Remember when you looked to TV and newspaper ads to tell you what to buy? Me neither. That's because now many of us are more likely to make an informed opinion about purchases--and many other new discoveries--based on the views of people we connect with online and through social media. Influence, that is to say, is big.
How big? A new survey by Initiative questioned some 8,000 web users age 16-54 in Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Germany, the Netherlands, U.S., and U.K. to find out how they were influenced in purchase decisions by social media interactions. The results are kind of amazing: A huge 99% of the "top 10%" of influencers reported that their friends quiz them before making a big purchase. This top 10% has a disproportionate influence on the opinions of others--because 72% of them access content in print, online and mobile form more than once a day, compared to just 18% of the bottom 10% of influencers.