Martin's current Klout Score Martin on Linkedin
Atlantic BT's Klout Score Atlantic BT on Linkedin
* Ironically writing about Klout seems to have lowered mine (lol), doesn't change the truth of this post and that is why I led with these links - to provide a real time benchmark :).
Why Imperfect WinsInternet marketers can be the most angry, judgmental lot. Strange since everything we do can be reduce to MATH and math just IS. Math doesn't require judgment negative or positive. Interpret, do something and reinterpret is the name of the poker we play.
Except we play with HUMANS (lol).
If math was the only truth we could set up a model and forget it. Since human psychology can toss every mathematical assumption out in seconds intuition and experience matter too. Before you buy the knee jerk reaction of the FEW, this post shares why your Klout score matters whether you know it, will admit it or are watching it or not.
Why Your Klout Score MattersKlout doesn't help their case much with their foggy about definition:
History Klout began with a very simple idea: Everyone has influence—the ability to drive action. Klout built on this idea to show anyone how he or she can influence the world and its future. Klout was founded in 2008 to empower everyone to unlock their influence. We come to work every day inspired to help people understand the power of their voices and democratize influence.What? Things get better on their "Klout Score" page:
How the Klout Score is Calculated Klout's vision is to enable everyone to discover and be recognized for how they influence the world. With the rise of social media, the ability to impact others has been democratized. Klout measures your influence based on your ability to drive action on social networks. The Klout Score is a single number that represents the aggregation of multiple pieces of data about your social media activity. We compute the Klout Score by applying our score model to these signals.Much better and the page goes on to explain what social signals do what inside their model. I've heard Internet marketing luminaries make fun of Klout scores. Without exception every guru who makes fun of Klout has scores above 70 :).
When you are IN the top 10% you can make fun of the club. If you or your company are not in the top 10% then Klout is an important gauge of your ability to create, sustain and disrupt the most ephemeral of things - online attention.
Veracity = Who CaresThe hardest idea to share with my former Direct Marketing bosses was in any Internet modeled system consistency trumps veracity. I went further insisting that in any modeled system the ONLY thing that matters is the consistency of the system. In the Direct Marketing RFM (Recency, Frequency, Monetary) world there was an illusion masquerading as fact.
Their reports showed difference in creative, design and offer. They used these reports, reports that took 8 weeks to finalize since the data was coming from a mailed catalogs, to create their next set of tests. The Internet collapses and explodes TIME. A new approach was a must. My approach was to use daily, weekly and monthly Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as:
- Unique visitors per day.
- Daily, weekly, monthly conversion rates (site and for key pages).
- $ By Unique Visitor.
- Returning visitors.
- Channel analysis of traffic (PPC, Organic, Email, Print, Etc...).
KPIs are about understanding the dance metrics do with each other.
Your Klout score is a metric, a metric that should be part of your KPIs. I know the ROI Police are taking out their guns ready to fire. Tell them to CALM DOWN, your Klout score shouldn't be the ONLY metric you watch, but it is a valuable check and balance on if you did what you said you were going to AND it may be the ONLY check on certain kinds of Internet marketing such as content marketing.
Unless you are sophisticated about how the top of your funnel, the traffic generating activities like writing this blog post, is connected to the bottom of your funnel where reading this post turns into money you are dependent on measurements such as Klout. Your Klout score tells if you are moving in the right (UP) or wrong (DOWN) direction. Again, Klout should not be your only KPI, but make no mistake. Your Klout score is a Key Performance Indicator.
Internet Marketing = No Dead Net Neutral
You could actually see this trend in our Google analytics. Instead of the beautiful 45 degree straight line UP (More, Faster, Better graph at top) we looked like a series of sine waves (2nd graph below). Our marketing had peaks and troughs. We would do a bunch of marketing, take a breath and do a bunch more.
This is why Amazon beats most catalogers senseless. They play traffic arbitrage 24/7/365 like Google, like the web, like Internet marketing.
The idea that everything we did when I was Director of Ecommerce, including taking that breath, was in the model was hard for catalogers to fully understand. "Take a breath" periods gave away Klout to our competitors or simply to content marketing decay (promise to explain more fully soon).
Online EVERYTHING you do creates KLOUT (and so conversions) or reduces KLOUT (and so conversions). "Dead net neutral" doesn't exist. There is no "taking a breath". There is only MORE, BETTER and FASTER.
Atlantic BT, @ScentTrail Klout Use CaseWhen I joined Atlantic BT as Marketing Director there was an expressed concern I might poach their social value, that I would steal and not contribute. This fear came from a previous employee who they perceived as working for them just to build his social profile.
I explained that we were about to take a journey together, a journey I was already on and so I would act as a guide. I would freely share my social capital with Atlantic BT, my Klout score when I started was in the low 40s.
As I shared my @ScentTrail tribe and content Atlantic BT would gain. Atlantic BT's Klout score was 18 when I started. I discussed the Idea of the Commons. Atlantic BT and I would be contributing into a "commons", a shared space where the distinction between us would become less and less. Instead of worrying about me stealing their social capital we needed to trust each other.
The idea of the commons is a "sum of the parts is greater than the whole" idea. Instead of thinking about MINE and YOURS I encouraged a shift to OURS because OURS is what wins online. Atlantic BT and Martin W. Smith (G+) + @ScentTrail Klout Score Analysis:
Atlantic BT and I worked together and we both gained Klout. Atlantic BT gained more (+272% or 209% more than me :). They had more to gain and pieces of their ecosystem are more powerful than some of mine.
Why Your Klout Score Matters SummaryWhen you think in terms of The Commons, contribute to it and take from it your Internet marketing is more powerful than when you only think about what is in Internet marketing for you and yours. Klout is the best Key Performance Indicator (KPI) we have to watch and understand "the commons" unless your top of funnel traffic generating activities are closely matched to your bottom of the funnel conversion data (and whose really is?).
Don't be put off by those whose Klout scores are HIGH. When they laugh at Klout your job is to laugh too, but to use this valuable tool for what it can help you do - become one of THEM :).
What about you? Do you have Klout use cases you can share? Has Klout helped your Internet marketing? Share how and I will curate in with appreciation and quid pro quo. Why? Because your comments and shares contributes to something I believe in with all my heart - The Idea of The Commons. Together we have more Klout and can change the world faster and better than apart.
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