For this weeks homework assignment I had to read three articles. The articles focus on the topic ‘Diffusion and Social Influence’. I will give a brief summary of the articles and then discuss the main findings. After that, I will compare two examples of social networks related to the topic by identifying their strengths and weaknesses.

The first article is examining how firms can create word-of-mouth peer influence and social contagion by designing viral features into their products and marketing campaigns. The main findings of this article were that designing products with passive-broadcast viral messaging capabilities generate more total peer influence and social contagion than adding active-personalized viral messaging capabilities.

The second article examines how opinion leadership and social contagion within social networks affect the adoption of a new product. The main findings here were that contagion is operating over network ties and adoption is affected by peers’ usage volume, rather than by whether peers have adopted or are prescribing. There’s already an effect if people see the message.

In the last article of this week, microblogging is examined. It’s a form of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) for sharing consumer opinions concerning brands. The broad reach of eWOM provides consumers a large clout to infouence brand image and perceptions. The writers concluded microblogging can be viewed as a competitive intelligence source. The more people talk about something, the hotter the subject will be.

The examples I have chosen are Twitter and Facebook. As everyone in class should know these two networks, an other summary of the companies would be overrated. So I go on with the comparison between the two platforms.

The strengths of both Twitter and Facebook are:

  • Pushing information to followers
    With only a few words you can reach a lot of people
  • Easy to follow/like

The weaknesses of both Twitter and Facebook are:

  • You only receive information if you follow or like the company
    Searching for the information is more difficult with Facebook than it is with Twitter

There are also a few differences between the strengths and weaknesses of Twitter and Facebook.

Strength of Twitter

  • Easy to find an opinion using #

Weakness of Twitter

  • Short messages
    Because of the short message, there is less information in a Tweet. This could have a negative effect on peoples behavior because they are not fully updated.

Strength of Facebook

  • More detailed information
    More space to tell the story, including pictures, videos, links and many words. There’s enough space to write down what you want to say.

Weakness of Facebook

  • Antisocial tendencies
    Different studies showed the use of Facebook has a negative effect. Often it’s mentioned as the source of relationship problems. Though, there are studies which suggest exactly the opposite.
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