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The Five Types of Social Media Influencers

The graphic above is from Klout and and they break down the individual types of influencers in what they call an Influence Matrix.



On the Sharing/Participating Axis:

  • Curator – they find the most interesting info and share it widely. Filtering through massive content, they surface nuggets that their audience cares about.
  • Broadcaster – they broadcast content that spreads like wildfire. An essential source of info for their industry, their audience
  • Syndicator – They keep tabs on what/who is “HOT” & important to watch. They typically focus on a specific topic or targeted audience. They share the best trending info.
  • Feeder – their audience relies on them for a steady flow of focused content and information. Their audience is hooked and secretly can’t live without them

On the Creating/Broad Axis

  • Tastemaker – This person knows what their audience likes and they know the trends, but they aren’t just going to follow the crowd, they walk their own path and have earned the respect of their audience.
  • Celebrity – they have high influence. People hang of very word and share their content like no other. The fans can’t get enough.
  • Thought Leader – people look to this person to help them understand the day’s developments in an industry. They share relevant news, opinions, and what is important within their market. Typically their values closely align with their audiences.
  • Pundit – they don’t just share news, they create news.

Lisa Barone, co-founder of the firm Outspoken Media  proposes a simpler list in Small Business Trends: The Five Types of Influencers On The Web.

  • The networker (Social Butterfly): one who has the biggest contact list and found on all platforms. He or she who knows everybody and everybody knows him or her.
  • The opinion leader (Thought Leader): one who can become the best ambassador of a brand. He or she has built a strong authority in his or her field by based on credibility. Their messages are most often commented on and retweeted.
  • The discoverer (Trendsetter): one who is always the first to use a new platform.  Constantly on the lookout for new trends, they become the “hub” in the sector.
  • The sharer (Reporter): one who distributes information to the bloggers to journalists through the specialized webzines. He or she usually amplify messages.
  • The user (Everyday Customer): one that represents the regular customer. He or she does not have a network as large as the networker, but his or her network remains equally important.

Influencers on social media are either passionate individuals who turn out to be specialists or professionals involved who use Web 2.0 tools as part of their work. They take advantage of their presence on social networks for personal gain or as representative (or ambassador) a brand, company or organization. They produce and sharing relevant content, appealing to the interests of a community. This can result in regularly prompting discussions and interactions that might have influence on behaviors. via & klout