Twitter says influencers are almost as trusted as friends

Dive Brief:

  • Twitter and data analytics provider Annalect conducted research on more than 800 Twitter users to learn more about the impact of influencers. Their research discovered that 49% of users reported relying on influencers for product recommendations, compared to 56% who reported relying on friends.
  • Moreover, exposure to branded tweets led to 2.7 times increase in purchase intent over not seeing branded tweets, but adding influencer tweets to branded tweets led to a 5.2 times increase in purchase intent.
  • Forty percent of respondents reported following brands on Twitter.

Dive Insight:

Friends and family recommendations tend to always score the highest on trust, but Twitter’s research results indicate that at least on its platform, influencers hold a fair amount of sway.

"People are looking at their phones, they're reading what influencers say and then they're telling their friends," Jeffrey Graham, Twitter vp of market research and insights, told Adweek.

The research didn’t break out different kinds of influencer, but separate research from March by the Keller Fay Group and Experticity found that micro-influencers in particular were highly trusted. A majority (82%) of that survey’s respondents reported they were highly likely to follow a micro-influencers’ recommendation. Micro-influencers were defined as neither celebrities, nor social media stars, but instead as people within different product categories who are knowledgeable, passionate and authentic, and because of this are seen as trusted sources for purchase recommendations.

In February eMarketer reported that influencer marketing has become a popular tactic with 67% of eMarketer research respondents reporting using influencers for content promotion and 59% reporting using influencer marketing tactics for product launches and content creation.

Despite any lingering doubts about how effective influencers might be for their marketing strategies, it's clear that brands that turn to influencers stand to benefit from their appeal to consumers. Though metrics issues do still remain, Twitter's findings make it hard for marketers to ignore this emerging tactic.

Filed Under: Social Media Trends
Top image credit: Applause