Taking it further from one of my earlier post where I talked about the Centers of Influence (COI), I would like to talk about Influence itself.
What is influence?
According to Dictionary.com influence is the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others.
There is a big debate going on in the social media blogosphere about “influence”. We are all aware about the fact that we could leverage ifluencers in our communities in order to get the word out about our causes, brands or services… and that makes total sense from a referral network leading to a viral effect.
What could we do to build influence? and then be able to measure it?
The ability to make things happen — that’s how simple influence is. Yet, it is complicated. What things does it make happen, who are these for and how much time does it take? Influence could last a moment and then also a lifetime, some make big things happen, some small.
What influences one, may not influence another. The idea – The actions/results, i.e., cause and effect, or is it the connection between the two? So even after tracking and analyzing everything, one cant tell what is it that actually worked. Influence is contextual and depends on the situation and what you care about. Whether building or measuring influence, it’s effective to understand which type of influence is important, and why. And that is what makes social media more interesting!
Sounds easy? But, is it? Let’s see – I write this post, someone on my network retweets it. A person on his network reads it, writes a comment. At the same time someone finds this post through a search and decides to follow me and spread the word for the benefit of more. Here in this scenario, each of the persons above took an action. Each action had an effect. But which of these actions is up there, the most important one? Who among these people had the most influence?
How does one have the power to influence? You have some handy applications (Klout or Twitalyzer) that would tell you how influential a person is. But are these accurate? Is it only about how many followers one has on Twitter?
Writing this post, I am beginning to wonder what algorithm should one come up with to create and application which helps measure influence.
Does influence come from trust? Since it allows something/someone to effect our decisions.
Would you like to add more? Please feel free to add under comments if I may have missed something.