What is Social Capital?

11th March 2020
Posted in Projects
11th March 2020 Jade Harley

What is Social Capital?

One of the biggest challenges for brands is keeping up with social media trends and connecting authentically via social platforms.

Social media is about people not brands. It fuels tribal behavior, allowing people to connect and interact around common interests, aspirations, experiences and passion points.

Social Capital is the currency earned by brands to get the balance right.

If a brand is going to be a part of social culture it needs to be authentic, and this is where a lot of brands fall down. When creating ads or content for social media platforms, brands are too-often focused on logo size (yes still…), how often their tagline is used in the copy, and if image colours are aligned with brand guidelines. Instead, they should focus on behaviour of users on each particular platform, what content resonates with them, and how their brand can add value to the conversation and the community – as opposed to doing a hard-sell.

With the emergence of new platforms like Tik Tok and Byte, brands must be less formulaic and more human-centric in their approach to marketing and this is where leveraging creators native to the platform can deliver real results for brands.

Influencers build tribes

Influencers are attuned to the wants and needs of the audiences that follow them – this gives brands a head-start on connecting with their audience.

A smart influencer strategy can drive brand growth and advocacy and deliver a wealth of assets that can be licensed for use across a brand’s own social channels (pending negotiation and $$ of course).

Interest in influencer marketing is on the rise, which means a lot of research has been conducted that’s produced interesting statistics.

Here are some influencer marketing stats that might surprise you…

1) 70% of teens trust influencers more than traditional celebrities

4 in 10 millennial subscribers say their favourite influencer understands them better than their friends.

2) 86% of women use social media for purchasing advice

45% of women claim to be more active on social media that they were just two years ago.

– More than 50% of women claim to have made purchases due to influencer posts, with Facebook and Instagram being the preferred platforms.

3) 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations

Not only do 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations, but 40% had purchased something after seeing it on Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

4) 6 in 10 teens follow advice from influencers over celebrities

Influencers have the power to forge strong ties with fans and experience a more engaged audience, gaining three times as many views, twice as many actions and 12 times as many comments compared to videos from traditional celebrities.

5) Influencer marketing campaigns earn $6.50 for every dollar spent

With 59% of marketers planning to increase their influencer marketing budgets, this area of marketing is becoming the fastest-growing channel for brands beating organic search, paid search and email marketing.

According to a Tomson study, businesses earn $6.50 for each dollar spent on influencers with the top 13% earning $20 or even more.

6) 50% of consumers will take some action after reading a positive review

Interestingly, older people are more likely than younger people to go to a company’s website after a good review (35% of 18-34 year-olds, 47% of 35-54 year-olds, 69% of 55+).

7) 57% of fashion and beauty companies engage in influencer marketing

57% of fashion and beauty brands now use influencers as part of their marketing mix while 21% are planning to add this to their strategy.

8) The influencer marketing industry is expected to hit $10bn by 2020

Worth just $2 billion in 2017, the industry is set to reach $10 billion by 2020 as the industry becomes a more effective marketplace.

9) 74% of people trust social networks to guide purchasing decisions

About three-quarters of consumers trust opinions they find on social media, including those from friends, families, and influencers, to help them make the right decision about buying a product or service.

10) The increase in influencer marketing between 2014 and 2019 mirrors the decrease in print advertising

Google Trends shows a comparable rise in influencer marketing at the same time as print advertising has been falling. Searches for “influencer marketing” drew ahead of those for “print advertising” in mid-2017 and have remained that way ever since.

Ready to jump in?

When working with influencers, brands should let go and allow influencers to control the narrative and create content in their own tone of voice and style. Influencer marketing doesn’t focus on celebrity endorsement alone – there are four different types of influencers, so luckily there’s a solution and budget to suit all.

Celebrity (Mega) Influencers: social superstars with more than one million followers. These are often celebrities (actors, models, musicians).

Macro Influencers: influencers with between 100,000 and one million followers.

Micro-Influencers: those who have between 1000 and 100,000 followers. While their following may be small(ish), their authenticity is high and they can deliver fantastic ROI.

Nano-Influencers: people with fewer than 1000 followers who have immense influence with a comparatively narrow niche.


When looking for influencers, it’s important to engage people who already have an affinity with your brand or category. If people already love your products, they’ll speak about them with passion and knowledge and this will connect authentically with their followers.

A good way to start? Reach out to some of your industry’s top influencers and show off your great product or service. Otherwise, research some well-known social media influencers and find out which ones have your target audience as a significant portion of their following and go from there.

One thing is certain, influencer marketing is a powerful tool for brands looking to market to audiences via social media and should be considered as part of the overall media mix.

Get in touch with us today to talk about adding an Influencer Stratey to your marketing plans.





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