It turns out 'normal people' are favoured over celebrities on social media. When asked who they would rather follow, more than half (56%) of consumers stated 'normal people', followed by celebrities (34%), subject matter experts (29%) and social media stars (25%).
Subject matter experts (39%) and everyday people such as friends or family (38%) are the most trusted sources for authentic and genuine content—far ahead of celebrities (14%) and social media stars (9%).
And 86% of consumers seek out authentic user-generated content before deciding to buy a product they’ve not personally tried before.
The findings are drawn from the results of a poll by Savanta of 9,000 people across the UK, US, Canada, Germany, France and Australia, which was conducted for product review and USG provider Bazaarvoice last month.
When asked if they trust influencer content more now that advertising rules have been implemented across social media platforms, only 36% said yes, while 25% said no, and 39% said their trust levels have not changed.
The study also revealed that 80% of consumers think influencers should be made to disclose whether photoshop or filters have been used on their posts.
Commenting on the findings, Ed Hill, senior vice president, EMEA, Bazaarvoice said: “Consumers are now looking to the everyday influencer for genuine content they can trust, and actively seeking out user-generated content to validate their purchasing decisions. In turn, by integrating UGC into all touchpoints, brands can use unofficial ambassadors that have genuine connections with their followers and audiences.”
He added: “We have moved into an era beyond traditional micro and macro influencers. The influencer’s expertise and quality and genuine nature of the content are priority factors for consumers, and should be key considerations for brand marketers when developing future campaigns.”