If you take a look around today, influence is everywhere. Discussions once limited to a few coworkers around the water cooler have been unleashed on a global scale. People are influencing each other right now on Facebook, Twitter, Wikis and within thousands of niche networks. People draw upon their network of friends, trusted bloggers and online communities when making decisions.
As a marketer or PR professional, it’s critical to understand this phenomenon and learn how to identify people who have the highest amount of influence over others in your target market. Here are 4 rules to consider:
1. Popularity does not equal influence. Just because a person has lots of Facebook friends or fans does not mean that they will make an impact for your business.
2. Relevancy matters. To really move the masses on Facebook (or any venue), a person must be actively writing on topics that matter to your audience.
3. Authority is key. In order to be influential, the person posting on Facebook must be seen as an expert in their field. For instance, are they regularly commented on, re-posted or “liked” by others in their marketplace?
4. Influencers drive action. Pay attention to someone’s track record on Facebook to determine their true influence. When they get behind a cause, do others follow their lead?
Gary Lee is CEO mBLAST, Inc. He will be speaking at PR News' Facebook Conference in New York on May 24. That event is sold out—don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the use of Facebook as a PR and marketing platform at PR News’ just-announced Aug. 9 Facebook Conference in San Francisco.