I’d been hearing recently how Klout is being used to vet authors and potential employees, and decided I ought to take it a little more seriously than I had been.

I didn’t feel like I understood the inner workings of Klout and had spent no time at all working on my Klout score, and yet I’ve still intermittently received emails declaring “Your Klout score has just gone up!” But as I did my research, it seemed I had two different Klout accounts, and one had a very low score as it was connected to a Twitter account I rarely used, and the other an extremely high rating.

Once I got that taken care of, and started paying attention to my score and how it all worked, I began to wonder, How many speakers, authors, bloggers, and other ministry leaders out there don’t even know about Klout, let alone don’t know what their score is and how to improve it?

And so, I’ve done my homework and found out a few things that you should know.

One thing about the internet… Anyone can create a persona that looks professional, and sounds good, but is just a front. Have you ever seen a website like that? Generic wording, stock photos, no actual people to connect with the business or ministry? Now that many organizations are utilizing Klout to vet people, ministries, and businesses, it makes sense to understand how it works so you can set yourself apart and allow your credibility to be assessed.

But here’s the deal. It’s not good enough to just post a bunch of content. If it were, anyone could have a high Klout score whether they were legit or not.

Much of your Klout score is determined on the content you create, but more importantly, the level of interaction you have from those reading what you post. You can’t just get a great score by flooding your social media platforms with useless content. It must be meaningful and real people must respond to it. Klout is looking for you to be actively engaging others in an authentic way, as a true resource and help to your audience.

So here are 5 steps for not only increasing your Klout score, but also for developing a strong presence online.

1. Pray and ask the Lord for wisdom and insight on who your target audience should be.

Oftentimes new authors and speakers feel their message is for “everyone.” Unfortunately, that is simply an unreal expectation and real effort needs to be spent narrowing down your focus.  Ask yourself these questions:

Who would receive the most help from what I write, and what do they look like?

  • Age range
  • Gender
  • Christian or unbeliever
  • Income level
  • Niche market (divorced, grieving, successful, special needs parent, abuse survivor, writer, book lover, etc.)

Knowing this information about your target market will help you determine the best platforms to post content and advertise/promote to.

2. Build a Focused and Interactive Network

Your social media strategy should be focused on your target audience, providing them with content that will meet their needs and hopefully engage them to the point that they look forward to your posts. The outcome should be that they desire to read your book, hear you speak, or become someone who shares with others the content you create containing the message God has given you. If you do not have an existing email list, an automatic market of friends on Facebook or connections on other platforms, you can use Facebook advertising to get your message in front of people you don’t know.

3. Develop Authentic Content

Content creation is the most crucial piece in your social media puzzle. No matter where you post it, it must be valuable and give some insight into your personality and how God is actively at work in your life. People need to get to know YOU, as an author or speaker or ministry leader. They need to connect with you and know they can trust what you are speaking into their lives.  As more people like, share, and comment on your posts, the higher your Klout numbers will climb.

Compelling:

Whatever you say, and however you say it, be it a 140 character tweet, a photo on Instagram, or a blog post on Google+, it must be compelling! If your reader yawns and rolls their eyes thinking  “And why do I care?” you’ve already lost them.  Get to the point and make sure it’s clear, using facts, statistics, personal experience, and amusing anecdotes…but keep it consistent with your overall brand message. Always keep it conversational if you can.

Edifying:

Never post content just to check the box. Make sure you’ve prayed about the topic and asked the Lord for His wisdom and insight to share.  The platform you are sharing the information on will determine the amount and depth of content. A quick tip can be shared on Twitter but a companion post delving deeper on your blog can provide more detail to those who want it.

Significant:

Everything you share should tie into the brand you have established in some way. If your strategy is to establish yourself as an expert on your topic, make sure the consistency is there in everything you post. What you say must be relevant to your audience, which is why it’s so important to establish in advance who they are as mentioned in step #1 above.

Share-worthy:

If your content is compelling, edifying and significant, then people will want to share it with others. Help them by:

  • Shortening lengthy urls down using www.bitly.com . Bitly also provides tracking so you can see the metrics on each link.
  • Use some formatting on your longer posts to make them easier to read. Headlines, subheads, photos, pull quotes, and links to other resources.
  • Use picmonkey.com or canva.com to create images with quotes or other stats or relevant info for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

4. Don’t Spread Yourself too Thin

Just because Klout will allow you to connect 13 different social media platforms to your Klout account doesn’t mean you should be on them all. Ask the Lord to help you narrow down your focus so your time and energy are used well and efficiently. Consider, where is my audience? Depending on the demographics it may be best to single out Twitter and Instagram—or possibly just Facebook and Google+. Whatever you determine is best, if it’s more than just a few, consider using Hootsuite to schedule all your posts on all your platforms well ahead of time. It’s amazing to me how God can have them hit just at the right time to minister to someone, even though you’ve scheduled them out, sometimes a month in advance!

Here’s the current list of accounts you can use to improve your Klout score:

  • Facebook (Personal profile or page, but not both)
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • Foursquare
  • Tumblr
  • Blogger
  • WordPress.com
  • Last.fm
  • Flickr
  • Yammer
  • YouTube

5. Strategic Consistency

Whatever you do, on all the social media platforms you connect to your Klout account, make sure there’s consistency in your branding, your look (colors and fonts), your description, your bio, your headshot. You want to communicate a consistent message that is strategic. It should be professional and appropriate for the audience you are trying to reach. I recently taught a workshop called “Lasting Impression: Package Yourself with Class” where I went into this topic more comprehensively.  Have a listen…it may help you!

After You’ve Taken Those Five Steps

Once you have developed steps one through five, then, if you haven’t already done so, go to www.klout.com and set up an account by logging in using your Facebook or Twitter account. As you are doing so, make sure you activate all of the social media platforms you are on so Klout draws from the activity on those sites. As I updated my Klout account and added some of the platforms I’m active on, my score went from 61 to 64 in a matter of days!

And as you continue to share the message God has given you, through the written and/or spoken word, with these key elements in place, your Klout score grow as your online presence does. Now, I’m not advocating becoming overly anxious about your Klout score, but certainly be sure you keep an eye on it to insure correct information and platforms are connected and your reputation is being accurately described.

I’ve since learned that the 100 Top Faith Blogs for Christian Women began using Klout to vet the blogs they were listing. So how many other meeting planners, acquisition editors, publishers and potential clients might be doing the same?

Maybe more than you think!

I’d say it’s worth taking the time to make sure your info is accurate and your score is healthy.

Have you been watching your Klout score and can you add anything to the conversation? If so, please join in! The more understanding we have, the better equipped we are to get the message God has given us out to those who need to hear it!

Athena Dean Holtz is a speaker, author, blogger, radio personality, and publisher at Redemption Press, where your message is our mission.
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