Social media influencers? Bah, we trust pals the most

Watchdog snaps over vlogger abuseWhen it comes to working out what motivates UK consumers to refer brands to friends and family, you can forget celebrity endorsements and so-called social media influencers, their friends’ opinions are the ultimate deal clincher, beating even partners and spouses, with parents way down the pecking order.
That is according to a new study by Mention Me, which shows people would trust a friend (50%) more than a partner or spouse (46%); a recommendation from their parents (23%) is only marginally better than an online review from the public (21%).
Key findings that highlight increasing disillusionment with influencer marketing and social media include the fact that only 3% of those questioned would trust a celebrity recommendation and only 5% a blogger or YouTube influencer. Only politicians (on 2%) fared worse.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given that everyone loves a bargain, getting the right deal is still very important for UK shoppers with 53% of those questioned selecting a percentage or money off future orders as the most attractive offer. This compares to only 11% choosing free delivery, 10% choosing a free gift and a sobering 1.9% a charitable donation.
We are also a selfish nation when it comes to referral, with 59% of those questioned choosing money off for themselves for making a referral compared to only 16% choosing money off for their friend or family on purchase.
Overall with both sexes the most referable sectors for referral relate to experiences: food & drink (65%), holiday & travel (57%), leisure/entertainment (42%). Technology (48%) and financial services (43%) also rate highly.
There are, however, some marked differences, with 40% of women very likely to refer fashion and beauty, compared to only 9% of men, and one fifth of the men interviewed were very likely to refer a tech brand compared to only one tenth of women.
The top five brands that those questioned have or would consider referring are Lidl (58%), Co-op (50%), Nationwide (49%), BA (48%) and Pizza Express (47%).
Mention Me chief executive Andy Cockburn said: “This research reveals that brands need to really focus on understanding what drives and inspires their customers to want to share and refer experiences – and that it’s not all just about offering the biggest discount.”

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