Uh. What’s a… Klout?

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For those of you who have no clue what this is, don’t worry, I honestly had no clue what it was until just a few days ago.

Klout is a website and app service that was launched in 2008 to discover certain patterns of social media influence. Using these social media analytics, this service ranks its users with a “Klout Score” which is a number between 0 and 100. These scores are based off of each user’s influence on other people through social networks. Scores are updated everyday from the interactions you have, including retweets from Twitter, likes on Facebook and Instagram, etc. In the past few years, Klout has even started to partner with different companies, giving out what are called “Klout Perks” to users based on their scores. Some of the perks include free products and discounts from brands  like Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, etc. Pretty cool, huh?

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Inside the Playhouse. Taken from LAX-Magazine.

Just last year, Playhouse Nightclub located in Los Angeles was the first club to begin working with Klout to better the experience of their customers. They decided to reward Klout users who have a score of 50 or higher with VIP access. First, the door man checks users’ scores on an iPad and if they meet the requirements, the special treatment begins. Customers are able to cut the entire line, receiving free cover before 11p.m., and 50 percent off afterwards.

This is just another example of how social media is working to change nightlife, allowing regular customers to feel one in the same with the other famous people that frequent the Playhouse every weekend. Klout didn’t catch on with nightclubs as easily as predicted, though I do think they could still revive it. Its services could still be used for promoting by inviting the top-ranked Klout users to certain events held, offering perks for coming. All of the retweets and likes could easily increase traffic through these popular clubs, and possibly even help the smaller establishments make a name for themselves.

It’s crazy to think a single person’s posts have the potential to influence such a large group of people, simply through social networking. In the end, I guess it pays to be yourself!

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How can one star change revenue?

In my last post I focused on the question of whether social media can affect a business and its success. Blogging and review sites, like Yelp, can be used by customers to voice their opinions, whether negative or positive. But how can a single person’s opinion posted on just one of the popular review sites affect a business and its revenue?

The answer is yes! No doubt about it.

As stated in an article about a 2011 Harvard Business School study, “A one-star increase on Yelp leads to a 5 to 9 percent increase in revenue.”

STARS

In a post from Review Trackers a study from the University of California suggests, “a half-star improvement in online ratings makes a restaurant 30 to 49 percent more likely to be fully booked during peak dining times.”

It clearly pays to pay attention to your reviews!

Social media has flourished so much in the past few years, along with these review sites. Even though almost 10% may seem like such a miniscule number, and doesn’t seem as if it’d be that big of a deal–it can surely add up with every customer’s input. It is absolutely essential for all bar and restaurant owners to be monitoring customer feedback, whether it be in the form of a review, tweet, or comment on a Facebook page.

Seeing as how probing the the internet can be rather time consuming and taxing, it’s almost impossible to find every single comment or review written about an establishment. To make things a tad more simple, now there are a few free marketing tools to aid these owners and managers in monitoring what customers are saying.

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I’m sure there are numerous sites out there that will keep track of any acknowledgments of a business–for a price. Though, Google Alerts and SocialMention* are two FREE tools offered to help that are pretty simple to set up.

Is Social Media Killing Business?

There will always be that voice in the back of my head asking, “Is this ever going to stop? I miss the old days when things were less complicated–less digital.”

Taken from Forbes.com

Taken from Forbes.com

Many blog posts I have come across talk about the many perks of social media and how it’s helping to flourish their business’s reputation and the most important thing, increasing sales.

Though, in a recent update post from Notes On Nightlife: NYC, writer Daniel Bortz goes on quite a rant at the end about how this venue he had visited, that seemed awesome as far as set-up and looks went, but the DJs always sucked, for the most part. Stating: “Can people just not tell that the music is shamefully bad or don’t care?”

I also recently came across an article from BobbyWestMusic titled “How and When to Request a Song from a DJ“. He goes on and on, explaining and listing why it’s so annoying when customers come up to request songs at the worst times possible. He gives some tips for when it’s safe to place a request, as well. Hilarious–because it’s so true.

Picture of a DJ taken from PM Productions.

Picture of a DJ taken from PM Productions.

Yet, I digress.

So here is where social media comes into play for both of these instances. Daniel and Bobby easily posted their blogs, complaining about the establishment’s choice of DJs along with getting annoyed by customers, but do those businesses even care? Or do they brush it off as one bad review on some kid’s blog? Will there be changes made so the DJ won’t be bothered? Probably not.

Yelp is one of the many free apps you can download onto your smartphone to read reviews of restaurants, nightlife, etc. that makes it so simple to fly off the handle and immediatley write a bad review about a place. For example, this very comical post I read from AtNYNightlife is based on a horrible review submitted on Yelp about a rooftop restaurant, and how ridiculous she had written it.

