Google Analytics

Site Meter

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Popularity vs. Influence: The Factors for Brand Marketers Online

The internet today has been defined by the explosion of social media, and especially through self-publishing platforms such as Blogger and Twitter.  Though the term blogging means different things to different people, at the end of the day what Social Media has become is around self-publishing, which blogging is a significant part of.  Social Media and all the different forms of self-publishing, from status sharing to link sharing to writing about your favorite recipes on your blog, has become the defining path for the web.

Even more importantly for brand marketers today it is critical for them to continue to invest in building relationships with their most fanatic supporters and also category leaders in their markets.   For marketers, in the realm of social media, they need to have relationships, but these relationships have to be defined based on two primary dimensions, popularity and influence.

Popularity and influence have long been used to determine whether a certain blog or social media site is successful. Although they mean differently, these two factors aren’t always regarded as such. Most people still commit the mistake that popularity is similar to influence. Nevertheless, there is a big difference between them and Popularity vs. Influence in Blogging and Social Media: What’s The Difference will tell you why.

What is Popularity and Influence?

Popularity in blogging means that a lot of people like you and your blog; many different people visit your blog and a huge amount of traffic is directed to your website. Then, you are a popular social media user if your page receives various comments and visits. Popularity and influence are different since the latter is the ability to affect the way people think and act. You are considered as an influential blogger if you can influence most people’s views on certain issues. Popularity and influence are both essential factors in the success of various online activities such as blogging and social media.

Popularity vs. Influence in Blogging and Social Media: What’s The Difference?

The difference between these two concepts should be well established since they are fundamental factors of a successful social media or blog. Popularity and influence may seem alike in a number of ways. However, they offer different ideas when used in blogging and social media.

Being popular doesn't necessarily mean influential.

This is one big difference between popularity and influence. You can say that a blog is popular; however, you can’t be entirely sure that the same blog is influential. For example, there are two hypothetical blogs; the first one received 2 million views in a month while the second one got 100,000 visits. You can easily say that the former blog is more popular because of the large difference in the number of views. Nut can you say that the first blog is still more influential? No, you can’t because popularity doesn’t equate to influence. And who knows? The first blog might just be written by a popular person who doesn’t know anything about what he’s talking about. Or, search engines could also cause the high number of traffic for the first blog. This means that the visitors are just passersby who don’t read blogs at all. On the other hand, the second blog can still be the more influential one. Therefore, popularity and influence represent two different concepts.

One difference between popularity and influence is that influence can’t be measured with numbers. 

Sure, popularity can be easily described by the number of visits that a certain blog gets. However, the same doesn’t hold true for influence. Influence could only be measured using the qualitative method. Consider the above example again; the first blog may have more traffic and visitors for its website. Thus, it’s a relatively popular blog. However, its influence can only be measured if the writer affected the reader in some way. For example, the writer tried to persuade the reader to use a certain product. If that reader and other people follow, then the blog may be considered influential.

Disqus for Cold Kiwi