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  • Gerrit Eicker 07:00 on 17. March 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Social Influence, , ,   

    Peer Influence: Who You Know Matters 

    Who you know is arguably a more valuable aspect than who you might be influenced by; http://eicker.at/PeerInfluence

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 07:00 on 15. March 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , Social Influence, ,   

    Peer Influence: Minimal? 

    The extent to which networking friendspreferences actually rub off on each other is minimal; http://eicker.at/PeerInfluence

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 07:00 on 13. March 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , Social Influence, ,   

    Peer Influence: Being or Becoming Similar? 

    Do people befriend others who are similar to them? Or do they become more similar over time? http://eicker.at/PeerInfluence

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 11:02 on 21. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Peer Groups, , , , Shared Tastes, , , , Social Influence, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Peer Influence 

    Study: When it comes to taste, peer influence in social networks is virtually nonexistent; http://eicker.at/PeerInfluence

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 11:02 on 21. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      PNAS, Lewis, Gonzalez, Kaufman: “Social selection and peer influence in an online social network – Disentangling the effects of selection and influence is one of social science’s greatest unsolved puzzles: Do people befriend others who are similar to them, or do they become more similar to their friends over time? Recent advances in stochastic actor-based modeling, combined with self-reported data on a popular online social network site, allow us to address this question with a greater degree of precision than has heretofore been possible. Using data on the Facebook activity of a cohort of college students over 4 years, we find that students who share certain tastes in music and in movies, but not in books, are significantly likely to befriend one another. Meanwhile, we find little evidence for the diffusion of tastes among Facebook friends – except for tastes in classical/jazz music. These findings shed light on the mechanisms responsible for observed network homogeneity; provide a statistically rigorous assessment of the coevolution of cultural tastes and social relationships; and suggest important qualifications to our understanding of both homophily and contagion as generic social processes.”

      Wired: “Are We Immune To Viral Marketing? – When it comes to taste, ‘peer influence is virtually nonexistent,’ said Kevin Lewis, a Harvard sociology graduate student who co-authored the study. Lewis cautioned that the experiences of college students on Facebook may not apply to everyone in all circumstances, but the results offer a sobering counterpoint to the conventional wisdom on the ubiquity of taste diffusion. ‘The extent to which friends’ preferences actually rub off on each other is minimal,’ he said. … If we don’t influence each other, does that means viral marketing is a bogus concept? And what does it say about the business value of social media? … The study’s findings suggest that it would be much more worthwhile to invest in understanding how and when friendships are a conduit for preferences, rather than assuming that they are and planning marketing strategies accordingly. ‘They clearly are under some circumstances, but we still don’t know whether those circumstances are common or important enough to warrant the time and money of business strategies,’ said Lewis. … One of the most valuable aspects of social media is who you know. It’s easy to glean information about members of social networks. This focuses sales, marketing and product development efforts. Knowing something about one person gives you insights into the people that person knows. … The Harvard study affirmed that, as in other aspects of life, people’s social media relationships tend to be with people who are like them. … Who you know is arguably a more valuable aspect of social media than who you might be influenced by.

      AT: “Studying the factors that bring people together creates a serious challenge for researchers. Do friendships form because of shared interests, or do those interests develop due to the friendship? A research team has now tracked a set of college students across all four years, using Facebook to identify social ties. The study reveals that people are fundamentally a bit lazy, as proximity provided the strongest predictor of social ties. Once that was accounted for, however, shared tastes in music and film did promote friendships, while books had a minimal effect. … The authors recognize that a Facebook friend probably doesn’t represent the strong social bond that we typically view as a friendship, but it is probably similar to the sort of fluid links that many of us form at work and elsewhere. There’s also a risk that at least some of the choices revealed on Facebook are the product of social posing, rather than deep-seated preferences. Despite these limitations, the study is a rare look at how social dynamics and personal tastes influence each other over the course of some very formative years. It’ll be pretty difficult to arrange a study that provides a clearer picture.

