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 social media 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.

Burger King and Jeep turn Twitter hacking into PR opportunity

Earlier this week, the official Twitter account for Burger King was hacked and turned into a McDonald’s feed. Now, the same thing has happened to @Jeep. The Jeep logo was replaced with a Cadillac logo and the hackers tweeted things like “We got sold to @Cadillac because we caught our employees doing these in the bathroom” with an image of a bottle of prescription-only pills. Jeep soon got control of the account and deleted the tweets tweeted by the hacker.

For a brand, crises like these are of course serious, but handled correctly they can also become an opportunity. Often an account that is involved in a similar incident gains a lot of followers, thanks to the increased attention.

This time, both Burger King and Jeep turn the hacks into a PR opportunity by posting some clever tweets. Burger King seized the opportunity to send their wishes to a brand that was the victim of the same type of crisis, which showed a human side of the brand.

burger king hacked twitter tweet

Jeep cleverly responded with this tongue in cheek tweet.

jeep twitter hacked tweet

As you see, both tweets got loads of retweets and were marked as favourite by many followers. Also, note the dots before the Twitter handle, enabling all their followers to see the tweets, not only the ones that follow both accounts.

I’m lovin it 😉

5 years on Twitter – infographic

Apparently I joined Twitter five years ago today, on Nov 14, 2007. It’s been a fascinating development and back then I couldn’t envision how important Twitter would grow and how many followers I could gain in these years. In fact, 8 months earlier, in March 2007, I mentioned Twitter for the first time on this blog and my first impressions were all but positive. Here is my first comment about Twitter:

“I’m clearly totally out of fashion when I say that I have no desire to try out the new mega hype Twitter.”

At least, I have no problem admitting I was wrong. Today, Twitter is one of my most important news sources and tools for building relationships online. That said, here is a short infographic of my first five years on Twitter, courtesy of Visual.ly and Amstel Beer (!). Click on the image for a larger version.


Footnote: The detailed data for the infographic probably is only for the last 12 monts, so there is a possibility that other tweets and dates have generated more engagement. I am @kullin on Twitter, by the way.

Infographic: Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney on Twitter

The 2012 U.S. presidential election is a tight race with both candidates getting about the same amount of votes in recent election polls. During the election race, social media has played a very important role. Here is a quick infographic outlining the Twitter battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Obama has ten times as many followers but Romney has more mentions per tweet.

Click on the image for a larger version or here for a pdf.

infographic Obama vs Romney Twitter

The most retweeted tweet of all time

Yesterday, the NFL reached an agreement with the NFL Referees Association to end an ongoing lockout. Before that agreement was reached, temporary referees were used during the start of the season. But some calls by replacement referees were criticized. After one such questionable decision, Green Bay Packers lost a game on Monday evening, which lead Packers’ guard T.J. Lang to tweet this message.

most retweeted tweet NFL

This tweet has now become one of the most retweeted tweets of all time, currently at close to 100,000 retweets. One older tweet that had thousands of retweets, is the same-sex marriage tweet by Barack Obama that has been retweeted more than 61,000 times. (Update: I forgot about Justin Bieber. Never forget Bieber. As you see below, one of his tweets has 120k RTs).

Twitter BarackObama tweet

However, the tweet that is still the most retweeted is this one by Justin Bieber with 120,000 retweets (found via Buzzfeed):


The problem with Twitter handles of sports stars

I just read an article (in Swedish) today about the top EURO 2012 football players in social media. It reveals that Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo is the footballer with most followers on Twitter and Facebook, in total 56 million followers (10.3 on Twitter and 45.9 on Facebook). Add to that the he also has 6.6 million followers on the Chinese equivalent to Twitter, Tencent Weibo.

The article doesn’t link to the official accounts of the sports stars, which is why I decided to write this blog post. You see, the correct accounts are sometimes very hard to find, especially on Twitter and certainly when media like Dagens Media misspell their names.

cristiano ronaldo

I see three main reasons for this.

The first is that many celebrities have had their real names “brandjacked” by people pretending to be them, forcing them to make up Twitter handles that are, well, “creative”. For example, Manchester United defender (not in the EURO 2012 for controversial reasons) Rio Ferdinand’s Twitter handle is @rioferdy5 instead of the anticipated @rioferdinand (which is not active). Ferdinand would have no trouble taking over the handle with his real name if he wanted to. I have done that myself for several well known brands.

The second reason it is hard to find the official accounts is that neither Twitter nor Facebook have especially good search engines of their own. Sometimes you may get the best result, but not always. A third reason is that Twitter is not doing much to remove fake accounts that pose as official. A search on Twitter for “Rio Ferdinand” displays a number of fake “official” accounts. The one with the handle “RIOFERDY5” is actually not the same as “rioferdy5” since the “I” is in fact the letter “L”.

rio ferdinand twitter

The inability to be sure that an account is an official account causes a lot of unnecessary confusion, especially for the celebrities when media sometimes quote fake tweets. Italian Serie A club AC Milan tweeted that a fake account was in fact the official one by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, one of its star players. There is still a lot of confusion around if he even has an account, a PR agency once confirmed that they run one account on behalf of him or his team, but Ibrahimovic himself seems oblivious to the fact that he is on Twitter.

Ferdinand’s team mate Wayne Rooney used to be know as @Wazzaroon08 on Twitter, but is now @WayneRooney.

Another uncertain account is that of Leo Messi, the world’s top footballer. Certainly a player like him, who has 36 million Facebook fans, would have more than some 90,000 followers on Twitter? But his own club, FC Barcelona, is following one account (@messi_barcelona) that should be the official one, one would assume. It has only 93,000 followers and if you click on the link in the bio, you get a warning message from bit.ly, saying this link is potentially not safe to click (I haven’t clicked, so I don’t know if it is safe). The account has only tweets automatically published via Twitterfeed, so by the looks of it, this is not the real deal.

bitly warning

Then again, is the @FCB account really an official account for the club? Seems so, because @andresiniesta8 is following it.

This confusion is not good for anyone, so Twitter should take more responsibility for removing fake accounts and maybe we as users can be more active in reporting them. Then again, the option we have is to report accounts for spamming, and that’s not really what this is about, so they label on that button may deter many from reporting these accounts. Celebrities and brands on the other hand, should be more active in trying to get their accounts labelled “verified”, which I still see as the best proof that an account belongs to an official source.