First there was your grade point average, then your SAT score, followed by GMAT and LSAT scores, and finally your FICO. Now there is a new metric with which you will be judged, your “Influencer” score.
A new breed of marketing research firms are using data from social media sites, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, to rank members according to their ability to spur their friends to action. Companies like Klout, Peer Index, and Twitter Grader are using complex algorithms to mine their data and rank members. This is far more than just a simple listing of “friends.”
Scores range from 1-100, with a major league socializer achieving a 40 ranking, and someone like Bono or Martha Stewart coming in at a godlike 100. These scores will be made public and could have a major impact on your career prospects, your credit rating, and even your sex life. I can hear this conversation coming already: “Thanks for the invitation to the opera, honey, but I have a better offer from an 80 to go to the Giants game.”
Do you like your new BMW, American Express card, or Rolex watch and are talking about it with your friends? Advertisers are willing to pay big bucks to get to know you. Last year, Virgin America airline offered free tickets to Los Angeles and San Francisco to highly ranked influencers, while Audi made available special discounts for a new car. Las Vegas casinos are giving away weekends with complimentary show tickets and generous room service tabs.
I have to tell you that I am looking forward to the new system. I just passed 1,200 likes on Facebook and have a massive Twitter following. My website gets 30,000 hits a day and is read in 125 countries, so I should score pretty highly. I understand that Maria Shriver has recently become available. Hey, Maria! Want to check out my 90? I’ll even fire my cleaning lady!