Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday Tools: The Secret to Gaining Klout

It's been awhile since I talked about Klout. To summarize, I'm no longer an Explorer, up until last week I was a Conversationalist, now I'm a Networker. How did I do it? (I had a baby, and I post lots of photos of my cat.) Read on for my secrets!

First a quick review of the three Klout Styles:
  • Explorer: "You actively engage in the social web, constantly trying out new ways to interact and network. You're exploring the ecosystem and making it work for you. Your level of engagement shows that you "get it," we predict you'll be moving up."

  • Conversationalist: "You love to connect and always have the inside scoop. Good conversation is not just a skill, it's an art. You might not know it, but when you are witty, your followers hang on every word."

  • Networker: "You know how to connect to the right people and share what's important to your audience. You generously share your network to help your followers. You have a high level of engagement and an influential audience."

Moving from Explorer to Conversationalist was easy. I just added a public Facebook account to my Klout profile and started actively posting content to it (mostly I duplicate my Instagram feed on Facebook with original quotes or insights from magazines or articles I've read.). It's easier to be influential online if you're on multiple channels; Twitter alone - unless you're always tweeting and have a huge following - won't do it. (You probably already figured this out, but just in case, I'll point out that your Twitter account also needs to be public.) In your Facebook profile, be sure to allow friends to post on your Wall. (I'd originally disabled this functionality. When I noticed that Klout cared about Wall posts, I enabled it. My thinking now is that I'll regularly monitor posts, deleting spam or inappropriate comments.)

Moving from Conversationalist to Networker was a little harder. It happened in the last couple of weeks so I'm not exactly sure what the tipping point was - I was in the hospital delivering and recovering from having my first baby, so while I was online I wasn't paying much attention to my Klout score. I shared a lot of photos of my adorable baby girl which got a lot of likes and comments on Facebook. A lot of people also posted to my Wall. These are all activities that Klout measures and that impact your score positively. Previously when I shared photos of my cat, Sprite, my score tended to rise. It'll be interesting to see if I can maintain my Networker Klout Style. I'm not planning on flooding my Facebook feed with photos of my baby. But then, maybe that's what people who follow me want to see? (I'll have to keep track of those who unfriend me to see if I'm erring on too many baby photos.)

More seriously, I also joined two Facebook groups and began regularly interacting with members and posting. I picked groups related to two of my passions - Marketing and Blogging. This makes it easy to respond to questions and to share experiences that might be relevant to others without a lot of additional research and work. On Twitter, I began weighing in on current events that matter to me. Some of the topics are controversial - for example, women's reproductive rights. Previously, I'd steered clear of politics, religion, etc. wanting a more vanilla stream of professional content.

In summary, here's what I did to raise my Klout score 12 points (from 27 in December to 39 today):
  • Add public Twitter and Facebook accounts to my Klout profile

  • Allow friends to post to my Wall

  • Stop reposting my blog RSS feed to Twitter or Facebook

  • Join groups on Facebook and regularly contribute

  • Be consistent on each channel, spend 5 to 15 minutes a day engaging with people you follow and sharing content

  • Post articles that I find interesting or disagree with

  • Have an opinion

  • Follow and engage with others who have public accounts

  • Share photos of my cat and my baby

Want my best advice regarding Klout? Ignore it. Just be yourself online. There will be people who gravitate to you and others who flee from you. Know who you are (in marketing terms, know your brand) and stick to it. Influence will follow. If you try to be someone you're not, you won't be able to sustain the persona and influence will come and go.

What activities have you under taken that influenced your Klout positively? Are they sustainable?

Happy Analyzing!
Credits: All images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.
Update 4/20/2012: Since yesterday my Klout style has changed from Networker to Socializer ("You are the hub of social scenes and people count on you to find out what's happening. You are quick to connect people and readily share your social savvy. Your followers appreciate your network and generosity.").