Common Traits of Top Social Media Influencers

Today social influence can get a person almost anywhere, but where does this influence come from in the first place? Most people will tell you the path to influence lies in great content or preexisting celebrity, but Haydn Shaughnessy says there’s more to the equation. Here’s his list of common influencer traits, along with my reactions:

Influencers Are Everywhere

After researching the work of 100 high powered influencers, Shaughnessy discovered that the average social media influencer is active on 10.2 social channels. The average American is active on two. Why the discrepancy?

I think social media influencers are fluent in the worlds they influence. These people know how social media works. They understand the nuances of every channel, and they take the time to experiment on different forms of expression across various networks. There’s also a factor of ubiquitousness that’s crucial here, because (for the most part) no matter where the average American spends their time, that influencer is present and active.

Socializing with the Right People

Influencers have overwhelmingly strong networks. They’re socializing with other people of influence, and those influencers also have strong networks as well. In other words, the strong are hanging out with the strong.

This works because social media is all about engagement, virality, and amplification. If someone extremely influential retweets something of yours on Twitter, for example, that’s going to reach a lot more people than that old friend without much of a network. Social media users with influential amplifiers in turn, become influential themselves.

Always On

Influencers are not only quick to adopt new channels, but also consistent in their delivery of information on social networks. The average influencer joined Twitter, for example, in 2007 and has had time to build up more than 60,000 tweets in their arsenal.

Time Spent Blogging

Another interesting piece of Shaughnessy’s research reveals that the top influencers also tend to be consistent, active bloggers. I believe this to be true because great content is in essence, the fuel that kindles conversations in the first place. Bloggers with their own platform build a platform that is uniquely theirs. In turn, there are strong implications of thought leadership.

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About the author: Entrepreneur with ten years of experience running a digital marketing agency out of New York City. I work with startups and brands such as Virgin Airlines, L2 Inc (Gartner), American Express, Fabletics, LOFT, and more. When I’m not helping companies increase their audience and revenues, I love to travel, sail, and read. I also moonlight as a bartender at a classic cocktail bar.

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