Influencers are more effective than people realise, according to a new report on Australian’s social media habits


  • A survey of more than 3,000 Australians found that nearly two-thirds of small and medium businesses who use influencer marketing are satisfied with the results.
  • But about the same amount of Australians said that seeing a branded post from an influencer would make them less likely to buy a product.
  • This suggests that influencers are having an impact, but people aren’t aware of it — with only a quarter of Australians saying they notice sponsored posts.

While influencer marketing is becoming increasingly popular, many people think they’re impervious to having their opinions and tastes affected. But new survey data suggests more Australians are being influenced by them than they might suspect.

The latest edition of Sensis’ annual Yellow Social Media report reveals that while influencer marketing is still used by a small number of Australian businesses, the majority of those who do are satisfied.

The report surveyed more than 2,000 Australians and 1,000 businesses on their social media habits, and has been running since 2011.

This year, they found that just 5% of Australian small and medium businesses used influencers. But those who did tended to be positive about the experience: 60% of businesses doing influencer marketing said that it was effective, compared with just 27% who said it wasn’t.

On the consumer side, nearly two-thirds of Australians said they were less likely to buy from a brand if they noticed influencers or celebrities promoting their products. But only about a quarter (27%) of them notice when influencers do sponsored posts.

According to Sensis Chief Marketing Officer Hayley Jovanoic, this suggests that Australians might be underestimating just how effective influencer marketing can be.

“The impact of social influencers may be having a greater effect on consumers than SMBs realise, although a majority of consumers claim to be negatively impacted by their brand posts,” she said.

On the other hand, a quarter of those surveyed said they’re likely to trust an influencer’s posts if they disclose they’ve been sponsored. Among those, females and people aged 18-29 are the most positive towards influencer marketing.

The report also captures general social media advertising trends, as 31% of Australians say they’re happy to see ads, compared to 30% who say they’re not.

Despite this, a larger number of Australians (38%) say they’ll click on advertisements, and this number is higher in women (44%) and those aged 18-29 (44%).

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