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What Having a Big Social Media Influence Can Get You

Social Media Status Gets You Freebies

Enter the new elite: social media gurus who have mastery over networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Their marketing power over digital peers is undeniable, and companies are slowly coming to realize that it's beneficial to tap into these social media queen bees. After all, wouldn't you trust an endorsement from a friend, albeit an online pal, rather than an impersonal advertisement?

There are apparently companies like Klout and Twitalyzer, which measure your social media clout, and reach out to you if your Internet influence is great. What do you get in return? Well, 28-year-old social media consultant Casie Stewart has received goodies such as "a free Virgin America flight, a shopping splurge at Mark's Work Wearhouse and an all-expenses-paid trip to New Zealand fashion week," according to the Wall Street Journal. And that's all because of her prolific tweeting.

These firms have come up with a rating system for tweeters, of which Lady Gaga rates a 90 out of a hundred and Justin Bieber scoring a perfect hundred. The more points you rack up, the more likely firms will have you on their radar. A high score can even create a career for you, just like it did for Stefanie Michaels, America's tweetheart, who basically reinvented herself into a travel and social media expert by building up her Twitter list. But as Stefanie says, the secret to her tweet success is "really been about living [on Twitter] 24/7." This means, just like everything else, it takes effort and patience to be part of the social media in-crowd, which will in turn lead to sponsorships and great deals from consumer companies. As a huge fan of freebies, I think I'm going to start upping the ante on my Twitter account!

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