Howard Stern started tweeting two weeks ago. You might not agree with everything he does but I think we can all agree he’s an influential. In the first few days, he tweeted lingerie shots of his wife, commented on various events – exactly what you would expect from Howard Stern.

Last Saturday, he started an interesting experiment. He watched his movie Private Parts and tweeted comments and interesting details about the movie. He answered questions, interacted with the audience. It was spontaneous and it should open our eyes what real influence is.

Most celebrities have huge stats. But they are not influential.

The real influence doesn’t live in the node, how big it may be. It lives in the interactions and engagement between the nodes. These interactions are the real measuring stick of an influential. Howard Stern is not a Social Media expert, he is just a natural influencer. He might have the most avid fan base. Do you know any personality that could have brought millions of paying customers to Sirius? The reason why he’s so influential is his deep understanding of how to be an influencer: Give people something to do. Give them a common symbol (Bababooey), give them a common cause (revealing the shallowness of our popular culture) and bring them together around something they can care about (Being #1).

Interestingly, the real work is done by the influenced. They make prank phone calls, they yell “Bababooey” on the street, and they pay $12 monthly to listen to him.

The silliness of sponsored tweets

Finding an influencer (through Klout or other tools) and then providing them with a message they will share with their audience might give your brand more reach. But it won’t change anyone’s behavior. Humans are not mindless bots that follow the command of a celebrity. We are social primates that want to engage with each other. We are more likely to change our behavior when see others adopting the same behaviors. (Just ask smokers, standing in the pouring rain because they have become outcasts.)

Don’t focus on numbers. Focus on behavior. There are certain people that have the ability to connect with a larger audience, find platforms to engage with each other and change behavior. A Bababooey to y’all.