Tag Archives: Klout

Social Media News Ticker: Twitter Adds Photo Tagging, Facebook Acquires Oculus VR

Check out this week’s summary of all the latest social media news, including changes and new features for Facebook and Twitter:

Twitter rolls out photo tagging

Twitter rolls out photo tagging




  • Foursquare’s new ads tap Twitter and require $100K commitment – Foursquare’s new ad product, ‘Tap to Tweet,’ invites users to tweet marketing messages when they check into businesses; the product should be available in early April, and Foursquare is looking for more advertisers to join the beta test (AdWeek)


  •  LinkedIn launches Insights tool to help brands become better publishers – LinkedIn is launching new tools to help advertisers see how they’re faring as publishers on the professional social network; brands will be assigned content-marketing scores based on effectiveness, and advertisers will be able to see ‘trending content’ (Advertising Age)


Any social media updates that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

Social Media Stats: The Best of 2013

Top Social Media Stats 2013What were the biggest stories in social media statistics this year?  Here’s a look at our top ten stats posts (ranked by traffic) from 2013, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Vine and plenty of influence marketing.

  1. Teens Prefer Tumblr Over Facebook (Jan 15)
  2. B2B Lead Generation: Twitter Outperforms Facebook, LinkedIn By 9-to-1 (Jan 30)
  3. “Power Middle” Influencer Marketing Campaigns Drive 16x Engagement Of Paid Or Owned Media (March 20)
  4. 5 Vines Are Shared Every Second On Twitter (May 15)
  5. Influence Marketing: 68% Of Marketers Allocating Significant Share Of Budget (But Klout Gets A Thumbs Down) (April 15)
  6. Google+ Tops Twitter In US (June 3)
  7. Google+ Is Now #2 Social Network (Jan 28)
  8. Social Media Customer Service: Brands Respond More On Twitter (Jan 10)
  9. Social Networking Stats: LinkedIn Grows Nearly 40% Year-Over-Year, #RLTM Scoreboard (Feb 8)
  10. Social Networking Stats: 59% of Top Brands On Instagram, #RLTM Scoreboard (Feb 22)

What did you think was the biggest story in social media statistics in 2013? And which social networks will grab headlines in 2014?

American Airlines Partners With Klout, Offers Perks For Social Influencers

Social media users with a high Klout score have a new perk available: those with a score of 55 and above can qualify for a one-day pass to American Airlines’ Admirals Club in 40 different airports.  This is one of the latest additions to Klout’s “perks” program, introduced back in 2010, which offers rewards to those with high Klout scores and/or social “influence” in a particular area.

 American Airlines Admirals Club

Klout introduced this new perk last week — and it is available to high Klout scorers regardless of whether they’re booked on an American Airlines flight. Admission includes benefits like free Wi-Fi and beer.

According to AdAge, the American Airlines promotion is broadly targeted, not aimed at users who live in a particular area or who have any specific expertise.

Brands that partner with Klout in this way hope that social media influencers will take advantage of the perks, and then share their experience – via social media – with a large social network.  Some brands, like Chevrolet, have even used Klout for product launches.

Klout recently delivered its one millionth “perk,” and partnerships have included major brands like Sony, Nike, Microsoft, Disney, Audi, Gilt and many others.  What do you think?  Has your brand tried influence marketing?

Influence Marketing: 68% Of Marketers Allocating Significant Share Of Budget (But Klout Gets A Thumbs Down)

Influence marketing researchInfluence marketing has become a core marketing discipline, with more than two-thirds of marketers saying they’ll be dedicating 20% or more of their marketing resources to social media influence campaigns in the next 12 months. But the majority will not be using social scoring platforms to support those efforts, saying they are “not sold on social scoring as a valid measurement.”

According to a new influence marketing survey of about 1,300 marketing professionals conducted by Sensei Marketing Inc.  and ArCompany Inc., marketers are sold on social influence–but not on influence measurement tools: 28% say social media influence marketing is a “key part of the majority of their marketing campaigns,” 37% say they have “occasionally” adopted social influence campaign, and  another 15% are assessing the viability and cost/resources required.  The majority, 68%, say they plan to dedicate one-fifth or more of their marketing budgets to social media influence in the next year.

But they’re not necessarily using social scoring tools like Klout to do so. 79%  have used social scoring platforms, with 43% having used them “several times.” But more than half–55%–say that these tools are not useful: the results are too varied, and its “hard to understand why these influencers should be contacted;” 94% say they just don’t trust the tools. As a result, the majority (64%) use the scores as just the starting point, and then manually sift through the results to identify influencers to work with.

Only 5% say that these influence measurement tools are a key part of their marketing strategy.  And only 3% say that yes, the scores do actually indicate a higher degree of influence. 62% say that it is unlikely they will use social scoring tools in the next year, and another 7% say there is zero chance they will use these tools to identify influencers.

