Remember Klout? The Post Office is using it to root out brand advocates and decide who should get priority treatment online

The Post Office is harnessing one-time social media trailblazer - Klout - to help it work out who it should be prioritising online and who could be useful in future marketing campaigns.

The retailer has been on a mission for the past few years to reestablish the brand amongst consumers which has seen it invest heavily in overhauling stores and marketing. Reflecting that online and harnessing the power of brand advocates has become vital, but the myriad of tools it was using previously have made it challenging to streamline efforts in the way it needs - until now.

In its 2008 heyday, Klout was touted as way to assign a value to the influence you had online. For a brief moment, brands toyed with the idea of using it to decide who should be given perks or discounts while companies such as Salesforce even used it to decide who should get a job. In the end, people stopped really caring about Klout scores and it disappeared – until being bought by Lithium Technologies in 2014 for a reported $200m.

Its resurrection has seen Klout integrated into Lithium Reach, a new social marketing product from the company that promises to “redefine how brands can maximize customer engagement across social channels, blogs and online communities” and “engage customers in a true two-way conversation across digital channels, and throughout the customer lifecycle".

The tool essentially allows marketers to create social content – a brand’s agency can also be given the keys to a version of the tool to create posts – which can be sent out across Facebook and Twitter with other key platforms like Instagram and Snapchat on the horizon.

An AI-powered algorithm also makes recommendations on what content to post and exactly when to post it based on what a brand’s followers are doing.

All this, Lithium claims, can result in a 25 percent increase in engagement and a 50 percent increase in efficiency from a brand’s social media efforts.

Clients already on board include Fox Sports Australia and now The Post Office.

“We were using lots of different tools like TweetDeck and HootSuite, but it was very time intensive and challenging to keep track of everything as our digital efforts scaled,” said Darren Jones, social media manager at the Post Office. “Lithium Reach helps us consolidate all of our customer conversations into a single tool.”

But it’s the Klout element that’s helping the Post Office do some interesting stuff with influencers (a hot topic amongst marketers amid the rise of ad blockers).

Jones tells The Drum that anyone with a Klout score over 55 (out of a potential 100) is identified as a “celebrity” and is given priority treatment if they ask a question or engage with the brand in some other way online.

When it comes to a social media campaign – such as the recent Love Sundays push – it used it to root out the brand's top influencers in order to get them more involved with the brand in the future.

“Normally we would pay an external agency to do all of that for us but we don’t need to do that anymore. It’s very much DIY,” said Jones.

There’s been “a general increase in engagement stats” since it began using the tool, although it’s probably not as high as other Lithium clients may have experienced due to the wide scope of what Post Office’s social channels are required to do and cover.

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