      TC: “Here’s a bit of science that’s contrary to what a heavy utilizer of social networks might expect. Researchers at Harvard tracked the Facebook activity of hundreds of college students for four years, and came away with the rather unexpected result that the interests of friends don’t, in fact, tend to influence one another. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen at all, of course, but it’s clear that propagation and virality are subtler and more complex than some people (marketers and, I suspect, researchers) tend to think they are. … The central source of data for the study, in fact, doesn’t strike me as solid. Tracking the interests of college kids is a sketchy endeavor in and of itself, but tracking it via their Facebook favorites (i.e. what shows on your profile, not what you post about or share) seems unreliable. – After all, not only does everyone use the network in their own way, but the network itself has changed. … The study does establish something that I think we perhaps understand is true already: you befriend people because of your overlaps in taste, but it’s rare that your existing friends change the tastes you already have. This is as much true out in the ‘real’ world as it is online. … The Harvard study does indicate another thing, which is that social networks are, for now, ‘light’ social interaction. … That’s changing, but Facebook doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to make the change to ‘serious’ social interaction: the kind of trusted exchanges you have with friends in conversation or in repeated encounters over years…”

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:05 on 18. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , Corporate Blogging, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Social Influence, , , , , , , ,   

    Blogosphere 2011 

    Technorati Blogosphere 2011: blogging and social media, marketing, motivations, consequences; http://eicker.at/Blogosphere2011

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:06 on 18. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Technorati: “Welcome to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2011 report. Since 2004, our annual study has followed growth and trends in the blogosphere. This year’s topics include: blogging and social media, bloggers and traditional media, traffic and analysis, brands and marketing in the blogosphere, bloggers’ motivations and consequences, monetization, and changes within the blogosphere over 2011. … The Blogosphere is constantly changing and evolving. In 2011 we are seeing bloggers updating their blogs more frequently and spending more time blogging. The type of information influencing blogging has shifted from conversations with friends, which was the primary influence in 2010, to other blogs, which for 68% of bloggers are having more of an influence in 2011. … Penn Schoen Berland conducted an Internet survey from September 13-October 4, 2011 among 4,114 bloggers around the world. The margin of error is +/- 1.4% at the 95% confidence level and larger for subgroups.

      Technorati: “Who are the Bloggers? – We started with a basic inquiry about the identity of the respondents. Roughly three fifths are male, a proportion that holds true over all blogger types. Not surprisingly, a majority of bloggers are in the 25-44 age range – but a third are over 44. … Although our survey was administered only in English, bloggers responded from 45 countries, with nearly half from the United States. … Income: While half of Corporates receive no annual salary for blogging, and the mean non-salary income of that blogger type was $17,101, 54% report an annual household income of $50,000 or more. This seems to indicate that the majority of Corporates are using any revenue from blogging as a supplement to their household income. … A quarter of respondents reported being self-employed, while just under half told us they were employed full-time… Overall, fewer bloggers reported this year that they are making a living via their blogs. (4% vs. 11% in 2010) … Combining these demos, we see a picture of Professional Full Timers as slightly older and likely to be in life circumstances (such as having another income due to marriage, or being currently a stay-at-home parent) that allow them time to pursue professional routes such as blogging. … Among those whose blog is a business, 81% manage the blog themselves. Corporate bloggers are most likely to have a paid full- or part-time staff (38%). … The majority of respondents update their blog two to three times per week. Professional Full Time bloggers tend to update their blog more frequently than any other bloggers, with 26% reporting that they update their blog at least three times per day. … Overall, there is a rise in the number of bloggers who say they are blogging more, and fewer bloggers report they are blogging less.

      Technorati: “Bloggers and the Traditional Media – We continue to see a very large overlap between bloggers and traditional media. Almost one third of bloggers have worked for the traditional media, with a monthly magazine being the most common form (41%). 55% of Professional Full Timers and half of all Corporate bloggers have worked for a monthly magazine in the past. Of those who have worked with traditional media, 24% are still employed and blog separately. … Nearly all (96%) bloggers have an independent blog. … 81% report that their blog is part of a non-media company.Brands and the BlogosphereThe blogosphere is influencing itself – respondents say that the number one influence on the topics they blog about are other blogs they read, a huge jump from 2010. Conversations with friends and social media accounts are also influencing blogging topics. … 38% of respondents say they blog about brands that they love or hate. 33% of Professional Part Timers post reviews at least once a week. … 65% of bloggers use social media to follow brands, and this holds fairly consistently across blogger types, indicating a common practice. Further, blogging on these brands is a common activity. … Bloggers are being actively courted. Nearly four out of 10 overall, 59% of Professional Part Timers, and 66% of Professional Full Timers have been approached to write about or review products. Pros are approached eight times per week on average. The most frequently approached Hobbyist, Professional Part Time, Professional Full Time, and Entrepreneur bloggers report being approached more than 200 times per week. … The majority of bloggers feel that bloggers are treated less professionally by brand representatives compared to traditional media. … Most (86%) – but not all – bloggers who participated in sponsored posts indicate that they disclosed that the post was sponsored or paid. … Among those working with brands, 45% are aware of the FTC ruling on disclosure. Professional Part Timers and Full Timers have higher awareness (56% and 64% respectively) of it. 59% said the ruling had not had any effect on their blogging activities.”

