Measuring Social Influence


Hi everyone,

The topic of this week was diffusion and social influence. An interesting article that I found was discussing how to measure social influence. I will summarize the important aspects of this article for you guys. Social influence as said in the article is very important for people to see how much people can be affected by others through emotions, opinion and behaviors. Social influence can be divided in three levels. The first one is compliance through persuasion (when one agrees with the other and adopt an attitude based on another person’s beliefs but keeps this belief private). The second one is identification (when someone is influenced by another person who is liked and respected, e.g. celebrities). And the third one is internalization (when people believe another person’s opinions but choose to agree either publicly or privately). As a result of this broad extent of social influence where people can either publicly or privately comply, it becomes very difficult to accurately gauge social influence using just one single tool.

They give 5 possible tools to help measure social influence, but I will explain only one of them. TwentyFeet is a tool that gives you a quick overview of your activities, by extracting data from your personal Facebook and Twitter account from over a period of time and presenting this in a graph form (see below).

TwentyFeet also makes your data more manageable and easy to understand by pointing out significant differences. What they mean with significant differences is when the number of friends, followers, mentions, retweets or comments increases or decreases considerably. So it definitely can give you an in-depth information about your social influence. I want to encourage you guys with this post, to seek more info about this topic, and maybe also measure your social influence so far with the possible tools available out there.

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