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BizReport : Social Marketing : May 17, 2016

Research uncovers the value to brands of influencers on Twitter

It is 'handheld' names, not 'household' names, that are helping to sell products in the 21st century, according to a new joint study from Twitter and analytics firm Annalect, as online influencers prove they have the power to persuade.

by Helen Leggatt

According to the research, social media influencers have almost as much impact on buying decisions as might a friend or family member. While 56% of Twitter users surveyed said they rely on recommendations from friends, 49% said they rely on influencers. Around a third of Millennials say they follow 'handheld' names, or influencers, on social media.

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The survey found that 40% of respondents had purchased a product online after seeing it being used by social media influencer on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter or Vine. Furthermore, 20% have shared something demonstrated by an influencer..

"Since Wheaties started putting athletes' faces on cereal boxes, advertisers have known the power of influencers," writes Twitter researcher Katherine Karp on Twitter's blog. "But with social and mobile media changing the way we interact with each other -- and celebrities and brands -- the modern endorsement has evolved."

Furthermore, the research showed that those who were exposed to brand Tweets had a 2.7x lift in purchase intent over those who did not see an advertiser Tweet. When respondents were exposed to a campaign that featured both brand and influencer Tweets, the lift in purchase intent more than doubled to 5.2x.

Tags: celebrity endorsement, influencer marketing, research, social media

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