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Does ‘Klout’ Matter?

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By Wendy Forsythe

social_media_kloutSocial networks have given us an online voice—a way to tell the world whatever we want in an instant. But, figuring out how to use that voice effectively is key to managing your online brand. You can post information constantly, but if nobody engages with you—or if nobody cares what you have to say—your efforts won’t amount to much.

The simple truth is this: you can yell all you want online, but what really matters is who hears you—and whether you’re able to influence them. That brings me to the subject of the Klout Score: a number between 1 and 100 that represents one’s level of online influence. Do you know what yours is?

Determining Your Klout
Klout, a website and mobile app that uses analytics to rank the online influence of its users, can determine your personal influence on any given day by monitoring your activity across social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, using attributes such as retweets, likes, follows and comments to update your score. Your level of influence (aka your Klout Score) is enhanced through increased online engagement with others via posts and responses.

The average Klout Score is 40 and those scoring above 63 represent the top 5 percent of all Klout users. You can find out how you stack up by visiting Klout.com and creating an account. Just link up your social networks and Klout will begin tracking your influence. Then monitor what you post and what the reactions are to the content you share on different networks. This will provide useful insight regarding which topics resonate with your online sphere of influence and help you find your voice across the social audiences you want to engage.

You may find that an update on one network creates lots of engagement and yet that same update on another network garners no activity at all. That’s because each network has its own hot buttons. Learning what those are will make you a better online communicator and, ultimately, more influential.

Cut Through the Noise
It’s easy to say you want to get more people to engage with you online. The tricky part is figuring out how exactly to get—and keep—the attention of those people so that they’ll listen to what you have to say.

Here are three proven strategies to increase online engagement:

1. Know your audience and create content that is interesting to them. Share your real estate expertise by answering common questions or weighing in on hot topics. Offer tips, post photos and share quotes.

2. Connect with other influencers. Watch what they post, engage with them and be inspired by them.

3. Start and join conversations. Ask questions, join Twitter chats and pay compliments.

All of these activities tend to result in engagement and will help you cut through the online noise.

Take the 90-Day Klout Challenge
Over the next 90 days, I challenge you to monitor your Klout Score regularly, and be strategic about your posts and engagements in an effort to increase your score. Have fun with this new tool and learn from it. It will guide you toward becoming a better content creator. And that will benefit both your online influence and your bottom line. For all of these reasons, Klout definitely matters.

Wendy Forsythe is executive vice president/head of global operations at Carrington Real Estate Services, where she is responsible for the operations and growth of the national brokerage with offices in 22 states and 1,200 agents.

For more information, visit www.carringtonrealestate.com.

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