Platforms such as Klout and PeerIndex have given it a good shot, but they’re far from perfect. Part of the problem is nobody can really answer what appears to be a simple question, but is actually incredibly complex. Namely: what is influence?
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The influence paradox: everybody influential on Twitter has a large number of followers, but not everybody with a large number of followers is influential on Twitter.
True influence spreads beyond your immediate network, through mentions and retweets and discussion.
It influences the influencers.
Celebrities and brands come to Twitter with influence built-in and network size almost guaranteed, but if they stray too far off-topic then that influence wanes considerably.
Conversely, networks that are built by churning almost never achieve a correlating level of influence.
And no algorithm can accurately measure it. Or likely ever will.
You don’t need a million followers. Exponentially, however, the smaller your network is then the more engaged it needs to be. And this only works so far – if it’s too small then you need to use that engagement to make it a lot bigger. Influence and obscurity cannot (by definition) be common bedfellows.
Let’s not be naÃ¯ve about this – if you only have a handful of followers, then, sorry, but you are not influential. You can be influential within your network, but that’s not the same thing at all. It’s like being famous in your home town. Sure, you might pick up one or two store openings, but that’s about as far as it goes.
The best part? Anybody can be an influencer. Grow (and optimise) your community, engage with your users, become an authority, and work hard. It takes time, but that’s really all it takes.
Tick all these boxes already? Then, yes – you are influential.