If there is one thing that I have learned in my career, it is that the money always follows the trends. In a world gone social, we are influenced by our trusted network at a rate of near 90 percent and that alone speaks volume for where things are heading.
We want Buzzfeed to tell us what personality type we are and Fox to give us dramatics instead of news so we can poke fun. Because all of that is easier than actually doing something about the things that bother us.
Awhile back, in my social media marketing class at UCLA, we had a discussion on the power of recommendation, influence, and user reviews. It's a very good topic -- the Yelp generation relies almost totally on what their peers say -- good and bad.
Until very recently I wouldn't have called myself an avid social media user. Sure, I created a Facebook profile in 2006, at a time when a college email address was still required to sign up, but who didn't? The concept of the "social network" has changed a great deal since then.
Building a brand is something that takes a lot of thought and time. Once you find what ultimately makes your readers tick on both a materialistic level and a human level, people will be able to relate to you and your words.
In the first experience, your users decide how much of their time or money they will invest in your company. Will they become a lifelong devoted fan, sharing your company with all their friends or will they drop off after the first signup?
We are influenced every day by celebrities, politicians, media, and peers. If Justin Bieber stated, "I don't believe in the tooth fairy," how many little girls would stop believing in that little magical pixie?
The widespread availability of multiple cable channels, cell phones, handheld devices, computers, and the Internet has taken America back more than 100 years to a time when navigators, or "influentials," ruled.
In 2010, Northwestern University scientists used mathematical algorithms to rank the most influential people tweeting daily. What did they find? Some of Twitter's most popular influencers (think Ashton Kutcher and Lady Gaga) aren't really all that influential.