If you’re active in the social media space, you’ve probably heard of Klout at some point, but might not understand how to put it to good use for your small business. Hopefully we can help with that today.

What’s That?
The concept of Klout and of Klout Scores is all about social influence. Their website defines influence as “the ability to drive action.” In a nutshell, people who are active on a variety of social networks sign up with Klout and their activities and the responses of others are measured and analyzed, giving them a Klout score somewhere between 1 and 100. This is based on over 400 ‘signals’ from eight social networks. The more ‘action’ that person’s activities drive, the higher their score. In this scenario, ‘action’ is defined as things like followers and shares on networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram, as well as connections and interactions on LinkedIn, Foursquare, and even Klout itself.

Here’s a handy flowchart describing how a Klout score is determined:

Why Do I Care?
If you’re saying to yourself, “but Sarah, I’m a busy entrepreneur, not a blogger. Why do I care about my Klout score?” that’s a valid point. But while you might not care about your own Klout score, you might care about the scores of other people, and what they can do for your business.

That’s where Klout For Business comes in. Introduced in early 2013, this platform helps connect businesses with the social media users who are influential about their particular industry and offer perks for those Klout members to write about or recommend their business.

An example: Say you started a restaurant last year, and business has been pretty steady, but you’re ready to take it to the next level and you want to increase your exposure. You already have a website, and you’re active on Facebook and Twitter, but you’re having trouble getting much traction there since you don’t have time to run your business AND be a social media expert. You join Klout for business and offer a perk to people who are influential in the food and hospitality arenas. A food writer with a high Klout score takes you up on it, writes a piece about your restaurant, and shares your website and social profiles with her network. Because she has the ability to drive action within that community of interested people, you suddenly see a spike in your web traffic and followers, and see increased business over the next few weeks.

According to the Klout For Business website, associating your business with Klout influencers can have some pretty dramatic results online:

Interested? To learn more about how Klout For Business works and to try it out for yourself, visit them online. If you have experience with Klout, please let us know what you think!

About the Author: Sarah Matista is the Online Content Specialist and resident blogger at Pagemodo. Loves social media, branding, whales. Get more from Sarah on Pagemodo’s Blog and Google+.

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