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Social Media Metrics: Klout

15th September 2011
GWS Team

With any form of business marketing, it is important to measure how successful your strategy is, whatever the desired outcome, whether it is direct sales, making contacts or generally raising awareness of your business within a particular arena.

Using social media for business can raise anxieties about ROI, chiefly because the relationship between goals and outcomes isn't as straightforward as more traditional marketing strategies.

But you still need to measure your performance in these channels, however difficult that might be, so this week we will discuss the usefulness of Klout as a social media metric.


Social Media Campaigns

While increased sales can be part of a social media campaign, the key strength of social media is more about raising positive opinions about a business, forming networks and spreading good word of mouth.

In this way, you might say that humanizing a brand is the number one priority for a social media campaign - Drew Hawkins posted this piece about the goals of community management, and there is an interesting discussion in the comments about the importance of humanizing brands. 

But how do you measure how well you are humanizing your brand via social media?

One way would be to measure interaction as the more approachable and interesting you are, the more engaged and responsive your Facebook fans or Twitter followers will be.

On this basis, you could start to think about the importance of how you are perceived by that community.

You are being responded to, but is it the kind of response you want from the people you want to engage (are you looking for business to business connections, or customer interactions?...).

There is also the question of how you measure such a potentially intangible element of your marketing strategy.



This is where a service called Klout comes in, because it directly taps into your influence on social media and thus how you are perceived by others.

Klout is an online service that you can sign into using your Twitter and Facebook profiles, which then generates a Klout overall score (out of 100) and places you within one of its 16 different social media profiles (almost like a personality test for your social media profile.

It also gives you information about the key areas you are influential in, or appear to be most connected with - which offers a chance for you to see whether this matches your areas of specialisation and what you are trying to achieve.


Klout Metrics

Klout measures 3 key areas, and through these comes up with an overall score:

  1. True Reach - how many people you influence (those who respond to or retweet your posts)
  2. Amplification - how much you influence them
  3. Network Score - how influential they are

From these three areas, you get a picture of not only how strong your influence is, but also if you are influencing the right people.


Klout Style - matching your expectations and achievements

We think one of the most useful things is the profile Klout gives you, called Klout Style, which maps the nature of your engagement and influence (within a spectrum of participation / sharing, creative/consistent, broad / focused and so on), and also places you in relation to people you influence, offering the opportunity to compare yourself to them.

The key strength of this is that it allows you to see how you are being perceived on social media and thus reflect on whether this matches your use and expectations.

If your Klout Style matches your aims for how people want to see you, that's great.

If it doesn't, it allows you to consider how you would like to be perceived and perhaps gives some indication of how you need to change and what you might need to do to get there.


Read our follow-up article Knowing the Lingo: are you Klout-worthy?

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