Megan Berry, Marketing Manager for Klout – “the standard for influence,” kindly agreed to answer a few questions, which are included in this post. But first, I should explain — I use Klout. I’m an advocate, which doesn’t mean I agree with everything they do. It DOES mean I use Klout to understand how to effectively spread my message. I believe it’s a valuable reference and tool.

What does Klout actually measure? Klout believes influence can be measured, “by one’s ability to drive action,” on social networks.

True Reach – Measures the number of people you influence.

Friends, Total Retweets, Follower/Follow Ratio, Unique Likers, Followed Back %, @ Mention Count, List Count, List Followers Count, Mutual Follows.

Amplification – Measures how much you influence people.

Unique Retweeters, Likes Per Post, Unique Messages Retweeted, Follower Retweet %, Comments Per Post, Unique @ Senders, Inbound Messages Per Outbound Message, Follower Mention %, Update Count.

Network – Measures the influence of the people you reach.

Followed Back %, List Inclusions, Unique Senders, Commenters, Retweeters, Likers, Influence of Followers, Influence of Retweeters and Mentioners, Influence of Friends, Influence of Likers and Commenters.

Megan Berry @meganberry blogs with The Huffington Post, MashableBrazen Careerist, and the Klout blog, as well as musing on her own blog, Part Time Perfectionist. Megan had her first award-winning website at age 11. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University and worked initially at Mobclix before joining Klout as its fourth employee.

Randy: Considering Klout relies wholly on social media presence, and doesn’t measure other Internet influence, what would you say to those who believe determining influence by this method alone is baloney?

Megan: We’re not perfect, but we do take into account 10 networks, including blogging and photo platforms. Our goal is to measure influence everywhere people are creating content online and we get closer to that everyday.

Randy: Some people believe Klout is more about popularity than influence; how would you respond?

Megan: We believe influence is the ability to drive action. You may influence people to watch a movie or click a link because you’re a trusted expert, because you’re a friend, or because they think you’re cool. Either way, you have influenced them to take action, and that should affect your score.

Randy: As I understand it, topics of influence tracks back to the
beginning of conversations. For example, my wife is shown as having
influence on duct tape (gee, I hope not), which may be tracked back to a
humorous tweet, which was RT’d. Has Klout considered how to eliminate these

Megan: We find topics based on semantic analysis of the tweets and posts that get the most traction (i.e. RTs, @messages, comments, likes etc.). We’re constantly working to improve this system to more accurately pinpoint the topics you’re influential on. That being said, I wouldn’t say duct tape is a non-topic, duct tape might make sense for a DIY handle or a manufacturer.

Randy: How does Klout recommend people use Klout?

Megan: We love seeing all the different ways people can use Klout. Klout can help you benchmark your success, understand who you influence, and discover who to trust in the topics you care about. You can also earn Klout Perks based on your influence.

Randy: There’s a lot more to Kout then the score. What can people learn
from the analytics such as True Reach, Amplification Probability, and
Network Influence?

Megan: These are great indicators of your strengths and weaknesses.

Randy: What is +K and how does +K affect the analytics?

Megan: +K is the ability to vouch for your peers’ influence in topics. You can give someone +K as a way to say thanks or give them kudos for an area they have influenced you in.

Randy: I’m holding out for a new Audi and a beta notebook phone thingy,
but seriously (I am serious if you’re listening, Audi), what may we expect
from Klout Perks in future?

Megan: We have tons of awesome Perks coming. Check out to see some of the great Perks we’re running.

Randy: We’ve seen examples of Klout being used by organizations, such as the Las Vegas Palm Casino and Hotel, offering customer upgrades based on Klout. Also, we’re seeing recruiting professionals being influenced by Klout scores, while Mailchimp, The Huffington post, and others are using Klout to help customers. Who else and how else is Klout being used?

Megan: We have over 3000 partners and developers using Klout data for everything from segmenting users, to rewarding top fans, to displaying Klout Scores.

Randy: What’s in the future for Klout?

Megan: We want to integrate more networks to more accurately measure Klout Scores, we want to help people understand and grow their Klout and we want to continue to support all of our great partners and developers.


Thank you, Megan, for taking time from your busy schedule to talk.

So…Klout — love it, hate it, or just don’t care? I’d like to know what you think.

Author: Randy Clark. He is the Director of Communications at TKO Graphix, where he blogs for TKO Graphix Brandwire. Prior to TKO, he spent 13 years with Unique Home Solutions as Marketing Director and VP of Operations. He is an avid flower gardener, beer geek, and he fronts the Under the Radar rock & roll band