Homework: Diffusion and social influences

All the readings of week six touched the subject of diffusion in today’s information age. Social Networking Sites and other platforms that help facilitate communication within a social network help companies design word-to-mouth (MOT) marketing strategies such as “Kony 2012” or “Will it Blend?”. MOT marketing campaigns are based on the idea that the users of such platforms share viral videos, or other advertisements, with their network contacts.

According to Aral & Walker (2011), there are two types of diffusion of information, one being the personalized and active diffusion of information, which is more efficient, but less effective than passive-broadcast viral. This is due to the higher amount of contacts that it spreads to. However another important factor that has to be included is the ties between the sender and receiver of these shares.

As Van Noort et al. (2012) indicated, the effectiveness of viral campaigns is highly dependent on the influence that the sender has on the receivers, if the ties are closer, the receiver will respond more positively to the campaign and the brand. This could also be seen in Kony 2012 where countless celebrities spread the message over their social media to their fans, and friends and families talking about it.


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