The questions are: Does social media and its many websites help or harm business? When should an establishment actually take a review seriously and make changes? When should they brush it off and think, “That’s only ONE customer’s opinion”? These lines are so blurry.

I’m all about second chances, so here’s my take on these issues.

Management should be searching for reviews of their establishments all the time. They should take notes, and take time to respond to the customers whether they were nice or rude. For the requesting of songs issue, if you have the money to blow, think about making some type of app that only appeals to your nightclub, where the customers could request songs through that instead of having to go up and bug the DJ. That would get customers’ opinions without them having to leave their seats/parties and would add some flavor to your club, as well.

With an app like Yelp, some restaurants and clubs get ripped apart after a customer going once. It would be awesome if these businesses could set up an app just like Yelp or Urbanspoon, that only allows a customer to post a review if they have been there more than once–I’m assuming that could be tracked by receipts or something. Seems silly kind of, but I feel as if it would help save the reputations of a lot of businesses. It’s all about the second chances.

Feeding My Noggin

These are a few blog sites that I have chosen to follow that I “feed my noggin” with to give me inspiration for my blog posts. These help further my opinions on how nightlife is ever-changing and is starting to incorporate social media to help us party animals have better experiences.

The ones I have posted are from the larger nightclub infested cities, but I’m sure I’ll be adding some more, so check back in:

AtNYNightlife is an extension of @NYNightlife on Twitter and gives a rundown on everything happening in NY nightlife.

Discover Los Angeles is a blog created to help party-goers of LA find the best clubs and deals to have fun at, all in one night.

Thomas Nagy great blog site to read exactly how social media can aid so much in branding and success for businesses.

Alex Vojdany from Learned Media is a go-to platform for event planners to help them organize sensational times for their customer’s night out on the town.

Laurie Charles from Miami NewTimes has many blogs concerning the hottest music and promotions going down in Miami, a well-known nightlife town.

Notes on Nightlife-NY is a blog created that gives input on events around NY, and tells her absolute honest opinion.

San Diego Nightlife ranks among the best in the country and this blog gives reviews, advice, and discussions about different areas and places around town.

BarSmash

Taste Your Party lists the hottest venues of the city that never sleeps, NYC. Reviews the latest apps and fads helping to entertain NYC inhabitants.

The FeedBak is a collection of many blogs all focused around nightlife etiquette, rants, reviews, and stories about this crazy nocturnal scene we call nightlife.

A Single Twitter Handle Can Change Nightlife

Merriam-Webster defines nightlife as, “the activity of or entertainment provided for pleasure-seekers at night”. Hmm, that seems kind of vague right? I think so, too. Personally, in this day in age, I believe that this one simple word stands for so much more than the definition given to us–hopefully I can change your opinion, too.

Social media outlets now have an outstanding influence on the energy, growth and sustainability that is so very important to nightlife all across the country. Especially in popular cities like New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and so on. These popular social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and the extremely booming platform, Twitter, have consumed the majority of all marketing aspects of nightlife.

It’s crazy how one single Twitter handle can influence nightclubs and how often people frequent them, along with their opinion on the experience they may have. Rachel Rattenni posted a piece on a website, Guest of a Guest, about how one young girl who goes by the name of @nycgrlproblems has changed New York nightlife by simply tweeting.

Rattenni states, “As she assumes her following consists mostly 18-25 year-old girls from Manhattan, 20,000 is no small number—almost 30% of that demographic according to the Department of City Planning. In addition to satirical anecdotes meant to entertain, @nycgrlproblems has harnessed her network of followers to help promote local businesses that are important to her.”

Social media may seem like something only for the younger generation, but boy is that wrong. Using these platforms should go beyond occasionally posting pictures and videos to promote your club. It’s not just a “cool” thing to participate in, or a current”fad”–it’s a must for all businesses to mix into their marketing strategies to flourish their reputation and profit.

Hello World!

Hello everyone! Like you’ve probably read in my About section, my name is Karlea Pack–spelled a tad differently, but pronounced like “Carly”. I am a senior majoring in Public Relations within West Virginia University’s P. I. Reed School of Journalism and am minoring in Business Administration.

I was born and raised in southern West Virginia and cannot wait to graduate so I can finally leave this state and start over new. I am hoping to move somewhere with a much warmer climate than here, like Florida for example. I absolutely love to draw and paint, basically anything to do with art or being creative. I’m somewhat of a social butterfly, so having a fun time and making sure the people around me are having a blast as well is what I love to do.

Coinciding with my interests and being quite social, I am hoping to have my blog focus on the ever-changing nightlife scene and how social media is helping to grow this market’s popularity. Career-wise, event planning for a large entertainment company is my main interest. I’m hoping to be able to use my creativity and love of keeping people happy while having fun, to build a career and base my life on. That being said, I hope the focus of my future posts will help you all get a feel for my interests and how this will fit into my post-grad life!