Influence marketing research scoring tools

The reason that influence measurement tools are getting such a low review? Marketers report that they are either not useful–or they are not familiar with them. Half of the marketers rated Klout a 1 or a 2 in terms of its usefulness to them as a marketer, on a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is the highest rating.  30% rate Technorati the same low score. But while they don’t rate Klout or Technorati very highly, they’re typically not familiar with any of the many alternative influence measurement tools on the market. “Don’t know” was the highest rating for Kred (47%), PeerIndex (44%), Traackr (41%), Empire Avenue (64%), Appinions (73%), Tweetlevel (67%), Swaylo (78%), and Crowdtap (75%).

How do marketers define influence marketing? The majority, 60% see its value as being about word of mouth, defining it as “the ability to connect with online users who can share your message to a wide audience.” 44% see it as a lead generation tool, 24% a customer acquisition tool, and 16% a branding exercise.

How do you plan to use influence marketing in the coming year? Will you be looking at some of the newer tools that are not yet as widely known, or have you written off  influence measurement tools altogether?

If you’re interested in learning more about the discipline of influence marketing,  Sensei Marketing’s Sam Fiorella and ArCompany’s Danny Brown are the co-authors of the upcoming book, Influence Marketing:  How to Create, Manage and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing (for which I acted as technical editor.)

Social Media News Ticker: Facebook Ad Targeting, LinkedIn Revamps Search, Path Adds Hashtags

Here’s your quick weekly summary of all the latest social media news, including changes and new features on Facebook, LinkedIn, HootSuite, Amazon, Path and Klout:


Facebook rolls out replies and threaded comments on page posts and popular profiles – Facebook rolls out two new features for Pages/Profiles with 10,000 or more followers: replies (the ability to reply directly to comments) and threaded comments (comments appear with most popular results on top) – the updates are available on desktop only and are opt-in only until July (TechCrunch)

Facebook cranks up ad targeting in user News Feeds – ads purchased through Facebook’s ad exchange, FBX, will now show up in the newsfeeds of users; exchange-purchased ads will have greater visibility and the change will ‘theoretically’ boost prices across FBX (Advertising Age)

Facebook expands app ad targeting – last week Facebook rolled out ‘enhanced targeting features’ for mobile app install ads; developers can now reach specific versions of Android and iOS, and devices with Wi-Fi only connections (MediaPost)


LinkedIn unveils revamped search –  LinkedIn’s upgraded search includes: uniting search categories (you can search people, companies and jobs at the same time), faster search process (auto-complete for search terms) and the ability to narrow down and to save searches (MediaPost)


HootSuite introduces premium apps – HootSuite adds premium apps (#SocialApps) for ‘power users’ including Salesforce, Statigram, and an enhanced version of YouTube (HootSuite blog)

 LinkedIn Premium Apps


Amazon acquires book-based social network Goodreads – Goodreads’ goal is to be an “open place for all readers,” but it will now clearly be tied to promoting books for sale on Amazon to its 16 million members (PaidContent)


Path follows Twitter and Flickr to the hashtag party – Path has added support for hashtags to its iOS app; the new feature links hashtagged comments to a search across moments (posts), but the search currently pulls non-hashtagged posts as well (The Next Web)


Klout now includes Instagram in the Klout Score – Klout users added Instagram to their accounts back in 2011; now Klout is incorporating Instagram activity into Klout scores (TechCrunch)

Any updates to social media platforms that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

Social Media News Ticker: Facebook “Replies,” Pinterest Acquires Livestar, Flickr Adds Hashtags

Here’s your quick weekly summary of all the latest social media news, including changes and new features on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr and Klout:


 Facebook lookalike audience tool



  • Pinterest acquires mobile startup Livestar – last Wednesday Pinterest acquired small mobile-focused recommendations startup Livestar; its three engineers will begin working for Pinterest, and Livestar will shut down its services immediately (AllThingsD)


  • Flickr adds hashtags – an update for Flickr’s mobile app brought complete hashtag support to the image-sharing network (The Social Media Hat)


  • Klout adds analytics & announces “Klout for Business” – the new “Klout for Business” will give businesses a complimentary set of analytics (including an ‘easy-to-read’ dashboard) with pointed insights into how and where influencers are engaging with their brands in social media (Klout Blog)

Klout for Business

Any updates to social media platforms that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Ford Launches Fiesta With Young, Social Media-Savvy Influencers

2013 Ford FiestaInspired by marketing in the gaming and tech industry, Ford decided to invest in a “pre-launch” for the automaker’s Fiesta model, looking to create buzz and “develop demand before the product even really exists.”

Social media was an essential tool for this campaign, allowing potential consumers to “opt in” if they were interested in learning about the newer model.  Ford used to social to gain essential product feedback – before it was even on the market – and to dramatically increase awareness about the Fiesta, by using influencers to spread the word.

