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Two Keys To Be Influential On Twitter

The ability to influence is something that is valued by many. Sales people succeed or fail by their power to influence and marketers commit companies and brands to multi million dollar budget marketing campaigns hoping to influence buyers to turn up to store or a show and buy products and services.

2 Keys To Be Influential On Twitter

Robert Cialdini previously the Professor of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University and the author of  the best selling book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”   mentions six weapons of influence that he sees as being important in the art and science of influence.

1. Reciprocity – People tend to return a favor, thus the pervasiveness of free samples in marketing.
2. Commitment and Consistency – If people commit, orally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor that commitment.
3. Social Proof – People will do things that they see other people are doing.
4. Authority – People will tend to obey authority figures, even if they are asked to perform objectionable acts.
5. Liking – People are easily persuaded by other people that they like. Eg the marketing of Tupperware in what might now be called viral marketing. People were more likely to buy if they liked the person selling it to them.
6. Scarcity – Perceived scarcity will generate demand. For example, saying offers are available for a “limited time only” encourages sales.

In the interests of pursuing my highly scientific!! study on Twitter influence I decided in October last year that running a poll on what are the factors that people consider important to be influential on Twitter could be insightful and maybe useful and after 1,498 votes the results are shown below in a screen shot.

Twitter Influence Poll

Four numbers stand out.

  1. 24%  people see the quality and value of the links that they tweet as being the most important measure of influence…Content!! (359 votes)
  2. 17.5% consider that making other people “take action” on Twitter on twitter as highly valued (262 votes)
  3. 17.2% see influence as the number of followers retweeting their tweets (257 votes)… can be also seen as making other people take action! (total for two and three is nearly 35%)
  4. 15.2% value the quality of the followers as also important to be influential

In essence this poll shows that the the two keys to influence on Twitter is created by

  1. Having great quality content that the tweets link to…. such as your blog and other social media channels and websites
  2. The ability to make other people take action.

So being a power broker on Twitter also extends to many other aspects of our lives and influence comes in many mediums and forms.

  • If you are a speaker it is the value of the content that you are presenting and then be able to motivate and move people to action
  • If you are a writer and author it is the quality of the content that lies between the covers of  your book that can influence action in people and make a difference in their lives

So are you publishing content that moves people to action?

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Nice article. I appreciate your bullet points supported by the actual statistics. Very useful!

  • Thanks Jeff. I think you summed it up nicely. One, do you truly connect with others on twitter and more importantly help them connect with others. Two, just like a blog, the quality of the content is everything. If you provide quality content, your influence will expand. Good writing. TW

  • Thanks for the breakdown. Content is still king, if people see your tweets as adding value they’ll follow you.

  • Excellent guide for people that seem to think slamming their followers with annoying sales pitches are going to work!

  • Fantastic points! Condition your twitter image. Like how it has been said before ‘Patience is a virtue’.

  • Rocío Bravo Alonso

    Brands and companies are obsessed with the number of followers…they want us to force people to join our account for nothing…..they do not understand the value of the content at all, so before I start an account with twitter i do a lot of research and start giving value…Companies dont understand why….
    Thanks for your post

  • It is helpful to remember that Twitter is ‘micro-blogging’ which is content driven…people are looking for tweets with value. Once you build a loyal following, then ‘they’ like to hear a bit about you… Thanks for sharing great tweets, Jeff. You are a great example of good content!

  • Nice article. I recently tweeted the following:

    “I always find it a little sad when the number of followers I have goes down by one. What did I say? Not even a little goodbye message?”

    Also in response to Lori’s comment, it is actually a little sad when someone who did follow you decides not to anymore. Did I fail to add value? We need a facebook like “reason for not liking this ad” type functionality!

  • Jon

    Great points!

  • Fantastic article Jeff. I just feel the compulsion to point out one thing.
    “total for two and three is nearly 35%”
    The only way that this makes sense mathematically is if no one chose YES to both questions, given that the total votes for each are so similar (257 & 262) that is unlikely.

    Thanks though, I have saved the article for future reference.

  • This post should be definitely read by business who are entering the realm of Twitter and Social Media in general.

    Companies have a lot to learn. Private poeple tweeting in general have a good sense of how social media works!

    Thanks a mill!

    Ryan Eriksson
    ProQure | Entremattor & Mattservice
    Entrance Mats & Matting Service


  • Jeff, As a mommy blogger, I always learn so much from each of your posts and this one is no exception (I’m a statistic addict so this one has particular appeal because the numbers are so well-presented). This one is definitely worthy of a RT — Thx & keep up the G8T posts.

  • Anybody with a twitter or Facebook account ought to be reading this. Pure Gold! Cheers!

  • Saks2Salvation

    Great article & I just retweeted it! I am new to blogging and solid advice is hard to come by but you serve it up every time. Thanks for the consistency and research on Twitter and blogging in general.

    • Thanks for the comment and kind words. The aim of the blog is to provide a valuable actionable resources that gives key tips and advice in the social media space, so glad it is hitting the ‘spot’.

      • and Your aim is going on the right path. You’re providing us very valuable actionable resources…Thank you very much Jeff!

  • Great article and spot on! I’ve been having a tough time convincing clients that it’s not follower numbers that matter – it’s their quality indeed! Imagine an influencer with 10k followers, but these followers each have 30-50; it’s hardly a “successful” social media campaign in terms of quality reach!

  • Great Tips

  • Great Article Jeff! You’ve summed up the whole article very nicely.Great points are added. Thanks!