Advertising agencies should be concentrating on targeting influential users instead of buying “numbers” when placing ad buys. This is one of the assertions of a new study from Dr. Bernardo Huberman, director of HP Labs’ Social Computing Lab, and his team.
The latest study is on what makes a Tweet or a Twitter user influential. 22 million+ tweets were analyzed and it led to the creation of the IP Algorithm, which measures the influence and passivity of Twitter users.
The study found:
- Most Twitter users are passive, they do not re-Tweet.
- There is a difference between popularity and influence. High numbers of followers does not equal influence because those followers do not re-Tweet.
- To become influential, Twitter users must somehow persuade their followers to re-Tweet.
To measure influence, the study looked at how much traffic a Tweeted URL received, using the Bit.ly shortening service, which also tracks clicks.
A big thanks to my friend Greg Wind, who pointed out the study in response to yesterdays post “Research; Connections between Consumers is Key to Product Marketing, Influential connections most prized” and Tom Foremski who originally wrote up the report on behalf of ZDNet – here