Ford began with concerns that hyping the new model would mean a total lack of interest in existing models. “If you talk about the new product, who would buy the old one?” asked Jim Farley, group VP of global marketing, sales and service for Ford Motor Co.  However, social media allowed people to self-select. “They weren’t going to buy the old car anyway, so we could show them the product a year ahead of time,” Farley told MediaPost.

The company then had time to respond to feedback from potential buyers, about anything from liking the European colors better to wanting a cupholder “sized to their Red Bull.”

While Ford was responding to the requests of potential buyers, they faced another major issue: the Ford Fiesta had “zero name-plate recognition” in the U.S.  The plan? Enlisting 100 “social-media whiz kids” to drive Ford Fiesta models for six months.  The payoff? “Ford didn’t launch the car; our Fiesta agents did. Auto writers interviewed these agents, not executives, and it produced 28 million views,” Farley told MediaPost.

Before Ford ran even one traditional ad, the brand had created 60% nameplate awareness for the Fiesta. According to Farley, these results “showed me the power of social media.”  The campaign was so successful that Ford now sets aside 20% of every launch budget for “pre-launch activities.”

What do you think of this campaign – particularly in comparison to Chevy’s Klout-based campaign for the Chevrolet Sonic?

We’ve Updated Our Influence Measurement Guide

In March of this year we published The Realtime Report’s Guide to Influence Measurement Tools.  Our goal was to cut through the hype and provide a clear-eyed, no-nonsense look at the evolving tools and best practices for identifying, prioritizing and engaging influencers.

Fast forward 6 months, and so much has changed in a very short time.

  • Klout and Kred now both offer brand pages, and have recently introduced new consumer-facing make-overs
  • PeerIndex has completely redesigned its platform, and continues to refine its topic-based methodology
  • The algorithms for some of the major tools have changed, and they have expanded the number of “signals” (sources of data) that they look use in their scoring systems
  • TweetLevel will be launching a new version of its tool soon – something that we’ll cover when it happens and add in to the Guide (with free updates to everyone who downloads the Guide before then)
  • Tools like Traackr, mBlast and Appinions have all updated and enhanced their analytics and the support that they offer for tracking real-time conversations or managing influencer marketing programs.

If you’ve already purchased The Realtime Report’s Guide to Influence Measurement Tools, you should be getting an email with a link to a copy of the updated version.

If you haven’t yet, here’s why you may want to consider investing $45 to do so:  it’s an in-depth look at 8 tools designed to identify and score online influencers and, in some cases, manage online relationships and conversations. Over 65 pages long, with in-depth test drives and several expert best practices interviews, this Guide answers questions such as:

  • How do these tools define and measure online influence?
  • What data are these tools using, and how do they create their scores?
  • What are the differences between personal and contextual influence measurement tools—and why do they matter?
  • What are the best practices for using tools like Klout to run Perks marketing programs—and are these programs effective?
  • Why would we consider investing in premium tools like Traackr, mBlast or Appinions instead of simply using the data available from Klout or Kred at no cost?
  • What are the trends to watch for as the industry continues to mature?

Get these answers and get out ahead of the influencer marketing curve by downloading our report today.

Running an Influencer Campaign With Klout Perks? Here’s How to Mess It Up.

Shelly Kramer, co-founder and CEO, V3 Integrated Marketing

This is part of a series of posts based on excerpts from The Realtime Report’s Guide to Influence Measurement Tools.

Too often, brands sign up to run promotional programs targeted to influencers using tools such as Klout or Kred—but forget all about the basics of what makes a marketing campaign work.  If you’re using a personal influence measurement tool to identify and deliver product samples or special offers to high-ranking online individuals, make sure you think through the details of how you plan to engage with them.

Shelly Kramer is a marketing and digital strategist, and the founder and CEO of V3 Integrated Marketing, a full service integrated marketing, digital communications and social media agency. According to Kramer, Klout, Kred and other personal influence measurement tools are providing a service that brands want and need. But one problem she sees is that they rush to market without their platforms (or their strategies) being fully developed. For instance, Klout went to market and began charging brands for access to influencers before the tool, and the best practices for how to use it, were really thought out. That made it easy for influential people in the digital space to poke holes in just about everything Klout was doing.

She has seen many examples of brands creating perks programs without really thinking through the strategy.  As a result, some influencer campaigns she has seen miss the mark when it comes to key best practices.

For example, one impressively-designed Klout Perks package was created to promote the premiere of a cable TV show—and Kramer signed up to participate in the promotion in order to see how it was executed. The concept was that recipients would plan a “viewing party” for the premiere, and the perk contained items designed to help them plan the party.

