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Klout Scores $200M in Lithium Buy

Sarah Thomas
4/1/2014
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Just when you thought it was OK to ignore that score of influence assigned to your social media presence, Klout, the company behind the scoring system, is being acquired by Lithium Technologies for a hefty sum.

The companies announced the acquisition last week, and, while terms were not announced, Fortune suggests the deal is worth $200 million. So why is Lithium Technologies, an enterprise customer experience management company, interested in a social scoring startup?

The answer is pretty simple and goes back to what we -- sparked by news from Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX) -- discussed at Light Reading last fall: Your social clout matters because it is one way operators will judge your "importance" as a customer. It can affect the speed of response you get, the level of customer service, and the offers made to you. It's not about you; it's about your network and your ability to reach them. (See Why Your Klout Score Really Matters.)

Lithium describes Klout as "the pioneer in using big data to measure online expertise." It assigns a score to all its members based on a number of factors that determine their "social influence," including their reach, level of interactivity, and quality of content. It also has a Klout for Enterprise platform to connect brands with these "influencers."

That's what sparked Lithium's interest. The company's customers include Spotify , Skype, and Sephora, but the concept is just as applicable to telecom service providers that want to improve their reputation through customer experience management. That's what Amdocs was pitching back in October, showing off a proof-of-concept of its Proactive Care data analytics combined with social media insights. Keeping track of a person's online presence is a way to reduce customer care costs, improve the customer experience, and spread goodwill for the brand.

Of course, the opposite can also happen, which is why it's important to understand how to properly make digital part of the entire customer view. Either way, the acquisition is proof there's more to social media than cat videos and food pics. Klout is giving service providers 200 million reasons they should pay attention.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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Mitch Wagner
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Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/4/2014 | 7:35:59 PM
Re: Keeping score
Klout doesn't measure anything meaningful at all. If it did, I wouldn't be getting special offers for hair care products and McDonald's. I haven't eaten at McDonald's in years and hair care products do me no good unless you can send them back in time to 2001. 

Visiting Klout, I see that it now seems to have pivoted to some kind content portal. It's showing me links to articles on the home page. 

My Klout score is 70, btw. 
Sarah Thomas
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Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/1/2014 | 3:21:34 PM
Re: Keeping score
That's not true! Your Tweets are probably more valuable than mine. I complain about the weather a lot. Plus, you can choose which social networks you tie in. I'm sure the more you include, the higher your score. i only let them access my Twitter.
Carol Wilson
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Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
4/1/2014 | 2:20:45 PM
Re: Keeping score
Hmm, Sarah, my Klout score came up ...to 54. Hard to believe I am on social media par with you. Something's fishy. 
Carol Wilson
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Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
4/1/2014 | 2:18:56 PM
Re: Keeping score
Is that what they are calling Bruce Jenner these days?
mendyk
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mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/1/2014 | 12:57:15 PM
Re: Keeping score
I'm within striking distance of Zeppo Kardashian.
brookseven
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50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/1/2014 | 12:37:16 PM
Re: Keeping score
Not quite a Kardashian. Seven
Sarah Thomas
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50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/1/2014 | 11:39:08 AM
Re: Keeping score
I doubt that. Those 56 Twitter followers have to count for something.
mendyk
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50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/1/2014 | 11:37:18 AM
Re: Keeping score
My score remains unchanged.
Sarah Thomas
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50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/1/2014 | 11:17:29 AM
Keeping score
Just checked my Klout score, and it's fallen 2 points to 54 since I last wrote about Klout. I'll need to work on that! Between them, the companies have more than 300 brands as customers, so you never know who will be keeping tabs on that score now.
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