A new app for Facebook pages will take a user’s Klout score into account before giving them access to certain content.
While exclusivity is great for generating publicity, could this tool risk leaving some legitimate fans feeling snubbed?
Klout measures activity and influence across Twitter and Facebook, using 25+ metrics, and calculates an overall score on a scale of 1-100. The idea behind the Facebook app is that brands can then offer exclusive content, deals and discounts to users who meet a certain influence threshold. Theoretically, this “gating” should reward and capture the attention of social media users who are more likely to share their experience with their audience.
Audi is the first brand to use the technology, and the first “perk” available is a desktop wallpaper – a relatively minor prize but certainly a gesture that I’m sure Audi fans will appreciate.
Klout, like other influence measurement tools, does have some drawbacks – if you’re not satisfied with your rating you can “game” your way to a higher score so the accuracy of the number may not really reveal much about how much influence a user genuinely has.
Another difficulty is that the quality and areas of interest for your audience are not indicated. Using Audi as an example, even though I have a score of 38, my involvement with automotive discussions and communities is very low and there are equally likely to be petrolhead types who may already be Facebook fans of Audi but don’t have enough of a social network to be considered worthy of additional content, even if they post in specialist car forums.
As a gatekeeper, using Klout risks letting in the wrong kinds of fans, or worse – it could alienate genuine ones. I’m of the opinion that while rewarding loyal and influential social media users will clearly have benefits for word of mouth, tools such as Klout and others may need to become more refined.
That said, maintaining a user’s interest and engagement requires something in return for their time, so I really do appreciate the direction that this is taking. Brands should always be thinking about what they can offer their fans, friends and followers in return for their interest.