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Identifying Influentials

Traditional Live ID calls are a cornerstone of any campaign. They help measure the support for a candidate, organization, or issue. At Stones’ Phones, we take Live ID Calls  a step further and have developed a way to help campaigns identify their “Influential” supporters and persuasion targets – voters who often talk about politics and current events to their friends and family.

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In addition to our standard Live ID question, we add our Influential question to find these supporters:

“When you are interested in a political issue or candidate, how many people outside of your immediate household do you talk to about it? None, 1 to 5, 6 to 10, 11 to 20, or more than 20?”

Anyone who talks to six or more people is considered an Influential. Research by social scientist Ed Keller shows that one in ten Americans – the Influentials – tells the other nine how to vote, where to eat, and what to buy. Decades of research show these people are word-of-mouth hubs, and that word-of-mouth is more important than it’s ever been for shaping public opinion. Influentials often fly below a campaign’s radar and cannot be modeled using other variables.

Influentials who support a candidate become powerful advocates. Armed with information, they can persuade their friends and family members. Undecided Influentials are key targets for persuasion. When undecided Influentials become supporters, they also become some of your greatest allies on the ground. They are key to building grassroots buzz around a candidate, organization, or issue.

With the COVID-19 pandemic adding a heightened focus on access to healthcare, we worked with Prosperity Michigan to make sure Influentials in Michigan were talking to their friends and family about the lawmakers who were protecting access to healthcare in their state.

We first informed the constituents of the legislator’s commitment to healthcare or how their legislator has not been advocating for healthcare for all and then asked if they agreed that the legislators should make sure healthcare is accessible. If they agreed, we then asked the Influential question of how many people outside of their immediate household they talk to about politics. We were able to identify 554 Influentials for the team to target as their biggest advocates for the campaign to make sure healthcare is accessible to all in Michigan.

If you want to learn more about how Influentials can support your next campaign, reach out to us today!


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