/Opinion Leaders

Opinion Leaders

Why Research Opinion Leaders?

Demographics – There is no mass audience today. To reach segmented publics, you must target and influence via third party opinion leaders.

Over-Communication – Because we are bombarded with messages from all sides, traditional one-way communications frequently get lost in the clutter. To “break-through” we must build personal relationships that are two-way (send messages and get feedback).

Bottom-Line Results – Developing personal relationships with constituents is the best way to build the trust and influence which can directly affect your company’s bottom line.

Types of Opinion Leaders

Role Models – People already engaging in the desired behavior

Opinion Leaders – People who have no vested interest in your project’s outcome, but whose expertise is relied upon extensively. These include salespeople, connectors, and mavens.

Power Leaders – People who are rarely opinion leaders, yet hold positions of authority in the community, i.e. elected officials

Cheerleaders – People in the community who are not seen as experts but whose enthusiasm can be influential

Celebrities – People who can attract attention just by their social position

Bandits – People who are not seen as experts but whose constant negative attitude can be detrimental

Characteristics of Opinion Leaders

  • Are interested in your topic
  • Have a following of people whom they can influence
  • Are positivists – beware of negativists
  • Are activists – doing something
  • Are involved – they may not be the people you expect
  • Have credibility – a combination of trust and expertise

Tiers of Opinion Leaders

  • Decision Makers
  • Direct Influence
  • Indirect Influence

Those who are not Opinion Leaders

Media Mongers – Those who are in the spot light or in the media all the time. Visibility is not what makes you an Opinion Leader.

Gossips – Those who pass on a lot of information but may not be trusted or credible.