Vocus and Brian Solis partnered to conducted a survey about “What makes an influencer” and how brands can increase their influence. 50% indicated that that the most important action for increasing influence  was to create, post or share compelling content.

Vocus highlights two main findings from the survey:

Influence is different than popularity but… An overwhelming 90% of respondents see a big difference between, “influence” and “popularity.”  However, qualitative review of open ended comments on this question shows the distinction is not always clear. A follow on question also adds ambiguity with 84% of respondents saying there is a correlation between “reach” and “influence” on social networks.

Senior execs are willing to pay for influence.  57% of respondents said they would be willing to pay an influencer to help “drive actions and outcomes.”  Cross-tab analysis by title, role and organization provided additional insight as to who exactly is willing to pay for influence.  For example, a cross-tab analysis by title showed the executive level, such as CEOs and CMOs (63%), were most willing to pay for influence.