If you have a substantial number of followers on Twitter, you’re off to a good start. However, the point of Twitter is not to amass followers, but to have them engage with your brand. The most successful premium food marketers using Twitter provide value to their customers.
One way to engage your followers is to reward those with “Klout.” An analytics service that tracks users’ influence based on several factors including the quality of followers and tweets, Klout places Twitter users into categories ranging from Observer to Celebrity based on their score.
Starbucks and Virgin America are two companies that are using Klout scores to help market their brand to tweeters that meet the criteria of “influencer.” In March, Starbucks offered free samples of Pike’s Place Roast coffee to influential Twitter users who often tweeted about coffee. More recently, Virgin offered free round-trip airfare between Toronto and San Francisco or Los Angeles to influencers and were invited to a launch event to celebrate Virgin’s new presence in Toronto.
The most interesting thing about these promotions is that there are no strings attached. Influencers can choose to accept the free offer and are not obligated to do anything in return.
“If you accept the offer you are not required to do anything. We do not want to “buy” your tweets. You are receiving the product because you are influential and have authority on topics related to the product. This is a more targeted form of receiving a sample while shopping at the grocery store. You are welcome to tell the world you love the product, you hate the product or say nothing at all.
If you decide to talk about the product we will ask you to disclose that you received a sample. We will send you more information about this when we ship the product.” – Klout
What kind of offer could your brand provide Twitter influencers with Klout? Do you think these promotions will help the companies gain more of a presence on Twitter or will the recipients simply take the free gift and not advocate the brand?