The Klout Score is used by many businesses and individuals to measure “social influence.” But instead of just measuring and reporting areas of influence, the company is taking it a step further by inviting members to build up their credibility online by sharing knowledge and expertise around a specific topic.

This week, Klout launched a preview of Klout Experts, a new program that will prompt influencers in different areas to answer questions related to the topic they’re influential in. For example, someone influential in social media might be asked “What are the three most important pieces of advice you can give to someone who is new to social media?”

As a marketer or community manager, answering that question not only shows that you’re knowledgeable about the topic, but could help others view you as a thought leader. It’s a good way for customers and clients to see that you’re not just someone who talks about social media a lot, but instead that you’re someone with a deep-rooted interest and understanding in the topic.

Your expertise isn’t limited to the Klout community, however. In addition to being posted on Klout, your answers will also be highlighted in Bing search results at the top of the results page accompanied by your photo. People searching for help will be able to find your responses, then look at your Klout Moments to get a better understanding of your perspective, or connect through social media channels to continue the conversation.

This is particularly valuable for brands and your evangelists (whether official or self-appointed). For example, a consumer searching for “lash-lengthening mascara” might come across a result from a Klout Expert (your evangelist) who just so happens to be influential in beauty products. That consumer can then check out the influencer’s profile, see that she’s tweeted about or shared photos of your product before and decide to make a purchase based on her recommendations.

Of course this depends on the quality of the answers being shared, which is probably why Klout Experts is currently available to only a small percentage of members. However, the company stated that it already has answers to more than 150,000 questions — representing a 70 percent response rate from the influencers it reached out. It’s not clear when a wider rollout can be expected, but you can request early access by signing up for the wait list.

[Via: PCMag, Mashable, Image credit: Highways Agency]