Michael Darragh: There is a greater appreciation that quantity does not always guarantee quality. There is a move away from measuring influence according the number of 'likes' and followers, to a better understanding about a campaign's effectiveness. It is no longer just individuals who are shaping public opinion online, but groups of people with a shared interest.
Marshall Manson: The relative importance of platforms is always rising and falling. For example, Facebook is still growing in importance, and new forms of influence are starting to appear within its communities. LinkedIn is rising in importance for topics related to b2b and professional services. Twitter's move to launch its own, more robust analytic package will undoubtedly change the landscape again.
Rob Blackie: It is becoming easier to understand how digital comms influence sales and brand loyalty. For instance, it is now easy to link an individual's actions online, such as clicking on a website link, to a company's customer relationship management database.
Tesco could place a story online about its free range eggs that directs people to its website. Using previous visits to its site, Tesco's knowledge of which customers click on the story would give it valuable intelligence about with which demographic a story resonates best.
Question 1: How do you define influence?