Gaining Klout: How Your Social Media Score Can Help Build Your Business

Gaining Klout: How Your Social Media Score Can Help Build Your Business

Gaining Klout: How Your Social Media Score Can Help Build Your Business

Since its founding in 2009, Klout has become a powerful social media tool for a variety of global businesses. Companies like Motorola, Sony, Red Bull and Disney are using Klout as a means of quantifying social media performance, not only for their own brand, but for competitors as well. There is an abundance of social outlets where businesses and individuals can build an audience, engage with others and contribute meaningfully to online communities -- so many, in fact, that it's often difficult to ascertain the degree of influence you might have on the online world.

That's where Klout comes in. By connecting social media accounts to this social scorekeeper, Klout is able to track your social activity and the degree to which you engage with others, as Mashable reports. The website then uses algorithms to generate a score that represents your cumulative social influence on a 100-point scale. Since its founding in 2009, Klout has become a valuable resource for major brands and businesses looking to maximize their influence through social platforms. Here are some reasons your business should consider using this free online service:

Klout offers a standard of comparison across brands and companies

Brands are constantly comparing their own strategies and successes to what's going on with other companies. In that sense, Klout creates a simple interface for analyzing other businesses and assessing their relative value, as MediaBistro.com explains. Because every social profile is evaluated on the same 100-point scale, it's easy to see how you measure up to other companies. As businesses work to increase brand awareness and loyalty, they can also compare their progress to what's going on with other major competitors.

Network-specific values are easily identified

When you log on to Klout, one of the first things you will see is a graphical breakdown of the various social profiles contributing to your overall score. Social profiles will be weighted in value based on the amount of your activity on each network, as well as the amount of engagement you experience through each network. The graph is both simple and revealing, illustrating where your brand is currently finding the greatest value in the social sphere. With this information, you can figure out which efforts are producing the greatest returns, as well as which networks might be under-utilized in your current strategy, according to BusinessesGrow.com.

Users can see which content and strategies are proving most effective

Companies use social media to build their brands, but they're also using these platforms to promote their own content -- both as a brand-building strategy and as one that increases the value and traffic of their website. There are plenty of moving parts on a website that can affect its overall performance. Because of this, businesses should always be keen on improving their online properties through increased uptimes, optimization for mobile devices and top-notch security for transactions.

Klout can't help you identify these areas of need on your website, but it can be instrumental in revealing how content and pages are going over with consumers. In terms of both the type of content, as well the angle or style applied, Klout can help businesses uncover trends that affect user engagement. For example, a content marketing company like iAcquire could benefit by tracking Google Plus traffic, posts and followers, and use their Klout score to tailor their social media interactions. By picking up on consumer preferences and tailoring content accordingly, businesses can increase engagement and build web traffic -- not to mention their Klout score.

With Klout, you can strengthen your relationship with highly influential users

While your own score is very important and directly affected by your actions, one of the most valuable features of Klout is the scores applied to other users. Before joining Klout and tracking their scores, most businesses and individuals have at least a vague sense of their social performance. But discerning the same qualities in other users isn't as easy. When you use Klout, you can easily see the influence score of other users within your various networks. This is particularly valuable when engaging other users, since one of the best ways to increase your online prominence is to engage with other highly influential users. Identify top influencers within your market and start a dialogue with them to slowly establish yourself as another Klout brand of note.

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Mike is a Social Media Consultant and Blog Coach in St. Louis. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early '90's. He is active on all of the major social networks and enjoys writing and teaching small business owners on how to leverage the Internet to promote and grow their business. Mike provides training and seminars to businesses and individuals on topics like "Content Marketing - Using Blogging + Social Media + SEO to equal Small Business Success" or "Establishing a Brand on Google+" or "How to use HootSuite to Manage Your Social Media Presence."

Mike is the author of, "The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management."

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