The Deets on Klout


By Ryan Shell of Fashables

Ever since Klout was mentioned on stage at the Independent Fashion Bloggers Evolving Influence Conference (some) fashion bloggers have been trying to figure out what Klout is, and what kind of impact it will have. This post will give you a high level understanding of Klout, and what it should or shouldn’t mean to you. Before we go any further and you start worrying about how high or low yours score is, there’s something I must say. Engaging your readers and followers and putting out great content… those are factors you should worry about, always. Win in those areas and your Klout will rise.

What is Klout?

In short, Klout is a new company that is assigning users of social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) a score. Without getting overly technical, Klout uses a set of complex algorithms to give you a score from 1 to 100 (higher the score the “better”) that brands can utilize to measure influence. Specifically, they utilize three categories to determine your score.

Klout Categories

With brevity in mind, I’ll keep the definitions for these three Klout categories relatively simple.

  • True Reach – the size of your audience that is actively engaged with you.
  • Amplification Probability – the likelihood that your messages will get shared (Ex. RT on Twitter, Like or Comment on Facebook) and generate conversations.
  • Networks Influence – this is the measure of how influential your followers are and is the hardest of the three categories to control.

Combined, these three categories use more than 35 variables to determine a Klout score, some of which include (this get’s a bit nerdy): Followers, Mutual Follows, Friends, Total Retweets, Unique Commenter’s, Unique Likers, Follower/Follow Ratio, Followed Back %, @ Mention Count, List Count, List Followers Count, Unique Retweeters, Unique Messages Retweeted, Likes Per Post, Comments Per Post Follower Retweet %, Unique @ Senders, Follower Mention %, Inbound Messages Per Outbound Message, Update Count, List inclusions, Follower/Follow Ratio, Followed Back %, Unique Senders, Unique Retweeters, Unique Commenter’s, Unique Likers, Influence of Followers, Influence of Retweeters and Mentioners, Influence of Friends, Influence of Likers and Commenter’s

Does the Score Matter?

Rather than ramble on with more technical jargon, let’s address how this score impacts you as a fashion blogger.

  1. If you have no desire to work with brands and are simply having fun with blogging, your Klout score won’t matter much to you.
  2. If you aspire to monetize your blog you need to pay attention to your score, as it is one of many elements brands may potentially use to analyze you, as a good fit for their marketing needs.


If you are a 2

If you relate to number 2 from the list above, yes, it’s true that you should pay attention to your Klout score (to an extent). It’s also very important that you not get caught up in sending X tweets per day and sweating when you don’t get Y retweets per day.

For my day job I’m one of those marketing folks that will, at times, need to find influencers for certain categories. When doing so I’ll check a person’s Klout, but I also look at a variety of other factors before listing someone as an influencer.

Things such as the quality of content you distribute and the type of brand ambassador you have been/could be plays a big factor when adding people to an influencer list.

Does Size Matter?

Keep in mind that Klout measures influence, and a person with 400 followers that causes his/her audience to react can easily be viewed as more influential than someone with 5,000 followers that never react. The size of your audience doesn’t guarantee a high Klout score; it’s all about influence (causing action).

In the End

Klout measures influence, but what was said towards the beginning of this post should be what influences you, “Engaging your readers and followers and putting out great content… those are factors you should worry about, always. Win in those areas and your Klout will rise.”

I hope this post has in some way shed some light on Klout. If you don’t know your Klout, but want to, click here to get started.


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24 Responses

  1. Bella Q

    I was trying to explain Klout to a group of my hometown fashion bloggers- and why they should work on their score. Now I can just send them the link to this post- WELL DONE!
    -Bella Q
    the Citizen Rosebud

    • Ryan


      I’m glad you found the article to be helpful. We only scratched the surface here, but I hope it helps you explain things to your hometown fashion bloggers.


  2. sandyb

    Thanks for this post – this is up there with the most clear, concise and positive explanations I’ve read on Klout so far (and I’ve read my share!). I’m a full time writer/editor and also work heavily in social media for other brands – you’re right, Klout matters, but so does substance. I love that you pointed that out, because, as we all try to reach for the stars w/ our blogs, it’s the content and genuine nature of our blogs that can suffer. Klout or not, I’ll be retweeting this post today. Thanks again.


    • Ryan


      Thanks for such a great comment! Klout isn’t always the easiest thing to explain because people overlook details and focus on that magic little number – I’m glad the points came across.

      As you pointed out, substance is very important. If your content rocks people will naturally share it and want more.

      Thanks for sharing this post with others!


  3. AsheMischief

    You mention that one of the variables determining your Klout is the Follower/Follow Ratio. Do you know what constitutes a good ratio? Is it better to try and follow back many people, should you only follow a few so that you can stay more focused and organized?

