Earlier this year, Nflu#ntial conducted a digital survey to gain insights specifically into South African consumers’ social media behaviour and sentiment towards influencers and their content. Although American and European data is a good guideline, South Africa and its consumers are unique and have its own needs.
Our findings showed that Facebook remains the most popular social media platform used locally, with Instagram and Twitter coming in at second and third respectively. Although we know that Twitter has grown in South Africa in 2018, we see that Instagram grew at a rapid rate. This correlates with the feedback received in the survey with 78% of respondents citing it as their favourite social media platform.
We also found that users are increasingly looking for authenticity and relatable influencer content. Gone are the days when influencers could promote any and all brands on their timelines and not put much thought into the content and copy. This corresponds with idea that consumers in general are losing confidence in traditional advertising. They want to see content to which they can relate, authentic and not brand-heavy advertising. Influencers are the perfect hybrid. While they post content that their followers can relate to or like engaging with, they are also good at weaving in product messaging that subtly provide advertising for brands.
It works. Further findings showed that through authentic and relatable content 77% of respondents were introduced to new brands, which means awareness was created successfully through influencer marketing.
Even though the above shows that consumers respond favourably to influencer marketing when it’s done right, they have their concerns with regards to it though. The top three concerns cited by respondents were the authenticity of influencers, transparency when they are participating in campaigns and lastly but not least, 40% said they have concerns over influencers having fake followers.
So often we think that only brands have concerns, but in the digital age, consumers aren’t easily hoodwinked. This is yet another reason why strategy is important when brands want to roll out influencer campaigns. Using the incorrect types of influencers with the wrong content can lead to campaigns falling flat.
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