Your (online) social network predicts your shopping behavior

Not a very new concept, but it seems that the advertising industry adopts the “Birds of the Feather… buy together” concept now. It’s interesting that very traditional social networking concepts, such as peer pressure, preferential attachment, etc. Studies on who to target to effectively spread rumors in networks have lead the way for effective online marketing – the open question is: how can marketers identify those influential hubs in the network? What if they want to use online social networking services to target specific groups? The number of contacts does not necessarily mean that people are also influential or are perceived as beeing important exchange partners – “harvesting” all potential contacts and randomly “friending” as many people as possible, are not necessarily indicators for successful social influence.


About Ines Mergel

I am Full Professor of Public Administration at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at University of Konstanz, Germany. Previously, I served as Assistant and then Associate Professor (with tenure) at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, NY. In my research, I focus on informal social networks in the public sector and the adoption and diffusion of digital service innovations in government organizations. I teach classes on social media management, digital government, public management, and social network analysis.

One thought on “Your (online) social network predicts your shopping behavior

  1. It is always interesting to see how we re-learn the basic things, what we already knew, when we rethink something through a new lens! Nice post 🙂 Diffusion research seems like it could play a big role here.

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