Raise Your Klout Score. Live Like a Celebrity.

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.

Your red carpet is waiting. Klout just might be your ticket to fame and fortune. But is it a round-trip ticket?

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.

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29 Responses to Raise Your Klout Score. Live Like a Celebrity.

  1. Kam says:

    Great article.

    As a novice to Social Media, this actually sounds like a great idea. It’s like getting the benefits of a credit card loyalty scheme, without the debt.

    I actually think that non-social media people could really see it as a competition between their friends
    and social media people can see even more, the power of SM.

  2. Colin says:

    Nice thought — Spotify indeed was the first time that “having Klout” amounted to anything.

  3. Mike Mizov says:

    I find Klout to be a pretty fun statistic to watch but I’m not quite there on how they calculate it yet, haha. Even so, a Spotify account is a Spotify account! Now to figure out how to qualify for other perks… oh, and what’s the magic celebrity #? I’m riding high at 57!

  4. Lauren Parajon says:

    @Mike- You’re crushing me! I’m sitting at 48. Did you go with the “just be awesome” theory to increase your klout?

  5. Nancy says:

    Having a Klout score of over 50 hasn’t done much for me, other than a free sign up to Spotify. Klout says I’m an expert and have high influence in travel but no trips have come my way yet…

    Klout is bragging rights and not much more, as far as I can see – but I’ll stick with it.

  6. Josh Milenthal says:

    Not trying to nitpick, but the Spotify campaign was based on the false scarcity principle. People thought it was exclusive, but all you need was a Klout account to get it. At least, that’s what I saw whenever a friend tried to get access.

    However, your points about the Klout Klub and other perks is totally on the ball. And I completely agree that this influencer angle that is becoming popular is definitely the way to go for marketers if they want to do something different and to create buzz.

  7. @Crissy says:

    Haha, OK, show me the red carpet. I could use some red carpet.

  8. Meggs says:

    I scored Spotify access and a year’s supply of free clinical strength deodorant. I love that they’re actually doing something with the Klout score now. At first I hated Klout, but now that they’ve revamped their site and made it more interactive… LOVE! (And not just because I’ve garnered free stuff. lol) I don’t expect to get a lot out of it as far as free stuff goes, but I do enjoy giving +K to friends and followers as another way to show my support for what they’re doing via social networking sites. I’m involved in advocacy and follow a lot of world-changers and I love being able to encourage people via Klout.

    Great post!

  9. CaptRobLee says:

    I agree that Klout had little significance before Spotify. And still, all it really is, is a fun “statistic” and I use that word non-mathematically. ;-)

    My Klout has been level at 52 for months.

  10. Lauren Parajon says:

    @Nancy- As soon as more people start using Klout for recruiting, you might land an awesome travel job because of your klout influence! You just never know.

    @Josh-Yeah, the Spotify campaign definitely tricked us into thinking it was exclusive. But I’m not going to lie, I felt pretty baller when I saw the words “Spotify Ambassador.”

    @Meggs- CONGRATS!! I’m a little jealous about your deodorant supply.

  11. Kier says:

    It is neat… and, so far, the most talked about thing since Whuffie a few years back.

    Of course, that’s not saying much. ;)

    But Klout is, indeed, creeping into more mainstream places than Whuffie ever did, so it’ll be interesting to see where it goes and how many places start making use of it.

  12. Joan Ginsberg says:

    When your Klout score is low-ish, it’s easy to dismiss it as meaningless. As it starts to climb, it’s easy to get excited about it and find meaning.

    I use it to vett people who are speaking about social media to HR groups, particularly employment attorneys who are quick to diss social media, but have absolutely no experience (and no Klout) actually using it.

  13. Lauren Parajon says:

    @Joan- I agree! Before I had a decent Klout score, I liked to pretend like it didn’t exist. But it looks like you’ve figured out a way to make it work for you!

  14. Garrett Hollander says:

    I’ve known about Klout but never used it… until now. I realized just how Kloutless I really am. :)

  15. Garth O'Brien says:

    Looks like I am headed to the Palms in Vegas baby. :)

    How high a Klout score do you need? Do you know when you should communicate your Klout-prowess? During registration or when you purchase a room?

