While I never really thought that increasing Klout score should be anywhere near the top of my agenda, reading Mark Schaefer’s post made me think twice. Are people really denied jobs because of their Klout scores? Have some companies really decided to start putting so much weight on inaccurate platforms that they are deciding people’s futures based on artificial scores? This may be the case. And if it is, I think that people should be armed with information to game the game, and increase their Klout scores.
I went out and did a little research. Increasing your Klout score is basically a social networking game. And like all games, this one has rules. So here are
Rule #1: Register and Connect Your Accounts.
The very first step to increase your Klout score is to actually register with Klout and connect your social networking accounts. This will make it easier for Klout to track you and analyze just how wonderful you are.
Rule #2: Create Shareable Content.
This goes without saying. I’m not going to reiterate that content is king, because it’s been said countless times before (and actually I just did reiterate it). The more your content is shared across social media platforms the better your Klout score. But for it to be shared you need to create things worth sharing. Something Corbett Barr would label as “Epic Shit.”
Rule #3: Make it Easily Shareable.
Provide social buttons in convenient places. I have social sharing buttons before the content, after the content, and a Sharebar stalking you all the way down the page…staring at you…making you uncomfortable about not sharing (so ease your nerves by clicking it now!).
I personally use the 1-click Retweet/Share/Like plugin. I had SexyBookmarks at one point because they were, well, sexy. But I dislike plugins that require an extra step. The SexyBookmarks plugin required readers to click the button, then allow the application to connect to your account, then you could share. So I switched. Now you click, and you share. Yes, the difference is just one extra click, but anything to make it easier for my readers ;).
Rule #4: Create Content More Often.
If you are really good at pumping out great content you should create it more often. This allows your readers, followers, and fans to share your content more often. If you can’t increase the frequency of good content then don’t. Putting out shit doesn’t help your Klout score nor your website.
Rule #5. Increase Your Followers.
Klout judges how many people follow you. But just having an immense amount of followers on Twitter won’t do the trick. You need a good follower to followed ratio. Meaning you want to be followed by a lot of people, but you don’t want to follow that many.
This may make you think that Klout is promoting spammy activities like auto-following thousands of people and un-following those that don’t follow you. There’s plenty of software applications that do that for you. But wait…
Rule #6. Idle Followers Don’t Help.
Having a small circle of contacts, but one that is active in promoting you and interacting with you, is better than having a huge network of people that don’t care. A high rate of Retweets of your Tweets is very favorable.
Having 10,000 followers on Twitter that don’t even know you exist won’t help you in your cause very much. But having a few hundred that will Re-Tweet you, promote your content, and talk to you, does help. It is better to be an influencer in a small circle than get lost in a large one.
Rule #7. Get People to Talk.
To avoid getting lost in the mix try to connect with people that have mutual interests. This increases your chance of getting Retweeted because your connections will actually be interested in what you have to say.
You should also spark up conversations. Just ask as many people as you can how their day is going on Twitter. Many will reply. And to reply they will have to mention you. And Klout loves mentions.
Note: Asking just any old question doesn’t guarantee a result. Ask questions that people will respond to. People are more likely to respond to questions of a personal manner than those that are clearly promotion-related.
Get active in Retweeting others and responding to their questions (especially the influencers). More likely than not they will give you a shout-out to say thanks. Mentions by high-profile individuals are great.
Rule #8. Get People to Like You.
Likes on Facebook are important, just like Retweets on Twitter. If you have a personal account connected to Klout you probably have a lot of personal friends on that account. Post some links to your work and ask them to click the “like” button. Many will oblige.
Klout will also be coming out with Facebook Pages soon. That means you can connect your website page to Klout.
When this feature rolls out getting “likes” for your page shouldn’t be too difficult either. There are many groups that will participate in what I like to call “mutual-benefit liking sessions.” In other words members will “like” your page if you “like” there’s. You can find a few of these on LinkedIn.
Rule #9. Be Careful Who You Connect To.
Klout is very shallow. It really likes the cool kids at the dance and tries to hang out with them as much as possible. And it wants you to do the same. And if you don’t, it judges you.
So when you are connecting to people on social networks, try to connect to as many high-profile individuals as possible. And get them to talk to you and mention you (see Rule #7).
A simple way to figure out who Klout considers high-profile: If they have a high Klout score, Klout considers them high-profile (oh Klout, how egotistical!).
The reasoning for this, of course, is clear. This is a safeguard against individuals befriending everyone and everything, including inactive accounts, in order to artificially bump up their Klout score (see Rule #5).
This has an adverse effect on what Srinivas Rao likes to call “digital babies.” These are individuals new to the scene. They do not yet have the pull or influence because they have just started on their journey. But these could be some brilliant people. Everyone gets a start somewhere, right? Klout should be promoting their growth, not stifling it!
Solution: Ignore this rule. Klout score is great, but making genuine connections with real people is more important. If you find someone interesting and want to connect with them…connect with them. Don’t let Klout dictate your online connections.
Rule #10: Take Part in Trending Topics
Take part in trending topics on Twitter and make good use of hash-tags (that’s those lovely # signs you see all over the place). This helps you increase your involvement in conversation and exposes you to all sorts of audiences – even if they don’t follow you.
Rule #11: Give People +K
Klout breaks out different categories in which you influence people. So sign into Klout and give people +K for whatever category you feel they deserve recognition in. Maybe they’ll return the favor.
Klout claims that receiving +K doesn’t increase your Klout score. But do you really believe that? Ok…maybe you do…but it still feels good to receive those Ks doesn’t it?
Rule #12: Join Triberr!
If you are not a part of Triberr yet, why not???
Let me know…I still have some invites.
Triberr connects you to other bloggers and allows you to mutually promote each other. Being a part of a community like this, alone, can drastically increase your Klout score.
Bonus Rule: Retweet this!
Want to increase your Klout score? Start by sharing this post! I will thank you :).
Your Two Cents:
In the end, you can increase you Klout score, step-by-step, by doing what you should be doing with social media. Of course Klout is still somewhat new and not everyone takes the time to get on there. So I find it very troublesome that some companies can actually look at it as a factor in hiring. But following the steps above can get you on the fast-lane to a high Klout score.
Do you think that companies are right to look at Klout score as an important attribute in the hiring process? Are you on Klout yet? If you are, what do you think of Klout? Have you made a conscious decision to attempt to increase your Klout score?