Perks for tweeting? Yes, please

Posted on March 22, 2011. Filed under: Social Media | Tags: , , , , |

I’ve heard a lot of talk about Klout and whether or not it’s an accurate measurement of “social influence.” Klout is a San Francisco-based company that identifies influencers by topic and ranks them via reach and popularity on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. This hard metric is becoming widely adopted by large companies.  While people are speculating about the worth of the “Klout score,” below you can see three companies that have decided to trust the metric and turn it into a creative marketing campaign.

1. Virgin Airlines

The California-based airline teamed up with Klout to offer top “Twitter influencers” one free, round-trip flight from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Toronto. According to Megan Berry, Marketing Manager at Klout, Virgin selected their influencers based on three  main factors.

  • Klout score
  • Location – Virgin wanted top influencers along their route — San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Toronto.
  • Tags – Berry says, “For this campaign we considered factors like how often you talked about your city, other cities on the route and various keywords that Virgin America chose to target.”

The top influencers were also invited to Virgin America’s Toronto launch event, which kicked off the inclusion of Toronto as one of the airline’s hubs. The best part of this campaign is that it was “no-strings attached,” meaning that the selected Brand Ambassadors were not required to tweet Virgin during their experience. Klout explains: “We have a very strict code of conduct; we do not buy tweets or require any response from influencers who participate in one of our Perks.”

2. The Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings is the first professional sports organization to use Klout for Marketing.

For the Kings campaign, “we sent out invitations to leading influencers in Sacramento and surrounding areas,” said Megan Berry.

Mitch Germann, VP of marketing for the Kings, says it “will help us reach a new audience. The influencers are active in social media and have large networks so we hope they’ll reach a large group of people who are not following us.”

According to ESPN.COM, Attendees of the event started off the night in a lounge at the arena, where food was provided and a social media discussion featuring Fernandez and Kings forward Jason Thompson took place. Members of the Kings’ dance team then facilitated a trivia game with prizes.

3.  The Palms 

I recently read an article on Adage.com that quoted Palms’ chief marketing officer, Jason Gastwirth. Jason states that he is currently building out “The 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.”

Eventually, the Klout data will become a part of the reservation process, and people will be able to get a free upgrade.  And we all thought tweeting was a waste of time!

Interested in discovering your Klout score? It’s easy, just sign up at klout.com.

Do you know of any others examples? Or could pushing tweeps to talk about your brand have any backlash?  Let’s discuss.

Jennifer Hall, Enterprise Marketing at Dow Jones, is based in Princeton, NJ.

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One Response to “Perks for tweeting? Yes, please”

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Its interesting to note the tension between Klout’s strict, commendable policy on refusing to “buy” tweets and the Palms casino’s stated desire to bribe influencers into tweeting with special treatment. Sure, Klout (or any marketer) might be said to be “bribing” as well, but that’s probably stretching the concept a bit much. At any rate, I couldn’t help but notice the difference between Klout saying their promotions are a slight variation on the venerable grocery store free sample and the Palms’ apparent plans to actively discriminate among potential clients based on ‘Klout’.

Do you see this as a problem for Klout? How successful can they be in enforcing their great code of conduct with clients whose business it is to appeal specifically to a certain class of people?


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