Save Money / Consumer News

Social media ranking can lead to big perks

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Imagine someone handing over the keys to a luxury automobile for the weekend with no strings attached, or a resort offering you a room absolutely free.

That's exactly what happened to mom blogger Leah Segedie, all because of her high social media score.

"They came to me, which is really cool because I wasn't looking for it, they just found me," she said.

Whether you know it or not, your online popularity is being ranked by websites like Klout and Kred. People get assigned a number. The higher your number, the more influence you have online, and that makes you more appealing to marketers.

"They believe these real world people can get the message out to their community and help amplify the message," said Kred CEO Andrew Grill.

Over the last two years, more than 300 brands have offered perks to Klout influencers, including Disney, Microsoft and American Express.

"Free upgrades on flights to movie tickets, product trials. The perks run the gamut and the higher your score, probably the better the perk is going to be," said Zena Weist, a social media expert and vice president of strategy at Expion.

Businesses are looking beyond perks, too, from dating services using scores to match potential partners to a start-up bank making plans to consider scores for loan approval. Some recruiters are even checking out the scores for job applicants.

"The score can be a benchmark if the job has something to do with social media. If you're connecting with people on the web, if you need to be influential," said Weist.

The average score on Klout is 20 out of a possible 100. But how can you raise your social ranking? Experts suggest you start by sharing stories about topics you're interested in on Facebook and Twitter. The more retweets and shares you get, the higher your score will rise.

"Be more useful, be more relevant. Talk to your community," said Grill.

And seek out and follow like-minded people online.

"That way they're going to share the information that you put out, you can share the information they put out and all boats rise," said Weist.

But always be genuine with what you share.

"If you are the person who's all about the score, I mean, good luck. Good luck to you. It's never going to happen. So it's like, what needs to happen first, you need to be that real person first. And the score will come. It will follow you," said Segedie.

As for Segedie and her family, they love the perks they've already been given and are always on the lookout for more.

"If a contractor would call me and say, 'Hey I'd love to remodel your house for free.' You know, that would be fantastic too," she said.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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