At the end of last week Klout announced ‘Klout for Business’, its first real foray away from a consumer-focussed product to one aimed at businesses. The service will “give businesses a…set of analytics, with pointed insights into how and where influencers are engaging with their brands in social media”.
The information will be served-up in a simple dashboard to show a brand how it is engaging on its networks and most importantly how it is engaging with influencers.
So what does this mean for brands?
Klout for Business should help brands to plan the content they share on their channels more effectively. It is not, however, something that will add great benefit to brands with an established social presence. All of these brands will almost certainly be using existing tools such as SocialBakers, or Facebook analytics, to review the engagement of their content. What Klout for Business will do is allow brands to review the areas that their most influential followers are authoritative on, and so tweak the content that is being shared on each of their channels to ensure that it resonates well.
Another area that Klout for Business could help brands is by identifying potential shortfalls in the number of relevant or authoritative followers that they have in specific topic areas. This could help to dictate future content plans in order to help attract an audience that is of a higher quality rather than purely quantity.
An important caveat here, and something which we’ve written about before, is that the accuracy of automated tools such as Klout is not currently wholly reliable. The topics Klout tells me that I’m authoritative on are vaguely accurate, and while there is now functionality that allows you to prioritise the topics that it suggests, in order to make it more accurate, this also adds an inconsistency to the data because while some people will make sure their profile is as precise as possible, others will not, and some may even try to game the system.
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What should brands expect to see from Klout for Business in the future?
At this stage, Klout has introduced some useful functionality for brands without introducing a game changer. Its offering is all about the engagement that brands are having with their current captive audience on their social channels, but the area where it could have a great impact for brands is in identifying and recommending influential individuals that brands do not have a current relationship with. For example, take Coca-Cola on Facebook. It has over 62m fans, but what about the 950m people who are not fans. If Klout could give Coca-Cola a list of the most influential people on the topics most important to it, then that would be very powerful indeed.
At this stage Klout for Business looks like a nice useful addition for brands, which could complement other tools used to measure and review social media channel activity but is not a must have. That said it does demonstrate that Klout is serious about its offering for businesses, and is one to keep an eye out for in future.