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How To Be A Player: 11 Ways To Improve Your Klout Score

How to Be A Player oie Raise Your Klout ScoreAbout a year ago, J D Rucker published a list of the most influential people in the automotive industry (according to KLOUT).

KLOUT influence isn't the same thing as real world influence. There wasn't anyone named Ford on the list or any CEO's of the automakers or big dealer groups. This was a list of automotive people who were active on social media and could wield influence across their personal networks.

There were about 80 people on the list, basically an admittedly incomplete list of everyone in the car business with a KLOUT score of 50 or above.

I had a 49.

At the time I thought KLOUT was just complete bullshit and a waste of time. Like most people, I used social media to keep up with friends and family and to look up people from high school to find out who got fat and bald.

I was also using social media for business, but mainly because I thought it would help my search engine rankings. Social Media as SEO.

I had given very little thought to the idea of social media as a sales channel and even less to it displacing search as the way things get found on the internet.

And yet, here was this list of people getting found on the internet, selling stuff on the internet, wielding influence on the internet and it occurred to me that maybe, with just a little work, I could be on the next list.

KLOUT may be bullshit, but that doesn't mean it's not important. It was important enough to build that list. It's important enough that hotel chains and airlines are starting to use it to offer upgrades to customers with higher KLOUT scores. And it's important enough that some companies are starting to use high KLOUT scores as a job REQUIREMENT along with the requisite education and experience.

In the last year, I've raised my Klout score from a 49 to a 65. That's not quite the major leagues, but I'd say it makes me a AAA player, in the top 5% of all social media users. Over 70 is probably the big leagues. Real life celebrities clock in over 80. And the superstars bring it home in the 90's - Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake and Barack Obama.

I can't say that raising my KLOUT score over the last year has done anything for me other than qualifying me for some free movie passes and gourmet soy sauce they were giving away through their perk program.

But I can absolutely say that increasing my influence and engagement online has dramatically improved my business and that's what really counts.

I've strengthened my relationships with existing customers. Everyday I'm on the phone with car dealers from Moosejaw, Saskatchewan to Hog Waller, Alabama and at least once a day, one of them asks me about something going on in my real life that they read on social media.

"How you likin' that 72 degrees in Nashville?"

"How's your dad doing?"

"You really do naked yoga?"

Now we've got something to talk about besides business. That makes us friends. And friends like to buy from friends.

I've also picked up new customers and been recruited for a couple of six figure jobs that I never would have known about had I not been engaged on social media.

KLOUT scores matter, but clout matters more. And you get them both by engaging and influencing.

Here's a few tips I picked up along the way.

1. Join KLOUT

If you've ever tweeted, liked, followed, friended or shared anything on social media, you already have a KLOUT score. Log on and find out what it is.

2. Connect More Networks

KLOUT uses over 400 signals from 8-10 social media networks. Facebook and Twitter are the heavy hitters and for some reason KLOUT seems to love Instagram. LinkedIn, Google+, FourSquare and KLOUT itself are the other major components of the scoring algorithm. Connect KLOUT to all the networks you have accounts on, then create new accounts for the ones you don't and connect them too. Even if you never use those accounts, just having them is a signal.

3. Celebrate your Birthday

Facebook birthday greetings are the new Christmas card list. People in your life who you only interact with once a year will post a Happy Birthday greeting. This year, I got a 2 point KLOUT boost on my birthday from the couple of hundred people saying "Happy Birthday, Terry." I've even heard of people who give themselves a new birthday every 3 months to keep the K train rolling.

4. Respond

If you get people reaching out to you make sure you are interacting with them. Start a conversation. Engage!

5. Ask Questions

If someone wishes you a Happy Birthday. Don't just say "Thanks!" Start a conversation "Thanks, what's up with you guys?" Engagement breeds engagement.

People love to give their opinions. One of my most active post this year was when I asked whether I should get an iphone or the new Galaxy S4.

6. Be Authentic

This may be the single most important tip. I didn't ask about smartphones to boost my KLOUT score. I asked because I needed a new smartphone. People can smell phony a mile away and on social media they can smell it from around the world. Be yourself, only louder.

7. Get A Real Life

Real life is the most engaging content of all. Tell your friends online about what's going on in your life: Your new baby, your new job, your new car, your new naked yoga routine. Grumpy cats and motivational posters are fine, but your friends want to hear about you. Share your story.

8. Be Yourself. Unless You Suck

If you hate your job, hate your wife, hate your kids and hate your life, maybe you want to keep that little bit of sunshine to yourself. Positivity creates engagement. Debby Downer goes to the prom alone.

9. Share Pictures

Mark Zuckerberg crashed the computers at Harvard with the very first version of The Facebook because students wanted to see pictures of other students. Facebook was invented to share pictures. Twitter now includes full pictures in their tweet stream because pictures get more engagement. Show and Tell is always better than just saying.

10. Create Content

It's been said 90% of all social media user are just browsers, 9% share other people's content and just 1% are the content creators. Be the 1%. Take pictures, start a blog, shoot videos. It's a multimedia world. Get your story out as many ways as you can so the 9% can share it and the 90% can admire you from afar.

11. Be Consistent

Your KLOUT score is a measure of your social media engagement and influence over the last 90 days. If it happened three and half months ago, it doesn't count. Just like Chicago politics, vote early and often

What did I miss? Tell me how you've improved your KLOUT score.

PS Happy Birthday. How you been?

RELATED POST: Be Who You Are, Just A Little Louder

Terry LancasterTerry Lancaster is the VP of Making S#!% Happen at Instant Events Automotive Advertising, father of 3 teenage daughters and a Beer League Hockey All Star, as if there could ever be such a thing. You can connect with Terry on FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.

Views: 356

Tags: Advertising, Automotive, Facebook, Klout, Media, Social, Twitter, engagement, social media

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Comment by Alexander Lau on November 18, 2013 at 1:40pm

I do remember that from history class and most recently HBO's Rome, but it went right over my head. I failed to gather the irony. :-)

Comment by Alexander Lau on November 18, 2013 at 7:48am

@Brian. Ha ha, I saw what you did there.

Caesar and legions! ;-)

There's an old rumor running in my family. How do we all have brown eyes and yet Austrian. He he.... ;-)

Comment by Terry Lancaster on November 14, 2013 at 8:17pm

A man can never have enough friends, Brian.  But you have to message me your birthday so I can put you on my card list!  Thanks, Buddy.

Comment by Tom Gorham on November 14, 2013 at 11:10am

Thank you Cathy!!!

 

Comment by Alexander Lau on November 14, 2013 at 10:59am

Uhmmmmm... uhhhhh yeah

Comment by Tom Gorham on November 14, 2013 at 10:58am

LOL!  Alexander are you saying I'm a red hot chili pepper?

Comment by Cathy Nesbit on November 14, 2013 at 8:07am

I for one am glad to know you :) I don't care too much about Klout, but I like you. You're pretty ok in my book ;) 

Comment by Alexander Lau on November 14, 2013 at 6:59am

@Tom.

Comment by Tom Gorham on November 13, 2013 at 6:08pm

Ooops, I just realized I said I fell to 85!!!  I meant 48.  I've fixed that.  If you mean by "mover and shaker" that I was squirming in my seat and shaking you are correct.  You're too kind Terry!  Great article!

Comment by Terry Lancaster on November 13, 2013 at 3:13pm

You were on the Mover & Shaker list.  I wanted to be like Tom!

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