What is Klout? Well, in the literal sense of the term “clout” is influence one person has over others. In the digital world, Klout is a free tool used to measure the social influence of an individual or brand based on their “influential reach” and how far their information spreads on networks. Klout scores social network users on a scale of 1-100 with 1 being a newbie and 100 being, well YouTube itself.

Klout has become an important measurement tool for marketing professionals and brand managers to evaluate the reach of their brands through all of the social networks included in the Klout measurement matrix. These networks include Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress.com, Last.fm, and Flickr with more networks coming soon.

Klout measures influence by capturing which people in your networks respond to your originally posted content, and who’s content you are responding to. After interacting with your network for a few days through Klout, you will be able to send K+ or additional Klout to influencer’s in your network that have expertise on different subjects. Hopefully, your network will also offer you some K+ in return to help bolster your own Klout score.

Why Should I Measure My Influence?

At first glance measuring your social network influence may seem inconsequential and vain, but over the past few years, job applicants have started including this measurement score on their resume to help when applying for marketing jobs. Klout has quickly become an industry accepted scoring matrix that ultimately influences digital marketing decisions. Developing your Klout provides you with another tool with which to market yourself when seeking employment the same way potential employers review LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts of job applicants.

Perks

As a bonus, Klout often offers Perks to Klout users in specific locations with specific scores. These Perks may range from free car rentals, to early membership invitations to the newest internet craze or other cross promotions with Klout partners. Perks are promotions that businesses do to get individuals with high Klout scores to try and talk about their products and services through the users social networks.

Conclusion

If you are not in the digital marketing field then signing up for Klout is not a necessity, but it is a neat novelty for basic social network users. If you are a digital marketer or manage a brand or products social profiles, then you should be using Klout as a tool to help you in measuring your social campaigns and social reach.

I am a Klout user and I am looking forward to seeing what they do in the future to enhance their matrix and hone their scoring model. They have a lot of potential and will give the marketing world a great measurement tool for years to come.