Klout Score: Measuring your social media influence

Have you ever wondered the level of influence of your social media page? Well, Klout score is one metric that has the answer for you. Klout score is a social media metric that helps you measure the influence of your social media presence.


It all began in late 2007 when Klout Founder and CEO Joe Fernandez underwent a jaw surgery and had to rely on social media to communicate with people. This was the beginning of Klout, a way in which people could measure their social media influence. Interestingly, Klout’s first office in San Francisco was in the same building as Twitter. In 2014, Klout was acquired by Lithium Technologies.

How is Klout score measured?

It’s a complicated algorithm that uses data from various social media like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Instagram, Flickr, and Tumblr. It examines more than 400 data points on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. The Klout scores range from 1 to 100 – the higher, the better your social media influence. It measures the following:

  • True Reach – the number of people that you are possibly influencing;
  • Amplification – how much you actually influence these people; and
  • Network impact – how influential the people you influence are.

A paper was published by developers from Lithium Technologies called “Klout Score: Measuring Influence Across Multiple Social Networks”. It highlights the work they’ve undertaken to establish Klout’s scoring system.

Klout uses data points from Twitter data like the number of followers, retweets, list membership etc. to initially measure your influence because the data is public. Data from other social media is restricted and is accessed by APIs.

Klout uses two types of data points:

  • ‘Long-Lasting’ data points – those that change gradually or infrequently – like Friends, Followers, Page Rank etc.
  • ‘Dynamic’ data points – change based on interactions (day-to-day) in the calculations – like Comments Retweet, Share etc.

Klout measures dynamic interactions based on five factors:

  • Who: The characteristics of the audience who reacted to the original post from the user
  • When: The difference between the current time and the time at which the reaction occurred
  • Where: The social network on which the reaction was performed (Twitter, Facebook etc.)
  • What: The unit of original content or action on which the reaction was performed (Message, Photo, Video)
  • How: The type of reaction (Like, Comment, Upvote etc.)

It gives each interaction a weighted measurement to determine their overall impact. Then, each person’s score is then normalized through Klout’s hierarchical scoring architecture to finally establish your Klout score.

The Influence of Klout

Klout is starting to influence many businesses especially in terms of targeting customer. Salesforce.com introduced a service that helps companies monitor the Klout scores of customers who tweet compliments and complaints. People with higher Klout score will get better attention from customer service representatives. Similarly, Gilt Groupe began offering discounts proportional to a customer’s Klout score. For Business, Klout has created a new tool called Klout for Business, which includes a set of analytics designed to help owners quickly gauge their social media effectiveness.

How do I increase my Klout score ?

Just focus on publishing relevant content to your audience. You should focus on building a relevant network that includes a content strategy and a network strategy. Focus on the factors mentioned above in order to influence your audience. You need to build a strong base on Twitter and Facebook – don’t just accumulate followers or only send links. Followers who never interact with you will not help your score. A high percentage of posts that are liked or retweeted and interacting with someone who has lots of Klout can boost your score.

Final Word

Klout is just one metric that is helping every user understand their influence and make sure they are recognized for it. Many critics have also pointed out that Klout scores are not representative of the influence a person really has. But, I would say Klout is one of the best metrics out there.

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