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Tap into the fans’ influence

Keely Stocker

Klout scores users’ activity on social network sites, and now brands can use the data to reach a new audience

Launched in 2009, social analytics site Klout is used by Facebook and Twitter users to compare and compete on how influential they are on the social networking sites. Now a collaboration with social marketing platform Involver will allow businesses to exploit this tool.

Klout works by users entering their Facebook and Twitter accounts into the site, allowing it to generate a score that takes into account how many mentions or ‘likes’ that user has, as well as how many re-tweets.

Equally importantly for retailers and brands, Klout also looks at the likelihood of others acting on the influence of a user. Each profile is broken down into topics (such as blogging, photography, fashion) in which Klout believes the user is an influencer.

The partnership with Involver means retailers and brands can now create a Klout widget that can be placed on their Facebook page to encourage fans of the page to measure their Klout score. By calculating fans’ scores, brands can then see how much influence each user - who as a fan is probably also a potential customer - has on others.

Once brands have this information they can generate a list of their most influential fans and send offers or messages to them to encourage engagement from others. This targeted app-roach means brands can make the most of their biggest brand ambassadors.

While the concept behind Klout could have advantages for businesses, there is still some work to be done on the calculation formula. Just because a user mentions a topic on a social networking site does not necessarily mean it is of interest to them in the long term.

Without knowing more about an individual, brands could be rewarding a user who will not be influencing their target audience. However, as more users become active on Klout, brands will be able to use this as an added tool to discover more about their customers and reach out to a new audience.

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