Social influencers are increasingly prompting consumers to consider purchasing a product or service, particularly in the U.S. and U.K according to the research from Olapic .
- 44 percent of all respondents said they have considered purchasing a product or service based on a social influencer post;
- 31 percent said they have already purchased a product or service based on an influencer post; and
- 24 percent said they have recommended a product or service based on an influencer post.
Why Are Social Media Influencers So Influential
Social Identity Psychology
Despite the huge popularity and online following, influencers are still considered to be the most normal, down-to-earth people. They publish their daily lives, stay in touch with their followers, and are able to interact directly with them. In addition, they often share the same age groups, demographics, interests and behaviors of the target audience. The opinions of the same group are more valuable to people than those of different groups. What's more, most influential people belong to younger millennials. They are a group that takes self-identity very seriously, which is the most important part of growing up. In order to do this, teenagers often model their behavior on role models. With a role model that is easy to understand and identify with, teens are more likely to imitate their behavior.
Authenticity is key and arguably the most important criterion that has to be met in an influencer campaign. Across the globe, “authenticity” is the main reason those customers choose to trust influencers online.
- 43 percent of respondents said authenticity was the top reason to “trust” an influencer;
- 39 percent said it was important for the influencer to show any “endorsed” product in use; and
- 39 percent said the expertise of the influencer would make them trust the endorsement.
Influencers often show the whole process of using products and express their own opinion and feeling about the products through the videos. These can make followers feel authentic and then social media influencers have a direct or potential influence on customers.
As humans are susceptible to the attraction bias, customers subconsciously associate attractive or charismatic people with many other qualities simply because they are good-looking. In addition, it also leads to a positive connection between people and brands. These views affect the subconscious of the audience, potentially motivating them in the face of product-related decisions.
Credibility And Social Proof
The degree of influence a person possesses depends on his degree of perceived power. According to French and Raven’s (1960) framework of power bases, one of the key elements to perceived power lies in expertise. A blogger that focuses on one particular subject, such as cooking, will be perceived to have more authority when it comes to a particular brand of food.
This authoritative position is further strengthened by a game of sheer numbers: a large number of followers, shares, and likes will provide viewers with a form of social proof. The notion that others value the opinion of an influencer, and adhere to their judgments, assures viewers that doing so is okay. If the majority is doing something, they must be right.