Klout: The facts and consequences for brands


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These last few weeks I’ve had more questions about Klout than in the last two years. In other words, European marketers are discovering there may be an easy way to find “influential” people on the web. Let’s start by taking a look at the facts.

The facts about Klout

Two out of three people has never heard of Klout. 23% are aware of the platform, 6% are registered but are not active and 8% of internet users actively keep track of their Klout score. Obviously, men are more active with regard to Klout than women. The top age bracket is internauts between 25 and 55. And of course, people who monitor their Klout score are active on more than 4 social network sites. In short, Klout is used by overactive social media fans. People like us, you might say.

All the other figures regarding Klout marketing look promising for the platform. 80% of advertisers on Klout buy another program later on. A consumer who receives a Klout perk will write some 30 content updates about it.

Klout: important or not? What are the consequences for brands?

On the one hand, the stats seem to indicate that Klout is the exclusive playground of a small group of very active social media users. On the other hand, marketers are looking for tools like this, so we should not ignore Klout either.

These are some considerations based on the data and on my gut feeling:

  • Klout (or other influence measurement sites) will increase in importance because marketers are looking for a fast and easy way of connecting with people who seem to have a measure of influence or clout.
  • The people who are active on Klout and attach a lot of importance to their Klout score are often social media consultants. They may hope their Klout score will result in more personal benefits and, therefore, start advising their clients to become active on Klout.
  • On the other hand, my gut feeling tells me that Klout will always be something for overactive social media users. An average Twitter or Facebook user just wants to connect with other people and isn’t curious about their level of interest. This implies that the group of people one can reach through Klout will remain a highly selective group. While this may be interesting for some brands and companies, this group is definitely not the key target for most companies.

My final conclusion: Klout cases will probably receive very positive evaluations. This is due to the system we created. Just think about it: companies install social media monitoring systems to measure the volume and the sentiment of conversations. Once that same company offers a special deal to people with a high Klout score, it stands to reason that the volume and sentiment of the conversations will evolve towards the positive. In turn, this will put a positive spin on the campaign.

The real question is whether or not those conversations have the ability to change the opinion of others because that is what it takes to have an impact on business results.

One of the aspects why I would hesitate to work with Klout is the reaction of people who do not have a Klout score. I assume people with a lower Klout score could get upset if they notice that someone has to pay less or gets better service because they tweet a lot… It is hard to say whether the overall long-term effect would still be a positive one.

What do you think?

I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. What conclusions would you draw from our stats and do you agree or disagree with my analysis? Thanks for sharing your view on the subject. For more facts and figures about social media, check the new ‘Social Media Around The World 2012? study.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steven Van Belleghem
Steven Van Belleghem is inspirator at B-Conversational. He is an inspirator, a coach and gives strategic advice to help companies better understand the world of conversations, social media and digital marketing. In 2010, he published his first book The Conversation Manager, which became a management literature bestseller and was awarded with the Marketing Literature Prize. In 2012, The Conversation Company was published. Steven is also part time Marketing Professor at the Vlerick Management School. He is a former managing partner of the innovative research agency InSites Consulting.


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