How Much Does Your Clout Count?

October 25, 2010

Customer loyalty benefits and perks thrown to celebrities is a way of life, although the way companies decide to throw rewards around is quickly shifting thanks to the ever-growing popularity of social media. Keep in mind, you will still be valued for the amount you show loyalty towards a brand (certainly companies won’t ignore their loyal customer base), however if you also have the social media skills to influence a community towards that brand, you have just achieved the gold star level of valued customer. And thanks to Klout, companies have easier access to identifying their gold star customers.

Virgin America and The Palms have already tested the effectiveness of Klout to stir up positive chatter with successful results. Virgin Atlantic tested the promotion of a new route by rewarding relevant influencers found through Klout with free airline tickets. The efforts resulted in coverage on blogs and news outlets such as CNN, in addition to an impressive amount of mentions on twitter. The Palms have also started a special rewards club called the “Klout Club,” rewarding top influencers found through the service.

To judge an individual’s social media score, Klout uses variables such as number of followers, retweets, etc and will give a detailed breakdown about what that data reveals about how your audience views your value and what you mean to the social universe. So far, this has been mainly twitter focused, only recently adding facebook into the mix. So as it still excludes many social networks, Klout seems hardly yet a decent measure of a person’s total influence, but could become invaluable to marketers as it grows.

Seems like a great service for companies, although there is a possible downside for the customer that those with small networks may receive worse customer service then their more outgoing, social media peers. So as a customer who wants decent service, might be time to get a bit opinionated online and develop those social networks.