One of the inspirations that led us to build Klout was the frustration of having sat in dozens of marketing meetings talking about how “we just need to make this go viral”. Often the next line I would hear as I was slamming my head towards the desk was “we’ll just get it on Techcrunch”.
Almost every marketing department has a list of key influencers in their segment. In the startup technology world people like Michael Arrington or Robert Scoble come to mind. The challenge though is going beyond those obvious influencers to find the hidden gems that can champion your cause.
With rise of user generated content and social media it is easier than ever for individuals to share their opinion about your company or spread your message. I can instantly tweet out a message about a cool new site I found and the people who listen and trust me the most, the ones I influence, are going to consume that message and start forming an opinion or generating interest.
We’ve actually been able to verify this cycle during the launch of Klout. One of the most popular features on the site is our list of people who either influence you or are influenced by you. We’ve kept careful records of who mentions Klout in any tweet. After each tweet about Klout we look at who signs up for an account. Almost without fail the people we say are influenced by the person who just tweeted about Klout will sign up for an account.
We are excited about the data we are generating here at Klout and how it might help companies find the army of influencers that are right for them. The world is starting to wake up and realize that you can’t just “take the product viral”. If you have the analytics to tell you were to plant the seeds you can at least give your message the proper chance to grow and spread. Node optimization is the name of the game.
How do you currently get the word out about your company or product? Would this process change if you could specifically target key influencers at the topic or vertical level?