If there was a brain child between LinkedIn and Social Media ROI, it’d be called Klout. Klout lets users see their social relevance and gauge their social net worth via a clear and definable number. Klout has soared with success among a wide base of users, so much so that it’s no longer “What’s your sign?” but rather “What’s your Klout number?” At least according to dating service Tawkify.

But it’s a believable shift. Klout has lead to number envy and raised competitive streaks among colleagues, making a high Klout number more valuable than the number of hits your link got, the number of recommendations you have on LinkedIn, or even Facebook or Twitter followers.

Why? Because Klout creates a direct association between the social web and you, and that’s desirable. People will always be interested in themselves, and they want to know what they are valued at in a direct and tangible way rather than often obscure-feeling social media ROI.

The web’s been humming with the new Klout “brand page” buzz, but it’s not what you think. Klout isn’t offering companies a place to create Facebook-like brand pages so much that it’s offering a way for companies to connect with top influencers. The focus is still on the individual and the connection is an original one across all social networks – one that continues to set Klout apart from any other platform.

Still in beta, Klout is offering “Brand Squads” where Klout will showcase the top ten influencers of a brand before branching out into showcasing the top 100. Marketers will now find it easier to filter conversation to find people that matter. If someone’s talking about you and they’re listed as a top influencer, it’s in your interest to start noticing them. This of course gives more leverage to the individual, which is the fast evolving direction of new media and the paradigm shift between consumer and corporation, but it also allows companies to better influence people who are making a difference while also tapping into a valuable marketing channel.

For example, savvy companies (especially among female demographics) have long been reaching out to bloggers and offering them brand ambassador roles. The task isn’t small for the marketing responsible for sourcing esteemed bloggers. Now there’s a sure fire way to figure out who’s who and what their value/reach is.

The perks run both ways. For influencers, it’s a chance to be noticed and earn “Klout perks” or exclusive products, services or experiences based on your level of influence. Influencers reaching top status across their industry also help themselves by cementing their authority in an industry or field.

In addition to creating connection, the new brand page also features social media buttons and a Facebook-like activity ticker, which is sure to help Klout with regular user interaction. Like Twitter’s re-tweet, Klout lets you share ticker activity and rewards you with a +K (Klout point). The downside with this is that Klout already has some reviewers grumbling about how easy it is to get Klout points. Sure, but it’s also easy to lose them if you’re not remaining active and engaged.

Tips to Increase Your Klout Score

If you’ve got a Klout account, there are ways you can boost your number. Remember that higher score attainment is much like a never ending marathon session where the focus is on distance, pace and focus. To raise your score, try these tips:

  • Offer Original Content – The rules of content have changed. It’s not just about offering great content, but about offering different content that generates ideas, spots trends and provides original analysis. This gets noticed and trafficked; this creates real value.
  • Frequent Social Networks – Facebook and Twitter are great. But you should also consider other popular channels like Quora and Pinterest.
  • Be a Mentor – Everyone wants traffic. But instead of starting a campaign, tap into the new trend by being a mentor and offering a set number of hours a month or year in helping other people by answering questions in your industry.
Author Bio:

by Shireen Qudosi

Shireen Qudosi is Benchmark Email's Online Marketing Specialist and Small Business Advocate. An Orange County based writer, Shireen specializes in online marketing and public relations. She has written for over 75 publications and has launched nine successful new media campaigns to date. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Denver Post, the Oklahoman and Green Air Radio, among others.