Judging Your Klout After A Product Relies On Influencers & Then Goes Bust

FailAbout a month ago, I received an email from the influence metric company Klout that said that I was eligible for an exclusive Klout perk. What I received was an opportunity to get a sneak preview at a new show distributed by FOX called Lone Star and what this meant was that FOX would ship an advance copy of the pilot episode to me along with some additional accessories to help create a viewing party.  The point was that influencers would be the ones to gather a small group of people who listened to what they had to say and hoped that the show would catch on virally and thereby be more engaging with viewers each week.

It was a smart plan…until the second week of the show when it got cancelled.

So does that really impact the perk that Klout set forth? I don’t think it does. What FOX has taken a chance on is that it will reach out to influencers to spread the word that there’s a new show on the network NOT that the influencers will be praising the show. Unfortunately for FOX, Lone Star did not succeed, but can you blame the perk program that they did with Klout? I would find that very difficult to do.

For any company interested in engaging with product influencers, using a metric like Klout is always a good resource to leverage, because what you’ll encounter are people who would most likely be willing to listen and participate in your program. However, you cannot have the expectation that when you have them review a product for you that it will automatically be rosy and cheerful because it very well might wind up being the opposite. Interestingly enough, what I found out to be the best thing that people were talking about was the packaging that came with the DVD. To help spread the “joy” of the viewing party, FOX shipped a huge tub of popcorn, beer mugs and a bottle opener along with some other accessories to really help create the mood and if they wanted to promote these trinkets, then the influencers did a great job of sharing it with their friends. However, the show didn’t receive the right attention that you think it might have deserved.

A product you’re launching is sent to influencers and then gets cancelled, destroyed or gets cut from the budget. Did you pick the right influencers? Was there anything else you could have done to prevent this? Did the influencers do all that they could to promote your product? Again, I think it’s not your influencers fault. They don’t work for you…rather, the influencers you probably chose were fine as they were, but the product unfortunately might have needed to have been better. Pitching an influencer about a TV show simply because they write or talk a lot about television does not mean that it will be a hit. Instead, the effort to communicate with the influencer is essential to make sure that they understand what’s being done and what’s happening without sounding like you’re influencing them.

In the end, Lone Star wound up being cancelled due to low ratings. But should television networks give up on using services like Klout to find influencers and offer up these type of perks? I don’t think so. I think that through the use of social media, television shows and other entertainment programs will benefit from the added promotion.

Photo Credit: Jez Page / Flickr

3 responses to “Judging Your Klout After A Product Relies On Influencers & Then Goes Bust”

  1. Megan Berry Avatar

    Hey Ken,Interesting post. I think you raise a good point, which is that the success of an influencer initiative depends on two aspects — a good product and choosing the right influencers.
    If your product is excellent and you give a preview of it to key influencers the results can be spectacular. -Megan BerryMarketing Manger, Klout

    1. Ken Yeung Avatar

      Megan – thanks for your comment/feedback and you make a great point that it depends on your product’s standing and whether you chose the right influencers. I originally wanted to focus on the viability of Klout in light of this unfortunate end to “Lone Star”, but the more I thought about it, it didn’t really warrant bashing Klout’s functionality because all that you did was present the influencers. If the product was good, then the influencers would share the interest with their fans and friends. Unfortunately in this case, it didn’t turn out to be this way.

  2. Veronica Sopher Avatar

    I was among those who were curious enough to acquire a Lone Star preview party kit from Klout. It didn’t arrive quite in time for me to plan a party, unfortunately.

    Throughout the experience, most of the comments I heard and blog posts I read had more to do with the fact that FOX was using Klout to launch a TV show. Very little of the conversation among “influencers” was actually about Lone Star. That’s where I think this campaign missed the mark.

    A blogger friend of mine is a huge TV watcher and has a great podcast about TV shows with a loyal following. Did Klout find him? No. FOX missed out on an actual TV watching influencer because it depended on Klout score. Bummer.

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