Do you have enough Klout?

Let’s talk about Klout – the service that tracks your social media influence on a scale from one to 100 (i.e. the higher your score, the more influence you have). I must admit, even though it was officially launched in 2008 with a single tweet, I just recently heard about Klout – which I suppose reflects on my score, or lack thereof.

But I was intrigued when I started to find out more.  Marketers are always looking for ways to stratify their audiences in order to determine where best to direct their dollars.  In this world of “who you know,” or perhaps more aptly, “who follows you,” I can see why this has taken off.  Although people with the highest Klout scores are not necessarily those with the most friends or followers, they are the people whose posts/tweets/comments are rebroadcast the most often.  For businesses, it makes sense to pay attention to these folks since they can be directly responsible for driving business (i.e. Fred with 600,000 followers on Twitter “just had the best meal of my life at Restaurant X!”).  Not to mention that Klout gives users perks such as access to hip events, laptops and plane tickets for achieving and maintaining high scores.  Why wouldn’t brands want to give freebies to this set of influencers?!

So how is this being used in the event world? Here are a few examples: Companies are targeting invitees with high Klout to attend their product launches and trade shows. Cathay Pacific recently opened a lounge at San Francisco International for people with a Klout score of 40 or more. The Palms Casino in Las Vegas tracks customers Klout scores.  Those with high scores are given upgrades or at least preferential treatment.

This blog offered a humorous anecdote about the future of conference name badges.  Perhaps our title or company will someday be replaced with our Klout score?

Klout Badge Featured

True, it can all seem very shallow. But here’s a bit of reassuring information (yes, I am being cynical) on Klout’s website about “Understanding Klout”: You are never penalized for connecting or engaging with someone with a low Klout score.

I think I will rest easier tonight.

Tell us what you think about Klout.  How have you seen it being used?