Founder and CEO of Klout discussed the current industry standard in social influence and what he envisions for its future.

Kat Popiel
  • 7 october 2011

As Founder and CEO of Klout, Joe Fernandez’s has made a business out of measuring people’s relative influence on the social web in an effort to facilitate a growth in a businesses’ knowledge of the individual user and how that user’s personal influence can affect conversations. PSFK’s Scott Lachut took to the stage to further understand more about the current industry standard in social influence.

“Klout is built on the ability of an individual to share their identity”, says Joe.  Social media has exploded – Facebook has 800 million active users, Twitter has 200 million registered Tweeters, and YouTube streams 300 billion videos each day. This growth in user generated content has created the opportunity to become influential purely because of these available channels.  Discussing the Attention Economy, Joe believes that brands require the usage of Klout as a way to broker the attention of their networks.

Word of mouth is the only really effective form of advertising.  In an Attention Economy I think of influence as the currency.  We try to think of Klout as the social credit score.

Considered elitist by some, Joe defers to the traditional forms of marketing – segmentation.  With every brand or company compiling target data on audiences, Klout might align similarly but it still relinquishes the power with the individual.  The content creator has the ability to improve their Klout score according to their consistency at remaining relevant on the social web.  For brands, it creates a direct access line with a focus group who are passionate experts in their fields.  In placing the consumer as the central influencer in the business development game, brands have the ability to place value in the consumer and create an unparalleled loyalty.

Concluding, Joe envisions a bright future:

I think of a the world where our social capital is measured to provide opportunity – you swipe your credit card and your Klout score shows up giving you perks in the wider world. This quality of measurement and quantity of data is all going to grow exponentially to create new types of collaboration.


Joe Fernandez


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