“Let’s be honest here. Twitter, for me, is 90 percent a marketing tool.” So said Ricky Gervais, English comedian, musician and writer. In support of his remarks, a study by Twitter and @Annalect, a marketing strategy firm, revealed that almost 40% of users made purchases as a direct result of a tweet “from an influencer.” That’s a high level of trust that marketers should relish and appreciate.
That same survey also looked at demographics and found that people between the ages of 13 and 24 placed social presence and follower count much higher than older generations. In fact, the younger audience placed twice as much value on those two areas. The survey also reported that older generations, like the boomers, tend to lean more to celebrities they grew up with. Millennials and Gen Zers, on the other hand, gravitated more towards social media sensations. Teens especially differed from boomers. According to Google, 70% of teen YouTube subscribers related more to creators of YouTube than they do with celebrities.
The difference has not as much to do with celebrities as with the venues on which they were discovered. Gen Zers found their celebrities online, while earlier generations knew them from TV, radio and in the movies.
In fact, Google reported that 60% of YouTube subscribers would heed purchasing recommendations from YouTube creators over those of celebrities.
Positive reviews have always mattered. The difference is that there are so many platforms today.
To millennials, online reviews count as much as those from family and friends, according to 91% of those surveyed by SEO marketing platform BrightLocal. The same survey also reported that 95% of respondents between 18 and 34 years of age read online reviews of local merchants. In general, the survey said the average consumer reads ten reviews before they feel confident enough to trust a local vendor.
Another study, conducted by custom lapel pin company Vivipins, validated the power of peer pressure. Their study reported that 81% of respondents said friends and family on social media influence their purchasing decisions.
BrightLocal added more incentive for marketers to pursue good reviews by reporting that half its respondents said they acted after seeing positive reviews. When the statistics were broken out, it showed that this confidence factor ranked highest among older demographics and decreased as the audiences got younger.
Just as important as it is to identify and partner with the right influencers, so too is the need to be aware that situations can change quickly. As a result, marketers must not only be constantly on the alert to their influencers’ impact, but also on the lookout for rising stars.
Snapchat has grown in popularity, particularly among younger audiences. With 210 million users over the past five years, marketers are finding Snapchat a valuable tool in utilizing influencers to reach teens.
Marketers who can identify and leverage the best influencers, encourage positive comments and utilize the most fitting platforms for their brand will see continued success.
When it comes to the potential power of influencer marketing, Jay Baer, marketing expert and New York Times bestselling author said it best, “Social media allows big companies to act small again.”