People Trust Social Media Influencers As Much As Their Own Friends

Social media really is the latest form of celebrity and Twitter have looked into how much users actually influence them. Twitter looked at 300 people with analytics firm Annalect. They found that most people follow some sort of creator on social media and some have brought at least one product that they've seen an influencer use.

The results of the survey found that at least 40% of the users questioned had bought a product because of a social media user. This could have been anything from a piece of makeup, a video game or even a book. The survey asked users about influencers spread across Vine, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. The survey also looked at how many of these users shared what these influencers were promoting and that 20% do. In all honesty, it's surprising that more people didn't share these promotions, A lot of them won't just be like ads on TV or the web and will contain content that people are interested in. It's the reason these promotions work so well because not only can users see real people wearing or using the product, they can see it presented in a more fun or dynamic way as well without it looking too fake. It's down to this that 49% of the 300 users actually rely on the social media influencers for recommendations, even if they've yet to actually buy something.

So why work this all out? Twitter has come to realise that people really are turning to their phones more and that's great for them but they needed to see what they're actually influencing. Twitter host ads but they don't always work great, yet these have all of these so-called "handheld names" on their platforms and others telling people to go out and buy this or that. If Twitter could influence the influencers, then there's more potential revenue there for them.

I think what Twitter did forget to look into is the phenomenon of haul posts across social media. In those cases, you don't have to be paid to share someone's product. Twitter's survey reads like it's focused on paid promotion when those are the types of social media post that get the least attention. In haul posts, influencers are just sharing what they went out and brought. This could be almost anything and yes, they may promote stuff they've been sent as well, but the stuff they go out and buy is always going to stand out. With haul videos more users are likely to watch than share but it's how some influencers become prominent. It could be anything from toys to beauty products. I told my best friend about these dolls I knew she'd want as she's a fan of the series they're taken from and she got excited because a Youtuber she watches has them and she'd seen them in a video. She didn't want them because an influencer had them, but it made her excited to see someone she admires with something that she would want anyway. In a way that is what it comes down to. We look upon these names like we do celebrities, but they can be anyone. We mostly trust what they come out with, but not even half of the users they influence would go out and buy something they own. They just like seeing the products and they trust that if these users like them, then they must be good but not always good enough.

This survey was important though as Twitter did need to look at the influence of social media. If they want to advertise well, then they need to know how their users are influenced and how they encourage other users to be influenced too.

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