Popular on Twitter? Your Klout score might soon get you a discount on a TV

Lithium announces Web widgets incorporating Klout influence scores

It might be time to change the adage "the customer is always right" to, "the customer with the most followers is always right."

On Wednesday, Lithium, which provides services to help businesses navigate social media, held its annual conference in San Francisco and explained how it plans to make use of Klout, the "social influence" company it said it had acquired two months ago.

Part of that plan includes new products that will let big retailers such as Best Buy or Sony embed buttons, or widgets, into their websites through which customers can give feedback about their products.

That's where Klout comes in. If the person clicking on the widget has a high Klout score, the retailer might send that person a discount coupon for, say, a TV. After all, you want to keep your influential customers happy, and who knows what they might say about you if they enjoy your product.

Lithium CEO Robert Tarkoff said the company is building a "shared value network" in which both consumers and brands can benefit from Lithium's analytics.

To do that, "we had to increase our investment on the consumer side," he said, explaining why Lithium bought Klout. He announced several new products designed to give businesses better information about who they should connect with online.

For starters, a series of "action widgets" will begin appearing later this year on certain businesses' websites. The partner companies haven't been decided but they're likely to be in retail or entertainment, like many of Lithium's current clients.

In a demonstration, Lithium showed a Sony product page for an expensive television. Toward the top, where a Facebook "like" button might appear, was a button marked "Want." By clicking on it, a consumer could provide feedback such as, "I would buy this TV, if it were cheaper by $50." Or, "I would buy this, if it came in silver."

"It's a wish list on steroids," as Lithium Chief Product Officer Tapan Bhat put it.

If the consumer has an account on file, the retailer might send him an email for that exact discount -- especially if they had a high Klout score.

The same could play out for customers who take to social media, like Twitter, to complain about poor customer service. Customers' Klout scores could be integrated into businesses' Lithium dashboards, making it easier to identify complaints from influential people.

Lithium is also developing a type of Klout score for products that consumers see on the retailer's site. The number would incorporate customer ratings from a new ratings widget, as well as chatter related to the product across social media.

This use of Klout scores for marketing purposes may irk its longtime users. Lithium and Klout, however, maintain it's part of a larger effort to identify the most "trusted" consumers.

Lithium's expanded set of tools come as many other businesses try to adapt to an online world overrun with social media chatter. Jive Software is another company that helps businesses leverage social media, as is Salesforce.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

People in vegan houses shouldn't throw bacon

Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?

Abbie Love

Strategist, Ikon Communications

The role of the CMO is evolving: Are you keeping up?

My (amazing) vacation in the Galapagos Islands earlier in the year got me thinking about Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. What does this have to do with the role of today’s CMO, you ask? Plenty.

Sheryl Pattek

Vice-president, executive partner

Getting your business ready for the Entrepreneurial Consumer

We all know the digital revolution has completely transformed the way consumers are interacting with brands, and that a lot of businesses are finding it hard to catch up. One way to closing this brand gap is to understand consumer behaviour and build a brand experience that meets these new needs.

Pip Stocks

CEO and founder, BrandHook

It’s excellent aiming to resurrect the complete within the hearts and minds of connected customers, moreover because the terribly relevan...


CMO Interview: How Kodak’s global CMO is bringing the brand back from the brink

Read more

Great to see ActiveCampaign's growth funded with some serious money.As a platform, it's up there with the usual suspects in terms of feat...

Lawrence Ladomery

CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 13 October

Read more


Kerry Edwards

Open Colleges taps into social for better student interaction

Read more

Or just go to sites like www.shopsthatshiptoaustralia.c... and others and be sure that the stores will send to where you live :-)


Why online shopping is like dating – RedBalloon CEO

Read more

Personalisation is the key. Customers demand a very relatable and well defined CX where the sincerity and understanding of their disposit...

Hitesh Parekh

In pictures: Improving cutomer experiences through smart personalisation

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in