What is social influence – and is it really important?


I have been ranged as the 13th most influencing social media person in Norway. A guy from Microsoft was number 14. At least I beat Microsoft 🙂 ! The ranking was done based on a system that measured visibility i social media. And I must admit that I do not take it very seriously…

But what is influence? And does it have any significant importance?

Some years ago a close colleague of mine asked me this question:

– Arne, if you have 2000 followers on Facebook. Do you think they all will come to your funeral?

That really made me think. Especially since I am at the age where you realistically have 10 – 15 years left of your life.

And it also made me think of what value my followers on Facebook and other social media had to offer me. And I mean real, personal value – not information on their whereabouts, what movies they had seen, what jokes they have heard and other not so important knowledge.

So I started to evaluate each and one of my followers and threw out those who was not in a close relationships with me. So I ended up with my kids and extended close family.

And do you know what? Now I have more time to communicate with my closest ones. And that has real value! Life value!

So what is influence? When I tweet and blog – does that mean I have real influence on my followers? Does it mean that they really pick up on my ideas, make decisions and do as I propose in my tweets and blogs? I doubt it.

I think it really takes a lot more to be a real influencer that makes a difference and changes the world. You can not measure your influence based only on the number of followers you have. It does not matter how many who Likes you on Facebook. What really matters is what they do after you have given them an idea. And how do you measure that with a simple app on your iPhone?

By the way: What value does it bring to the world tweeting about what airport you are at, or what you ate for lunch? I do not get it. Those messages annoys me. So you are at the airport? So what?

Anyone with views on this? Come on!

1 Comment

  1. For once I agree with you, however I have long thought that this social networking is a crock of brown stuff and just a fad like the hula hoop. Facebook is such an arrogant company I predict that they will go the same way as Hi5. No one can communicate with 2,000+ people, so you cant call them friends. I have about 60 people on Facebook, all are family or close friends, I have traveled and worked in several countries.

    I do think, not dissimilar things about social business, Yes a website is an important tool to provide information to customers, I am in IT and use the web continuously. But I cant think of 1 sale that I have made through Facebook, or any other item of social networking. Linked in is just terrible, as is Pinterest. I have only ever twice booked a hotel over the internet and both times it did not live up to its web billing. Yes hotel website are good in that they can HELP you choose. But when I have found the hotel I want I ring or e-mail them to book.

    However there are some fantastic sites out there, I think Flickr is great, I have posted many photos on there and have enjoyed reading what people think of my efforts, Catch is a great tool. Skype obviously for direct communications as is Whats App. IMO is great for having all that sort of communications in a single tool. Twitter is great to enable you to receive quick new bits.

    But all of these are Tools, to help you do your job.

    Even Facebook with its business pages is just a tool, that allows a teck savvy business to be able to put across it message, and feel that it is communicating with its customers.

    But why people spend all day long on it I just don’t understand the attraction.

    I live and work in Thailand and I know countless people who have tablets just to use Facebook, they cant even use a browser and don’t know how to Google something. All they do is chat to there friends all day long, 20 years ago, they wrote letters to pen friends, 10 years ago they used a mobile phone, 5 years ago Blackberry BB, now Facebook. Whats next in 5 years or 10 years? In fact all that has happened is that the communication has speed-ed up from days or weeks, with letters, to instant with Facebook and BB.

    Business has had social tools since e-mail was first used with main frames and mini’s and even more so with the introduction of Lotus Notes in 1989. So please don’t pretend that Notes 9 is social its no more social than Notes 2, The ability to share information and documents and ideas is a core part of Notes, Notes 9 does not change or even add to that, yes the new items it it are great, but sorry I for 1 cannot see what bits of Notes 9 are social over any previous release of Notes.

    I am not a Notes brasher, I love the product,

Comments are closed.