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Everyday social media users may now be more influential than celebrities: study

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‘Everyday’ social media users may now be more influential than celebrities, new research suggests. 

Most (56%) adults now prefer to follow everyday social media users rather than celebrities, according to user-generated content platform Bazaarvoice, which questioned more than 9,000 adults in six markets including the UK, US and Germany. Those who are experts in a subject, whether that’s beauty, fashion, cookery, DIY or stay-at-home mums, are most trusted to share authentic or genuine content (39%). More than a third of UK consumers mostly follow celebrity influencers  (36%). 

Most respondents said that they would like to see stricter rules for influencers on how they communicate on social media platforms. Some 80% (85% in the UK) say they want to see stricter rules for influencers about the editing or filters they have used on the content, such as images, they publish. It’s reported that in Norway, for example, influencers and content creators must now declare the changes they make to photographs. Meanwhile, the Bazaarvoice study finds, one in five want to see influencers who break the rules banned from monetising their social media presence. 

That said, posts by influencers that are not sponsored are trusted by 83% of consumers questioned in the study – and only 16% of UK respondents said they trusted sponsored posts on social media. Two-thirds (68%) say they turn to user-generated content (UGC) for new tips and ideas for products they have used before. 

Ed Hill, SVP EMEA at Bazaarvoice, says, “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. 

“That isn’t to say sponsored content has no place in the marketing landscape, but brands should be considered and targeted in their approach. 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.”

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