According to Olapic and CITE, 4,000 social media users in the US, UK, France, and Germany were surveyed about their attitudes towards social media influencers. The study found that, on average, participants rated an individual as an influencer if they had more than 10,000 followers, worked with brands to help promote and endorse products, shared information about products they used and loved, and people who were experts in their field.
The study also found that of the 4,000 participants, more than half (53 percent to be exact) were likely to follow Instagram influencers. The followers ranged in age from 19 to 24. When asked why they trust influencers, the most common answer is "authenticity." People think influential people are authentic in their product reviews. And customers trust influencers more than brands.
"Personalization" is an important factor in determining trust. People want content from influential people that is relevant to their unique personal interests. This is why influencer marketing is so successful and effective. People only follow influencers to publish content they are interested in or related to, automatically creating a niche. This makes it easier and easier to target brands when they work with influencers. All they have to do is choose the right influencer with the right followers.
In addition, there is research from the global web index that studies consumers who follow celebrity social media influencers online. Men were not only more likely to say they like to seek expert opinion in before making a purchase but also more likely than women to say they can better relate to the opinions of these influencers than product experts.
Men were also more likely to agree that celebrity endorsements or well-known personalities actually influence their purchase decisions as potential customers. But these influencers still need to work hard to be relatable among both genders, particularly as the influencer space gradually becomes more crowded.
In addition, there are unique preferences across different verticals.
Customers are more probably to buy a product or service if it has an endorsement from an influencer or celebrity. What's more, they are also influenced by positive reviews on social media.
Other research from Namogoo backs this up, with close to 8 in 10 American online shoppers saying that reviews help make for a great online shopping experience.
Another aspect more influential than the influencers are offers and promotions shared by others with a proportion of 28%. Shoppers are always keen to get a bargain, and research has indeed found that discounts come top of the list for the types of content that consumers want to see on social media.