No matter what your major, industry or dream job might be, it’s difficult to ignore the affect Klout.com is having on your personal brand.
Whether you like it or not, Klout is already measuring your influence…and anyone and everyone can see your score.
So…What is Klout exactly?
Klout.com was started in 2008 with the goal of quantifying the influence that each person has on his or her own social networks.
If you post a Facebook status, how likely is it to be shared or commented on? If you’re a Twitter user, how often do your tweets get replied to and retweeted? That influence is what Klout has set out to measure.
If you have an account on any social platform – Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn – Klout has an algorithm to measure it. That formula factors in three things:
1. Your true reach, or, in other words – the number of people that you influence.
2. Amplification of your message – how often do people act upon your content?
3. Your network size – sure you may have a ton of your friends from high school responding to your tweets, but do they have a high Klout score? How large are their networks?
Much like Google’s secret algorithm, it’s near impossible to easily up your Klout score or beat the system. Having a great Klout score takes dedication, passion and work.
Why You Should Care
If you have a Twitter or a Facebook account, you have a Klout score. Even if you’ve never signed into Klout, there is a number attached to your Twitter or Facebook username.
Brands and employers have begun using the your Klout score as a benchmark for everything — from who to hire to whom to send product samples to. The better your score, the more heavily companies will weigh your influence (and the better perks you might get!).
Aside from the perks, your score also serves as a way to measure yourself against other students, job applicants and professionals. Industries have top Klout influencers. Colleges compete against each other, talk show hosts are ranked and even film critics are spotlighted.
Technically, no matter how amazing your resume might be or how impressive your portfolio is, your Klout score is a public, comparable measurement against all of your competition.
Making the Most of Your Score
Do a quick online search for ‘Klout scores’ and you’ll get thousands of articles on best practices for upping your Klout score and using it to your advantage.
But here is all college students really need to know:
1. Create content that others will want to share. The likelihood of your followers interacting with a tweet about your long commute is unlikely. But by sharing relevant and interesting articles, quotes and photos, you’ll be more likely to engage your followers.
2. Interact! Don’t just tweet out tons of links to your networks — actually take an interest in them. Start discussions and share opinions. They are called social networks after all.
Those two online actions, done regularly and done well, are key ways to increase your influence, grow your network and strengthen your credibility.
As Klout.com and other websites aim to quantify social influence, it will continue to become more and more important to monitor your presence online.
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