Let’s face it; social media is the new TV. According to eMarketer, it’s estimated that adults will spend an average of 3 hours, 43 minutes daily on mobile devices (not including calls) and 3 hours, 35 minutes daily watching television. So, it’s official. Social media has the attention of the people, which makes it the place to be for brands and businesses. By the year 2022, brands are projected to spend up to $15 billion on influencer marketing. They know the impact that influencers have over consumers and they want in on the action. But why is this? What makes a product more likely to sell by your fav on Instagram versus an ad placed on national TV? One word: Trust.
The Internet can be the Wild Wild West of choices, with an overabundance of people to watch, products to buy, and people to choose to buy them from. It would be easy to write the market off as saturated, but that would be a huge mistake. It turns out that consumers trust influencers more than they trust brands directly, but why? Why is it that consumers trust #bachelornation or a young mom living in the middle of nowhere in Idaho to sell them an eyeshadow palette before trusting a brand advertisement? The trust that exists between consumers and social media influencers could be due to three reasons:
1. Social Media Influencers establish brand awareness and consistency
By “brand awareness” I mean awareness of themselves. An influencer is often their own personal brand, and products they represent are additional. But they’ve made a consistent habit of showing up and building a rapport with their followers, (*ahem, being human*)who in turn grow accustomed to seeing them regularly on their feeds. And just like any kind of in-person relationship that’s built, the more you see someone, the more you grow to know, like and trust them. Long gone are the days of arguing that the Internet isn’t a reliable source to get to know someone, especially in 2020 when this form of connection grew at warp speed. From Zoom birthday parties to conference calls, the world has grown quite comfortable with establishing connections online. Social media influencers have and continue to be WAY ahead of the curve.
2. More personal/intimate communication
3. Social media influencers share commonalities with their audience
Social media influencers have a way of communicating with their followers/audience that’s more engaging. They talk to one…not “everybody.” Think about this; when you’re watching television, do you feel as if you connect with the actors in the commercial? I bet your answer is the same as mine, no. One of the reasons could be the time constraints. Television commercials are 30-60 seconds long and place emphasis on the product, not building rapport. Not to mention, majority of us fast-forward through commercials these days. #Guilty A social media influencer however, can come across as a best friend talking to you about a product that they absolutely love and they can talk to you as long as they want to, there’s no time limit for them. However, they do have to hold your attention in this noisy social landscape. Considering the times we’re living in, consumers are craving true, human connection.
So, what does all this mean? Does this mean you should become an influencer? Well, not along the traditional lines we just talked about, but when it comes to communicating with your existing and potential customers, these are goals you should be aiming to achieve. Showing up for them consistently, communicating on a more intimate level, and establishing commonalities will keep you fresh in their minds and hearts. If you haven’t already, take some time to get to know your target demographic and not just through reading about them. Interact with them on your social media platforms. Ask them questions and respond to their comments. You can even create surveys to learn more about them, but once you gather that information, don’t just read it and tuck it away. Discuss it on your platform. Let them know that you hear what they’re saying and provide solutions wherever possible. If you want to discuss ideas on how to strengthen the trust bond between you and your social media circles, give us a call!