Gilt asks Klout top influencers to become temporary curators

By March 09, 2012
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The most common techniques brands use to reward social influencers is by handing out coupons or encouraging social recommendations. Gilt is rolling out a marketing campaign with Klout that involves social influencers and ask for their expertise.


Social network influence is becoming more and more valuable. For its new marketing campaign, Gilt – an American pure-player e-marketplace – decided to reward social network influence in several ways. It set up a partnership with Klout, that measures social network influence based on users’ Facebook and Twitter accounts, and attributes them a note from 1 to 100. Several brands have been recently trying to leverage Klout scores to reward influencers, especially through the Klout “perks” – coupons given to Klout users based on their influence. However, rewarding social influence with coupons has become fairly common. Andy Page, President of Gilt, wanted to go beyond the simple coupon reward and actually connect influencers to their own users: « Klout has the ability to identify influencers and Gilt has the platform to connect those influencers with brands and an engaged shopper audience.“

Identifying relevant influencers

Rewarding social influence is great. But it takes a little more than giving out coupons to make it engaging for users and to create brand preference or loyalty on the long run. First, instead of giving out coupons, Gilt decided users would get discounts on Gilt products matching their Klour score, virtually turning social influence into wealth: users with a score up to 20 are given 20% off, scores between 21 and 40 get 40% off, etc. Gilt also organized its campaign in a way that emphasizes the hierarchy between Klout users, depending on their Klout score. The campaign was scheduled over a whole week, each day being dedicated to a different category of Klout scores and discounts. Each day of the week was dedicated to a specific category of discounts. Tuesday was dedicated to the lower Klout scores (20), Wednesday was discount day for Klout scores ranging from 21 to 40, and the last day, people with scores from 81 to 100 get 100% off.

A participatory experience for top influencers

While regular Klout users get discounts matching their Klout score, Gilt also wanted to create a deeper experience for top Klout influencers. For each of Gilt’s categories of products (Men, Women, Baby & Kids, Taste and Home), they selected the most relevant social influencers and asked them to curate a special sale collection to be featured on Gilt’s website. By doing so, Gilt basically turned top influencers into not only brand ambassadors, but also guest curators on their own website. This type of participatory reward is more engaging for the influencers – contrary to the passive coupon or recommendation model. While recommendations create social conversations about the brand, Gilt’s model allows them to leverage those influencers’ quality networks and drive traffic directly to their website.  As Joe Fernandez, CEO and co-founder of Klout puts it“Gilt is working with us in a way that brings significant value to our users, and has the foresight to see how important it is to connect to influencers at scale”. 

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