    • Lauren Parajon says:

      I was trying to look into that, but it looks like they’re still working on the details. In one article I read that they’d look up your Klout score as soon as you made a reservation, so you don’t have to mention your score at all. But being that it’s still in the works, I don’t have a better answer for you. Sorry about that!

  16. Maggie says:

    I love the concept – it is a great example of incentivizing a given behavior. I am still trying to figure out the “Topics” piece and giving K+.
    Always more to learn….
    :)

  17. Paola Bassanese Energya says:

    Proudly waving my Klout score of 62, after more than 2 years on twitter sharing information and tips on health and wellbeing and fending off nasty offers from spammers, here I am with my shiny Spotify account smiling from ear to ear.

    I have been telling my favourite contacts to use Klout as a way to become more influential online as they deserve to succeed, we are all freelancers and getting noticed/becoming influential is the only way to have a viable business.

    I do hope that Klout will add more perks like free hotel stays or spa weekends as those influential people who are really making a difference deserve a treat!

  18. Kristina says:

    This is a great post! I’ve been obsessed with Klout for a while now (mostly because I’m quite competitive). I had seen other people on twitter get perks and was bummed that despite a pretty good score (currently 67), I hadn’t.

    In the past week and a half or so, I’ve gotten the year’s supply of Secret deodorant, a Spotify account (and a month of premium for free because I got other users to use my link to sign up), and an invite to a preview showing of “The Change Up” tomorrow night.

    I started using Klout as a personal badge of honor (and a way to justify my twitter obsession), but I love the idea that I could get even more perks for tweeting.

    Next up: Hoping my Klout score helps me get a job! :)

  19. Kristina says:

    Also, I think if Klout were to add bit.ly, it would be able to find topics and influential people much easier/more accurately. I don’t let my Klout score dictate what I tweet about but I do use bit.ly’s analytics to figure out what topics my followers like or actually read about.

  20. Lauren Parajon says:

    @Kristina- Lucky!! Let me know how The Change Up is. I’m dying to see it. With a Klout score like that, I’m sure you’ll land a job soon! Fingers crossed…

  21. MomsThoughts says:

    I have been a fan and member of Klout for some time. I am geeky like that- I just liked the analytical break down….but then they started sending me free stuff. THAT really got my attention. Now I am obsessed with trying to figure out how to raise my Klout score. I am not promoting a product, not a celebrity or tv personality, etc….Just some one who really enjoys social media and free stuff! lol :) (I am also maybe just a little competitive – so yeah, I want to raise my score! lol) Tips or suggestions are welcome! I currently have a Klout score of 68.

    :)

  22. Meghann says:

    Ok, so I get the perks that Klout (and their patners) can provide. But how does Klout help ME as a blogger? If I could care less about striving to recieve free B/O fighter or movie passes, why else should I use Klout? I’m still semi-new to the blogging world, so maybe I’m just a little out if the loop on this one. Sorry. But this is something I’ve heard a lot of hyoe about and just haven’t figured out why. Thanks!!

  23. Lauren Parajon says:

    @Meghann- If you have a high Klout score, chances are, you’re an expert about something. Klout lists what your specialties are (but I don’t think it’s very accurate considering it said I’m an expert on the national anthem…) So if someone happened to be looking for an expert in that industry, they could come to you. Say you’re a travel blogger and Travel + Leisure is looking for the next worldwide adventure travel blogger (hypothetical, of course). If you apply and they see that you’re influential (Klout) in the travel industry, you have a much better shot at landing the gig. Or, I used to be a magazine editor and I was always looking for experts to interview for different stories I wrote. So journalists might start coming your way for quotes or interviews. Just a few examples!

  24. dkzody says:

    I missed the free tickets to Winnie the Pooh because I didn’t check on this sooner. Did get the Spotify account. Guess I better get my Klout on and be on the look-out for all these great perks.

  25. Karren says:

    I’m still new to the Klout site. I’m not sure how they determine how much influence I have, but I’m interested to see this improve over time! The perks looks rather interesting!

  26. foreconscious says:

    I have been absent recently, but came back on [date.

  27. Lauren Parajon says:

    What specific questions do you have? I’m no Klout expert, but I’ve clicked around here and there. This blog post might help you out. It’s an interview with the CEO: http://blogs.forbes.com/traceyjohn/2011/07/21/klout-ceo-on-raising-your-score-google-plus-integration-and-justin-biebers-perfect-100/5/

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