Influence and Trust

Jeremy Epstein Marketing

The never-ending discussion about “Influencers” and “Influentials” fascinates me.

Calling it the “Influencer Security Blanket,” I am skeptical of the idea that a few key influential individuals are truly the “opinion makers.”

Emmanuel Rosen’s work “The Anatomy of Buzz” reminds that us while “influencers make up 15% of the population, they are only responsible for 30% of the buzz.”

The rest?

Regular people.

And regular people in small, closely-knit networks.

In fact, according to a study by Invoke Solutions, the most believably pieces of information that people see in a social media world are

  1. blog posts by people they know
  2. posts by friends in Facebook
  3. a friend’s twitter stream

Only AFTER ALL OF THOSE, do you get to posts by brands, community members or independent bloggers.

What does this tell me?

Your Raving Fans…no matter how small they are…if they are active in social media…they are the purveyors of trust ultimately.

Again, I’m not saying ignore the 15% of Influencers. Go for it. But ROI for your dollar? Raving Fans.