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Network Influence

In the modern age, a person’s ego network has a major influence on the marketing process of a product. Many companies now use social media as a tool to market various products. Product sales are increasing by this marketing method because social media posts easily reach a wide audience. For instance, Instagram “influencers” use their social networks to get paid for advertising different fashion, beauty, and fitness products. People with a large number of followers can reach a wider and more diverse audience. The post will also reach their audience’s other friends since they can see which posts their friends are interacting with. Once a certain post increases its popularity, the social network’s local bridges can also interact with the post and may decide to purchase the advertised product.

The audience of social media “influencers” are more likely to purchase the product being advertised to them because their connection between builds a sense of trust and confidence in the integrity of the transactions that take place between them. Even though followers might not necessarily have a strong tie with an influencer, they still feel a strong connection towards that specific figure because they are still interacting with them by liking and commenting on their posts. This type of interaction is similar to a link that represents a one-way interaction where the user sends messages to a friend whether or not those messages were reciprocated. Followers see the sponsored post and gain trust for the advertised product because they trust that person posting about it. It’s a similar sense of trust as when a friend recommends you a product and you inherently trust their opinion because you have a relationship with them.

Even though the followers’ tie with the influencer was not formed through an organic relationship with face to face interaction, a sense of trust is still built by the influencer’s frequent interactions with their followers; such as replying to comments, answering direct messages, and liking their posts. This interaction is similar to a link that represents reciprocal communication if the user both sent messages to the friend at the other end of the link and also received messages from them during the observation period. Interactions in this manner build a stronger tie between the influencer and their numerous connections. The positive edges formed through personal interactions with different connections is important in persuading the audience to purchase an advertised product.


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September 2018