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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Cannes Part 1: Why brands must put human interactions at the heart of their business

As a Media Juror at this year’s Cannes Lions, I was fortunate enough to attend the world’s most influential festival of creativity and listen to thought-leading marketers from around the globe.

Nickie Scriven

CEO, Zenith

4 creative skills that will be useful forever

In recent times, the clarion call from futurists, economists, marketers, educators and leaders the world over is one of slight panic, “The world is changing and you’re not ready for it!” And of course, they make a very good point.

Kieran Flanagan and Dan Gregory

Speakers, trainers, co-authors

Why defining brand strategy is vital to capitalising on quick wins

Big brands were once protected from small brands by high barriers to entry. Big brands had the resources to employ big agencies, to crack big ideas and to invest in big campaigns. They had the luxury of time to debate strategies and work on long-term innovation pipelines. Retailers used to partner with big brands.

Troy McKinnna

Co-founder, Agents of Spring, Calm & Stormy

Being an investor who has an understanding of the finance industry, I would question the validity of this article, judging by the impairm...

Rowan

How a customer-led digital transformation has helped this CMO generate $6m in incremental business

Read more

An interesting update considering that today is the easiest way it has ever been to measure contribution to the business as well as the h...

Frederic

State of the CMO 2019: Tenure shortens, pressure is on as marketers strive to demonstrate impact

Read more

I thought this was what Salesforce Audience Studio (formerly Salesforce DMP) was supposed to do. How are a CDP and a DMP different? I'm c...

Tony Ahn

Salesforce announces customer data platform

Read more

Well written Vanessa!! Agreed with your view that human experience is marketing's next frontier. Those businesses who are focused on the ...

Clyde Griffith

Forget customer experience, human experience is marketing's next frontier

Read more

Great tips for tops skills need to develop and stay competitive

Nick

The top skills needed to stay competitive in a rapidly changing workforce

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in