Getting the word out on Twitter: The role of influentials, information brokers and strong ties in building word-of-mouth for brands


Using a sample of over 5300 tweets from top global brands, this study investigated how different types of users can influence brand content diffusion via retweets. Twitter users who influenced followers to retweet brand content were categorized as (1) influentials, because of their above average ability to influence others to retweet their tweets (in general), (2) information brokers, because of their position connecting groups of users or (3) having strong ties, because of their high percentage of friends in common and a mutual friend–follower relationship with the influenced follower. The results indicate that influentials and information brokers are associated with larger number of retweets for brand content. In addition, although information brokers have a larger overall influence on retweeting, they are more prone to do so when influentials are mentioned in the brand tweet, providing support for the strategy that aims to associate the brand with influential users.

International Journal of Advertising