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Recently I was talking with a mutual friend of mine and  Thomas Power ( who has a huge Social Media network ) and he told me that Thomas had recently checked into a hotel in the U.S. and was told that he had been upgraded to a suite following hotel staff doing a check of Thomas’s “social media influence”. The suite included free use of a computer and the Internet. Thomas had all he needed to tell his online networks about his suite and the way he had been looked after by the hotel group’s staff.

This blog on The Next Web


talks about the way that Bal Harbour Shops ( http://www.balharbourshops.com/ ) had conducted a social media campaign that culminated in a ” Fashion Night Out Event which was limited to people with a ” Klout score ” of 40 or higher.

This meant that people attending the party had to have a significant social media network and influence.

My Klout score is around 53.  The people that I follow ( on Twitter ) with the highest Klout score include celebrities like Lady GaGa ( KS of 92 ), Kim Kardashian ( 91 ) and Britney Spears ( 87 ); News networks like Breaking News ( 89 ) and CNN ( 87 ) and the people who have created huge numbers of followers and friends in their networks like Chris Pirillo ( 87 ), Jay Wilkinson ( 86 ) and Guy Kawasaki ( 86 ). These latter are typically entrepreneurs and marketing people.

Why a Klout score of 40 or above ??

Christopher Renz, Agency Director at The brpr Group ( who ran the campaign ) , has this to say on the matter:

“A Klout score of at least 40 ensures that only the most socially engaged will be in attendance and as a direct result will tweet, check in on Foursquare and post photos on Facebook to their friends and followers, creating a real‐time digital echo for FNO at Bal Harbour Shops”

Why set the bar at 40 ??

” We originally thought 50, but we contacted Klout to ask their opinion and they mentioned that the average score is well below 40, so beginning it there would give a good mix of those who are just building their networks and the long-time enthusiasts.”

I first started building my social media networks with www.ecademy.com in about 2006 followed by Linkedin and facebook.

Anybody ” ordinary ” that has built an ” online network ” ( via email and social and business networks ) knows how much work and time goes into it . Basically you don’t get to have a Klout score of 40 or above without having put considerable effort into doing so. For celebrities it sort of depends on how popular they are. For news channels – how well they provide up to date, well researched and informative news.

Were Bal Harbour and The brpr Group happy with the event ??

CR: We got a great response from the invite. Bal Harbour Shops is thought of as older and stuffier and so people were very surprised (and sometimes upset) about the Lounge. A competing Fashion’s Night Out venue tweeted to us offended that they wouldn’t be able to get into the lounge if they attended.

We had a Miami Dolphins player, Alonzo & Tracy Mourning (ex Heat player) Deborah Cox RSVP’d, Brooke Hogan RSVP’d and then went to LA at the last minute. DJ Irie and some Telemundo/Univision talent (it is Miami after all).

and how did Bal Harbour’s clients and guests feel about the use of Klout scores ??

CR: They were very happy with the turnout and the number of people who tweeted and buzzed about the lounge even before Fashion’s Night Out.  They also loved that their own Klout score went from a 38 a week before the event to a 54 on the night of FNO.

So, there were a number of effects:

– Some ( positive ) shift in the brand identity

– An increase in Bal Harbour’s Klout score ( influence, reach, amplification )

– Controversy

– Lots of Word of Mouth and ” Social Media Buzz “.

and this is what people like  Bal Harbour and the Hotel chain want.

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