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What Is An Influencer?

Beware of the ‘Influencer’, they might end up influencing you.

"The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom." ~ Isaac Asimov

Have you ever been influenced by a sub-standard colleague? Are elite business professionals and athletes influenced by opinion without validated data?

I assume that most of you will have answered ‘no’ to both questions.

Recent statistics have demonstrated that 82% of PR and marketing professionals are using influencers in one way or another, with 38% using social media influencers and 21% using bloggers. However, in a survey conducted by Vocus and Brian Solis, 62% of respondents reported that they follow an influencer because of the content they create, rather than the validity or accuracy of the data.

Only 51% of respondents acknowledged that they follow an influencer because they consider them to be a thought leader, yet over 40% of respondents follow influencers because of a personal connection. This means that it is now easier than ever to ‘herd’ opinion.

Such research strengthens the feedback from an Oxford University commissioned report last year that outlined that manipulation of public opinion through social media is becoming more of a critical threat to public life.

Interestingly, the majority of campaign growth comes from political parties who spread disinformation and junk news around election periods. More political parties are learning from the strategies deployed during Brexit and the US 2016 Presidential election, hence the use of bots, junk news, and disinformation to polarise and manipulate voters.

This is echoed in another famous Asimov quote:

"The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’. "

I fully support freedom of speech but not with the abscondence of fact.

So next time you need to make a key decision use FACT. If you don’t have FACTS, use your experience. If you don’t have EXPERIENCE…

SHUT UP and LISTEN.

The last decisive spectrum in judgement should be opinion. So, beware of false ‘Influencers’, they might start to Influence you.

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