      Technorati: “Consumers in the Blogsphere – This is the second year we surveyed consumers on their trust of and attitudes toward the media they consume. Compared with other media, blogs continue to outpace other social media and many traditional media in terms of trust and generating consumer recommendations and purchases. Facebook remains somewhat influential, but less so than blogs, and Twitter has seen a drop in influence over the past year.”

      Technorati: “What’s in it for the Bloggers? Motivations and Consequences of Blogging – Among Professionals, Corporates, and Entrepreneurs, the leading metric of success is the number of unique visitors, while 42% of Professional Part Timers and 38% of Professional Full Timers cited revenue as the leading metric compared to 13% of respondents overall. 69% of Hobbyists say that personal satisfaction is a way they measure the success of their blog, compared to 57% of Professional Part Timers, 49% of Professional Full Timers, 40% of Corporate bloggers and 47% of Entrepreneur bloggers. … 70% of all bloggers use their blog to share their expertise and experience with others. Professionals also use their blog as a way to make money or supplement their income. Corporate and Entrepreneur bloggers are looking to gain professional recognition, while also using their blog as a way to attract new clients to their business. … Asked what is the primary reason they blog, the greatest number of respondents overall said they use their blog as a way to share expertise and experience with others. … Overall, respondents seem to feel that blogging has had a positive impact on their personal life. 54% of respondents agree that they have made friends through their blog, and the same number agree that they have become more involved with their passion areas as a result of blogging. More than 60% of Corporate and Entrepreneur bloggers have gained greater visibility in their industry through blogging.

      Technorati: “Bloggers and Social Media – 82% of bloggers surveyed are using Twitter, with almost all Professional Full Timers (93%) and Professional Part Timers (91%) using Twitter and having on average over 1,000 followers. Those who use Twitter say they do so to promote their blog (77%), follow friends (60%), and bring interesting links to light (59%). Professional, Corporate, and Entrepreneur bloggers use Twitter to promote themselves professionally. … Nearly half of bloggers who use Twitter link their blogs to it. Among respondents who do not use Twitter, the most common reason for not doing so is a lack of desire to broadcast one’s life (45%). Another 42% simply don’t have time. … Almost nine out of ten bloggers surveyed (89%) use Facebook. 50% of all bloggers have separate Facebook pages for their blog and for their personal account, a jump from only 34% last year. … Among Facebook users, the most common reason for using the social network is to promote one’s blog. 61% of Entrepreneur bloggers use Facebook to promote their business. … More than six out of ten respondents use Google+. Of those who use this service only 13% have a separate account for their blog and personal use. … Other than Facebook and Twitter, the most popular social networking platforms among respondents are LinkedIn and YouTube. Not surprisingly, respondents found Facebook and Twitter to be the most effective social networking tools to market their blogs and drive traffic. … Blogging Topics – Personal musings are most blogged about by Hobbyists, while Professional, Corporate and Entrepreneur bloggers tend to blog about technology. Business is also a very popular topic for Corporate and Entrepreneur bloggers. … 79% of all respondents describe their blogging style as ‘sincere,’ and 67% describe their style as ‘conversational.’ Professional, Corporates, and Entrepreneurs also describe their style as ‘expert.’

