Two years ago, when Klout was a scrappy startup in Twitter’s basement*, we created a little program called Klout Perks. The thinking went something like this: we’re building a product that will lead to a meaningful understanding of the world’s influence; we’ve taken the first steps at shedding light on each user’s influence by giving them daily analysis of their online engagement, including a Klout Score; now it’s time to recognize influencers with tangible benefits.
Brands had already lined up to do business with us, but we wanted to find a way to put influencers’ needs first while giving brands a new way to engage with this powerful audience. That’s how we came up with Perks – exclusive products or services that are awarded to users based on their influence.
Looking at the data two years later, it appears to have worked. Since July 2010, we have delivered almost 700,000 Perks across 350 campaigns. Perks caught on way faster than we anticipated – within a year, the number of Perks we’d delivered had spiked 80 percent. Over 300 brands, including Disney, Microsoft, HBO, American Express, Chili’s, Chevy, Spotify and Gilt (to name a wee few) have offered Perks in over 30 categories, running the gamut from fashion, health, travel, technology, entertainment and sports. And, this month will be the first time in Klout history that we’ve offered a different Perk for 30 consecutive days.
Growth metrics tell a nice story, but our user ratings are pretty awesome as well – Perks average a customer satisfaction rating of 4 out of 5 stars.
Our recent launch of Klout Brand Squads is an expansion on the idea of empowering and recognizing influencers. We’ve now launched squads with Red Bull, Turner’s Falling Skies and Dallas, and HBO’s True Blood. More brands are launching squads in the months ahead.
All this, and yet we’ve just barely scratched the surface. The momentum we’ve achieved with Perks has inspired us to find more ways to recognize your influence. In the meantime, we are fast-tracking improvements on every aspect of Perks, including rolling out product updates that will better target Perks to influencers, and setting higher quality standards for the Perks our partners offer.
*AKA, the first floor of Twitter’s former office building.