Diffusion and Social influence

Diffusion and social influence play a significant role in daily life through traditional media, word of mouth but especially through social media with the many messages, videos and photo’s spread over the Internet. The articles discuss the findings on how diffusion and viral trends arise on social media and how it can influence people or peers, but also how people make use of those information and content on social media. In this report, I mainly focus on the diffusion and viral trends on social media.

The first article ‘Strategies for two sides markets’ focuses on two-sides network, which consists of 2 groups: the ‘subsidy side’ and the ‘money side’. This article examines in what way executives have to handle with three challenges of two-sided networks; how to determine a price, how to choose between cooperation or working independently and last how to handle with the threat of rivals.

The second article ‘Creating Social Contagion Through Viral Product Design: A Randomized Trial of Peer Influence in Networks’ discusses how firms can design products that will be more likely shared (viral). Personalized referrals are more efficient than automated broadcast notifications, but less effective due to the large amount of contacts the passive option reaches (Aral and Walker, 2011).

The third article ‘Leveraging Public Sentiment to Beat the Market: An Empirical Study of Social Media Information and Stock Market Performance’ discusses how social media information, on Twitter, can be a measure of current or future stock performance and how Twitter can be used to make better investment decisions in the stock market. The results in this article are that there is indeed information out there that is not instantaneously reflected in prices and an investment strategy including Twitter sentiment analysis might be profitable.

The additional article ‘Two hearts in three-quarter time: How to waltz the social media/viral marketing dance’ provides insight into relationship between social media and viral marketing and gives six steps that executives can apply in viral marketing. It also discusses three required conditions to create a viral marketing (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2011).

Good examples of viral trends and diffusion are the ALS Ice Bucket challenge and the ‘bendable’ iPhone 6+. They show how you should reach your audience and why you need to use certain tactics and it also shows that intervention is not a good idea. Viral marketing is also important nowadays, and the competitors (and even non-competitors) took advantage with mockery.

In conclusion, a lot of companies use social media to send a message or promote their products. However, sending a message is one thing. Reaching your audience is another problem. Sometimes it is wiser to use personal referrals, whilst in other cases involving all potential participants is a better move. Nowadays, going viral is absolutely vital for success.



Aral, S. and Walker, D. (2011) ‘Creating social contagion through viral product design: A randomized trial of peer influence in networks’, Management Science, vol. 57(9), pp. 1623-1639.

Eisenmann, T., Parker, G., and Van Alstyne, M.W. (2006) ‘Strategies for Two-Sided Markets’, Harvard Business Review, vol. 84(10), pp. 92-101.

Kaplan, A. M., and Haenlein, M. (2011) ‘Two hearts in three-quarter time: How to waltz the social media/viral marketing dance’, Business Horizons, vol. 54, pp. 253-263.

Li, T., Sprengers, D., and van Dalen, J. (2013), ‘Leveraging public sentiment to beat the market’, Working Paper.


Hein, B. (2014) ‚ Bendgate Day 3: Best bendy iPhone 6 jokes to ease your pain’, http://www.cultofmac.com/297744/bendgate-day-3-brands-brands-brands-jokes-jokes-jokes/, September 25, 2014.

Lowensohn, J.  (2014) ‘ALS association abandons its effort to trademark the ‘Ice Bucket challenge’’, http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/29/6084725/als-association-abandons-its-effort-to-trademark-the-ice-bucket, August 29, 2014.

Oh, C. and Sheng, O., (2011) ‘Investigating predictive power of stock micro blog sentiment in forecasting future stock price directional movement’, http://www.misrc.csom.umn.edu/workshops/2011/fall/OliviaSheng_Paper.pdf, 2011.

Reddy, S. (2014)  ‘how the Ice Bucket challenge got its start’,  http://online.wsj.com/articles/how-the-ice-bucket-challenge-got-its-start-1408049557, August 14, 2014.

Welch, C. (2014) ‘Apple says iPhone 6 Plus bending through normal use is ‘extremely rare’, http://www.theverge.com/2014/9/25/6844943/apple-says-iphone-bending-extremely-rare, September 25, 2014.

‘The ALS Ice Bucket challenge: The Impact of Social Media on Health Communication’, http://sites.tufts.edu/publichealth/2014/09/18/the-als-ice-bucket-challenge-the-impact-of-social-media-on-health-communication/ , September 18, 2014.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s