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May 15, 2007

Comments

Jerry Johnson

A great observation. It is not the influentials that make things happen. It is the gullible activist. Or to be more generous, those who desire to be influential. In a recent HBR (March, I think) noted network guru Duncan Watts wrote “the widespread propogation of influence through networks is the presence not of a few influentials but, rather, of a critical mass of easily influential people …”. My translation: "the key is tapping easily influential people who aspire to influence others."

That begs the question: "Where are they and how do you find them?"

Daniel Greenfield

Interesting read. I was intrigued by this sentence from the article:

"Thus successful marketing doesn’t depend so much on finding influential people and seeding them with ideas so much as doing the kind of research that exposes embryo trends and then helping influentials discover them.”

When it comes to word of mouth marketing, two things come to mind in the age of social media: You don't need to be a celebrity to be an influencer, and influencers are less the drivers, and more the mouthpiece for social movements waiting to be triggered.

John Bell

Some of this is semantics. When we consider finding and engaging with "Influencers", we really mean anyone who might spread the word of motivate others. It may mean finding someone who has some "authority" in a space. But it may mean finding that enthusiast core, starting a discussion with them, and sparking a larger conversation.

The important thing for us is to remember that we are not only looking for the long tail guy or gal with the most reach. (I suppose long tail/reach is a bit of an oxymoron itself.) Sometimes, the previously non-influential member of a 'community' can become very influential or can be part of a movement that influences others (e.g. product enthusiasts sharing positive stories)

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