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Thursday, April 12, 2012

About Klout & Perks

For those of us busy in social media there are ways to measure our influence and reach. One of them is with a Klout score.

Klout is a web site that charts your social media status by filtering through your online interactions.

You do not have to sign up with them for this to occur. If you have a Twitter account you should see the score located in an orange square on my profile and in all your tweets. 

It is not a perfect system and I am not even recommending it. I am just explaining what it is as I see it. There can be errors and inconsistencies between who a person is recognized to be and how the people they are connected to interact with them.

There are things to understand about status and influence branding in the Twitter universe. The goal is to have an active following that eagerly engages with your content. This includes replying to your tweets, RTing them and clicking on links to blogs or web sites that you share. 

Your Klout score rises as these things happen. It rises all the more if the followers you are connected to are big influencers with high Klout scores.

Yes it is a little sort of greedy & elitist sounding. Do not let that bother you. It is as harmless as it is unseemly in my estimation.

The upside for us besides the veritable ever fluctuating number can be what are called Klout Perks.

Advertisers and companies are eager to engage with users and customers through social media. 

Everyone wants their product name to go viral if you will. To try and affect this, scores of a certain level will unlock gratuitous gifts and services for Klout registrants.
The hope is if people hear about and enjoy items, people will tell friends, blog and share. Then too I am sure companies hope to gain new and residual sales.

As controversial as this whole concept has become Klout has partnered with a handful of other social networking sites:

Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Spotify, YouTube,  G+, and Wahooly.

When Spotifly launched in the US my Klout score was high enough for me to get an account as a Perk without having to wait for an invitation.

Right now I am eligible for Moo Business Cards that I just have not taken advantage of yet. 
The last Perk we received was Axe hair gel and the one we loved the most is perhaps the Sharpie pen collection.

I read a blog that suggested Klout is a social media germ that people need to steer clear from. Delete your profile it proclaimed.

I think the advice helped a few people who were too caught up in themselves...

On the other hand for those of us whose focus is on community connections in social media I cannot find fault with enjoying gifts and perks on occasion as businesses try to woo.

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