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As the communications landscape continues to evolve, the spheres of influence are shifting to reflect how and where consumers seek content and contemplate consideration. Research is now providing canonical evidence that demonstrates the power of social media influencers across a wide range of categories.
While the influence level varies from category to category, new research from McKinsey, entitled “Getting a Sharper Picture of Social Media’s Influence,” shows the impact is direct and substantive: In 2014, consumers made 10% more purchases based on social media recommendations than in 2013. The 80/20 rule often applies to this new brand of active content and conversation makers, as a small group of top category influencers account for a disproportionate share of recommendations.
With influence comes information, and how technology continues to shape and illuminate behavior analytics – along with a deft understanding of how to leverage both “big” and “petite” data – will continue to fuel our understanding of preferences and purchase drivers. Creating synergies between advertising, innovative PR and social media influencer strategies will be the key to creating breakthrough programming – the type that will positively impact consideration and purchase intent.