The place of opinion leaders in the individual infosphere in modern society

    In the modern world, each person is surrounded by a huge individual Infosphere . And time does not allow to understand everything - it is physically not enough. Especially in our dressed up century.

    Therefore, when people are going to make a purchase, even if insignificant (starting with beer), they often listen to the advice of others - opinion leaders.

    The leader of opinions is a relatively new phenomenon. In an era of lack of market relations, the opinion leader was concerned not so much with commodity life (with subsistence farming, a person knew almost everything about what he consumes), but rather with “household wisdom”, the source of which was the elders. This is the first version of opinion leaders.
    Then, with the development of market relations (goods that were not created by the consumer himself appeared), communication infrastructure (the world around expanded from a village / city first to a country, then to a huge globe), the international division of labor (widespread distribution of goods created in other countries ), the role of opinion leaders increased - a person began to be surrounded by much more phenomena and goods, which physicists do not have enough time to study independently.

    Who becomes an opinion leader? This person should have a combination of 2 traits that the consumer attributes to him:
    • Qualification (his knowledge in this field, an indicator that he is "versed")
    • Character (on the one hand, this guru should want and be able to give advice, on the other, he must inspire confidence - to be independent in the eyes and, if necessary, to cover the lack of the first line of opinion leader)

    Please note that both of these traits are attributed by the consumer himself , based on his experience in a particular field. The consumer himself is more qualified in this field, the easier it is for him to choose a more objective and qualified opinion leader. If the consumer does not have knowledge, then he can easily make his leader the opinions of a biased or incompetent person.

    In fact, on the part of the opinion leader, one can consider a person on a scale from complete incompetence to a guru. The closer to the top line, the fewer people can become consumers of opinion leaders, and the less interested they are.

    Also, any person has his own scale regarding different sources, as opinion leaders. They may include:
    • Friend
    • Seller
    • A friend who works in this field (including leaving articles / comments on thematic sites)
    • Reviews
    • Media Articles
    • Advertising
    • other

    Depending on his experience, the person himself ranks the sources in the degree of trust in them . It is also worth noting that various sources within these categories can also be ranked, and the “trust list” can ultimately be mixed (in the first place is Vasily's friend, in the second forum of site X, in the third is Peter).

    It is worth noting that, depending on the consumer himself, it may be enough for him to find 1 opinion leader, or it will take several. Much less often, when a person who is not qualified in the field of goods who is going to buy makes a purchase without opinion leaders (the more expensive the goods are for the consumer, the less often this happens).

    There is still a ranking according to the degree of need to study the material: if a friend from the forum can indicate “take it,” then the articles need to be studied longer (but this gives more credibility, because it increases the level of consumer knowledge, explains to him, proving his point of view). This factor is also worth considering - depending on the nature of the consumer, he will or will not spend time studying the materials of his opinion leaders.

    Let us examine in more detail the process of consumer choice of an opinion leader using the term " filtering human experience ". For example, take a printer purchase.
    Consider the consumer: he knows the difference between inkjet and laser and wants the latter, this is where his knowledge ends. His sources of trust are ranked as follows: authorities on specialized sites, articles in magazines, reviews on store sites. He also has in his filtering experience an intuitive recognition of the qualifications and honesty of a potential opinion leader (let's say so - at an average level, if you make a little effort, you can deceive him).
    The consumer is aware that he needs to buy a printer. He himself will not cope with the choice, he needs a leader of opinions whom he can entrust (partially delegate responsibility for the purchase - in case of failure, the leader of opinions lose confidence).
    In accordance with his preferences in trust, he selects primarily a search on specialized sites. There, thanks to his filtering experience, he finds articles / statements of those site visitors for whom he intuitively feels the qualifications and the necessary character set. For example, if he sees an author who says that inkjet printers are more economical, which contradicts his personal knowledge obtained from a reliable source, then he dismisses this opinion leader as incompetent. If he sees the post of a person who has revealed the pros and cons of inkjet and laser models so that this corresponds to the knowledge of the consumer, then he will already treat him as qualified. If in addition to this, he inspires confidence in the character (for example, does not engage in conspicuous advertising of any brand, and in general,

    In total, in order to become a leader of opinions for a particular consumer, it is necessary to create an impression of qualification, without contradicting the filtering experience of a person , and arouse personal trust .
    Thus, it is clear that at present the leader of opinions is a subject or object that has trust in the eyes of the consumer . That is why this tool for organizations will become one of the most important in marketing - the modern consumer requires a customized approach and does not want to spend time and money on an independent search for goods that are trustworthy. And the Internet in this matter provides tremendous scope for activity.

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