Social Influencers Survey: Consumers Most Likely to Trust Reviews, Demonstrations

Social influencers have had a big impact on the world of online marketing in recent years. Instead of businesses just paying for advertisements, they’ve been able to leverage the reach and power of people who have already grown dedicated online followings of online consumers in various markets. Those marketing materials can take the form of YouTube videos, blog product reviews or even social media posts. There are even entire networks forming, such as FameBit and HelloSociety, with the sole purpose of connecting influencers and brands. In fact, influencer network The Shelf recently created an infographic showing exactly how much of an impact influencer marketing can have. So how many people recognize the impact of social influencers? And how many are likely to actually make purchases based on input from those influencers?

social influencers

Social Platforms

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 45% of respondents said that they currently use multiple different social media platforms. And another 31% use one. Facebook was the most popular, with 92% of social media users saying they currently have an account. 57% said they use YouTube. 48% use Twitter. 39% use Pinterest. 33% use Instagram. 23% use LinkedIn. And 5% use other social networks such as Snapchat and Tumblr.

On all of those different social media platforms, there are different types of people and accounts with whom users can follow and connect. 89% said that they follow family members and friends on social media. 40% follow brands. 32% follow news sites. 31% follow celebrities. 26% follow bloggers. And 6% follow other types of accounts such as YouTubers and politicians.

Social Influencers

In general, 15% of social media users said that they’ve made many purchases based on things they saw on social media. And 34% said they’ve made at least one purchase based on something they saw on social media. 73% of those respondents who have made purchases said that they did so because of posts from their family or friends. 51% have purchased because of posts from brands. 33% have purchased because of bloggers. 21% have made purchases because of posts from celebrities. And 18% have made purchases because of news sites.

Buying Decisions

There are many different types of influencers. But the general idea is to provide some social proof to consumers that a particular product or service is worth the investment based on the trust they’ve formed with an influencer. 62% of respondents said that they are more likely to make purchases if someone they know recommends the item in question. 18% said they are more likely to purchase something if a celebrity endorses it. 76% are more likely to purchase an item if they can see it in use. And 73% are more likely to purchase a product if it has positive reviews online.

In addition, 30% of respondents said that they are likely to trust that people are being truthful and impartial when they see someone endorse a product online. And just 16% said they are likely to trust that an influencer is impartial if they are being paid by a brand to post a review online.

Key Takeaways

Although there are some trust issues for consumers, the idea of social proof does seem to resonate with a lot of online consumers. In fact, almost half of social media users have already made purchases based on things they’ve seen on those platforms. However, it seems that some brands would be wise to focus on smaller-scale influencer marketing. For instance, rather than investing in a post from one high-profile celebrity, it could be more effective to invest in posts from a few smaller bloggers or even regular social media users with decent-sized followings. In addition, rather than just simply endorsing a product, it seems that consumers are more likely to appreciate more specific reviews or even product demonstrations so they can actually get a better idea of how the product works.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Social Media by magicatwork under CC BY 2.0

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on June 20 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anne Pilon
Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.