Klout.com measures the social media influence of 85 million social media users around the world. Brands actually reward top Klout users with cool things like iPads and smart phones. Other such social influence tracking sites are popping up all over undoubtedly with their eye on monetizing social influence.
Our question is how far will this trend go? Here’s one plausible scenario.
Let’s say you’re a heavy Facebook user with a large Twitter following and you’re an avid Pinner. Let’s also say that one day the marketing department over at Research In Motion, makers of the Blackberry, contacts Klout and asks for a list of people who have Tweeted, posted, or Pinned information about Blackberry phones over the last year. Let’s also assume Klout is tracking that kind of thing which undoubtedly, they are. And guess what? Your name popped up.
So the RIM people now have you on their radar as a potential promoter of their Crackberries. They send you an email or they message you on FB or Twitter soliciting you to directly promote their brand in exchange for certain gratuities, not the least of which might be a Crackberry of your own or in a perfect world, cash.
You oblige and start Tweeting, posting, and Pinning your heart out about all things Crackberry. People are sharing your stuff because you’ve got social influence and the people at RIM are ecstatic because of all the sharing going on. Ultimately, someone actually buys a Crackberry as a result of one of your Tweets and RIM just about has conniption fit because they’re so damn happy that social media actually generated a sale. They proceed to pay you with a Crackberry of your own and upon opening the box you marvel at this technological dinosaur and wonder to yourself, what the hell just happened?
That’s the same question that GM just asked themselves before they pulled their paid ads from Facebook. While GM’s circumstance was different than my rambling example above the principle is identical. What does anyone’s social media influence have to do with anything unless it converts into dollars?
The fact is that social influence is an intangible that may or may not carry measurable value. Sites like Klout and SocialStock are looking to monetize this potential value and consequently, in some manner, pay you.
But will our newly found social influence jobs come with health care? If it does, I’m in…