Jon here, and I’ll be taking over for Jason as your new guide through the killer apps, tools & sites featured here in this series.

So… I’d like to introduce you to the next phase of Musician’s Arsenal – now called Cyber PR® Arsenal.

We are going to continue exploring social media services that can be instrumental in established your digital footprint and conquering your niche, but I’ll be focusing in on very specific takeaways, with each weekly entry giving you a deep understanding of how you can best utilize each unique app, tool & site.

I’d like to begin this new phase in the Cyber PR® Arsenal series with something that everyone needs to understand in order to effectively build a digital presence.

Social monitoring

While there are many social monitoring services out there, Klout is one that has ruffled quite a few feathers, as some people feel it incredibly important, meanwhile others feel like it is irrelevant and/ or inaccurate. So let’s dive into Klout and explore the 5 most important takeaways that you need to understand about the platform:

1. Assist with Targeting Influencers

One of the most difficult things for anyone to do when establishing themselves online is determining who the influencers within a niche actually are. This is where Klout truly excels. By analyzing the content that you are posting to Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google +, Tumblr, Foursquare, and Wikipedia, Klout is able to determine the relevant keywords and will identify 3 critical groups:

  • Your Super Fans – Your most powerful fans. These fans last a life-time!
  • Influential Followers – These fans can help you convert others to fans.
  • Niche Influencers – Very important to know. Connecting with these people can help you to increase your overall relevance and influence over a niche.

2. Offer a Frame of Reference

Speaking of targeting the most influential within the niche you are are targeting, Klout gives you both a visual as well as a numerical frame of reference for you to be able to compare your own influence to others within the space. This is important for you to understand if you ever hope to become influential enough to conquer your niche.

3. Discover Content Topics Worth Sharing

Posting relevant content on a consistent basis is one of the keys to social media success. But how do you know what content is relevant? A huge benefit of Klout is that it analyzes your content and identifies not only which of your previous content was the most successful, but also which overall topics you have the most influence in. This will allow you to target in on specific topics within your niche so that each relevant piece of content you post (of course on a consistent basis) are as effective as possible.

4. Identify Where You Make The Most Impact Online

While you may be publishing content on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Tumblr or any of the other countless platforms, how do you know which platform will ultimately play the hand in your overall digital success?

Because Klout tracks your presence across MANY platforms, it has the ability to show you where you are really growing your fan base. This way you can spend more time on platforms that are working really well and less time on platforms that aren’t working – OR, you can identify where you need to spend more time in order to ramp up your presence that is currently lacking.

5. Take with a grain of salt

While Klout may have some great tools for you to use (as outlined above), please keep in mind that it is a monitoring tool to help guide you based on suggestions. Klout is in no way the end-all say-all, and should be absolutely taken with a grain of salt – if you see Klout say something isn’t working for you, but you see that it absolutely is, do yourself the favor and trust your instinct….

What Do YOU Think of Klout?

While Klout clearly has quite a few advantages, there are those who feel it is a complete waste of time. I want to hear from YOU to find out what your experiences with Klout have been like. Leave a comment in the section below.