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Social media has undoubtedly changed the way we communicate with each other, particularly in terms of both frequency and volume.

The majority of social media comments, updates and statuses fly by with little longevity, as we increasingly become overloaded with the amount of communication we are trying to receive. It’s akin to trying to drink from a fire hose, and as a brand it can be difficult to get your message out through all the noise.

Drinking from a fire hose

One platform that succumbs to this kind of information overload in particular is Twitter. If you find yourself following more than a few hundred people, it is nigh impossible to read every single tweet unless you either have the platform permanently open (like me), or you spend hours each day scrolling through them to catch up on what you’ve missed.

Recent research from Klout has highlighted that tweets from the most influential users have a significantly longer shelf life than those from lesser-known users.

Klout, the San Francisco based company that provides social media analytics that measure a user’s influence across their social network, discovered that tweets from users with a higher ‘Klout’ score may last up to 67 times longer than others.

Measuring the half-life of tweets (the time it takes before the number of times that tweet is shared is halved,) Klout found staggering differences between those with smaller and larger Klout scores. Those with scores between 0 and 60 can expect their tweets half-life to last for anywhere up to 25 minutes. However, those with Klout scores of 70 and above can expect to see a huge difference, with numbers reaching over five and a half hours.

Whilst these results may be predictable, that is to say that tweets from more popular people are shared more often (think Justin Bieber, Ashton Kutcher, etc.), these results do help affirm the importance for brands and organisations to engage with the most influential people in their industry.

As a brand, publically communicating with or being retweeted by users with a high influence over their audience can significantly improve the impact your message will have on your market. Tweets have a much greater chance of being shared, and passed on to a much larger audience.

The popular kids can be the most powerful advocates!