The extent information takes hold and is spread depends on the “Majority illusion”; which means: whether other people in the network believes most other people have the information. (Who wants to be the odd one out?) Worth noting, this is independent of whether it is good or bad. This means that it is not how many who know, but how many are believed to know, with the implication that those with more connections, matter more. A second factor is how many different networks a person is in. Most people have a relatively narrow network, with likeminded contacts. For information to spread, it needs to move between such narrow networks; thus, those with connections to several different networks, also carry more value.
Network scientists have discovered how social networks can create the illusion that something is common when it is actually rare. One of the curious things about social networks is the way that some messages, pictures, or ideas can spread like wildfire while others that seem just as catchy or interesting barely register at all.
A recent study by Schlesinger Associates for Augure found that 75% of marketers consider finding the right influencers the most challenging aspect of an influencer marketing strategy . Perhaps that’s due to a misguided approach in which the size of someone’s following is treated as the primary benchmark of their influence.
After the House of Commons voted to extend its airstrikes against ISIS into Syria, a friend wondered on social media: I realise the algorithms of social media show you what it thinks you want to see and will agree with. And I realise voting on military intervention had eloquent arguments on both sides it wasn’t…