Yay! I just came up with a new term. To “To Klout Them Up”. As in “to hit them up” or ask for something. Klout is the social media ranking tool – tells companies how influential a twitterer or blogger or Pinterester is in influencing others to find, filter and forward their stuff. To Discover, Distribute and Discuss. In otherwise,  not just how many followers they have but how actively engaged those followers are in obeying their new overlords. And Overladies.

click to see more on Klout http://klout.com/#/SilkCharm

Klout began with a very simple idea: Everyone has influence—the ability to drive action. Klout built on this idea to show anyone how he or she can influence the world and its future.

Klout was founded in 2008 to empower everyone to unlock their influence. We come to work every day inspired to help people understand the power of their voices and democratize influence. (Klout)

Too bloody right!

Unfortunately “democraticising influence” means “putting active engaged passionate knowledgeable people on a spam list”. Because if you do have a score of over 40 or over 50 or whatever, you’ve made the “Blogger Relations List”.

What is the blogger relations list? This is the list that journalists used to be on. Called the Press or Media list. It got you invited to boring events with speeches by visiting CEOs. Some average wine (can I have orange in my champers please?) a showbag (yay! oh wait, it’s full of brochures) and nibbly food. Tipsy, you stumble home in a taxi determined to write something positive on your blog or tweetstream if only you can remember what the heck the whole thing was about. Because the blogosphere is full of very busy, successful practitioners that are nothing like journalists, we tend to give up on going to them after a short while. Unless bored or hoping to catch up with some peers, they offer little more than advertising as engagement. Seriously, ugg boots, a lemonade with a dash of beer and Smash appeals much more.

But Klout gives PR people a way of telling who on social media can get messages to the most people. Therefore “To Klout Them Up” means to dangle a C2C (Customer to Customer) carrot in front of a companies eyes and say “I promise I will tell my friends and family that your stuff is neato if you give me some phat lewt”. Which in marketing speaks means: “I can bring on board many of your target demographic but I need goodies in return”. The real short hand is “don’t you know who I am?”.  Try it. Walk into a store and say “my Klout score is over 40, what do you have for me?”. Can’t do it? Sure you can – just pretend you are Kim Khardashian and remember how she monetizes her personal brand to the nth degree. Then go for it.

Every time you use social media to tick a box, click Like or Share, hit retweet or reply, you are being tracked. Your recommendations, and personal responses are the subject of endless market research, Big Data experiments and social media campaigns. Agencies are paid a fortune to get you to like that Facbook Page or retweet that special offer. Why should you do it for free?

So next time you see a “Like Us On Facebook” (puts your Like in your Newsfeed to advertise to your friends and family for free) say “why, what’s in it for me?” Then hit them hard – if it’s a cinema, you want popcorn (klout score over 40) or popcorn AND a coke (klout over 50).

Commercialize your personal brand, because even if you don’t someone else will take advantage of it. Or continue to be the nice sweet readers of my bloggy that you are -and leave the goodies for meeeeee! *evil laugh* Chumps. 😛

Disclaimer: I was offered a trip to South of France because of my Klout score (I was already in Spain at the time so reluctantly said no) and a free use of a car over summer. I get sent goody bags and a junket to Queensland with media. And tickets to arts events and on one memorable occasion a basket of coffee and laxatives. Just so you know… #JealousYet?

Personal Brand Statement: Laurel’s Klout score is 70 and she intends to use that for good not evil in the world. [yeah, right]

On a serious note,  a friend of mine, who is a quadriplegic living just on the poverty line was sent a “blogger press release” telling him it was his moral responsibility to review a TV set for disabled people, as he has a top blog on disabilities. Without giving him access to the set (he got a brochure with the specs) he was meant to review it. He would never in a million years be able to afford one.  I’m guessing the PR agency got a nice contract with large $$$ and a handful of TV sets (for handing out to able bodied journos) for browbeating top disabilities bloggers out there. The shits*. And no he won’t be interviewed on this or give you the name of the company – I asked him to blog about it when it happened and he wouldn’t.

*technical term for social media marketing PR people with no interpersonal skills or ethics. Sorry we can’t talk about social media technology without getting technical sometimes.