Influence & our role as influencers

So I want to talk about something rather important. Something we might take for granted and something we don’t really know we have.

I want to talk about influence.

I was just having a think….

For every friend, for every follower you have, there’s someone who values your opinion. They’ve made the decision to have their news feed or their timeline open to you and give you a slot every now and then to voice your opinion or post a video of your dog. This means they’re open to us, and I can’t think of anything more valuable than an individual willing to hear what you have to say. So what are we going to do about it?

In high school I learned about Opinion Leaders; the people who direct the flow of conversation or break the story on a huge innovation! They’re people that know what’s going on when it happens and they’re the ones you could almost always rely on to have an answer.

They have an influence over us. This video by Brett Lamb explains the Two-Step Flow theory and goes into more detail about how Opinion Leaders came about.

Brett goes on to say how Opinion leaders aren’t the media, but rather people we talk to everyday, but I’m willing to say other sxamples are anyone from your favourite journalist or politician, daytime TV presenter or news anchor, fashion model or designer, or the bartender at that place you’ve been going to for years. Opinion leaders are people we trust – individuals who have pull over what people are talking about and how they talk about it.

With social media becoming more live, people are tuning into our broadcasts and spending time watching them. Whether we’re having an existential crisis at 3am in the morning or having an insightful drive along the beach and wanting to share their thoughts on the current economic situation, people are listening.

We have influence over our friends and followers and the sooner we realise this the sooner we can begin to make a change. Now change for what? Well, that’s up to you. As soon as you find something you’re passionate about or want people to do, see about giving it value, why should your friends do what you say? If what you have to say is so awesome, will your follower base trust you enough to hop on board?

We adopted social media as a way for us to contact, and this slowly turned into a way to validate ourselves. Now it’s become a way to send a message. You see those hundreds of follows you have on Instagram? Or those people who like your facebook status on the daily? They’re your audience to speak to, and the sooner you do, the sooner you can make a change.

Influence is something that really drives my interest in Public Relations and Social Media so they’ll be plenty of posts in the future talking about this topic. Realising you do in fact have influence over your audience is something to remember and value when you’re posting on Social Mediainfluence


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