So in my previous article, I talked about how Klout measures influence and the sophistication of its model. In this article, I am going to tell you what I did to drive my Klout Score up nearly 20 points in 30 days.
First, it is important to understand that the score is not a linear scale. It is much harder to go from 40-50 than it is to go from 20-30. This is my interpretation of what the score is really saying:
|0-20||This person is not engaged or probably even trying to be|
|20-30||The person tweets several times per day and has worked at creating a nice following (like 1000 followers)|
|30-40||This person is working it and has defined a topic and people are listening the person of influence|
|40-50||This person has figured out how Klout is working and has been able to create strong enough content that some of the top thought leaders are interacting with the content|
|50-60||This person has arrived and the community and the top thought leaders are paying attention|
|60-70||This person has reached critical mass and people are interacting regularly with the content. The person is now known by all the thought leaders and most of the active community for that topic|
|70-80||This person is a thought leader and they are not only referring content, but creating original content and ideas. They are probably controversial, which is good and engaging to the community|
|Above 80||This person is a rock star and everyone knows them. They are well known and followed not
only in the topic, but even in broader areas.
So to increase your Klout, you must do three things: create or curate great content, use the content to influence a defined topic, engage the thought leaders around that topic to expand your reach to other users.
Before I go to the strategies, let me say that yes there are a few ways to game the system and bounce your score for a little while. If you post interesting quotes from important people, they will often be retweeted and your score will go up. If you post jokes or funny things about movie stars, your score will go up. I assume if you post links to porn or tweets with provocative words in the title your score will go up. But these are all very short lived bumps and not really helping you increase your real influence.
If you think about your Klout Score as “Page Rank for People”, you will start thinking of it the right way. Klout pays attention to how many people are pointing at you and how influential those people are based on their Klout. The Klout team is pretty smart and now that they have a lot of money (Kleiner and Greycroft gave them $8.5M earlier this year) I am sure they are going to start flushing out gaming just like Google does.
So let’s look at the strategies I used:
Strategy 1: Focus on Posting Great Content in a Defined Topic
I selected “Startups” as my topic because it is something that I amvery passionate about. As I said in my previous article, I use Zite to read my content and it allowed me to identify great articles about the content. I would scan 50-100 articles a day looking for good content. Of that, I would read 25-30 articles. I would then tweet 15-20 articles that I found most interesting. For each article, I would curate the article with a quick lead-in,
make sure the title of the article was engaging, and then tag the article with #startup, #entrepreneur, #VC, or #Angel, depending on what was appropriate. To find the right #hashtag to use, go to hashtag.org and look for the top tags. You can also check www.whatthetrend.com and www.tweetmeme.com to see what is trending. Finally, analyze your tweet stream, your followers, your re-tweeters and see what tags they are using. Most avid Twitter followers use saved searches are looking for specific #hashtags.
Strategy 2: Engage with the Thought-Leaders of Your Topic
For this, go to the website www.wefollow.com and put in the #hashtags you commonly use. It will give you a list of the top thought-leaders for that
topic. Create a Twitter List with these top thought-leaders and watch the stream. As they post something interesting, retweet them. You might even send
them a direct message and engage them in a conversation. You can also write a blog article and @Message them. The objective is to get their attention and
have them look at your feed. If it is interesting, then they will likely follow you and you will be in there feed where you can influence them every day.
Now as you tweet, they will see your post. If you can interest them, they are very likely to retweet your message to their followers and now your post has amplification. This is especially true, if you retweet them often. Now, Klout sees all of this. Your score increases because an influencer follows and engages with you and your Klout score increases when your messages are amplified. Both of these are good things and a true sign of your
ability to influence.
Strategy 3: Pay Attention to the Time of Day and Activity of the People You Are Trying to Influence
I made a big mistake the first week I was trying to increase my Klout. I am a very early riser and that is when I like to tweet. But when you tweet at 3-4 in the morning, unfortunately no one is listening. It did not take me long to see the error in my ways, so what I started doing was posting the links to my Delicious account and then when the right time came along, I would tweet them using Hootsuite. I think for every topic on Twitter, there is probably a “best” time. I experimented a lot and found that between 7:00 and 8:00 am, then again at 3:00 to 4:00 was the best time. I did some Google searches on the topic and I found other people have found a similar trend. I think the best idea is just to watch your feeds and tweet when they are active.
Strategy 4: Increase the Half-Life of Your Tweet
I think a big way to increase the likelihood of a tweet being retweeted and your ability to increase your own influence is to increase the “half-life” of your
tweet. What I mean is to say that you should focus on getting into streams that are as persistent as possible.
Here is an example. If you tweet with no #hashtags or @mentions, your tweet is likely to stay in someone’s feed for less than one hour. Since many people have columns in their twitter console for specific search on #hashtags or @mentions, if you use them you will likely stay in the feed for several hours of even days. If you get your name on a list the same is true, as is being retweeted by an influencer.
All of these increase the time your tweet is visible and the longer it is visible, the more chance you will be able to increase your influence.
So these are the techniques I tried and these all worked. I am sure there are a lot more ways to increase your influence, so if anyone has any additional suggestions, I would love to hear them. I do think that Klout is very likely to be one of the next “big things”, so I would pay attention to it. I have been paying attention to them since they first started and in the beginning everyone was just giving me reasons why it would not work. Now, I am hearing a lot of thought leaders saying how important influence is and how Klout is leading the pack. I guess Kleiner and Greycroft saw the same thing.