How to Cheat at Klout

KandraC
Kandra Churchwell Creative Director, Phases Design Studio

Posted on April 28th 2012

How to Cheat at Klout

Wired magazine’s story on Klout.com from earlier this week set off a minor rage-splosion in the social media marketing sphere, thanks mostly to the revelation that some companies are using job applicants’ Klout scores as an under-the-radar screening method (also, casinos are using it to decide who gets the coolest freebies, on the assumption that Players with high scores will use their SM influence to send more business the casino’s way).

For those 95% of you who have a life, Klout.com is a service that supposedly ranks your online influence from 1 to 100 based on your social media engagement using Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Foursquare, etc.

Let’s get one thing out of the way right now: yes, Klout sucks.

It’s annoying and possibly even evil. Klout embodies everything about “Big Data,” that freaks people out: Being secretly judged on arbitrary, but bizarrely specific criteria? Check. Being assigned a purely numerical value based on secret algorithms cooked up by a computer at a data farm somewhere? Check. Whatever you’re afraid Google or Facebook is doing with all the information they’re gathering about you, Klout is actually doing it, and it has IRL consequences.


“So what?” you’re thinking. “I don’t have an account, so I’m not on the radar, right?” Wrong. If you have a Twitter or Facebook account, you have a Klout score and anyone with a Klout account can look it up.


So, your Klout score is out there now and it matters. If someone can hire or not hire you based on it, then you know that if you’re an entrepreneur, like a graphic designer or a freelance writer, your Klout score is going to start influencing the gigs you can land as well.

5 ways to increase your Klout score, even if you think it’s a stupid waste of time.
So you have to deal with Klout. But you don’t have to let it push you around.

  1. Tweet more often – One of Klout’s criteria is frequency of tweets. So increase yours.
  2. Specialize – Tweet and post about just one or two different topics. Become known as an expert. Interested in a wide range of topics? Great. Just don’t post, blog, tweet or pin about them. They’re not helping your score.   
  3. Follow the crowd – See a popular article on a popular Website? Tweet it or post it. Comment on it (just like this article about Klout!). That extremely moving and interesting post on your friend’s blog about the item that you actually care about? Ignore it. It’s hurting your Klout score.
  4. Suck up – Culitivate online relationships with netizens who have higher Klout scores than you do. Retweet their tweets, share their posts, comment on their blogs. In turn, if they follow good “netiquette,” they’ll retweet, share, etc your content as well, automagically pushing your Klout score higher. And you get a little bump just from associating with higher-scoring peeps.
  5. Get happy! – Tweet and post enthusiastically about upbeat topics. Because Studies Have Shown that upbeat updates get more positive engagement across social media sites.
KandraC

Kandra Churchwell

Creative Director, Phases Design Studio

Kandra Churchwell is Founder and Creative Director of Phases Design Studio, Denver’s premier resource for No-Nonsense branding, design and marketing services. Kandra’s Klout score is 30.
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Comments

KimLuu
Posted on April 28th 2012 at 3:46PM

One of my followers tweeted this - how I saw the article.


I think it's rather sad that people will follow the interactions dictated by Klout and other social media platforms to control their actions.  It will be fine for large corporations but for the small business owners, they will forget or not understand that getting business is all about who you know.  


It's more important to focus on building a deep relationship with a handful of influential people than be a carnival barker.  It's OK at the lower level but when you're doing multi-millions in revenue, the interaction is not on social media but in person, on the golf course, at dinner, at parties, etc...

goSATANgo
Posted on April 28th 2012 at 9:19PM

Letting the internet decide if you're getting a job or not is creepy! Internet's not about how you do your work, it's about having fun, cultivating your knowledgement and establishing relationships. 

Rob S.
Posted on April 29th 2012 at 5:40AM

The job applicant usage is a bit scary, but companies can engage in that practice at their own peril. I certainly wouldn't consider that for a staff member unless I was specifically hiring someone to handle social media at the firm. In that case, it might be a legitimate factor. I like the article, however, I'm not sure these are actually "cheats." It sounds a lot like smart networking, but I'm really just commenting to get my Klout score up.

Andreas Duess
Posted on April 29th 2012 at 10:27AM

Or, do the sensible thing an request to have your details removed from Klout. The only way to win this ridiculous game is by refusing to play it - which exactly what I did.

 

ameganberry
Posted on May 3rd 2012 at 8:36PM

Hey Kandra,

 

You might do more real research into your tips. Frequency of tweeting does not increase your Klout Score, actually none of these tips have much basis in any evidence or fact. 

 

Cheers,

Megan

@meganberry

(Formerly led community at Klout, currently Founder of LiftFive)

vshamanov
Posted on May 4th 2012 at 10:40AM

Klout only measures online influence (defined as 'amplification' + 'reach' + 'network score'), not the total interpersonal influence. It's just like SAT that measures your ability to take SAT, not your intelligence.

Also, your Klout score would not improve if you tweet just anything -- you need to "consistently create great content that people want to share and respond to". http://klout.com/corp/faq

GregCherry
Posted on May 4th 2012 at 7:03PM

I read the Wired article and it scared the crap out of me, especially considering I signed up for Klout immediately after that, and my score was pathetic.  That is why I am re-Tweeting, Liking, and commenting on this article, as well as every single article that ever appears on Social Media Today.   Let's see if that works.   (I'm still not signing up for FourSquare though - people just don't care where I dine).

dwaynekilbourne
Posted on May 8th 2012 at 2:27AM

While I do not claim to be an expert, I'd give some of the following tips in order to potentially improve your Klout score.

 

1. Write tweets that get retweeted (make sure to leave added space in case some people are using the classic RT format... so, 120 characters works nicely).

2. Write tweets that people favorite.

3. Have a good follower to following ratio... if you only have 2 followers but follow 2,000 tweeple, I'd imagine that your Klout score would not be as high as say someone with the reverse figures. In fact, it might be a good idea to spread your tweets out... if you post a bunch of tweets at a time, people will begin to unfollow you!

4. Receive +Ks in topics.

5. Be yourself and tweet good content... in the end, content tends to win out... personally, I'd try to write and post more diversely... I doubt people on Twitter want to see your every foursquare check-in... try to find some balance.