Do you want to know who has influence? Celebrities. Celebrities have influence.
Such as one tweet from Ashton Kutcher generating more than 13,000 views of a YouTube video with a single tweet. Click on that link, because it contains a slight shift in the definition of “influence.” It renames it leverage. It’s not influencing a purchasing or life decision, it was just a lot of people clicking a link. Leveraging your popularity to get people to do stuff.
When rapper 50 Cent tweeted about a small cap public company that he turns out to now be a minority equity shareholder, he caused shares to jump 290% to 39 cents, boosting the company’s market capitalization to around $82 million, a jump of roughly $60 million in a single day. Monday’s volume reached almost 9 million compared the issue’s usual churn of less than 30,000.
But, when we as communications professionals define influencer (hint: it’s not this), we often think of self-anointed gurus that have labeled themselves as such and we completely forget those that have the power to shift the direction of a brand.
I wouldn’t normally name names, but let’s consider a tech reporter such as Aaron Ricadela, a tech reporter whose byline is frequently found in Businessweek and Bloomberg. If we apply the metrics such as Twitter followers or Klout score, he is not influential at all. He’s only tweeted four times and has 14 followers.
But he’s absolutely influential.
My point is, if you approach influence with a narrow perspective based solely on social media metrics, you are missing out on engaging with a ton of people that can shape the perspective of your clients or brand. And isn’t that why we’re in this business?