Yes, I’m bitching about having gotten free stuff.
So, let’s just say right off the bat, it’s a bit ridiculous to bitch about having gotten free tickets to a movie preview (received because of online “influence” as measured by Klout) and the questionable experience that ensued; clearly, there are bigger problems in the world that we should be discussing. But I’m gonna do it anyway. And here’s why: if you think about it, it’s interestingly convoluted from a brand management/community management standpoint.
On the off chance that you’re reading this and not familiar with Klout, it’s a measurement of online influence; there’s been enough written about it to choke a million social media “experts”. Google it. My first post about Klout is here, Why I still don’t care what your Klout score is. But, it’s over six months old, and I have a different take now, and while I’m honestly sick of talking about Klout, Klout, Klout, did I mention Klout, I think it warrants saying, and besides, the topic tends to get people worked up a bit.
Klout User Persona A: lives and dies by his or her Klout score, checking it multiple times a day. Becomes despondent if it declines by a point. Has personal Klout score in a badge on personal blog (blargh). Religiously gives five people a day +K (fine), and tweets it every single time (blargh). May tweet asking people to +K him or her on a certain topic (in a word: blaaaaargh). Klout User Persona B: members of KSWA (Klout Schwag Whores Anonymous). I’m a charter member and the tagline I propose is: Mock the tool. Love the schwag. (There are other personas, clearly but you get the idea.)
If Klout fails to execute well, that brings the brand down, instead of lifting it up.
I realized last night the degree to which Klout’s ability to successfully execute it’s KloutPerks programs impacts the brands being promoted. Case in point: Disney Winnie the Pooh movie preview.
I was invited by Klout, I signed up, I got a message from Klout saying “You’re All Set! Just show up”. I got my kid all pumped about the movie, I rushed home from work to get there on time, and we showed up. And exactly what I was afraid would happen did happen: Blank stare from ticket booth staff, followed by: “You’re not on the list.” These are five words you never want to hear, right? Especially when you’re standing there with your now-vibrating-with-excitement kid, visions of dragging him out of the theatre in a puddle of tears running through your head. Long story short, after having to explain what Klout is, and the theatre personnel looking for the nonexistent Klout list, they let us in anyway. It took long enough, though, that by the time we got in, there were few decent seats left. So, we sat in a nearly-empty row of press seats, at which point I was accosted by a woman with a clipboard. After clearly communicating that I wasn’t having a delightful experience thus far, and that I wasn’t going anywhere easily, and that I really like to write, she left us alone, too. By that point, the movie was starting, and I had serious acid indigestion. Which (in spite of it being a really good movie, visually lovely with tons of LOL-ing from G and all the kids in the theatre) is now pretty much the feeling I associate most with the preview of the Winnie the Pooh film.
Nutshell: If the Klout experience sucks, the BRAND experience sucks.
In other words, in some cases, Klout actually creates a bit of a brand management/community management problem. I’m not the only one this happened to, because I talked to others who were there last night. It could still be an isolated incident, but I doubt it as it is not the only glitch I’ve had with KloutPerks. I’ll spare you the details of the Subway gift card I still have not received despite repeated emails from Klout asking if I got it yet. Seriously, I appreciate the offer, but, KEEP IT. It’s not worth the trouble.
Yeah, it’s still pretty new. Yeah, yeah, I’m being difficult. But, yeah, if you’re a brand or community manager and thinking about a KloutPerks or similar influencer promotion, you need to think about it. It can backfire. Frankly, I would have been a better influencer for the Winnie the Pooh movie had I been left to my own devices, paid to see the movie, and not had any stress around it.
P.S. I love KloutPerks.
If you are reading this, no offense, OK? Keep the schwag coming. For serious. Really, I love you. You wanted to hear about my experience, and this was it. You need feedback to get better, right?
What say you? Am I being unreasonable (moi!??!)? Are my standards too high? Is this type of influencer marketing a smart move? What do you think of Klout in general?