I ran across an interesting development in the online influencer news today. No I don't know what Brian Solis had for breakfast; instead, there is news today that the controversial influence score website Klout teamed up with Audi's Facebook page to create unique content only available to those fans who have enough social "influence."
I put quotes around influence because many feel, and yes I'm one of them, that Klout's scoring system is far from perfect, but I will give Klout credit in that they are trying and evolving their system in ways that are interesting and worth watching. They also are not trying to determine one's full influence, it is only a view at one's online influence which mainly focuses on social conversation and how much one talks online and one receives two-way conversation in return. It's more accurate to call it a volume score than an influencer score, but you can read a gizillion blogs on that topic.
So what is Audi doing in this? They are using the Klout engine to provide special access to content. Today's launch of the functionality is around their recent win at Le Mans. It was a great race and win from Audi. What a year and what a horrific beginning to the race that fortunately resulted in zero causalities other than a couple really expensive Audi cars.
If you have a Klout score high enough to gain special access, you will be granted the bonus of a Le Mans wallpaper to save to your computer. Wallpaper? Can't I just use Google Images and find a ton of them including some amazing pictures from the great coverage provided by blogs like QuattroWorld (props to my good friend Mike Juergens)?
Regardless of how 1996 the free wallpaper incentive feels, there is an interesting event here. Brand pages can now reward their most social media active fans. Unfortunately, it's doubtful most fans know what Klout is or how to get it. And there is a potential backlash that a brand's most hardcore Facebook page fans lack enough Klout to get special access, since they may only be active on the brand's page and not across social media.
It will be interesting to see how this develops and kudos to Audi for taking the first try at this approach. I just wish it was something cooler than a wallpaper...
NOTE: Please let me know if you tried it and failed regarding your own Klout score, I would love to know how much one needs to score to get access.
UPDATE: There is no qualifying Klout score, at least for the current promotion today. Perhaps that will change, but according the Audi Facebook wall team "everyone gets one." You can see their Facebook post on the topic and fan feedback here. Most of it is very positive, no surprise. Here is an image of Audi's wall team's response to a fan asking about the score question:
I don't feel as "special" anymore. ;)