When you want to maximize audience reach, you want to know who are the biggest influencers in social media, which are the ones that will help the most to spread the word about your site. Barb Dybwad from mashable.com  presents an article with important information about the biggest influencers of online word of mouth.

In the article, it is outlined a Peer Influence Pyramid that breaks down influencers into three types: Social Broadcasters (at the top), Mass Influencers (middle), and Potential Influencers (bottom of the pyramid).

Social Broadcasters are few in number but great in scale — they are the top bloggers, most well-connected individuals, and have a lot of followers looking to them for news and advice on the latest and greatest. They have scale but lack trust, in the sense that their followers will click on the links and recommendations they share but still perform their own evaluation of the data — this makes Social Broadcasters better suited for awareness than preference.

At the bottom of the pyramid are the Potential Influencers — this is where the trust really is. These are the proverbial “average consumer” who have primarily networks of people they actually know in an offline context (friends, family, peers). These networks are rich with trust and make up 84% of the total population of the pyramid.

In the middle are the Mass Influencers, who make up only 16% of the pyramid but account for 80% of the influence impressions about products and services. In reference to this group, it was said: “you can’t ignore the minority that creates the majority of the influence.” You also need different strategies to reach different types of influencers.

Having a better idea of the types of online word-of-mouth influencers enables you to define a better target for your online social media and their users. Targeting the right influencers will give you a broader audience reach and automatically better results according to your online social media goals.

Adam Jackson