Influence Isn’t Just About Popularity, It’s About Controlling the Conversation

Survey Looks at Influence vs. Popularity

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Vocus and Brian Solis partnered to conducted a survey about "What makes an influencer" and how brands can increase their influence. 50% indicated that that the most important action for increasing influence  was to create, post or share compelling content. I posted an article about blogging that pretty fmuch falls in line with this sentiment. 

Vocus highlights two main findings from the survey:

Influence is different than popularity but… An overwhelming 90% of respondents see a big difference between, "influence" and "popularity."  However, qualitative review of open ended comments on this question shows the distinction is not always clear. A follow on question also adds ambiguity with 84% of respondents saying there is a correlation between “reach” and “influence” on social networks.

Senior execs are willing to pay for influence.  57% of respondents said they would be willing to pay an influencer to help “drive actions and outcomes.”  Cross-tab analysis by title, role and organization provided additional insight as to who exactly is willing to pay for influence.  For example, a cross-tab analysis by title showed the executive level, such as CEOs and CMOs (63%), were most willing to pay for influence. 

Vocus Survey on Influence

"Influence is the subject of some important conversations lately," says Solis. "Each time we surface questions, answers and new thinking that starts to reshape the landscape for how businesses view, define, and embrace influence."

I’d add that conversation is one of the most important elements of content consumption today, influencers spread that conversation to a wider audience. More from the survey here

Influence Isn’t Just About Popularity, It’s About Controlling the Conversation
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  • http://www.vocus.com Frank Strong

    Nice post Chris. Not so sure I’d buy into “controlling” the conversation — many say social media has changed the paradigm, that we’ve lost control, if we ever had it. Certainly we can contribute, facilitate, perhaps even shepherd — which is why the emerging title of “community manager” is so appropriate. Thank you for considering the study!

    • Chris Crum

      I was thinking more about controlling the topic of conversation, rather than where the conversation goes. If you have a great deal of influence, you can probably say just about anything and get a good deal of discussion going around that topic.

  • Rhed

    When people listen to what you have to say, can influence their reactions towards you or towards the things they believe in.

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