Recently we have been asked by a number of clients to explain the concept of digital influence. How are people influenced through digital communications media to purchase, believe, or become involved in something? We always say it’s a combination of blogs, search engines, online (and offline) media, and yes, even advertising. But it all sounds too complicated. What about boiling it down to a simpler concept? Digital influence in two letters … FW.
Forwarded emails are a good analogy for digital influence. At work, when I see those two letters in the subject line, I am likely to assume that the email comes from a trusted source, and that it has been filtered by the sender for relevance. From the point of view of the sender, it requires low involvement. If I find an email that communicates a position or has information that is valuable, forwarding it to a friend or colleague is often the best way to share that knowledge. In my work inbox, I am likely to trust and be influenced by emails that have FW in the subject line. And most importantly, I tend to read them more often.