Chevy loans Volts to Klout influencers in 6 cities

American car maker Chevrolet is once again turning to influence-tracking startup Klout to promote its cars.

Chevrolet is offering Klout members influential in social media, technology, and environmental topics the opportunity to borrow 2012 Volts for three-day joy rides. The campaign represents Klout’s largest national automotive “perk” to date, the companies said.

The perk is being offered in six markets, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Members with a Klout score of 50 or above in one of three subject areas are eligible to sign up.

Klout is the San Francisco-based company that hooks into Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social sites to quantify a person’s online reach with a score between 1 and 100. The startup then provides its most authoritative members with rewards in the form of perks, offered up by brands and advertisers looking to gain credibility in social circles. Perks have ranged from free t-shirts and business cards to gratis Windows Phones.

The “Plug In with Chevy Volt” promotion is Chevrolet’s third by way of Klout. The automaker previously loaned out Volts to 20 consumers in the Chicago-area, and later provided 130 people with Sonic loans. Chevrolet has dubbed its prior campaigns a success, and said that it knows of at least one instance where online mentions of its perk led to a new car purchase.

“[Car-related perks] are definitely among the most popular perks we’ve had with Klout, and previous Chevy Perks have done very well,” a Klout spokesperson told VentureBeat. “We had a chance to drive the [Volt] at SXSW and think our users will have a blast testing it out.”

The Chevy Klout perk program will run in Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle from April to June, and Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland from July through September.


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