Granovetter’s Model for Social Influencer Strategy

Updated: Nov 30, 2020

Granovetter’s model highlights the influence that peers can have on the group and helps us to understand the effects of social interactions on people's behaviour. This model shows how the people at the extreme ends of a population distribution often starts revolutions.

For a technical description of Granovetter's threshold model of collective behaviour, this Wikipedia article is a great resource.

Granovetter’s Model is based on a simple equation which consists of a number of individuals (N) in a group, where each person has a specific Threshold (T) representing the number of other people (peers in their network) they need to observe taking a specific action in order for them to take the same action.

As an example, let’s take growing men’s beards as a trend. Assume there are 5 people in a group.

  • Person 1 has a threshold of 0 for growing a beard

  • Person 2 has a threshold of 1 for growing a beard

  • Person 3 has a threshold of 2 for growing a beard

  • Person 4 has a threshold of 3 for growing a beard

  • Person 5 has a threshold of 4 for growing a beard

In this scenario, the first person with the threshold of 0 initiates growing a beard. Then the person with the threshold of one that needs to see at least 1 person in his group with a beard, growths a beard as well. Having seen 2 people in his group with beards, the 3rd person with the threshold of 2 then grows a beard and so on until we get to person 5 that really had no intention of growing a beard, after seeing 4 people in his group with beards, also grows a beard.

Social Media Influencer Strategy

The goal of Social Media Influence strategies is to encourage collective action in support of your brand or the products/services that you offer. Granovetter’s Model highlights that collective participation is more likely to happen when there are more people with lower thresholds for taking action. So, we need to identify influencers with networks of followers with a higher tendency to 'rise up' and then, we need to understand how these people are connected to other groups of individuals.

Here is a shot video that gives a great overview of Collective Action.This knowledge will come in handy in future articles where discuss peer effects and the strength of weak ties.

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