General Motors and Orange Partner With Klout

Brands look to harness social influencers

General Motors Canada and Orange, the French telecom giant, have partnered with Klout as the brands look to increase social media chatter around their respective products.

GM has signed a one-year exclusive deal with Klout, the latter company told Adweek, that will offer Canadian social media influencers test drives of Cadillac, Buick and GMC vehicles. The development follows a recent Klout-based push in the U.S. for the automaker's Chevy Volt.

And Klout, a social influence firm, announced via a blog post today its deal with the socially-minded Orange. Klout typically helps brands select the most relevant social media influencers in its large network. The influencers—which normally have big Twitter followings—are then notified on Klout's platform about the opportunity to try out a product for free. At the same time, Orange is still zeroing in on how exactly it will leverage its Klout partnership.

"We want people to talk about us in a productive way," Odile Roujol, director of marketing and communications for Paris-based telecom, told Adweek. "We've partnered with many social media companies, including Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Foursquare—all of them. Our long-term deal with Klout is meant for us to learn together."

In the near term, Roujol's brand hopes to foster dialogue around Orange's 4G network launch in France next week. The partnership also marks San Francisco-based Klout's first major foray into the French market.

"It is good for us to be at the beginning," Roujol said. "We are very proud to be the first brand. We will use Klout data to better understand the discussion via the web and social networks. We will learn how we can improve."

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