    • Ryan


      There’s not really a good answer to your question. The variable you mentioned is one of many factors and shouldn’t be given massive amounts of weight.

      No matter if you only follow a few or follow everyone that follows you, true influence comes from you prompting your followers to take some sort of action (RT, reply, etc.).

      In terms of staying focused and organized, I highly recommend you looking at a solution such as HootSuite.

      HootSuite will enable you to quickly use various lists so you can see different chunks of conversations. Lists you could have may include: brands, friends, fashion bloggers, etc. allows you to make and use lists, but it’s a much slower process and they aren’t top of mind due to how the site is structured.

      List management could be a post in and of itself. Great question though.


  4. the clothing menu

    One other thing I would add is what is a good Klout score? I haven’t looked into it too much, but I heard from somewhere that a score over 70 is “good,” but what do you think?

    • Ryan


      Yes, over 70 is good. But it really depends on the pool of people you have to work with.

      Let’s assume that I’m looking for people to talk about X and find my top 20 candidates only by using Klout. A couple may have a score above 70, but if everyone else is lower I may choose to lower the “good” score and drop down to 60.

      But again, it’s not all about the score. Someone may have a score of 55, but then have a huge Facebook presence and a network of blogs… that’s value that certainly shouldn’t be overlooked.

      Just go with the higher the better concept, while remembering this message from the post,

      “Engaging your readers and followers and putting out great content… those are factors you should worry about, always. Win in those areas and your Klout will rise.”


  5. Sandra at Debutante Clothing

    I started using Klout right after it was mentioned at the IFB conference. I think it’s an invaluable tool. I love that it shows you not only your influence, but it classifies you (your social media presence) into several categories. I am a specialist – I sort of knew that already. It gives me a good idea of how my online efforts are used. Very valuable!

  6. Style Maniac

    Great post on a hot topic.

    I think, though, what’s misleading about Klout is that it does not measure the entire online reach of a person or brand. It only looks at Twitter and your personal Facebook account, which I find very odd. The website says assessing Facebook Pages is something they are considering, but they don’t do it now. So you could have wonderful interaction on your blog and Facebook Page but unless you’re a savvy and active user of Twitter, you’re outta luck.

    • Ryan


      You are exactly right, which is why I kind of harped on the fact that this isn’t the only factor considered.

      I think some bloggers were led to believe that Klout was “it,” but hopefully we’ve been able to paint a clearer picture.

      Klout certainly plays a part in the equation though.


  7. Lindsay

    Fantastic breakdown! I have been trying to figure out Klout for a few days now and this post was super helpful.

    I have read that “if your Klout score is under 40 get it over 75 ASAP.”

  8. Kelsi (Dedicated)

    Agreeing with Style Maniac on the blog/pages etc reach – so it’ll not be entirely accurate.

    That said I did see some glaring inaccuracies on my profile (though was altogether pleased with my score)

    – It says I’ve been listed 100 times. I’m actually on 190 twitter lists. So almost double what it says…

    – The people it says influences me I don’t actually speak to. One hasn’t tweeted in almost a year. Another I don’t even follow, and another just talks to me – so how I’m being influenced by them I have absolutely no idea.

    Knowing the facts on those, makes me a little dubious of the accuracies of the figures I can’t measure – and is also a little concerning that this is information gathered and trusted by marketers potentially looking to work with me!

    So..not sure – we’ll see.

    • Ryan


      I’m right there with you on inaccuracies. I’ve noticed the same on my personal profile as well as my fashion blogger profile. For instance, on my personal profile one of the words it identifies with me is “California,” which is completely random and doesn’t make sense.


      • Kelsi (Dedicated)

        I have to say though, since I’ve been using, it’s started to correct those inaccuracies, as if it’s “getting to know me” ooer…!

        I’m actually really enjoying using it!

  9. Christen

    Great explanation of Klout. I just signed up and it says it measures your Twitter and Facebook interaction/reach. Does anyone know how often those numbers are updated?

  10. Kate

    What I hate about Twitter is how some people without a job, a website, or any jokes manages to get sites like this to rank them high enough to get them free swag. Anyway the deal with Klout…it’s alright a little gimmicky though, but they have enough of the tech community at least in LA on their side that everyone will want to be on that site soon. Funny how an influence measurer uses influence to create hype for itself. At the end of the day it’s about the connections, but all in all I kind of hate how clicky things can get like this.

  11. barb g

    I just joined klout recently so this explains a lot. I’m trying to get mine up as
    it’s only 29 right now.

  12. Gerry

    Klout is a scam, mine dropped 30 points for no reason. Disregard this scam

  13. Lara

    Hi Ryan, While Klout is explained very well, I already know a lot about what Klout is and stumbled on this article when I was researching what a good klout score is (which you didn’t really go into). So while higher the better…what is a respectable score and what is a good range if you are eventually looking to monetize your blog?