Popular on Twitter? Your Klout score might soon get you a discount on a TV

Lithium announces Web widgets incorporating Klout influence scores

It might be time to change the adage "the customer is always right" to, "the customer with the most followers is always right."

On Wednesday, Lithium, which provides services to help businesses navigate social media, held its annual conference in San Francisco and explained how it plans to make use of Klout, the "social influence" company it said it had acquired two months ago.

Part of that plan includes new products that will let big retailers such as Best Buy or Sony embed buttons, or widgets, into their websites through which customers can give feedback about their products.

That's where Klout comes in. If the person clicking on the widget has a high Klout score, the retailer might send that person a discount coupon for, say, a TV. After all, you want to keep your influential customers happy, and who knows what they might say about you if they enjoy your product.

Lithium CEO Robert Tarkoff said the company is building a "shared value network" in which both consumers and brands can benefit from Lithium's analytics.

To do that, "we had to increase our investment on the consumer side," he said, explaining why Lithium bought Klout. He announced several new products designed to give businesses better information about who they should connect with online.

For starters, a series of "action widgets" will begin appearing later this year on certain businesses' websites. The partner companies haven't been decided but they're likely to be in retail or entertainment, like many of Lithium's current clients.

In a demonstration, Lithium showed a Sony product page for an expensive television. Toward the top, where a Facebook "like" button might appear, was a button marked "Want." By clicking on it, a consumer could provide feedback such as, "I would buy this TV, if it were cheaper by $50." Or, "I would buy this, if it came in silver."

"It's a wish list on steroids," as Lithium Chief Product Officer Tapan Bhat put it.

If the consumer has an account on file, the retailer might send him an email for that exact discount -- especially if they had a high Klout score.

The same could play out for customers who take to social media, like Twitter, to complain about poor customer service. Customers' Klout scores could be integrated into businesses' Lithium dashboards, making it easier to identify complaints from influential people.

Lithium is also developing a type of Klout score for products that consumers see on the retailer's site. The number would incorporate customer ratings from a new ratings widget, as well as chatter related to the product across social media.

This use of Klout scores for marketing purposes may irk its longtime users. Lithium and Klout, however, maintain it's part of a larger effort to identify the most "trusted" consumers.

Lithium's expanded set of tools come as many other businesses try to adapt to an online world overrun with social media chatter. Jive Software is another company that helps businesses leverage social media, as is Salesforce.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags analyticsadvertisingInternet-based applications and servicesLithiumsocial networkingKloutsocial mediainternet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?