Get Ready for the Toronto KloutUp

We’re going to Toronto to celebrate Virgin America’s new route and we’re hosting a KloutUp while we’re there. We hope all our favorite Toronto tweeters can make it.

We’re hosting it at the lovely Gladstone Hotel and we’ll have a free round of drinks.

Here all the details:

Monday June 28th

5:30PM – 7:30PM

Gladstone Hotel

Hashtag: #KloutTO

Let us know if you have any questions!

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How We Find Top Influencers

For our Virgin America Klout Perk, we’re giving away free tickets on Virgin America’s new route to Toronto to top influencers along the route. A lot of work went into finding and engaging the right influencers for this campaign. We considered factors like Klout Score, location, and tags.

Klout Score: As you might expect Klout Score played a large role in choosing top influencers. The Klout Score is a metric of overall influence and tracks over 25 variables. Learn more.

Location: For this program, Virgin America wanted top influencers along their route — San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Toronto.

Tags: We semantically analyze tweets to determine what someone talks about and what they are influential about (if you tend to be retweeted more on tech gadgets than food, than you are probably more influential on tech gadgets). For this campaign we considered factors like how often you talked about you city, other cities on the route and various keywords that Virgin America chose to target.

Once we looked at those factors we went through and hand picked influencers that best fit with Virgin America’s brand and goals for this program. Influencers were sent an email informing them of their eligibility and directing them to a landing page where they could get more information about the program and sign in to collect their code. Everyone chosen for the program was registered on Klout and we followed a strict Klout Code of Ethics.


Klout Perks: Turning on the Power of Influence

The most amazing part of social media to me is that I can instantly share my opinion about any experience with the people who trust me the most. One of the original use cases I imagined back when I started Klout was that if restaurants could understand how influential I was they might offer me a free appetizer or desert. I am always the guy my friends would come to for a restaurant recommendation (especially if they were looking for burritos). I wasn’t looking for restaurants to buy my blessing. As much as I like free food, I would never sacrifice my reputation to my friends by schilling for some subpar meal. The reality of the situation is that I can only try so many new restaurants and if one wants access to my network they should be willing to go above and beyond. The problem has always been that there was no way to prove to a restaurant or any company that any specific person could really impact their business.

Klout changes all of this. When someone shares their experience with a brand or product through social media, we measure the impact it has within their network and beyond. We believe that companies can no longer simply judge each customer by the lifetime value of what they spend with them. Every individual now has a network value based on their ability to leverage word of mouth and social media to influence their network and spread the word about a product or service.

We all have friends we turn to when making purchasing decisions. If I am looking to buy a car or new computer I will definitely ask my co-founder Binh — I don’t care that Hewlett-Packard has Jay-z or Shaun White saying how great their computers are. I am not buying one until Binh says I should. Klout recognizes influencers like Binh and the impact they have on the decisions of their network.

In the past month we have started experimenting with brands who had products we believed Klout influencers would enjoy. This has been an exciting but scary step for our company. As a company focused on measuring influence, the last thing we want to do is “taint” anyone’s Twitter stream. From the start, we have anchored our campaigns around our Klout Perks Code of Ethics.

Klout Perks Code of Ethics:

  • Klout will never sell or give away your contact info.
  • Participating (or not participating) will not change your Klout Score.
  • If you accept the offer you are not required to do anything. We do not want to “buy” your tweets. You are receiving the product because you are influential and have authority on topics related to the product. This is a more targeted form of receiving a sample while shopping at the grocery store. You are welcome to tell the world you love the product, you hate the product or say nothing at all.
  • If you decide to talk about the product we will ask you to disclose that you received a sample (http://www.cmp.ly/2/va). We will send you more information about this when we ship the product.
  • Our goal with Klout Perks is to put great products in the hands of people who are both authoritative and influential on the relevant topics and let them tell the story from there. We believe this is a very exciting approach to marketing and is complimentary to the nearly 500 companies who are now using the Klout API to add influence to their site or application.

This is new ground and we are learning as we go. We would love to hear your opinion on how to keep these campaigns relevant, honest and interesting. Thanks!


If Your Score Dropped, Don't Worry

We’ve noticed a few accounts have experienced score drops recently and are looking into this issue. The Twitter API has been having issues lately and we think that may be the cause for these irregularities. This is our top priority right now. If your account has experienced this, don’t worry, we’ll rescore affected profiles once we figure out the issue.

Furthermore, if you’re interested in a Klout Perk, like the Virgin America campaign, this issue will not affect your eligibility as we are handpicking accounts for the program.

If you think this has affected your account, please shoot us an email – contact@klout.com with your Twitter username. Let us know if you have further questions.

UPDATE – June 22nd: This should be fixed now. If this issue affected your account you probably need to be reprocessed. If it’s been 6 days, you can use the refresh score button in lower right, otherwise send us an email (contact@klout.com) and we’ll do this for you.


Find Your Influencers For #FollowFriday

Do you know who influences you on Twitter? This is not just someone you follow, but someone who you tend to retweet, @ message and maybe include in a list. Since it’s Follow Friday, today would be a great day to thank those people for generally being awesome.

Find your influencers by going to your Klout Report, influenced by is located on the front page. You can click to compose a tweet next to it and edit as you’d like, possibly including #FF.

Note: If you don’t think your influencers are quite right, make sure you’re report is updated. If you’re logged in to Klout, you’ll see a refresh score button on the lower right of your report, you can click that to get your page updated. If you have any questions or issues please let us know either through GetSatisfaction or by emailing contact@klout.com.


Birdbrain is Here

Our latest lab project, Birdbrain finds Twitter users based on your Facebook interests. All you have to do is connect Birdbrain to Facebook and it’ll show you the top Twitter users for all your interests. For instance, if you’re a big fan of a certain movie or sports team you can find other people tweeting about those topics.

Furthermore, we break it down further by Klout classification. Do you want to follow people who are Socializers or Thought Leaders? The first might be better for making a personal connection while the second will have valuable insights into the topic.

Techcrunch wrote about Birdbrain this morning and Steve Rubel wrote about an earlier version named Facebird.

See a screenshot below and try it out for yourself.


10 Most Influential Tweeters in Toronto

How much do you know about Toronto? It’s the largest city in Canada and home to burgeoning tech and entertainment industries. It’s got a big social media contingent, so we decided to round up the top 10 Tweeps in Toronto. Check it out…

[This list not updated, original publish date June 15, 2010]

(bios are shortened versions of Twitter profiles)

1. Scott Stratten Speaker/Jedi 4 soc media.

2. Cell Guru “Loud mouth.”

3. J.E. Skeets NBA blogger/podcaster.

4. April Dunford Startup Marketing and Product Management.

5. Mathew Ingram Senior writer at GigaOm.

6. Casie Stewart Social media @ MuchMusic & MTV Canada.

7. Joallore Retoucher/Blogger/Designer /Communicator.

8. Kneale Mann Business, marketing, social media strategist.

9. Renée Warren Manager, BizLaunch Media Inc.

10. Ilya Grigorik Founder / CTO of PostRank

(We’ve limited this to accounts that represent people, there are also influential news accounts like @Torontoist)

Anyone else you think should be in this list? Feel free to nominate great Tweeters from Toronto in the comments.