12 Most Important Reasons to Love Klout

12 Most Important Reasons to Love Klout

Many people hate Klout. Scratch that. Many people LOATHE Klout.

And for good reason. The company that purports to measure your level of influence draws howls of indignation at the very idea of being rated in a public way, let alone represent “The Standard for Influence.” Klout’s PR miscues and well-publicized examples of people gaming this social scoring system just add fuel to the fire.

But after studying this emerging social influence trend for more than a year to research my new book Return On Influence, I’m convinced they are on to something. Here are 12 reasons to take a second look at Klout and “social scoring”:

1. It does measure SOMETHING

Klout is not the measure of all influence and never will be. But it does measure one small thing, and increasingly well: Can a person create and share content that moves through their network… and beyond. This is called “buzz.” And brands love buzz.

2. At least you know about it

Look, there are thousands of companies doing something similar to what Klout does. Google, Facebook and hundreds of advertising and PR agencies are assigning you a secret number based on your ability to create buzz. Klout is the only one openly admitting they are doing it!

3. And they reward you for it

Why not cash in on your ability to create buzz in your network? Klout influencers are receiving some pretty cool stuff like gift cards, hotel upgrades, consumer electronics, and trips. Why not cash in?

4. You can actually become more influential

One of the guys I interviewed for the book “gamed” Klout and increased his score by 30 points in 45 days. But in the process, he started a blog, aggressively created a relevant online network, and made an effort to engage with them. He admitted that “gaming” Klout actually made him more influential!

5. Brands are all over it

If you’re a professional marketer, you need to understand and embrace this social influence trend. Power and influence are radically different in the online world. Understanding Klout can give you some insight into these differences.

6. It may help you get a job

I’m not kidding. Klout scores are absolutely being used in HR as an indicator of an ability to engage through social media.

7. Klout can help you find your brand advocates

Maybe the world expert on your product is a 15-year-old boy in Evanville, IN. Until now, how would you ever know?

8. Innovative product research

Through Klout’s “Perk” program, brands can observe online reactions to product samples, but there’s a twist. The samples are being distributed by influencers, not a company. An interesting new opportunity for product research.

9. Drive business results

Nearly 90 percent of the companies doing marketing programs through Klout come back for more. Why? They are getting results. My new book has dozens of examples of companies driving business results by integrating social influence initiatives.

10. It’s cost-effective

Experienced marketers using Klout reward programs say that in terms of traditional measures like “cost per impression,” it compares favorably to paid advertising.

11. It’s hyper-local

Increasingly, companies are using Klout scores to find the buzz-makers in specific regions. Would it help your business to know who is most passionate about food in Philadelphia or fitness trends in Toronto?

12. It’s your time to shine

The social web has transformed this notion of “influence.” To carve out your niche on the web today, it doesn’t matter what you look like, if you went to college, or how much money your parents have. The only thing that matters is your passion, your words, and how you share that with the world. You don’t have to be elected to office or be a movie star to be recognized for your influence. This is OUR time. This is YOUR time.

Now, what are you going to do about it?

Featured image courtesy of qthomasbower licensed via Creative Commons.

Mark Schaefer


Mark W. Schaefer is a globally-recognized blogger, educator, business consultant, and author who blogs at {grow} — one of the top marketing blogs of the world. Mark has worked in global sales, PR, and marketing positions for nearly 30 years and now provides consulting services as Executive Director of U.S.-based Schaefer Marketing Solutions. His clients include both start-ups and global brands such as Cisco, Johnson & Johnson, and the UK government. He has advanced degrees in marketing and organizational development and holds seven patents. Mark is a faculty member of the graduate studies program at Rutgers University and is also the founder of Social Slam, a national social media event that takes place each April. He is the author of Return On Influence and The Tao of Twitter. In 2012, he was named by Forbes magazine as one of the Top 50 social media “power influencers” of the world.

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