The Value of Giving Perks for Social Media Influence
- Xavier Villarmarzo
- On May 14, 2013
According to a recent partnership announcement, qualifying Klout users will now have special access to American Airlines’ Admirals Club. In other words, certain social media users will now get a VIP airport lounge experience solely based on how popular they are online.
As part of its deal, Klout users with a score of 55 or higher will be eligible for a one-day pass to use any of the 37 lounges in 22 different cities, regardless if said Klout user is flying with American Airlines. Klout users can go to a special page on AA’s website and connect their Klout account to determine eligibility. The users that are not eligible will be entered into a drawing to potentially win access to the American Airlines’ Admirals Club for one year.
While it is definitely a risky approach for the always-rocky airline, this is something that can payoff for American Airlines and other brands. The model used by AA is one that can be duplicated by other brands and businesses to get influential users talking.
First, American Airlines requires a fairly high Klout score (55), which prevents hordes of people from taking advantage of the offer. Second, they are not requiring users to share or post about this perk in order to claim it (as is the case with many Klout Perks). This is key. Making it an obligation to post about a perk, while initially beneficial for the brand, will end up coming off contrived and forced in the long run. Third, they are allowing Klout users who are not eligible for the perk to participate by holding the giveaway drawing.
American Airlines is hoping for promotion from real people that is genuine and organic. This shouldn’t be a problem because, as we’ve seen, users who are considered to have a lot of social media influence have no issues sharing what they’re doing or where they are.
The “perk” program is nothing new for Klout. Since launching its rewards program – cleverly titled Klout Perks – in 2010, the company has handed out 1 million perks. The rewards program has connected high-rated Klout users with over 400 brands, including big companies like General Motors, Red Bull, American Express, Sony and Nike.
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