It’s time to take your brand’s influencers by the horns. That’s what the folks at Klout are indicating, anyway. This week it's announced Brand Squads, currently in beta, which allow Klout to give influencers a place to be recognized and have an impact on the brands they care about most, while giving brands insight into who their influencers are and what they are saying. How will it work exactly?
What the Brand Gets
Brand Squads will give a dynamic list of top influencers for each brand and brand managers can watch how conversations flow across social media.
What the Influencer Gets
Influencers can monitor information about a brand’s recent developments and earn perks based on influence or interest.
How to Earn Perks, Influence
While it’s yet to be decided how much new information this will bring to brands on social media, it is a strong sign that Klout is fighting back against the naysayers who question its ability to identify and quantify influence online. With Brand Squads, Klout will be able to point out those who talk about specific brands and who may be driving conversations about them, so that brands can leverage relationships with them.
However, in light of recent research about what customers expect from companies on social media, influencing their network seemed to be low on the list, at least when providing feedback about companies. Yet, being recognized is always nice, provided it isn’t creepy or unwarranted.
Klout Brand Squads are in beta testing, so you can’t sign up for them yet, though you can look at Red Bull’s brand page -- Klout’s exclusive launch partner -- to get a feel for how they will look.
The Proof is in the Outcome
The reaction to Brand Squads has been mixed. For some it’s a great opportunity to glean more information about brand engagement online. Others, however, still question Klout’s algorithm and ability to tell popularity from influence. From the looks of it, its success will depend on what brand managers do with the information and how influencers feel about the information being shared.