Word of Mouth: Social Ties & Opinion Leaders: Market Maven Expertise

Obviously some people have a much larger network of relationships then do others. Tie strength is a measure of how strong of a connection an individual has with other members of their relationship network. Relationships with a closer connection, such as family relationships, are considered strong ties. If information is received from a relationship with a strong tie, that information has more influence on the individual’s choices. The flow of information that takes place between social ties drives the flow of information about new products and services. It is therefore essential to stimulate the word of mouth influence when introducing a new product or service.

Opinion leaders are people who are looked up to by others when it comes to there opinion on a certain topic or product. They are usually influential in their area of expertise, but usually not in other areas. Therefore the opinion leaders influence moves horizontally through a social class, not vertically (from one class to another). An example of an opinion leader in electronics would be a blogger who painstakingly examines and critic’s new electronic products when they reach the market. If the blogger has a favorable opinion of an innovation, the readers are likely to have a similar opinion of the innovation.

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