the system. I suspect it’s primary purpose is to encourage users to get their friends and associates to use Klout. I haven’t had anyone give me +K in weeks (few people I know are actively using Klout) yet my score continues to improve as I engage in the *real* online spaces.

  3. Demian Farnworth says:
    May 30, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Hey Kristi, love your headline and your angle on this post. I’m jealous. 😉

    I’m curious, for those people who hate Klout…they hate it for a very good reason. You can’t really trust the algo behind the influence index.

    Given that, would you trust the metrics that you suggest behind this post…meaning “featured topics,” “who you influence” or even “what you are well known for.”

    That last one is personal, because I’ve been known for blogging, writing and then…teenagers. Not sure where that last one came from.

    The point is if we’re not careful we could be influencing the wrong people. Decent article on the topic:

    I would love your thoughts.

    • Kristi Hines says:
      May 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm

      Hi Demian! In general, I don’t think any third party analytics tool is going to be 100%. But as far as my own personal Twitter and a few others that I have access to, their Klout topics and people you regularly interact with under who you influence and who influences you seemed pretty close to accurate. The numerical score itself is debatable, but the rest is good information to know. 🙂

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