If you’ve had any contact with social media, any at all, you should know that one of the main reasons for being online is to find your influencers. Those people who care about you, your brand and everything you stand for. Finding them in the past hasn’t been easy, and it’s definitely been time-consuming. Almost to the point that it may not have seemed worthwhile to put that much time and effort into it. But now… now! My goodness, now, finding your influencers is as easy as spending a few minutes a day participating in conversations, spreading information and just all-round caring about what your friends and followers are up to.
As of July, 2010, Master Maq reported that there were 10,501 local Twitter users in Calgary. I’m not sure what the number is a year later (that was the last report I found on his blog). I’d be surprised if it had more than doubled. Even less than that amount of Twitter users are real information contributors. Many of you folks sit out there lurking, just waiting for the rest of us to entertain you. But that’s not to say you aren’t watching.
Awhile back, waaaaay back to November, 2010 (if you can remember that far) there was a panel at Third Tuesday about last year’s civic election. One of the panel members (forgive for not remembering his name) asked the audience members how many of them were on Twitter. Once those in the room with accounts raised their hands, he proceeded to call them (us) all weird. But it’s true. We are a weird bunch. Not weird like you’d expect to encounter at a sci-fi conference, but weird in the fact that we’re so plugged in, so hyper-engaged. It’s this characteristic that makes Twitter a hotbed of influencers. People who want to be in the know right now.
Last month, I sent a question out into the Twittersphere asking how many people shared information with their offline networks that they heard about through one of their social networks. Nearly everyone who responded (granted, this was only a dozen or so) said they shared information with offline friends frequently. All respondents I knew to also have relatively large offline networks. In other words, they are just as plugged into the “real world” as they are to the online one.
Have you ever heard of the 1/9/90 rule? The gist is that for every 1 person that posts content online, there are 9 people interacting with that post and 90 people watching and reading what’s going on. There’s no timeframe for those eyeballs mind you. So in a real-time environment like Twitter, we can’t count on followers alone for an exact measure of reach. In fact, we can’t count impressions at all, merely the potential reach. That number would be astronomically large, so even predicting a reach of 10% of that number is impressive. If you’re repeating the message, well, compounded tweets will make it around eventually. And remember, it’s not a passive medium, like reading a newspaper or magazine. It’s an active one where people are having dialogues and conversing about everything from where they’re going for lunch to local and international themes and events.
I’ve said many times before that Twitter is the most valuable social networking tool I’ve found to date. For those of you who balk at its use (whether for B2C or B2B business use, promotional or personal), it’s a sure tell you don’t understand the medium, nor do you seem to want to. On this point, please accept my condolences on all of your missed opportunities. We shall continue to reap the benefits of our active little circle without you. But for any of you still curious about what the Twittersphere may hold for you, jump on in! The water’s fine.