Although it’s just now making headlines, Klout isn’t new. Those of us in the social media world have been judging each other by our Klout scores for three years now. In the beginning, we’d whisper questions about it quietly among close friends, for fear of branding ourselves social media rejects.
“So, what exactly is Klout?”
“How do you increase your score?”
“What… does it do?”
The answer to the first one was easy to find (a score of your social influence), the second one came with multiple theories (interact with influencers; engage, engage, engage; just be awesome), but the third one left us stumped.
At the time, Klout didn’t really do much. If you had a high Klout score, no one handed you a shiny new car or gave you the first available table at a 5-star restaurant without a reservation on a Saturday night. That was the life of celebrities.
Fast forward to 2011, and Klout can make you a celebrity. OK, maybe that’s a stretch. Klout can make you feel like a celebrity.
Take the recent Spotify campaign, for example. Spotify, a digital music service that’s been all the rage in Europe for the past couple years, just launched in the US last week. And who got first access? A-list celebrities and entertainment industry moguls? P Diddy or whatever ridiculous name he answers to these days? Paris and/or Perez Hilton?
Well, that all depends on if they’ve joined Klout.com. Spotify partnered with Klout to get the word out by allowing influential Klout members to be Spotify Ambassadors. Chances are your Twitter-obsessed roommate heard the sweet sounds of her favorite songs playing through her brand-new Spotify account before Sean Puffy Combs had a chance to change his name again.
Check out the Klout Perks page to learn what else you can land with your social-media-influencer score. A year supply of Secret deodorant, perhaps? An early screening of ‘Winnie the Pooh,’ a timeless classic? OK, so it may not be a red carpet event, but everyone loves an animated anthropomorphic bear with a honey craving.
Now, take your deodorized, borderline-celebrity self to Las Vegas and check in at the Palms Resort for another chance at star treatment. Last year, AdvertisingAge reported that the hotel started building out the idea of a “Klout Klub,” which “will allow high-ranking influencers to experience Palms’ impressive set of amenities in hopes that these influencers will want to communicate their positive experience to their followers.” I’m assuming “impressive set of amenities” comes in the form of free room upgrades, club passes, or maybe a reserved table at the hotel restaurant. It’s brilliant when you think about it. Influential Blogger + Royal Treatment = Glowing Review + Free Publicity + New Fans and Followers.
Klout could mean big things for influencers and marketers alike, and I’m interested to see what other brands will do with it. But it definitely leaves me with a few questions: Will this special treatment toward people with high Klout scores leave the Average Joes (i.e. the average customers) feeling neglected? Will people start to expect special treatment because of their Klout scores? And just how accurate will the reviews be if the reviewer was given access to perks that aren’t available to everyone?
Feel free to chime in in the comments section below. Until then, I’m going to go jam out to my Spotify playlist and cross my fingers for the free year’s supply of deodorant.