New York, NY—According to Olapic, social influencers increasingly have greater impact on consumer brand awareness and purchase considerations. In fact, 31% of consumers across the U.S. and Europe said they have purchased a product or service based on a social influencer post.
This finding came from the new Psychology of Following survey, commissioned by Olapic and conducted by CITE Research. The survey polled 4,000 active social media consumers ages 16–61, across the U.S., U.K., France and Germany, to better understand the psychology behind why consumers follow, listen to and trust social media influencers and how they act on those recommendations. “Through our extensive work with brands, we’ve found that influencer content is most resonant and powerful when influencers apply their own expertise, style and creativity—without heavy brand influence,” said Pau Sabria, cofounder of Olapic.
“Brands understand social influencers are essential to helping build brand equity, engagement and sales. Consumers also are more astute when they are marketed to—both directly and indirectly by the brand. Which is why it’s no surprise that this study found that authenticity is the single-most important factor to ‘following’ an influencer.”
The Psychology of Following study uncovered a variety of interesting insights around following behavior, important attributes of an influencer and preferred platforms.
Social Influencer Defined
When asked to define what qualifies as a social influencer:
• 53% of total respondents said it’s someone who has more than 10,000 followers. German respondents had a higher threshold, with 34% of respondents suggesting an influencer has at least 50,000.
• 42% said it is someone who brands engage to help promote their products and services.
• 21% classified these influencers as someone “famous.”
When asked to describe how the behavior of influencers is different from that of average social media users:
• 42% of respondents said influencers share more information.
• 39% said they have higher quality posts.
• 31% said they use more ads in their posts.
Authenticity of Social Influencer Is Key
The study also found that authenticity is the most important factor when it comes to following influencers and trusting their endorsements.
• 43% of respondents said authenticity was the top reason to “trust” an influencer.
• 39% said it was important for the influencer to show any “endorsed” product in use.
• 39% said the expertise of the influencer would make them trust the endorsement.
Preferred Content & Platforms
Images and video content are the most preferred types of influencer content, according to the survey. In addition, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are the most favored platforms for following influencers.
• 33% of respondents said video with sound (as opposed to stories) is their favorite type of content.
• 25% said still images in their feeds were their preferred content. However, 35% of 19–24 year olds listed still images in a feed as their preferred content.
Taking Action Based on Social Influencers
Furthermore, Olapic believes that social influencers are increasingly prompting consumers to consider purchasing a product or service, particularly in the U.S. and U.K.
• 44% of all respondents said they have considered purchasing a product or service based on a social influencer post.
• 31% said they have already purchased a product or service based on an influencer post.
• 24% said they have recommended a product or service based on an influencer post.
Olapic is a visual content solutions provider for user-generated, influencer-generated and brand-generated visual content. Through a combination of technology, content and expertise, the company strives to enable brands to generate, curate, enhance and distribute authentic, brand-relevant visual content across the entire customer journey to drive brand engagement and performance. An official member of Facebook Marketing Partner program, Instagram Partner program and Pinterest Partners, Olapic is headquartered in New York City. It also has offices in Berlin, Córdoba, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Paris and Tokyo. olapic.com