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  • l Influences Myths and Science Kim Kardashian…built career on being famous..gets $10,000 per tweet to talk about a particular product…because of her big following…is she worth it?

Notion that not influence is created equal…one American in 10 tells the others how to vote..without these special people, ideas do not become popular…trends depend on hipsters…jocks, geeks, teachers’ pets, captain football team, experts, cool people—must have more influence, right?

News Media not as important as once thought; opinion makers stronger (determine how people think)

Only 10 percent on social medias are active…remainder in background…really, only one percent of those 10 percent are heavy contributors (that means only 1 percent of members drive contribution—they are very influential). If certain people have more influence than others, if companies can find these special people, if Kim Kardashian contributes then product will catch on?)

Can have a lot of ties, but only a few friends so little influence

The Notion of Influencers relies on 4 key assumptions:

Impact-some people have more impact than others. Some people have more friends than others, but they might not have more influence…but doesn’t mean they will tell their friends; audience size doesn’t grow exponentially..people with lots of friends usually only talk to each other..takes lot of time an energy to keep in touch. If a complex contagion, people need to hear from multiple sources.

As forest ranger said, a fire has less to do with how fire started than the state of the forest when the fire started. For it to take off, the product has to be contagious, how dense is the network

Restaurant opened in area..hot places in town…given I ate there first, it must be popular because of me, right?…don’t confuse correlation with causation.  no.  every product has an early adopter, but doesn’t mean they cause others to adopt.

Identification-companies can identify them

What does it mean to be an influencer? People with lots of friends, opinion leaders, early adopters, etc.  Knowledge. Influence. Popular. Mavens. Salesmen. But do same people have all these qualities? No. Knowledgeable people, for example, can be introverts. People high in one dimension are low in another. Influence is high to measure.

Self report problem. Most people think they fall above the mean when measuring influence. Data inaccurate. Cross situation problem…if influence in one area, does it extend across domains? Art. PoliticsMakeup. Impossible to identify influences.

Influenceability. Can be used to help ideas spread. Word of Mouth works because it is credible. One people know that KK gets paid to tweet, the validity of the product goes down.

Cost effectiveness—what if companies have to pay people to talk about products…is it cost effective?  What about free product? Best to target regular, every day people.

ROLES-people talk to a lot of people every day…ask barbers to talk to clients about prostrate cancer…nuance, perfect time to spread information; campaign ideal. Doctors touch a lot of people every day; their roles influence a lot of people. How many people of the 16 m people who follow Ashton Cooper actually buy something he recommends? Not likely.