We’ve been talking a lot about social media – how it can help you market yourself, extend your networks, and build buzz around your brand or business. From Pinterest to Twitter, these online platforms are making it possible for the everyday man to compete against larger marketing machines.
One San-Francisco-based startup is taking the wild world of social media one step further.
Featured in this month’s issue of Wired Magazine, Klout is a three-year-old business working to transform how we measure influence. Its algorithms comb through social media data to create a Klout score for anyone with an online presence. If you have a public account with Twitter, you have a Klout score, whether you know it or not. And you can opt to connect Klout to your Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn accounts to create an even higher score. The scores – ranking from 1 to 100 – are calculated using variables including: number of followers, frequency of updates, number of likes, retweets and shares. High-scoring Klout users can qualify for “Klout Perks” in the form of free goods, gifts, and trips from companies hoping to leverage the reach and influence of these social media mavens.
According to Klout, social media has “democratized influence.” This means more power for the little guys. In place of large companies wooing celebrities to endorse their products, businesses are now relying on regular people – people with huge, engaged online networks. Influencers can be anyone. So if you can’t get Michael Jordan to promote your business, why not check out people’s Klout scores, connect with them, and try to promote your good work through their online influence? Word of mouth is now more powerful than ever. Going viral means finding the right person to spread the wildfire. Now that we can measure who those people are, it’s time to spark the flame.
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