The definition of Influence I found in my online dictionary is: Power to sway or affect based on prestige, wealth, ability, or position. When we talk about the influence over online networks, wealth, ability and position seem not so important. What matters the most is your prestige, in other words, your power of attracting people and affecting their behaviors and thoughts through the online networks matter.
Influence is generated within networks. Influence doesn’t happen if you shut the world out of your room. Influence doesn’t happen if an organization isolates its self in the industry. The influence of individuals or organizations increase when their networks expand. This is the underlying motivation for business, government and non-profits to build up and extend their networks, aiming to enhance their influence.
Business always watches out for profit, making it the efficient sector that utilizes online networks to influence its customers and try to convert a transaction. Despite some governmental functions are willing to influence their audience via online networks, they are very cautions in how to play it and look good at the same time. I think their specific model of game playing is still under development. Online networks just offer nonprofits another easy, natural and cost-effective way to publically recognize their donors and volunteers. Nonprofits are influencing their audience with glory and appeal over online networks.
The ways how business, government and nonprofits influence their target vary. Hence the core factors that define their influence in online networks are different. However, one key factor to evaluate the success of online influence is how many followers you have got. Technology and tools now enable us to track the degree of the engagement between influencer and target. So besides the numbers in the surface, influencers should pay more attention to the percentage of audience that lastingly engage with them. I believe this is the pure influence of any public and private sector.