When I lease a new vehicle, I make a point of telling the dealership before I take delivery of my car that I do not – do not – want a license plate guard or decal or any other form of advertisement of the dealership on my car. I have never understood why I should advertise this dealership for free for the next 2 or 3 years. I may not even be pleased with them or their service, but they’ll put their rolling advertisement on your car unless you take the initiative to remove it.
Yes, I can be a grumpy bitch.
I always felt that if a dealer offered to compensate me in exchange for my endorsement, like give me a certain amount off the price of the vehicle, or free service of some kind, I might feel a little differently. Then, at least, I wouldn’t feel like I was being taken advantage of and the dealer would be forced to recognize my contribution to its advertising effort.
And this is the reason that I like Klout.
Klout recognizes what all of the car dealerships in the country fail to – your endorsement has value.
Okay, the Klout algorithm is flawed and people can game the system and Klout pays too much attention to Twitter, and . . . I get it. There are issues and maybe it shouldn’t be taken super seriously yet.
But at least someone is trying to show that most people have some amount of influence. They influence friends and family in the decision making process. And Klout (and their sponsors) is willing to reward people in a tangible way for that influence. Mark Schaefer, adjunct professor of marketing at Rutgers and author of the book Return On Influence is quoted by Wired as saying, “This is the democratization of influence.”
I’m not a celebrity. I don’t have millions of Twitter followers and thousands of Facebook friends. I’m a pretty average Jane. But Klout recognizes that I talk to more people online than an average Joe or Jane does, and their sponsors are willing to pay me with two Stephen King books and a t-shirt for that potential conversation.
I’ll find a way to pay that perk forward, and advertise both Klout and Stephen King’s publisher in the meantime. I won’t be mentioning any car dealers, though.