Why Bloggers and Social Media Peeps Should Use Klout

Guest post by blogger Sunshine Davis who writes about Florida shopping at www.SunshineStateShopping.com. She has shopped every outlet mall and shopping center in Florida, and is passionate about the treasure hunt aspect of shopping. Sunshine loves to share the best places to go to find amazing designer clothing and accessories at dramatic discounts. Tweeting at @SunshineStyles

What is Klout?

If you’re buzzing around the social media world for a while, you’ll soon start hearing about Klout scores. Some people love them, some hate them, but anyone trying to build a social media presence should be aware of them.  Klout is a free service that evaluates your social media influence and assigns you a score on a scale of 1 to 100. It factors in many different services like Facebook, Foursquare and LinkedIn, but mainly focuses on Twitter. When you first sign up, your score will usually be a 10. Every day, Klout reviews how often your content is shared or commented on, and how influential the people that follow you are. Then they give you a score. I’ve been on Klout for about 6 months, and my score has steadily risen, it now stands at 52 http://klout.com/#/sunshinestyles .

What About Klout Topics?

Recently, Klout began assigning topics to members. They analyze what type of content you write, and how other influencers respond.  Other Klout members can then give you a +K, essentially a vote confirming that you influence them on that topic.  I am currently the #2 +K recipient on the topic of Orlando, behind the lovely Amanda Tinney of www.DisneyEveryDay.com. I’m also influential on the topics of Shopping and Florida, which is appropriate since my blog, www.SunshineStateShopping.com, is about these topics.

Why should I Care?

You may be wondering, why would anyone care about their Klout score? Well, I have a unique perspective since I am both a blogger and a social media consultant for an internet marketing firm. In my internet marketing job, I manage Facebook and Twitter accounts for large hotels and other service providers. Their goal is always to increase their Facebook fans and Twitter followers quickly. One of the best ways to do this is to have social media influencers mention us online. We targeted people with blogs about Orlando and Florida travel and invited them to parties at our hotels which included a weekend stay.  You may have heard about the many perks and freebies that bloggers are offered in exchange for writing about a product. Social media marketers need to know who the influencers are for their products, and one of the best ways to find this out is by looking at Klout scores and topics.

What’s In It For ME?

In addition to the benefits and invitations that can come from PR companies looking to use bloggers to promote their products, Klout has its own program called Klout Perks. With this program, Klout essentially works as a middleman to link companies with the relevant bloggers that can promote them. People with Klout scores above a certain level, usually 40, and who are topical influencers in a certain area, get free products and invitations through Klout Perks. So far, I have gotten free movie tickets, Axe hair gel, a $20 Macy’s gift card, store credit at various online retailers, and a big bag of Purina dog food!  You can also get invited to events like grand opening parties and fashion shows if you are a Klout influencer. This year, during music festivals and Fashion Week, there were parties exclusively for Klout influencers! Read more in TheNextWeb! So you can make some great connections, get free stuff, and have some amazing experiences due to your Klout score, which makes it worth paying attention to!

How Do I Get Started?

Signing up for Klout is as easy as pie. You just go to Klout.com and sign in using your Twitter handle. Then you can add other social media services (Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, etc.) to your profile to raise your score. If you want to start amping up your score quickly, and make friends with your fellow bloggers, start giving out some +K points to people that influence you. You probably won’t have any topics of influence at first, but if you tweet about the same thing for a few days in a row, Klout will figure it out pretty quickly. Then your fellow social media peeps can give you some +K and you’ll be on your way to Klout superstardom!

Shopping in Florida,

@SunshineStyles