Klout score takes off with American Airlines

To many people, one of the appealing benefits of a good score on influence ranking services is that you can take advantage of perks – free products, services or experiences offered to you based on how high your rank or score is.

Each of the Big Three such services – Klout, Kred and PeerIndex – has its own perks programme. The company that has it down to a fine marketing art in the US is Klout with its associations with big brands such as Microsoft, Sony, Cirque du Soleil, T-Mobile and, they say, over 300 more.

Now Klout adds American Airlines to its perks roster in a deal that gives Klout users access to nearly 40 worldwide lounge locations including San Francisco, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo, and London.

[…] if you have a Klout Score of 55 or higher, you can gain access to the Admirals Club by going to aa.com/klout. You do not have to be an American Airlines passenger to be eligible for this Perk.

It looks like an appealing benefit, more so I suspect if you don’t travel that frequently and aren’t a member of an airline’s reward programme that gives you access to airline lounges.

But read the small print carefully first – this is actually a sweepstake for US residents only running through May and with the prize being a year’s free membership in AA’s lounge programme, worth $450. And there’s only one winner:

One lucky winner will win an annual membership to the Admirals Club® lounge and enjoy the ultimate oasis in the airport when they travel.

Everyone else who enters gets an opportunity to buy access into the programme at a $50 discount.

Hmm, looks a bit misleading to me in how this perk is being described by Klout.

Still, as an exercise in connecting with existing customers and introducing itself to new ones in an interesting way, American Airlines will very likely gain good exposure across the social web. And for Klout users, well, you do get a benefit if you go ahead and click the blue ‘GO’ button on the AA website, as I did:

aaklout1daypass

If you then complete the registration to get a One-Day Pass good for three months, and tweet that fact, you get an additional sweepstake entry.

Thanks, AA. Not sure how all this will work given I’m not a US resident, but I might stop by the lounge at Heathrow just to check it out!

I quit Klout in 2011 but came back late last year (although you never really can leave) when researching influence programmes for a client assignment. Influence rank is one thing; marketing activity like perks programmes is another. It’s a legitimate practice and very much part of the marketing landscape, whatever I or anyone else may think about it personally, if the separation between both aspects of what Klout and the others offer is crystal clear.

Influence rank such as Klout’s has already made it into areas like recruitment (“Desired skill: Klout score of 35 or higher”) and hotel reservations.

The trick, I think, is the more transparent your offering is, the more you as a brand will benefit from that honesty in building genuine engagement with your customer or influencer.

The devil is in the detail.

(Via AdAge)

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Bryan Person (@BryanPerson)

    Neville: As a Yank, I’m able to take advantage of this. I should be able to use the free one-day pass by the end of July. And you can bet I’ll tweet about it when I do. Good move by AA, even if there are some restrictions.

    • Neville Hobson

      Good to hear that, Bryan. I did get an email from AA, complete with number code and barcode, confirming that I have the one-day pass. So if I’m near the lounge at Heathrow before end of July, I’ll try it! And so, tweet it :)

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