Micro influencers affect purchase decisions

i am an influencer

Digital influencers have become a major force in online marketing in recent years. Brands turn to celebrities and other influencers to engage audiences and sway purchase decisions in influencer marketing campaigns. A new study by Fullscreen and Shareablee shows that these influencers have a strong impact on their followers’ behaviour.

The study looks at four levels of digital stars:

  • Celebrities – 20 million followers or more
  • Trailblazers – online stars with 1 million or more followers
  • Emerging voices and rising stars – digital creators with 250k – 999k followers
  • Micro influencers – social media stars with less than 250k followers

Young people are influenced by social media stars

In the study, consumers aged 18-34 were asked whether they had taken any action as a result of seeing social media posts from digital influencers. Not surprising, many of them had and it turned out that celebrities were least effective in swaying consumer behaviour.

Micro influencers and “rising stars” are most effective in getting consumers to try one of their recommendations. As many as 45% of consumers report that they had done that.

“Digital trailblazers” are very effective at getting followers to purchase an item that they talked about in social media. Influencers with less than a million followers are almost as effective, while one in five consumers report that they had made a purchase as a result of a celebrity post.

Instagram creates most engagement for influencers

Among the social platforms that digital influencers use (Snapchat not included), Instagram creates the most engagement. This is especially true for micro influencers who see 86% of total engagement take place on Instagram.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that for example Youtube is not important. For many influencers, Youtube generates millions of views, so it all depends on how you define engagement. Also, I would have liked to see how much blogs affect consumer behaviour. At least in Sweden, many high profile bloggers generate massive sales for brands in campaigns that include a combination of blogs, Instagram and Youtube.

To read the entire report, please click here.

Indian music company now the largest channel on Youtube

For years we have heard that Swedish gamer Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg has the largest channel on Youtube. He still has the highest number of subscribers by far, but there is reason to argue that he has been dethroned by a person you’ve probably never heard of – Gulshan Kumar. Kumar is the founder of an Indian music company called T-Series which also produces and distributes movies. T-Series is now India’s largest music label and movie studio (according to themselves).

T-Series has a Youtube channel that currently is the 4th most subscribed channel. With 27.4 million subscribers, it is still a long way from beating PewDiePie’s 57 million. But then again, a subscriber is what might be characterized as a vanity metric, which means that it’s a number that does not really add value to your business in itself. Sure, without subscribers it is much harder to reach an audience, so they are not at all meaningless, rather it’s a means to an end.

Even more interesting is looking at for example number of views of a channel, because that is actually a source of income for a youtuber. In other words, it is more important to get views than subscribers.

Most viewed channel on Youtube

The T-Series Youtube-channel is the most viewed on the entire network with a total of 25.6 billion video views. The second most viewed channel is WWE, World Wrestling Entertainment, with 17.9 billion views. PewDiePie is third with 16.3 billion views. That should by definition make the Indian company the largest Youtube channel.

If we look at the number of daily or monthly views to each channel, it is even more striking how much more popular T-Series is compared to the other channels. T-Series has about 46 million daily views compared to PewDiePie’s 6 million daily views (last two weeks):

Total views, last 30 days:

T-Series – 1.4 billion

WWE – 570 million

PewDiePie – 182 million

Estimated monthly earnings (estimates by Socialblade):

T-Series – 348K-5.6M USD

WWE –  142K-2.3M USD

PewDiePie – 46K-730K USD

T-Series get almost ten times as many video views per months as PewDiePie. And there are probably two main reasons to the success of T-Series on Youtube, apart from the quality of the content of course.

First of all, the channel publishes a large amount of videos and now has more than 11,000 videos. So they have a lot of content! Here is one example:

The second reason is that Indian audiences prefer to use Youtube for music and Facebook for news, according to a new study.

“Undoubtedly, Youtube is India’s default music player and the most popular source for accessing music content,” Subrat Kar, CEO at Vidooly Media Tech — a Video Intelligence platform, said in a statement.

With a userbase of over 400 million in India, Youtube is the biggest platform for video content, according to Indian Express. Further evidence of Youtube’s popularity in India is that there are at least two more Indian music channels with more than 11 billion channel views: SET India and Zee TV. That places them too near the top of the list.

It is quite possible that Youtube’s charts will be dominated by Indian music companies in a not too distant future.

The effect of the Instagram shadow ban

I recently blogged about the shadow ban that hit many Instagram users, especially after the hack that forced many users to verify their accounts with a code. My account @kullin was hit by the ban, which in short meant that only my followers would see my photos under the hashtags I used. No-one else could see them and I could not reach any new followers.