      Technorati: “Brands in the Blogosphere: What Do the Marketers Say? – We heard from marketers who are just getting started in social media, and veterans who are using every available tool. We also received detailed examples and case studies, which we’ll be profiling in upcoming articles. We also asked them about the most significant developments in social media in 2011 and their predictions for the coming year. – Overall, advice was centered along these main themes: Encourage and enable sharing across platforms. Bloggers are trusted peers. Work with them to create or curate unfiltered, credible content and reviews, in order to create a conversation around your brand. Focus on building long-term relationships. Use blogger outreach organically and encourage these social influencers to be honest and open about their opinions so that they don’t feel forced to give a ‘good’ review, but rather, their ‘own’ review. Use social media not only to distribute content but to build active communities and interact with and respond to your audiences. Layer on social media measurement tools to find where users fall into your conversion funnels. Leverage paid media on social channels. … What are your top three DOs for social media? Here is just a sampling of the advice we received: Be a personality, not just a brand. Be responsive and quick. Recognize and reward your fans. Push for organic conversation. Pull content streams into ad units. Provide value to your audience. … What are your top three DON’Ts for social media? The majority of the responses came in along these lines: Don’t use social media as a direct marketing channel. Don’t pay for likes. Don’t believe that social media is free. Time is money. Social media takes time and strategy. Don’t open up a two-way conversation if you aren’t fully aware of the likely conversation flow. Once you’ve opened up a dialog, be ready to turn negatives into positives, but DON’T censor a participant who has a negative opinion. Don’t expect that social media = mass exposure with no investment. … We asked: In the past year, what was the biggest change or the most significant development you saw in social media? The most popular answers centered around a few major trends: brand strategy, blogging, the evolution of specific social media channels, advancements in mobile devices, developments in analytics, and the problem of information overload.”

      Technorati: “Active Blogging – According to Technorati’s index, a minority of bloggers are posting daily, or even weekly. Further, the Technorati index skews to more active bloggers – presumably they have listed their blog with Technorati because they are actively creating content and want others to find it. Active blogging is clearly rewarded. When looking at average posts per month and per day by Technorati Authority, bloggers in the Top 100 generate 36 times more content than the average blogger. We also see a higher use of tags as part of their arsenal of strategies to bring audiences to their content, with 92% of the Top 100 bloggers using tags. … Blogging Technology – Most respondents’ blogs are individual blogs. Blogging Collectives are most common among Corporate bloggers, where they account for 35%. … WordPress is the most popular blog hosting service among all respondents, used by 51%. Blogger and Blogspot hosting services are also popular (21% and 14%). … Nearly 90% of bloggers are using some form of multimedia on their blogs, the most popular form being photos. Half of all bloggers surveyed use video on their blog, while another 10% use audio. … Of those using multimedia, slightly more create these assets themselves than repurpose them from other sites. … Particular blogging tools are very widespread among bloggers, especially built-in syndication (75%) and social sharing widgets (75%), as well as site search (58%). Among bloggers who use built-in syndication, the majority (76%) support full content. … Professional Full Timers have seen the most impact from the adoption of tablets and smartphones, with almost a third (32%) indicating their blogging style has changed. … Those impacted by tablets and smartphones indicate they are using photos and images (45%) more often and writing shorter posts (43%).”

      Technorati: “Traffic and Analytics – Bloggers continue to pay close attention to their readership: 65% use a third-party service to track their blog’s traffic. Across bloggers, Google Analytics is by far the most popular service. … Professional bloggers receive the most views, with over half of the blogs viewed more than 10,000 times per month. 58% of bloggers using third-party analytics receive fewer than 5,000 page views per month. … Professional bloggers receive the most unique visitors per month, with more than a third having over 10,000 unique visitors. … Monetization and Revenue – Of the 14% of bloggers who earn a salary for blogging, the average annual amount is $24,086. Corporate bloggers earn more, averaging $33,577 per year. … Most are not paid per post, but half of those who are earned less than $25 per post on average. … About half of all bloggers paid by the post earn less than $1,000 per year from per-post fees. – Display ads, affiliate marketing links, and search ads are the most common ways bloggers generate revenue from their blogs. 60% of Corporate bloggers said they do not have any advertising on their blog. … Most blog-related revenue is generated through giving speeches on blogging topics and advertising. … Among those who do not have advertising on their blogs, 52% say they do not have advertising because they don’t want their blogs to be cluttered with ads, while 38% said they don’t have enough visitors to make it worthwhile. Another 36% are not interested in making money on their blog. … Among those with advertising on their blog, 60% use self-serve tools, while 50% have affiliate advertising links on their site.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:48 on 28. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Building Social Proof, Celebrity Social Proof, , Conformity, Expert Social Proof, , , , , , , Public Compliance, , , , , Social Influence, , , , , Social Proof Marketing, , , , , User Social Proof, , , , Wisdom of the Crowds Social Proof, Wisdom of your Friends, Wisdom of your Friends Social Proof   

