Klout is a Social Media measurement of influence and reach. You authorize Klout access to your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. The Klout algorithm then gives you a score, from 1 to 100. 1 being low and 100 high.
Klout creates Gamification between Social Media users, which is good when people see Klout as a way to track progress. It is when it turns into an “arms race” and people use automation to “game” the algorithm where things IMHO go wrong.
If you are starting out then expect a Klout of 20, 30 or 40 — 60 is a moderate influencer, 70 and above is the realms of an Influencer. 80 and above and you will have celeb status.
I’m just starting out how can I get on the Klout ladder?
The Klout algorithm measures a number of good behaviors and if you follow some basic steps you will see your Klout to start rise.
The Essence of Social Media and Social Selling
Selling has not altered, since I started selling 25 years ago. What has changed is the ability to use new technologies to help us sell. For example, Social Media listening, LinkedIn, Enterprise Social Network, etc.
When I was at school, there were 3 TV channels and the PC had not been invented. Today, when we want a new product or service, we don’t call a supplier. We search on Google, ask friends, colleagues and influencers. We go to chat rooms, and use Social Media to do our research. This has fundamentally changed the way people buy.
By the time a prospective customer comes to purchase your product of service, they probably know more than you. In fact they may have already made a decision. 25 years a go customers got 80% of product data from the supplier, now it’s just 20%.
Leap Frogging the Competition
So how can you leap frog over this problem and the competition? Set your self up on LinkedIn yourself as a “Thought Leader” and as a trusted adviser in the industry prospects and customers will come to you. As your competition don’t get Social Selling, you will get to this prospect before anybody else and then using your “old school” sales skills you can close the deal. Cool eh?
That is why Social Selling is worth the investment and for us, a competitive advantage.
So where does @Klout come in?
Klout is a good measure to chart your progress from beginner to that point where that lead or prospect comes to you.
Great, so what do I need to do?
1. LinkedIn – is the building block of your activities, you can target clients, make new contacts as you prospect. LinkedIn will also allow you to get wider and deeper in accounts and cover all basis. LinkedIn reckon that for every Enterprise sale 4.7 people are involved, this is how you uncover influencers, decision makers etc and network around your accounts.
You need to set up a buyer centric profile, what that means, is too detailed to go into here but I recommend the book “How to Really use LinkedIn” by Jan Vermeiren and Bert Verdonck.
A buyer centric profile means that when you approach prospects you will look like a person they would want to engage with, rather some Swiss Tony from the Fast Show.
LinkedIn gives you a score from 1 to 100 as to how they think it meets Social Selling best practice. You can access that here.
It is really worth investing one day of your selling year doing this. You also need to build into your daily routine posting at least one article a day. Most companies provide content to support this.
Tip: If you like something or share, then all your followers see this article. One senior exec I know posts no articles, but will like or share. This is Social Selling with little effort.
As Gary Player the golfer said — ‘The more I practice, the luckier I get.’
2. Set yourself up on Twitter.
As background reading I do recommend Twitter newbies read these two blogs to get started:-
Twitter Beginner? – 4 Steps to Accelerate Yourself on Twitter…….: http://wp.me/p3tudK-e
Getting your next 1000 Followers – Using Twitter Lists. #Socialselling: http://wp.me/p3tudK-N
Twitter like most of Social Media it’s all about engagement.
First you need to find content to post. Most organisations provide this now as part of a Social Selling program. @OracleTim has also created Twitter lists you can subscribe to to provide ready built content you can tap into. (Come back to me if you don’t know how to subscribe to a list)
4 – 1 – 1 Rule
I recommend that for starters you go for the 4.1.1 rule as general guidance as to what to Tweet.
Tweet 4 pieces of relevant original content from others, 1 company / corporate tweet and 1 everyday Tweet as to what you are doing.
If your Twitter stream is full of corporate Tweets it looks boring.
To grow your @Klout you need to get reach and engagement.
To do that you need followers. To do that you need to be interesting.
Find interesting articles in your niche and share them on Twitter and LinkedIn. You want to be the “camp fire” that people will sit around.
Follow influencers in your space.
The more followers you get, you will see your Klout inch up.
But it’s not all about followers. Social Media is about engagement. Make sure you Retweet (RT) articles. Focus on influencers if you RT them, they may will RT you back. This will have a big impact on your Klout and influence.
Also engage. Ask a question, get people to respond. Ask why somebody liked an article. Or publish an article saying “That’s a great article because ….” “Great article we have seen a similar situation in our customers.”, “Our research shows something similar”.
Influencers are like you and me, we are all looking for content. Maybe you have access to a Gartner report, why not offer it to an Influencer.
Many B2B sales people tell me that Facebook isn’t relevant. This is changing fast.
I recommend on my blog the Discover.ly Chrome plug in that allows you to see mutual Facebook contacts in LinkedIn. Why is that relevant? The CEO you are trying to contact May be mates with one of your friends, that will only show up on Facebook not LinkedIn.
Link to as many friends as you can and makes sure you post at least once a day, photos are best, they get the best engagement.
Social Media can sometime feel like you are dropping stones into a very deep well. You never hear them hit the bottom. So what’s the point.? The time has come to deploy new technology to help you find and support your sales pursuits.
Tim Hughes is one of the Top 35 UK Bloggers and is part of a team rolling out #SocialSelling across 2000 Sales People throughout Europe. He is available for guest blogging and speaker engagements; contact him @timothy_hughes