Social media white paper: defining influence
As requested, I have republished the white paper into separate blog posts so that each section can be commented on. This post focuses on the fourth section – defining influence. You can still download the full paper by clicking the link: Distributed influence: quantifying the impact of social media (PDF).
Links to all sections:
- why is it important to measure online influence?
- social media index
- defining influence
- is influence what we should measure?
- should marketers target influencers or the easily influenced?
- what can we be selling that is better to buy than impressions?
- what are the origins of influence?
- the move to micro communications
- be cautious
- a formula to understand influence
- what makes this actionable?
the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behaviour, opinions, etc., of others: He used family influence to get the contract.
One of the common words used at the roundtable was ‘influence’. However, a straw poll of participants revealed that it could be defined in multiple ways such as:
- It is a noun and a verb; it is an action and an outcome
- It is credibility – having someone pay attention to you
- It is the shaping (and the process of) the opinions, actions and/or behaviours of others
It is personal and builds from the inside-out and the bottom-up, generally one person, or one personal network at a time.
Ultimately, it’s not a purely rational thing. Much of what ‘influences’ is driven by emotion with uncontrollable external forces like family and the opinions, behaviours and actions of many (the crowd).
Walter Carl, in an academic article written with Professor Steve Duck at the University of Iowa, contended that the basic function of all communication (and thus influence) is to “seek a sense of control of the environment and of the rightness of one’s view of it”. By “control of the environment” they were referring to how people order, or interpretively make sense of, their world.
Walter explained that “the fact that people also seek to confirm their rightness of how they order/make sense of their world brings communication into contact with community (we define community as our network of personal and social relationships). In this context, to interact within a community of relationships is to engage in interpersonal influence. We are continually seeking to confirm the validity of how we order the environment and, one powerful to confirm our own view of the world is to put our view in communication with others’ views, and to have an effect on both others’ views and our own.
With social media, people’s discourse leaves a digital trail, making it available as a way to infer how people order their environment. In confirming our own views through a process of communication we often make subtle adaptations to our views. Thus, conversations are everyday negotiations of this sense-making process and to the extent people shift the discourse, or engage in efforts to reaffirm a certain discourse, we can say influence has occurred. Maintaining or ending a conversations is also a way to engage in influence.”
Influence and attention are different. Influence is fiscal and long term whereas attention is monetary and short term – Peter Kim
Following the roundtable Max Kalehoff attempted to answer the question of defining influence. He surmised:
“With all the attention around influence, and many unanswered questions, what we need most is more practical testing, tied to specific marketing objectives and applications.
The marketer’s Holy Grail of influence is the ability to recognize patterns and optimize outcomes — whether for advertising, media-planning, public relations, word-of-mouth marketing, etc. Without question, influence often rides on nothing more than spontaneity. Spontaneity is an overwhelming force. Unpredictability is perhaps the greatest law of mother nature when it comes to influence. However, deeper understanding will lead to bets and actions with more favorable odds.”
In defining influence, Max also believed that it is important to emphasise the value of ‘the Network’. He stated that any single person is nothing without a network. The network defines influence perhaps more than any one person. In its most basis form, someone may have an incredible idea but unless people hear about it, then its value is diminished.
Filed under: social media | 1 Comment
syndicate and subscribe
Most active posts
top posts all time
- Trends: The Battle For CMO Mind Share | Forbes on Top analyst blogs
- Analyst technology predictions 2011 « Technobabble 2.0 on Technology predictions 2010
- Social Media: Blueprints, eBooks, Guides, Tutorials and Whitepaper - Kleckerlabor on White paper – distributed influence: quantifying the impact of social media
- The Internet of Things and Change | Forbes on Top analyst blogs
- Tuesday's Tip: Why Context Matters – Forget Real-Time, Achieve Right | Social Media Blog Sites on Top analyst tweeters (via TweetLevel)
- January 2015 (1)
- December 2012 (1)
- October 2012 (2)
- August 2012 (2)
- July 2012 (1)
- February 2012 (3)
- January 2012 (3)
- December 2011 (4)
- November 2011 (2)
- October 2011 (1)
- September 2011 (4)
- August 2011 (1)
- July 2011 (3)
- June 2011 (1)
- May 2011 (4)
- April 2011 (3)
- March 2011 (1)
- February 2011 (1)
- December 2010 (1)
- November 2010 (1)
- October 2010 (2)
- September 2010 (3)
- August 2010 (1)
- July 2010 (10)
- June 2010 (3)
- March 2010 (1)
- February 2010 (7)
- January 2010 (5)
- December 2009 (4)
- November 2009 (4)
- October 2009 (3)
- August 2009 (7)
- July 2009 (3)
- May 2009 (2)
- March 2009 (7)
- October 2008 (2)
- August 2008 (2)
- July 2008 (3)
- June 2008 (5)
- May 2008 (9)
- April 2008 (8)
- March 2008 (7)
- February 2008 (9)
- January 2008 (18)
- December 2007 (3)
- November 2007 (9)
- October 2007 (8)
- September 2007 (5)
- August 2007 (6)
- July 2007 (8)
- June 2007 (6)
- May 2007 (15)
- April 2007 (9)
- @TNLUK is your website down? 4 weeks ago
- @ebookers I've asked repeatedly why you allowed us to book apartment that you knew had no disabled access-no reply. New room same problem 1 month ago
- DO NOT USE @EBOOKERS IF YOU HAVE A DISABILITY PUT IN APARTMENT NOT ACCESSIBLE FOR SOMEONE WITH DISABILITY & REFUSE TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT 1 month ago
- Microsoft comes out in support of remaining in the EU in a letter to its 5,000 UK employees itv.com/news/2016-05-1… 4 months ago
- RT @suzanne_baum: Can we get this story in local paper please @times_series ? I can give you all details twitter.com/suzanne_baum/s… 5 months ago
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License
DisclaimerThis blog accepts forms of cash advertising in the form of link placement. However, neither my employer nor myself endorse in any way the sites that are linked.