In this bewildering network of social media sites, do we go for mass reach or be more selective and try and reach a smaller number of opinion-leaders and relevant connections?

Some digerati support the mass reach argument. They argue that there is little semblance of information dissemination hierarchy so you need to just ‘go for it’ and extend your reach through as many information nodes as possible.

Other digerati like Ed Keller, who wrote the book on influentials, suggests that online word-of-mouth (WOM) is still a fraction of offline WOM in most categories and that nothing is more credible and effective at driving behaviour than the recommendation of a known, credible source. Pursuing volume for marketers might be frittering away valuable time resources?

There are some parallels in other media. Television, and then direct mail, at first boomed on the strength of message delivery efficiency and then declined as marginal returns dropped and response rates declined.

Maybe, if you are marketing a mass consumer item like a soft drink, the mass reach model works but, for B2B social media users, there is some merit in searching for nodes of influence and being more particular about your connections. This certainly applies to Twitter IMHO.


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