The ban, which many still hesitate exists, affected my account for a little more than two weeks. I had not engaged in any suspicious activities on that account, so why the ban hit my account is still a mystery. I did not use any bots, nor did I use the follow/unfollow method. The only reason I can suspect is that I used some hashtags too frequently.

Lost many followers
The effect of the shadow ban was that I lost a lot of followers. I gained some, but not to the extent that is “normal” for my account. In this graph you can see exactly the result of the ban during the first two weeks of September (click on image to enlarge). Organic growth completely died when the ban struck and growth has been negative of flat ever since.

Now that my photos are visible again on hashtags, I hope that engagement on my account will go back to normal. If you want to follow, I’m @kullin on Instagram.

 

My most popular Instagram photo, a gift from a spammer

Eye in the sky

Ett inlägg delat av Hans Kullin (@kullin)

Suddenly one day you think you might have cracked the code, that you will finally become an influencer on Instagram. Your photos, for no apparent reasons, are getting twice as many likes as they normally do, and the likes are coming in fast. Some 200 likes within 30 minutes is not something I am used to. And it happened on one image, then on another one the same day, and once again the following day. Three photos now had gotten about 400 likes, at least 150-200 more than they usually do.

Fake likes
But the sudden popularity of my Instagram account had nothing to do with my skills as a photographer. Instead, the likes were a “gift” from a spammer who approached me to sell his or her services (i.e. buy likes or followers). This was the message I received via DM:

instagram_likes

I admit that I was a bit suspicious, the unproportionate number of likes from Russian accounts didn’t make sense. But who knows? Instagram’s algorithm works in mysterious ways. My sudden fame in Russia could have a logical explanation. Unfortunately the explanation was fake likes.

The last few weeks, there has been an increase in spam on Instagram with accounts that sell fake followers commenting on a large number of photos. As influencer marketing continues to grow in importance, there’s also money to be made from inflating follower numbers on social networks. Just don’t fall for it. In order to succeed, you will need a fan base made up of real people.


Footnote: I am @kullin on Instagram. Follow for travel photos, sunsets and architecture.

Sweden beats Nordic rivals in social media Olympics

The Olympic games in Rio 2016 are engaging large audiences in social media. However, some reports suggest that the volume of interactions in social channels are lower than expected. A survey of US viewers shows that fewer people are following the Olympic Games via social networks than had said they expected to.

But many people are commenting and sharing views on Twitter for example. According to statistics from Socialbakers, the US and Brazil are the countries that most people are tweeting about, followed by India.

Most interactions about Sweden
If we look at Twitter conversations about the Nordic countries, Sweden is clearly in the lead before Denmark (Aug 5 – Aug 16). Almost 100,000 tweets about Sweden and 57,000 about Denmark. There are significantly fewer comments about Norway and Finland. The peak for Sweden came after the women’s football team beat USA in the quarter finals on penalties.

rio_socialmedia_1

(click for larger image)

rio_twitter_sweden

More statistics on social media at the Olympics can be found here.

Popular hashtags temporarily suspended on Instagram

One of the most common advices on how to get more likes and followers on Instagram is to use popular hashtags on your photos. By doing that, your photos and videos can be discovered by other people than just the ones that follow you.

Instagram removes recent photos from some popular hashtags
But for quite some time, Instagram has had major problems with spam and inappropriate content. Some of the most commonly used hashtags have been flooded with offensive content that do not follow the community guidelines. That can for example be nudity, threats or hate speech.

Instagram’s response to this problem has been to completely remove the “Most Recent” section from the app/site for that hashtag and only show Top Posts. This is done for a limited period.

Some of the top hashtags that have been affected by this problem recently are:

#fun
#swag
#cute
#sun
#sunrise
#sunset
#clouds

cute_hashtag

sunset_hashtag

sunrise_hashtag

sun_hashtag

clouds_hashtag

These are among the most used hashtags and if you use them in order to increase visibility for your photos, there is a real risk that it will not work. Only top posts will be visible under these hashtags and no new users will see your photos.

My advice is that before you tag a photo on Instagram with a popular hashtag, always check if the tag has been temporarily suspended. If not, then it’s ok. But if it has, choose other tags.

To find relevant tags to use you can for example:

  • Find top 100 hashtags on Websta.me
  • Go to the search tab on Instagram and see trending hashtags
  • Visit a hashtag page on Instagram and find up to five related hashtags on that topic

Note: find me on Instagram at @kullin