We love spotting new Klout Stars. They’ve perfected increasing their impact online by creating great content.
Recently, Alex Stojkovic caught our attention as a standout user. Alex, a Toronto, Canada resident, is a self-described “forty-something communication and online evangelist who eats, sleeps and breathes everything to do with marketing, web and print.”
As a social media influencer of marketing, SEO and graphic design topics, Alex was Klout “Perked” with a 2014 Cadillac CTS delivered to his house to drive for three days. He was then part of a select handful invited to the Cadillac Driver Academy event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park’s famed race track for the thrill of a lifetime. The full-day session featured driving skill development exercises and 1-on-1 track lapping in a Cadillac-supplied, track-ready CTS twin-turbo vehicle complete with highly skilled and experienced driving coaches, as well as lunch with executives from Klout.
We spoke with Alex about his exciting journey with Cadillac and his thoughts on using social media.
What motivates you to generate content?
I generate content to educate people and keep myself on the pulse of what is happening. I love the interaction I get when I put content out—everything from thank you’s, to “great idea,” to critical analysis by individual heavyweights who say, “I disagree with you and this is why.” This only makes me a better marketer when I see all points of view. It broadens my knowledge. So that motivates me.
Why do you engage on social media with brands?
I love learning about and staying on the cutting-edge of the brands I love—for example, I always know what’s happening with Apple, which is one of the brands I’m passionate about. This allows me to educate myself of the goings-on with Apple and share my love of them with family, friends and co-workers.
I also love social media because brands can interact on a one-on-one basis with their end-users. Cadillac handwrote a personalized note to me with a felt tip marker and tweeted it- I was absolutely amazed. I feel like I’m special to Cadillac - feeling special to a massive brand like Cadillac-- that’s amazing. They’re able to breakthrough that ideology that we’re all numbers to these big brands. So what motivates me to engage? I’m now a voice and they recognize me. And social media allows them to reach out to their ambassadors.
You were given a Klout Perk of test driving a Cadillac CTS for three days. What was your favorite part about that experience?
I’m a big techno geek and gear head-- that CTS was stunning. I drive a $35-40k vehicle, nothing special. Just to be given this to test drive for three days—it was an overwhelming experience. The first day I got the car, my girlfriend and I packed up and went to Niagara on the Lake. It was a beautiful fall day to drive through that area. The CTS made a mean sort of grunt when hitting 6,000 rpm. It was sheer entertainment. It sounded like Chewbacca was stuck in the trunk—an on-going joke between us now. I completely appreciate what this car can do. And when we pulled up at our hotel in a beautiful CTS, the doorman jumped out and said, “stop- you park over there,” pointing to the front section that was reserved for nice cars. I’m middle of the road, white collar, I don’t live like the Joneses. People were stopping me and saying, “Hey what’s that? That’s a great looking vehicle.” I took a pic and tweeted it saying, “Membership into an exclusive club has its privileges”.
Did experiencing this Cadillac Perk make you feel different about the brand?
From a purchasing standpoint, I never would’ve considered buying a Cadillac prior to this. There’s the 80’s stereotype of “this is something your grandpa would own.” After my personal experience with Cadillac, hands down I would love to own a Cadillac CTS right now. The $75k price tag is more than I can afford but the ATS I would definitely consider. I had always bought Toyota, Hyundai, Lexus- I’ve always been a Japanese car guy. Next time I purchase a car in a couple of years, I will strongly consider Cadillac. My friend Frank whom I brought with me to the Cadillac Driver Academy event drives a high-end Mercedes and said without a shadow of a doubt, he will consider a Cadillac for his next purchase. My feeling of the brand—OMG, I’m speechless.
After test driving your Cadillac CTS, you were invited to attend the Cadillac Driver Academy at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in June 2014. Tell us about your experience at that event.
One of my passions is motorcycle driving, so I was very familiar with the racetrack. Being on the track with a very capable vehicle brought out the little kid in me. I can drive it as fast as I want. From an educational perspective, the experience definitely improved my driving skills. The CTS is one helluva vehicle. It’s a monster. It’s definitely an engineering piece of profession. I’m speechless what the CTS can do on four wheels.
So how can you be successful with Klout?
Get out there. Engage. We all have opinions- whether they’re right, whether they’re wrong. To be successful in an online world and in a Klout world, voice your opinion (of course you need to be somewhat tactful in your delivery) and engage. Brands and companies are desperate to get the most pure form of data on how people interpret their brand and they want to build brand awareness. I’m converted to Cadillac; prior to this Klout Perk I wouldn’t have thought of Cadillac as a brand for me.
Check out the video from the 2014 Cadillac Driver Academy at CTMP:
Connect with Alex on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn
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Sunday’s Wall Street Journal featured an article about how messaging app Kik has developed technology that allows a brand to deploy a computerized “chat-bot” to engage in conversations with fans, without actually actively engaging in conversations with fans. I couldn’t help but think about how this technology is a great reflection of the challenges facing marketers today. It has officially become so hard to drive meaningful engagement on social media that we’re outsourcing it to our new robot overlords.
There are many reasons why marketing on social media has become so challenging:
It requires a huge investment of time and resources to develop a content strategy that will resonate with consumers. I feel content marketing is the best thing to hit marketing since crowd-sourced Doritos super bowl ads, but it takes a lot of work.
It’s really hard to know where to put that content once it’s developed. The social media landscape is constantly changing (did you know that there are 500k messages sent per minute on snapchat?), and keeping up as a marketer can be nearly impossible.
Even when you put your content on the right social networks, getting visibility and engagement often requires a paid strategy, which can lead to a frustrating outcome.
Klout believes that these challenges can be addressed by putting people at the center of your social marketing strategy.
Join our webcast this Wednesday, July 30th at 11am PST to learn how Klout Perks gives marketers access to trusted people who can create authentic earned media about your brand. When you partner with people, the content is delivered in the right place and in the right way to generate engagement around your brand message.
Register for the webcast
Jon is the Sr. Director of Marketing at Klout.
Follow him on Twitter @jondick
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