Your Social Influence and Why Marketers Care About It

Tom is flying economy class from Hong Kong to San Francisco. After landing, he sees a text message from Cathay Pacific inviting him into their exclusive international lounge. He flashes his iPhone at the desk and proceeds to enjoy a hot shower and cold beer.

Not more than a year ago, Tom started a popular Tumblr site to track and share ridiculous pictures of dogs wearing raincoats. The site — and Tom’s related twitter feed — exploded in popularity after being featured on popular websites like Reddit. A Klout algorithm rapidly identified Tom as influential based on the high level of activity around his Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter feeds.

Tom’s not real, but his story could be. That’s because today a Klout score over 40 will open the doors to that same Cathay Lounge at SFO even if you didn’t pay for a premium ticket.

From shopping rewards to Facebook “likes,” we all generate treasure troves of data for businesses and anyone else interested in our time or money. Klout is just one company that mines this data with the aim of helping a user – along with businesses and organizations — understand how “influential” he or she is. The point: to reward a user for their influence and to provide personal relevant information to marketers.

And this is just the beginning. It will only become harder to ignore the growing power of influence data. Here are three reasons marketers and campaigners should jump on the bandwagon. Read more…

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