Ten years ago consumers never would have thought to open an App, scroll through a feed, see an intriguing product, and be convinced to buy it. They might have seen a TV commercial or magazine ad but never an Instagram post from a “social media influencer” promoting a product. Last year alone there were 12.9 billion Instagram brand sponsored Influencer posts. Using social media outlets like Instagram to promote products is a new form of subconscious marketing that connects the hard to reach consumer with brands.
It is no secret technology has changed the game for marketing but what is shaking up the industry is how ordinary people are using technology and gaining power over consumers. Marketers have found it difficult to connect brands across all industries to the new generation of consumers. However, a group of individuals have found a way to reach them. That group is referred to as social media influencers. These individuals have found a way to make connections with consumers through trust, expertise, attractiveness and similarity. They are ordinary people who have taken their own passions and created a niche in industries to promote what they love. What makes them different than celebrity endorsers is that they make connections with their audience and actively engage with them on a day to day base. By creating an authentic, peer-to-peer relationship with their audience, these Influencers have the power to subconsciously convince consumers to buy certain products. In a recent study on this particular subject, 70% of the millennial generation was found to have been influenced by their peers into buying products. It is crazy to think we put this much trust in strangers but then again the social media influencers are ordinary consumers like you and me so that is where it all comes together.
Why we put so much trust in these people has to do with how they present themselves to us. It comes down to quality over quantity as a tiny screen connects us to them. If their posts are transparent and authentic we are more likely to put more trust in them. The younger generation places strong emphasis on finding your own identity which translates back to real, sometimes vulnerable posts. With these factors in mind, when we see these posts our cognitive behavior kicks in and our willingness to trust increases. Once the trust is built and established, it becomes much easier to get consumers to buy the products they are promoting.
Expertise plays a huge role in this as well. When a social media Influencer has a large following in a certain niche of the industry, we are more likely to trust they have experience and knowledge. That too builds trust between us, the consumer, and them.
40% of the world uses social media and looks to it to make purchase decisions. With the millennial generation consuming a majority of the wine produced, now more the ever is social media an important marketing outlet for the wine and spirits industry. Growing brands need to get online and use the tools that the new generation is proficient in. Social media Influencers have the trust of the consumers and have proven the influence they have on our generation.