I don't really care if I am considered to be influential on social media or not. I have my circle of Facebook friends that I talk to on a regular basis and, if I put up a post that a lot of people like or comment on or share, then that's all well and good. Honestly, it doesn't mean anything to me beyond the fact that it's kind of cool that I sparked a conversation.
I can see why it would mean something to businesses, though. If people actually listened to me, for whatever reason, when I said I liked something, then I would be of some use to them. That is why it seems like a no-brainer to me that social influence index Klout, which measures influence based on the ability of a user to drive action across the social web, would have an tool built specifically for brands. But, for whatever reason, Klout has been focusing on users.
That is no longer the case, though, now that Klout has launched its first tools exclusively for enterprise, called Klout for Business, it was announced Wednesday
The new tool will give brands a set of analytics, with insights into how and where influencers are engaging with their brands in social media.
"For nearly five years, Klout has been building algorithmic models that analyze billions of data points on a daily basis to understand the world’s influence. We’ve always taken a very user-centric approach, with the ultimate goal of helping everyone get a deeper grasp of their personal influence. This is something we try to get better at every day," Matthew Thomson, VP of Business Development, wrote in a blogpost.
"At the same time, we have engaged with hundreds of brands to offer influencers premium products and experiences through Klout Perks, a business model that Joe and I always considered the most user-first way to make money. And it’s grown! With just a small and scrappy sales and account management team, and a lean product and engineering team, we’ve still managed to triple the Perks business annually."
Businesses will be given an analytics dashboard, which will give them information about whether or not they are engaging their "influencers" on their most active networks and what topics they are most influential on. It will also tell brands in which areas they need to amp up its efforts.
With Klout, any person can connect their social network accounts and the service will generate a score on a scale of 1-100 that represents their ability to engage other people and inspire social actions. Users are given insights that help them better understand how they influence others and provides them with opportunities to shape and be recognized for their influence.
What Klout will be doing now is letting brands see who their most influential followers are, and how to best engage them so that they can continue to be influential to their social media contacts. And this may prove to be a very effective tool for getting a brand's message out, since it will be utilizing people who have a built-in trust with their social media contacts.
Not only that, but it is always a good strategy to let people learn about a product from people they know, rather than from an ad. Knowing which users have the most influence will allow brands to expand their own reach without having to bombard users with advertisements.
Founded in 2008, San Francisco-based Klout has raised a total of $40 million, most recently a $30 million Series C in January 2012, from Kleiner Perkins, Venture Partners, Venrock, Greycroft, and ff Venture Capital.
(Image source: http://corp.klout.com)