Special Reports

Klout: Getting perks out of your social media score

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Many celebrities use Twitter and other social media to make money or earn perks. It's what you might call a dirty Hollywood secret. But we've found out how you can use your social media score to cash in too.

"What a lot of consumers don't realize is that celebrities get paid for these secret endorsements," said Jo Piazza, author of Celebrity, Inc.

"We need to know that if a celebrity is photographed at a certain gym or drinking a certain Starbucks latte, they're likely being paid by that gym, by that company. And if they're not being paid, they're getting something for free," Piazza said.

Spencer Pratt from the reality show, The Hills, is one example.

"And Spencer told me that he was getting these secret endorsement checks from Coke," said Piazza. "Around $10,000 a month."

Piazza said some celebrities get as much as $100,000 a month. And social media has taken the secret celebrity endorsement to a whole new level.

"Stars like Kim Kardashian and all of her sisters, L.L. Cool J., Snoop Dogg, they're being paid between $5,000 and $10,000 per tweet," Piazza said.

And many celebrity's tweets aren't even written by the stars themselves.

"The companies have a team of copywriters that actually write the tweets on behalf of celebrities," said Piazza.

But don't get mad; instead, use these tricks to cash in for you.

"The Klout score is a 1 to 100 score measuring how influential you are online," said Joe Fernandez, KLOUT CEO and Cofounder.

Klout looks at your content and the response it gets on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms.

"So your Klout score represents your ability to drive people to action online," Fernandez said.

Chances are, if you tweet, like it or not, you already have a Klout score. But to get rewards register with Klout as an influencer, it's free. You can have your Facebook or LinkedIn accounts scored as well.

A score of 20 is an average Klout score, but higher scores can translate into major rewards.

Audi gave influencers spending money and the new A8 to test drive for a weekend. Many Las Vegas hotels will upgrade your room or send you to a free show or dinner and you can get free flights.

"We did one with HP where a bunch of influencers got a free laptop," said Fernandez. "We've done a bunch with Disney where people got to go to the movies and see a movie before it came out."

Ad.ly also connects brands with influencers and those brands pay money for tweets but you still need to have at least 25,000 followers.

"This is the age of the citizen influencer," said Mark Schaefer, author of Return on Influence. "Everybody has a voice."

And Schaefer said your social score is valuable even if you're not looking for extra money or perks. Some companies are using the score in their hiring decisions.

"It's starting to show up on resumes as an ability. Can I connect and influence people on the web? Increasingly, that's an important job skill," said Schaefer.

To improve your social score here's what you need to do:

Make your tweets provocative, funny or interesting, and utilize hash tags.

Also get people to retweet you and reply to you; the more people that share your tweets, the higher your score.

Also - follow people with big followings and tweet interesting things at them and about them. The goal is to get a celebrity to retweet you, that will increase your following right away.

And finally interact with others. Twitter is not a one-way street.

Plus local company, Social Ladder, has just launched an iPhone app that gives you access to exclusive VIP offers and invitations for nightclubs, promotional events, and more all based on how connected you are online.

To check your SocialLadder score and get your exclusive invitations click the link below:

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