    Social Proof Marketing 

    Ailleen Lee: In the age of the social web, social proof is the new marketing; http://eicker.at/SocialProofMarketing

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:48 on 28. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Wikipedia: “Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others reflect correct behavior for a given situation. This effect is prominent in ambiguous social situations where people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior, and is driven by the assumption that surrounding people possess more knowledge about the situation. – The effects of social influence can be seen in the tendency of large groups to conform to choices which may be either correct or mistaken, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as herd behavior. Although social proof reflects a rational motive to take into account the information possessed by others, formal analysis shows that it can cause people to converge too quickly upon a single choice, so that decisions of even large groups of individuals may be grounded in very little information [see information cascades]. – Social proof is a type of conformity. When a person is in a situation where they are unsure of the correct way to behave, they will often look to others for cues concerning the correct behavior. When ‘we conform because we believe that other’s interpretation of an ambiguous situation is more accurate than ours and will help us choose an appropriate course of action,’ it is informational social influence. This is contrasted with normative social influence wherein a person conforms to be liked or accepted by others. – Social proof often leads not just to public compliance [conforming to the behavior of others publicly without necessarily believing it is correct] but private acceptance [conforming out of a genuine belief that others are correct]. Social proof is more powerful when being accurate is more important and when others are perceived as especially knowledgeable.

      TC: “One challenge, which isn’t new, is the battle for consumer attention. If you’re looking to grow your user base, is there a best way to cost-effectively attract valuable users? I’m increasingly convinced the best way is by harnessing a concept called social proof, a relatively untapped gold mine in the age of the social web. … If you’re a digital startup, building and highlighting your social proof is the best way for new users to learn about you. And engineering your product to generate social proof, and to be shared through social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, YouTube, Pinterest and others, can multiply the discovery of your product and its influence. Think of it as building the foundation for massively scalable word-of-mouth. Here’s a ‘teardown’ on various forms of social proof, and how some savvy digital companies are starting to measure its impact.Expert social proof – Approval from a credible expert, like a magazine or blogger, can have incredible digital influence. … Celebrity social proof – Up to 25% of U.S. TV commercials have used celebrities to great effect, but only a handful of web startups have to date. … User social proof – Direct TV marketers are masters at sharing user success stories. [fascination with this was actually the inspiration for this blog post]. … Wisdom of the crowds social proof – Ray Kroc started using social proof in 1955 by hanging an ‘Over 1 Million Served’ sign at the first McDonald’s. Highlighting popularity or large numbers of users implies ‘a million people can’t be wrong.’ … Wisdom of your friends social proof – Learning from friends thru the social web is likely the killer app of social proof in terms of 1:1 impact, and the potential to grow virally. … In the age of the social web, social proof is the new marketing.

      Cialdini: “Don’t Throw in the Towel: Use Social Influence Research – Take, for example, hotels. Via a card strategically placed in their room, guests in many hotels are urged to reuse their towels to help conserve environmental resources. … Almost 75% of guests who are asked to participate in our new resource savings program do help by using their towels more than once. You can join your fellow guests to help save the environment by reusing your towels during your stay. … The result was an almost 47 percent success rate, significantly greater than the cooperation condition. Once again, we see that a relatively minor change, informed by social psychological theory, can serve as a corrective to the existing practices of otherwise astute businesspeople who would never leave themselves comparably uninformed in other arenas of business practice.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 19:28 on 17. May 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Assessment, Beliefs, Collective Assessment, Confidence Effect, Crowd Breakdowns, Crowd Wisdom, , Estimates, False Beliefs, , , , , , , , , Overconfidence, , , Range Reduction, , , , Social Influence, , , , , , , , ,   

    Social Influence 

    Lorenz/Rahut study: The truth becomes less central if social influence is allowed; http://eicker.at/SocialInfluence

     
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