A recent survey conducted by affilinet has shed light on how much Britons feel influenced by accounts on social media, with 10% of Britons agreeing that they are influenced by social media every single day. Further to this, the survey revealed that, while both genders are most likely to follow money saving accounts over all others, holiday/travel and political accounts come in second and third place for men; while women were shown to be more likely to connect with pet/animal and food/beverage related accounts.
New research has uncovered more about the impact of social media, showing just how influenced Britons are by the up-and-coming stars of the digital age. The survey also cast light over what kind of accounts people are most likely to follow and how the sponsorship of posts, whereby brands pay social media influencers to post promotional messages advocating their brand or products, would affect the trust followers have in the account.
affilinet, commissioned research into the social influencer phenomenon, to investigate what makes an account or person ‘influential’ and how people interact with these accounts. Over 2,000 Britons were polled as part of the research, all of whom were aged 18 or over.
Initially, all respondents were asked how often they were influenced by social media accounts, to which more than a third (36%) stated that they were influenced in this way at least once a month. 10% confessed that they were influenced ‘daily’ and a further 16% said ‘weekly’. Of those that said they were influenced ‘daily’ or ‘weekly’, the majority were from London (23%).
All respondents were then asked “Are you aware that bloggers and people with lots of followers on social media often get paid to promote products for brands?” The majority (63%) stated that they were aware of this, although 48% of those taking part in the poll confirmed that knowing a post was sponsored would make no difference to their trust in it.
The survey also discovered that more than a quarter of people (27%) follow people on social media that they don’t know in real life; with the majority of these follows taking place on Facebook (75%), Twitter (55%) and Instagram (25%).
All respondents were then asked what kind of accounts they were most likely to follow, from a list of categories that was provided. The answers were divided according to gender, revealing the following:
Men’s Top Five:
- Money saving – 32%
- Holiday / travel – 25%
- Politics – 21%
- Food / beverage – 21%
- Health / wellbeing – 16%
Women’s Top Five:
- Money saving – 33%
- Pets / animals – 28%
- Food / beverage – 27%
- Health / wellbeing – 27%
- Holiday / travel – 24%
In order to understand what makes an account influential in the eyes of Britons, the survey then asked “What makes you consider a person or online account to be ‘influential’?” to which 36% stated that they would have to be ‘an expert on a subject’, 29% would have to ‘trust their opinion’ and 17% would need to ‘relate to their circumstances’. Furthermore, 11% said an influencer had to be ‘famous’ and just 9% said that they would expect an influencer to have ‘lots of followers’.
UK Managing Director at affilinet, Helen Southgate, commented:
“The way that we seek advice, ask questions, connect with our friends, look for reviews and get inspiration is changing all the time. Recently we have seen the rise of social media influencers, similar to bloggers, but without the blogs, we can’t get enough of their Instagram accounts or Pinterest boards, their tweets and moving Facebook posts. From DIY designs and recipe ideas through to fashion inspiration and fitness techniques, these accounts are becoming our new addictions.”
“Social media influencers are the next big thing when it comes to marketing. Already, we are seeing far more sponsored and promotional posts and, while there has been some backlash in certain instances, providing the sponsoring brands are relevant to the audience and authentic to the account, they are generally very well-received by the followers. It’s important that brands respect the accounts and followers, to maintain the level of trust that makes social media accounts so influential. We, for one, are really excited to see more brands working with influencers.”
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