According to PR Agency Manifesto’s social media barometer, TikTok is growing in importance while Instagram still remains the single most popular media among influencers. Most influencers have been frequently approached by businesses, but almost all have declined to cooperate at some point. Social media influencers expect slower content, such as blogs, to gain importance in the future.
The in-depth barometer on social media influencing published by PR Agency Manifesto is a web-based survey of 68 influencers conducted May-June 2022. Those invited to respond included bloggers, YouTubers and Instagram influencers as well as other content producers for popular social media channels.
TikTok gaining ground, Instagram still the most popular
In 2022, Instagram is by far the most widely used channel for content production, with 93% of the respondents using it. The second most popular is Facebook, which is being used by 65% of respondents, followed by blogs at a usage rate 62%.
The influencers expect TikTok, in particular, to gain importance in the future. In 2022, 64% expect TikTok to grow, up from 42% in 2020. Of the respondents, 23% post content in TikTok, 10% more than in 2020. Instagram too is expected to continue growing. Fifty-five per cent believe that its use will increase in the future.
Additionally, YouTube (27%) and podcasts (19%) are expected to continue to grow in importance as a channel for social media influencers. Although blog use has declined in recent years, 15% of the respondents still believe in their growing importance. This view is highlighted in the open-ended responses, which predicted the comeback of slower content as a counterweight to fast-consumed videos and images.
Frequent solicitations from business – nearly all influencers have declined to cooperate at some point
All the social media influencers responding to the survey had been contacted by companies. More than half (58%) receive such messages from businesses on a daily basis or several times a week.
Nearly all the influencers have also turned down offers at some point. The main reason for refusal (94%) was that the product or service offered did not fit the social media influencer’s own brand. The second most common reason (82%) was that the compensation offered was found to be too low relative to the amount of work involved. Another frequent reason for refusal (80%) was that companies only offered products or services as compensation.
A further important reason for the refusal to cooperate was the perceived lack of sustainability or reliability of the product or service offered.
An essential prerequisite for any commercial cooperation between businesses and influencers is that brands and values meet. Cooperation yields the best results when there is genuine mutual respect and appreciation. Influencers are increasingly selective about the brands they work with, and their followers also require transparency and sustainability. Followers vote with their feet, or at least make their opinions very clear in the comment boxes”, says Manifesto partner Jonna Varhama.
Return of slow content?
Social media influencers believe that the field will become increasingly professional. At the same time, they anticipate the volume of video content to grow, just like other fast-consumed content. The social media sector is also expected to become more commercialised with the rising level of professionalism.
Many respondents believe that there will be more demand for blogs and other slow content in the future, as a counterweight to fast visual content. People are increasingly felt to appreciate authenticity and slower, calmer content that promotes sustainable values.
This agrees with the professional motives of the influencers. According to the survey, social media influencers are primarily motivated by the wish to earn a living, share knowledge and experiences as well as to influence people’s attitudes and awareness.
Many respondents believe that blogs, podcasts and other slow content will be in greater demand in the future as a counterweight to fast visual content. People are increasingly felt to appreciate authenticity and slower, calmer content that promotes sustainable values. Additionally, it is believed that content production will be established on a more professional footing with the expansion and diversification of the cooperation with business.