On Influence and Popularity Jacking

I’ve been thinking about online influence for the last 6 years. It keeps moving and morphing into something that can at one point be definable and the next, indistinguishable from “snake oil salesmen.”  The problem lies in that influence can be described in so many different ways and yet they all can at any given moment, make sense.  I’m not going to get into the definitions or the designations of who is and who isn’t but suffice it to say that influence is subjective.

What’s more I can create a platform of influence. From scratch. And once I have done that, I will influence someone and someone somewhere will and could very well likely say that I influence them and thus I am influential to them. They can then blog about it and then the rest of the interwebz can now assume that I am…influential.

It’s that simple.  Danny Brown has recently said that popularity does not equal influence and I’m going to disagree with him. It does. Both online and offline. The difference online is that we can create an artificial platform of popularity and influence. You can game it. Those experienced in social marketing and SEO know this and actually practice it. It’s common.  So what’s the point?

Influential brands can be popular and popular brands can be influential. The key? Time, resources and money. That’s it.