A huge box arrived via express shipping a day or two before the premiere.  Inside were tee shirts, plastic glasses, corkscrews and some propaganda about the series. Missing from the package: a call to action or instructions to participants on exactly what they should do.  Should they tweet about the premiere event? If so, was there a hashtag? Would it be great if they took photos and posted them on Twitter or Facebook? Should they write a blog post about the premiere?  Klout and its brand marketing partner missed an opportunity to fuel the engagement that they were looking for from the influencers that were participating. (The new TV series? It bombed.)

Another example of a poorly executed Klout perk program was the luxury car brand that invited influencers to participate in a test drive. The company identified “influencers” by way of the number of Twitter followers they had, but did not look at which individuals might be car enthusiasts, and many did not have the demographic attributes of potential purchasers of a luxury vehicle. Just because an “influencer” has a lot of Twitter followers does not mean that he (or she) is the right target demographic and able to inspire consumer interest in a particular product or brand.  The Klout platform, unfortunately, doesn’t take those additional targeting criteria into consideration.  “Technology is a tool, but it does not substitute for experience and good marketing strategy,” says Kramer.

There are no short cuts.  Kramer looks at the data from all of the influence measurement tools, and especially pays attention to trend lines, as well as to context.

“You should always gut-check the data before using it to drive decisions. And you need humans to do that (with brains) – not just measurement tools.”

What Klout Perks influencer marketing campaigns have you seen that were effective — or maybe not so effective?
The Realtime Report's Guide to Influence Measurement Tools


To learn more about influence measurement and best practices in influencer marketing, check out The Realtime Report’s Guide to Influence Measurement Tools, our detailed analysis of personal and contextual influence measurement tools.

How to Manage Influencer Outreach Programs: The Power of the Magic Middle

Kami Watson Huyse is a PR veteran and the Founder of Zoetica Media, a PR and marketing services agency that works with brands such as the American Red Cross, Google, SeaWorld and the U.S. State Department, among others. Her firm works with clients to manage influencer outreach programs, and she has used a variety of tools to do this since 2005.

Personal influence measurement tools are commonly used by communications firms to keep tabs on influencers with whom they are building relationships on behalf of their clients.  But relying on Klout or Kred scores to identify the right influencers is not enough—these tools should be part of a balanced, integrated approach to understanding influencers, and identifying the right ones for your brand or your client.  We spoke to Zoetica founder and PR veteran Kami Watson Huyse to get her take on how she uses personal influence measurement to build and manage relationships with the right influencers for her clients.

Best Practices:  An Integrated, Balanced Approach to Influencer Outreach

There are two secrets to managing successful influencer outreach programs, according to Huyse.

  1. Understand what your business goals are.
  2. Do your homework so that you know not just who the influencers are—but also whether they fit your brand.

The Zoetica team maintains spreadsheets that compare a broad range of data points about key influencers they are tracking for clients.  These spreadsheets include metrics from Alexa, Compete and Post Rank (for bloggers), Twitter statistics (such as follower numbers and Twitter lists), as well as Klout and PeerIndex scores.  In some cases, the team may not rely on the spreadsheet at all, having developed relationships with influencers over time.  But sometimes the myriad data points can be very useful as a way of prioritizing and targeting their outreach or efforts to build relationships with new sets of influencers.

The Power of the “Magic Middle”

When it comes to identifying influencers to include in an outreach effort, Huyse often deliberately includes influencers who may not have the highest scores.  By focusing on the “magic middle,” she can nurture relationships with people who are more serious, consistent and eager to engage.  Building a relationship with “rising stars” means that they’ll remember and appreciate your interest over time—even when they have become more influential.  (UPDATE: Kami has pointed out that the Magic Middle concept was first defined by Technorati founder David Sifry–his 2006 article makes an interesting read for those who want to learn more about this concept.)

It’s also important to foster a relationship between the individual influencers you’re targeting:  to introduce them to each other, and to create a sense of community around your brand.  Mid-tier influencers are more eager to engage with other influencers, and the networks they create will be a far stronger driver for your brand than a small number of high-profile and less committed influencer relationships.

Huyse would like to see tools that successfully measure and identify influence, but she believes that the technology still has a way to go before it is accurate and trustworthy.  “There are no short cuts,” says Huyse.  To really get to know a targeted list of top influencers, you need to take the time to read their blog and online content, and observe who they interact with most often.  A tool such as Klout or PeerIndex can come in useful if you’re trying to develop a larger set of influencers for an advertising or promotions program.

Most importantly, make sure you use the right tool for the job.  As Huyse says, “don’t use a hammer when you need a screwdriver.”

The Realtime Report's Guide to Influence Measurement ToolsAre you using tools like Klout as part of your influencer relationship management programs?  What best practices would you add to these?


To learn more about influence measurement tools, check out The Realtime Report’s Guide to Influence Measurement Tools, our detailed analysis of personal and contextual influence measurement tools.