Post #6 for my MBA class, "Communication Strategies for a Global Marketplace."
I should admit, upfront, that I really don't know how to become an influencer. So this post isn't a how-to guide. I'm interested in exploring who some of the online influencers are and how they may have gotten into the positions they're in.
A timely example of some influencers are the individuals who have been tweeting about the protests in Egypt. NPR wrote about a number of them in the post, "A Primer On Following Egyptian Protests on Twitter" which shared the handles of eleven different sources of tweets about recent events in Egypt. The NPR post got me thinking how those people came to be featured by the news agency and how they elected (or got elected) to be the voice of the protests on Twitter.
In looking up each of the handles, I saw that they are all round-the-clock tweeters and interestingly, most of them tweet about both the ordinary and the extraordinary. (By ordinatry I mean a tweet about going to the airport versus a tweet about the situation in Egypt.) A few of them didn't tweet in English, but I could translate the Spanish and the rest I could assess merely by the times they were tweeted.
What if I started systematically tweeting about something? The state of Cleveland Heights public schools; the challenges of winter weather in northeast Ohio; private college education in Ohio; whatever. How long would I have to tweet and how many individual tweets would I have to post to become an influencer on that topic? What about on Facebook - how do I get fans for my business page? Tap into my extensive friend network or something more?
There are a large number of non-celebrity influencers on Facebook and Twitter and Flickr and Delicious and elsewhere. How do you think they grew into their status?