“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” This quote by the motivational speaker Jim Rohn gained many admirers over the years.
The exact number Rohn mentioned can change from one person to another, but its main value stays the same: our core circle of friends has a huge effect on who we are.
That’s why it’s highly recommended to look into the close network of friends when you evaluate influencers. A glimpse into their BFFs list can tell us much about them, their interests and what is their true level of influence.
We Talk With Like-Minded People
Let’s take a look at Zoe, AKA Zoella, a lifestyle and fashion YouTuber.
Just recently she celebrated 10 million subscribers to her YouTube channels, not mentioning the 8m followers on Instagram, 5m on Twitter and 2m on Facebook.
Zoella is friendly and interacts with many of her followers. This will make it difficult for the common user to see who she interacts with the most.
On Klear, we can easily see the top people Zoella had previously talked with. With a quick view to her profile, it’s easy to identify her best friends’ shared interests:
Who are those people that Zoella most talked with?
1. Tanya Burr, a fashion and lifestyle YouTuber with 3.5m subscribers.
2. Tyler Oakley, a YouTuber with 8m subscribers.
3. Joe Sugg (Zoe’s brother), AKA ThatcherJoe, a YouTuber with 6.5m subscribers.
4. Anna Saccone Joly, a fashion and beauty YouTuber with 1m subscribers.
5. Evan Edinger, a Youtuber with 300k subscribers.
As you can see, Zoella most talked with people who share her interest and also her level of influence.
We Share the Same Influence Class
OK, so this works with a celebrity-level influencer. But would it work if we look at the core circle of a social power-user instead of a celebrity like Zoella?
We searched in our influencers search engine for a nature photographer. We found Jim Goldstein, a landscape photographer with stunning images. He is ranked by our metrics as a top 5% influencer in his field of interest. Then, we looked at the people he most talked with:
You don’t need more than a glance here to see that Jim’s close friends are into nature and landscape photography just like him. Here are more details about them:
1. Richard Wong (top 10%): travel and natural history photographer
2. Peter West Carey (top 5%): Travel photographer
3. Gary Crabbe (top 10%): Travel photographer
4. QT Luong (top 20%): Landscape & travel photographer
5. David Sanger (top 0.5%): Photographer traveler
Can you see a pattern here? Not only they are all into nature photography, they also reached a similar influence level as Jim.
Why Friends Matter
People mostly talk with like-minded people. As seen in the two examples above, influencers may have many followers, but they will dedicate most of their attention to people with shared interests.
This insight is highly valuable for marketers. Here’s why you should pay attention to the influencer’s close friends:
1. From 1 to Many
One good influencer is a great source to expand your search results from one high-quality influencer to many. Look at the best friends of an influencer, and then at their best friends, and so on.
2. Get Introduced
When examining the close friends of your prospect influencer, you might find someone you are already familiar with. Now you only need to ask your friend to make a friendly introduction between you two. If you need help with that, try Barney Stinson’s Wingman technique.
3. Expertise Signaling
When the close friends of an influencer share a common interest, it’s a good signal of dedication and expertise.
4. The Influence Class
You won’t be surprised to know that people hang out mostly with people at the same socioeconomic class. It’s easier to share life experiences with people like you. The same goes with social media influence. When you want to double check a person’s level of influence, his/her friends can be a good sign for that.
5. The Friendliness Test
One of the most important social metrics with influencers is how friendly they are. Just by seeing that the influencer had many conversations with others can tell us much about their social nature.
Tell Me Who Your Friends Are
Friends have a tremendous impact on our lives. We share our thoughts and decisions with them while they are always there for us.
Influencers’ close networks can illuminate much about the person level of social influence and expertise.
“Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.” This phrase keeps its relevance when going online.