Who Do Customers Listen To? The Power Of Social Media Influencers

By: Joe Calloway, Principal with The Disruption Lab


We used to buy a product because we liked the ads. Then the internet came along and we started making buying decisions based on “stars.” We trusted the collective wisdom of existing customers through their ratings and reviews. If a product had a rating of one star out of five, we moved on. If it had four stars or better, then we probably bought it.

Now we are entering the era of the individual, often on Instagram, who has become, for many, the main influence on our buying decisions. In an article for FastCompany.com, Jeff Beer looks at how social media influencers are impacting the buying decision mix. “According to a CivicScience survey in December 2018, one-third of daily Instagram users in the U.S. said they had purchased a product or service based on a recommendation from an influencer or blogger on the platform,” says Beers.

The power of the influencer is changing the way advertising is created. Vickie Segar and her company Village Marketing are launching a new ad agency model that aims to turn Instagram influencers into the next generation of advertising creative directors.

“Brands are very used to traditional media. They’re very used to speaking at people and controlling a message,” says Segar. “It’s about a brand speaking at someone instead of with someone.”

Read the article here to learn more about the latest changes in how we make buying decisions.


Joe Calloway is a nationally acclaimed keynote speaker, consultant and author of Be the Best at What Matters Most and six other ground-breaking business books including Becoming A Category of One: How Extraordinary Companies Transcend Commodity And Defy Comparison, which received rave reviews from The New York TimesRetailing TodayPublishers Weekly and many others. He consults and advises leadership teams of global organizations with ideas and strategies on leadership, innovation and customer experience.

You can connect with or ask Joe a question through The Disruption Lab community at https://thedisruptionlab.com

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