November 15, 2018

Helsinki, Manifesto PR

Social Media Influencer 2018 Barometer: Instagram is SoMe Influencers’ Most Significant Channel

Current topics in influencing through social media are multichannel and the growing significance of visual content: Instagram is for the first time SoMe influencers’ most popular channel and as many as four out of five SoMe influencers use it also for commercial purposes. These results arise through the in-depth barometer that PR Agency Manifesto has produced for the 10th time now. The survey was performed on the net and 126 SoMe influencers answered it in May–June 2018.

There were both bloggers and Instagram influencers as well as vloggers in the survey that PR Agency Manifesto performed for the 10th time for SoMe influencers. The majority, 35 percent of the respondents, is primarily lifestyle influencers. Second place in popularity of themes goes to cosmetics and travel (both 11 %) followed by sports and fitness as well as food and beverages (both 10 %).

The significance of Instagram Stories grows constantly – podcasts are likely to develop as well 

Using different SoMe channels in bringing content forward is versatile and for the first time, Instagram is the most popular channel: almost all respondents, i.e. 98 percent, use it for publishing content. After Instagram, blogs, and Facebook that all reach more than 90 percent as well, there is a deep gap. Twitter is used by approximately 39 % and video services (mostly Youtube) 31 % of respondents.

  • The growth of Instagram is most probably due to the wild popularity of IG Stories, so the channel offers more possibilities to publish content and comment topics. As a visual channel, it is also more versatile than before, estimates Jonna Varhama, Partner and Consumer Communications Team Lead of Manifesto.

The growth of Instagram is backed up by answers to the question “Which channel do you think will be more significant in the future”. Almost 75 percent of respondents believes in IG’s growth and half in video services’, such as Youtube’s, growth. 37 percent of respondents believe that podcasts will gain significance in the future.

  • The answers show that influencers try to serve their followers in as many channels as possible and in a varied style. A topic that was earlier used for a long blog text, can now be shared as a video clip though IG Stories or even as a podcast, if the social media influencer feels it’s natural for him/her, Varhama tells.

Own experiences are combined with the business angle 

Social media influencers feel that they are, above all, sharing their own experiences and feelings. When asked about this role, it grew as much as 12 percent from the previous year (2018: 82 %, 2017: 70 %, 2016: 72 %, 2015: 75 %). Also, their specialist role remained strong (2018: 58 %, 2017: 55 %). Third place went to the role of inspirers and starters of discussions (40 %). Discussions mostly rose in societal matters, diets, and questions around looks concerns.

32 percent of respondents feel they operate in business, which means that marketing possibilities and commercial potential are realized and seen more clearly than before – depending on the channel’s style. For commercial purposes, SoMe influencers use mostly blogging, but IG is growing in this aspect as well: already more than four out of five uses it also for publishing content made in cooperation with a business, which supports the multichannel trend.

Paychecks differ – top SoMe influencers earn thousands

Approximately 39 percent of the respondents earn regular income and the same percentage said they get income from influencing through SoMe irregularly. The rest 22 % don’t earn anything from their channels. 46 percent of those getting a paycheck earn 500 Euros per month at the most and three quarters not more than 2,500 Euros a month. Greater income is not completely rare, as eight percent gets over 6,500 Euros monthly.

Businesses should test different channels boldly

Julia Thurén, journalist, author and social media influencer has cooperated with businesses for several years already. According to her, companies should be bolder in testing new channels and also insist own insight from SoMe influencers. 

  • Influencing through social media has become more professional, which means that it is worthwhile to commit an influencer to generate ideas for mutual benefit so that the audiences get interested. Different angles work in different channels. In IG Stories, humor can be included; blog posts have more space for information, says Thurén.

With the help of the barometer, PR Agency Manifesto has monitored the Finnish blogging field’s development, trends, and change already from year 2009. The survey has grown from lifestyle blogs to cover different categories more widely.

This post was first featured on Manifesto PR’s website.