Klout is wooing marketers and brand fans with the launch of Brand Squads, the social media site's equivalent of brand topic pages. The concept, a bid to engage fans around branded hubs, is now in beta with Red Bull as the launch partner.
The startup arbiter of social influence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Foursquare, Google+ and other social apps, using complex ranking algorithms and semantic content analysis to measure the influence of individuals, has now created a forum for dedicated profile pages to give companies a central place to engage with influencers.
“Previously, a brand was treated like an individual user, which in some cases does not necessarily make the most sense as a Klout score for a brand should mean something different ” Klout’s Garth Holsinger told iMediaConnection.com.
Now, the Brand Squads platform is “giving influencers a place to be recognized and have a direct impact on the brands they care about most,” Klout’s David Temple told TechCrunch.
Brand Squad pages offer three benefits to marketers: the reveal of top influencers associated with a brand or topic; a showcase for content; and another burgeoning platform (beyond Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) for brands to reward social media influencers with exclusive perks.
Red Bull is sweetening the deal for its Klout fans: “As part of this beta launch, Red Bull has offered Perks that will roll out to their top influencers over the next few weeks. If you’re one of Red Bull’s top advocates, they’ll keep you informed with a subscription to The Red Bulletin and make sure that you’ve had a chance to try their new Red Bull Total Zero by sending you a 4-Pack. The very top influencers will get some sweet merchandise or even a VIP Red Bull experience, like a behind-the-scenes look at the X-Games.”
In the automotive industry, Chevrolet previously launched a program on Klout offering influencers in technology, social media and environmental topics a three-day loan of a 2012 Chevrolet Volt for those with a Klout score of 50 or higher who live within a 30-mile radius of one of six markets.
It’s Chevy's third partnership with Klout, and targets Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle from April through June and Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland from July through September, per Chevrolet.
The brand outreach comes as Klout's own clout is growing. The service now boasts more than 12 billion API calls, more than 5,000 API partners and has indexed upwards of 100 million public profiles. It also just raised $30 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins and other investors.
In a different type of branded love-in, Tawkify has become the first matchmaking company to use Klout Scores as a measurement of allure and a predictor of falling in love:
“We’ve found that Klout Scores are an authentic measurement of sophistication, wit, cultural savvy, and appeal — a much truer and more trustworthy measurement than the typical on-line dating site bull-hockey-factors of height, weight, and income. On Tawkify.com, you answer 11 questions, upload your photo… And when we put two people together with high Klout Scores — WATCH OUT! It’s like a meeting of the gods.”