Study: Who Are the Real Influencers Online?

Backyard conversations often have more influence than the opinion of experts

According to a study released by Pollara, a Canadian research firm, many social media users rely on the opinions of family and friends when considering product purchases.

Almost 80% of Canadian adults surveyed by the company reported that they are very or somewhat likely to trust the recommendations of their loved ones, while 23% said the same of other Internet influencers.

That is not to say all popular bloggers and social media users are not credible. Factors such as site traffic, audience size, reach and experience also contribute to an online influencer’s credentials.

Pete Blackshaw, EVP at Nielsen Online Strategic Services, said, “There’s some validation in the number of links and traffic someone gets. Understanding real influence, you have to look at a number of factors from the type of audience someone attracts, where their expertise lies and the context in which other sites are linking to them.”

Nielsen Online Strategic Services Via eMarketer