As more e-commerce companies turn to social media as a way to increase their sales, consumer buying habits and sentiments about social media have changed as well.
A new survey from influencer marketing software provider GRIN reveals that more men trust social media influencers and their recommendations than women. According to the Sacramento, Calif., company's findings, influencer endorsements encourage men to spend more on social media-fueled purchases than women.
In fact, 70% of male respondents said they would spend more than $50 on a product sight unseen if an influencer they trusted promoted it. On the other hand, half of GRIN's female survey respondents wouldn't spend more than $50 on an influencer-backed product if they weren't given the opportunity to look at it beforehand.
Social media influencer recommendations affect men's buying habits to a greater degree
A recent Sitecore survey showed that 40% of consumers want to wean off their reliance on Amazon. But without the extensive reviews that many Amazon products have, consumers rely on other ways to verify the quality of the products they purchase.
As such, GRIN found that 80% of men said they would likely purchase a product or service if their favorite influencer promoted it, compared with 70% of women who said the same.
Interestingly, these sentiments aren't as strong in younger consumers. A different survey from SheerID showed that college students are far less likely to depend on influencer endorsements, compared to other brand marketing tactics. Nearly 40% said they would "likely not" try a brand or product just based on an influencer's recommendation — instead, most preferred to take product suggestions from family and friends.
However, this conviction comes at a price. The GRIN survey also showed that because men trust influencers at their word, they're also dissatisfied when these accounts don't disclose that they're being paid to advertise a company's products or services.
Almost a quarter of male respondents said they felt bothered when influencers don't divulge paid advertisements in their content — and are even willing to unfollow that influencer’s account. On the other hand, 18% of female respondents felt the same way.
These findings indicate that men rely on the authenticity of social media influencers much more than women, which is why they demand transparency when external factors affect an influencer's truthful opinion of a product or service.
Consumer sentiments toward social media influencers
Because so much of buying behavior on social media is driven by influencers, GRIN took a closer look at consumer trust. It found several differences in the kinds of influencers women and men follow, as well as the degree to which they trust their opinions.
For instance, the survey results revealed that:
- More than 50% of women preferred "real people" influencers and only 7% favored celebrities
- Less than 40% of men preferred "real people" influencers and only 15% favored celebrities
And as evidenced by the way influencers impact their purchasing decisions, men trust influencers to a far greater degree than women. Indeed, more than 25% of male respondents completely trust their favorite influencers and would buy anything they recommended, versus 10% of their female counterparts.
This exceptional level of faith in influencers would explain why half of all male respondents said they'd purchase something solely based on a celebrity influencer's recommendations without reviewing it, compared with only 32% of women who said they'd do the same.
Methodology: On April 21, 2021, GRIN conducted a national online survey through survey platform Pollfish of 1,000 U.S. social media users, ages 16 and older.