Close Encounter With Klout Experts
By Ralf Skirr.
Have you heard about Klout Experts? It’s a new feature on the controversial influence scoring platform, Klout.
It’s the first Klout ‘useful-for-everybody’ feature providing an actual value to people (how cool is that!), and I believe it will be big.
I’m a sucker for everything new (technical term: early adopter), so I was eagerly waiting for Klout Experts to appear in my Klout profile.
Waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
I’m still on the Klout Experts waitlist to get in, but today I got a surprise sneak peak and answered my first 3 questions.
What is Klout Experts? And why is it good for your business?
Klout Experts is a new question and answer feature. Through their dashboard Klout users will be able to submit their answers to questions. You may know the concept from sites like Yahoo! Answers or Quora.
For example, these are the 3 questions I answered today:
What’s different with Klout is that each answer seems to stand on its own, while Yahoo, Quora, and others display all answers from all users on the same page.
The next thing that’s different – marketing awesomeness! – is that answers won’t be quarantined within Klout’s web site, but they will show up on other web sites, most notably in Bing search results.
This is where the marketing aspect comes in.
Think about it.
Answering a simple question with 300 characters or less gives you a shot at showing up at the top of Bing’s search results. Being featured as an expert, including your picture, which means getting more attention than the other search results on the page.
Here’s what Klout says about exposure for your answers:
“Through our partnerships with Bing and others, people searching for help will be able to find your responses, then look at your Klout Moments to understand your perspective, and even connect with you on social media for follow-up conversations.”
Your content in search results with your pic featured is reminiscent of Google authorship, but at the same time it’s very different, because it’s driven by topics, not by people.
Klout Experts is for … Experts!
It’s not a branding tool for everyone, but it’s an especially perfect branding tool for everyone who wants to brand himself as an expert for a certain topic.
- Book authors
- Info product creators
- Niche Bloggers
Klout already attaches topics of expertise to your profile, now you can strengthen that by answering related questions. And probably be featured as expert on Bing and other sites.
It’s an intriguing question, by the way, what other joint ventures Klout might be working on, besides Bing.
So, how does Klout Experts look like?
While I can’t find direct access through my Klout profile, today I stumbled upon a link to an answer someone else gave to a branding question. Right below her answer I had a chance to add my own 2 cents.
Each answer seems to get its own page.
- The question sits on top.
- Followed by the answer.
- Followed by a form where you can submit your own answer.
- On the right hand side you will find links to related questions.
How can you get started with Klout Experts?
- First, make sure you have a Klout profile.
- Second, add yourself to the waiting list.
- Third, go to Klout’s Twitter profile, visit one of the many links to Klout Answer questions, and add your own answer.
Being or not being on the waiting list doesn’t seem to make any difference, it seems as long as you have a Klout profile, you can answer questions.
My guess is that the waiting list is related to features that will display questions to you directly inside your Klout dashboard. We’ll find out once I leave the waiting list behind.
What say Bing and Google?
Just for fun, I entered an exact quote of this question to Bing and Google. Both find the question, but in entirely different ways. :-)
Please note: Bing’s result in this screen shot does NOT show a featured answer, but a traditional list of sites related to the search phrase, and that’s perfectly normal.
This is how answers will be featured on Bing search result pages
I think it looks neat and will certainly get people’s attention.
Answers and your online influence score
Answering questions will clearly add to your Klout score. In Klout’s own words:
“Klout Experts helps you grow your influence by answering questions about your influential topics.
You are your friends’ go-to person on a topic. Now you can be the go-to person for an entire Klout topic.”
Readers can endorse your answer by giving K+ to your answer, and they can share it on Twitter and Facebook.
Your Klout Dashboard will display the engagement on your questions, see screen shot on the right.
While I didn’t find any information on that, I’d guess that you’ll get some basic points for each answer, plus points for each K+ endorsement and each share. To make things more complicated, the ratio of views / K+ and shares will probably make a difference, too.
When 10 out of 20 readers give you a K+ plus, it might lead to a stronger boost for your Klout score than 10 out of 100 readers giving you K+.
From all answers given to a question, those with the most endorsements and shares probably are more likely to show up at Bing.
But I wouldn’t count on all your friends Kplussing you will cataplut your answer to the top. I’m sure anti spam measures are in place.
I like the concept.
- I’m excited to see Klout grow into something more complex and more meaningful.
- I’m thrilled by the expert branding opportunities. Who knows what the future might bring!
- I enjoy the challenge to provide a profound, no-fluff answer in 300 characters.
Let’s discuss in the comments below.
What’s the future of Klout Experts? Do you like it?