How Important Is Social Influence in Business? 3 Experts Share Advice

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Traditionally, influence is the power to produce a change in someone’s actions or beliefs. Nowadays, we can also speak of social influence, due to the rapid spread of social media. Naturally, some people and brands are more influential than others. This is easily noticeable not only in the amount of people that follow them, but also in the success of their business. If you want to understand how important social influence can be for your business, you’re going to enjoy the topic of today’s article. We’re here to provide you with 3 expert views on this matter.

3 Experts Talk About the Importance of Social Influence in Business

1. Broader Audience

Scott Roen, vice president of OPEN Forum, believes that the difference between influence as it was seen a while ago and social influence doesn’t relate to the role of the person or brand who’s doing the influencing. In fact, the only thing that has changed is how the message is propagated and to how many people. Social media helps with message amplification, Roen says. It allows people to reach a broader audience, while still attracting a targeted segment of the population. Roen also mentions how powerful social influence is and how businesses should work with individual influencers in order to gain more power.

2. “Masspersonal” Comunication

What Duncan Watts, former professor of sociology at Columbia University and Principal Researcher at Microsoft, understands by “masspersonal” communication is the ability of individuals and brands nowadays to communicate directly with the people that look up to them. Social media has definitely changed the way we communicate. With the help of social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook, any business can address their customers directly. It can even follow them in return. Needless to say that this type of communication can help businesses attract more customers. That’s because of the mere fact that they allow a more direct interaction.

3. Measuring Influence

While it’s clear that social influence is important for business, the question of how to measure that influence remains. Two major influencers, Duncan Watts, and Carol Leaman, CEO of Axonify, both weigh in on this issue. Watts underlines that the ideal way to measure influence would be to look at its effects. More specifically, to find out how many people were actually persuaded to do something or change their mind about something because of the social influence of a certain business. Since this is not entire possible just yet, people measure influence by looking at the number of followers or how active someone is online.

Carol Leaman agrees that finding out how many leads were actually converted to customers because of social influence is difficult. However, she’s optimistic about the future of this endeavor. Meanwhile, what businesses can do is use social media listening platforms. They can tell them how people perceive their brand by looking at brand mentions and sentiments.

We hope today’s tips provided by these top 3 experts on social influence have inspired you to become a more visible presence online and use social media to your advantage.

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Author: Amanda Knowles

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