Ned Adams, whose Klout score rocketed to 62 through the #domosocial experiment, is Domo’s official winner of the Klout King Award. (He was crowned today during the #domosocial awards meeting.) In this post, Ned shares what he learned about online influence, what types of online behavior impact Klout scores, and what it feels like to beat the Klout score of your CEO.
How I Became Domo’s Klout King
Getting my Klout badge was my most difficult task in the #domosocial experiment. I had whipped through all the other badges required to be #domosocial certified with relative ease. However, when I got to Klout, I needed to increase my score by 10 percent, which seemed impossible to me. I noticed it was pretty easy to go from a score of 10 to 20, and from 20 into the 30s, but once I hit the 40s, it took longer and longer to earn a single point increase. According to Klout only five percent of the Klout accounts have scores above 50. My score started at 52 when the #domosocial experiment started, so I’d have to raise it 5 points to 57 to earn the badge.
I had always thought that Klout weighed the amount of content you pumped out, so I decided to tweet as much as possible to raise my score − spewing as much information as I could to anyone who would look at it. Unfortunately, that approach did nothing to improve my score and created so much frustration that I almost gave up on the #domosocial certification.
Then, as if on cue, Domo announced a training class on understanding Klout. It was taught by a colleague, Joel Tobey (@joeltobey), who really understood how Klout factored your score. Joel taught that the main driver for your Klout score was not the amount of followers that you had, but the amount of interaction you had with those followers. If you wanted to improve your score, having 15 followers who were all engaged in conversation was better than having 1 million followers with zero engaged in conversation.
This was helpful insight, but I still had the question, how do you make that happen?
I decided to start with Facebook. Jason Cheney (@jasontcheney) another employee who took Joel’s training class, had posed a question on his Facebook wall and got a few comments. I liked that approach and decided I would ask a technology question since I’m an IT guy.
On the first question I posted, I didn’t get much response, which made me realize that my audience wasn’t really that nerdy. For my next question, I decided to change up the format and put “Poll: “ in front of it. I also decided to pick a more mainstream, controversial topic and phrased the question in a way that didn’t lean to one side or the other. Bingo. This approach worked. On my first poll, I received close to 50 comments and my Klout score started to slowly go up with a 3/10th of a point increase the next day. And thus began the “Ned Poll”.
The Ned Poll didn’t come without a bit of teasing. Another colleague, Wes Holley (@wesholley) started commenting on Facebook how my questions were ploys to boost my Klout score. At the beginning it was completely true. But the sweet irony was that Wes was commenting on my polls and, in turn, generating more comments so he was helping my cause. (Thanks, Wes.)
I decided to do the next Ned Poll again with another topic similar to the first, but I was curious to see if I would get better results based on the time of day. I tried posting the first poll right before lunch ended. It got more comments than the first one. I posted another one right before I went to bed. Again I got comments but would it translate to more Klout success? I checked and found that my Klout score went up almost a full point!
I gained my Klout badge in a little less than five days with the Ned Polls. I began getting more and more people interested. I had one Facebook friend that enjoyed the content of the polls so much that she invited several of her friends to join in. The Ned Polls started getting bigger and bigger so I decided to move them to a group. As soon as I did that my Klout score did something that I NEVEREVER thought it would: My score passed the Klout score of our CEO Josh James (@joshjames). So while I may have taken some teasing from co-workers, I had achieved something nobody else in the company had.
The whole topic of Klout scores takes a regular bashing yet I learned many lessons about social media trying to earn this badge. The most important take away was to make sure that content is meaningful, posted at the right time, and written in a way that makes people want to interact. These are simple lessons but I believe they make a big difference in the way you build and nurture relationships online, and I have the Klout score to prove it.