The spreading of a trend or behavior in a social network is a very active area of research. One very important model of trend spreading is the “tipping” model. With tipping, an individual in a network adopts a trend if at least half (or some other proportion) of his or her friends have previously done so. An important problem in viral marketing is to find a “seed set” of individuals in the social network. If all members of a “seed set” in a social network initially adopt a certain trend, then a cascade initiates through the tipping model which results in the entire population adopting that trend. So, if a viral marketer wants to provide free samples of a product to certain individuals, a seed set is likely a good place to start.
Our work, “Large Social Networks can be Targeted for Viral Marketing with Small Seed Sets,” will be presented at the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining (ASONAM) as a full paper this August