A US-based data analytics firm suggests that influencers – individuals who have strong influence on potential buyers – on the micro-blogging website Twitter have a dramatic impact on consumer attitudes and product sales in Egypt.
The new survey study by Annalect revealed that some 40 percent of Twitter users have made a purchase "as a direct result of a tweet from influencers."
Half of the respondents (49 percent) to the survey said they relied on social media stars for product recommendations, while 56 percent were guided by "tweets from friends."
Twenty percent of influencer-following users say they opt to retweet product recommendations made by influencers.
Three hundred respondents were surveyed for the first phase of the research to measure their interest in influencers on Twitter as opposed to other advertising formats and word-of-mouth promotion.
The second phase involved 500 users who were exposed to conventional digital marketing channels as well as promoted brand and influencer Tweets.
Influencer marketing, which focuses on individuals to influence potential buyers, is believed to have boomed in recent years with the rising growth of social media platforms.
The study cited Huawei Mobile Egypt, a multinational networking and telecommunication company, as a successful example of tapping into the strong reach of influencers. A twitter user posted that the reason he bought the company's smart phone was because CairoKee, a popular Egyptian rock band, recommended it.
The research also indicated that the online stars have a significant impact on product sales.
"Those who were exposed to brand tweets had a 2.7x lift in purchase intent over participants who did not see an advertiser tweet," the study reported.
It added that the boost in purchase decision reaches 5.2x when users were exposed to a campaign that featured both brand and influencer tweets.
With more than half of Twitter users following actors, athletes and musicians, the chances for effective marketing through celebrity entertainers are high, the study showed.
The research pointed to a campaign by Ahl Masr, the first non-profit hospital for burn treatment, which it said had drummed up hype through influencers and celebrities such as movie star Asser Yassin and pop singer Mahmoud El-Esseily.