Some have been slower to warm up to Klout than others. After what seemed like a lifetime of fixation on grade point averages and standardized test scores, some of us would just prefer to opt out of being quantified. For those who aren’t fully familiar with Klout, who, since 2008, has been measuring users’ digital influence through a sophisticated algorithm that sorts, plugs in and weighs billions of pieces of data from various social media platforms. The result is a Klout score of between 1 (least influential) to 100 (most influential). The more your output is shared by others, whether on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Instagram or Facebook, the higher your score and the more of an “influencer” Klout deems you to be.
Since last year, when Klout began partnering with brands as diverse as Gilt, Burt’s Bees, charity: water and even celebrity “brands” like actor Will Ferrell and author Stephen King, having a high score became more than just a bragging right among millenials. Now, that 48, 55 or 70 can open doors to free samples, significant discounts and invitations to exclusive events. And starting today, with the launch of Klout’s ‘Brand Squads’, without doing anything more than posting as usual on your favorite platforms, you could be touted on a particular brand’s Klout page as being one of their Top 10 or Top 100 influencers.
Though still in beta launch and currently only available to a selection of brands (one of which is Red Bull, the initiative’s partner, whose page is shown above), this new feature could potentially offer tremendous benefits to brand superfans and tremendous opportunities for the brands themselves. Even for regular users just interested in learning more about a particular brand, these new pages have something for them, too: an ongoing stream of real-time cross-platform mentions.
Klout plans to expand the ‘Brand Squads’ effort over the next few months. It will be exciting to see which brands are quick to jump on this emerging platform and how innovative and effective they are in engaging with their biggest influencers.