When we throw the term “influencer” out there, it can have a variety of definitions. An influencer can be an industry expert or a brand advocate … a colleague, a team leader or someone who is just really well-connected within your community.

So why are these influencers so important to have on board?

A recent article from SocialBro reports that 74% of customers rely on social media to guide their purchasing decisions today. And where do you think the typical influencers tend to spend a good chunk of their time?

Yep, you guessed it. Social sites.

According to the article, influencers are 40%+ more likely to get people to look up information than regular users are, and they are 90% more likely to persuade others to choose a particular brand.

Those are some pretty significant stats, aren’t they?

Here’s our take on a few common traits the article shares about influencers that show why this group has become so instrumental on the social scene today:

  • Thought leaders – People often seek out the opinions of influencers because they trust their knowledge and experience in a certain area or field.
    Plugged in across multiple channels – Along with being active on social sites like Facebook and Twitter, influencers are also putting their voices out there via columns, blogs, e-newsletters and other digital-based outlets.
    Trendsetters – A characteristic many influencers share? They love to follow the latest trends! They’re ready to try new technologies or support business ideas that show promise.
    Confidence builders – We can talk all we want about how great our product or service is, but influencers can help back up those claims. They’ll dish out the product reviews and share their thoughts on the best features.
    Targeted – If we can identify who our influencers are, we can market to them directly. The upside to that? It’s like a ripple effect once they start spreading our story to their own circles.

Now that so many people are turning to social channels as part of the purchasing process, influencers play a more important role in marketing than ever. Do you know who yours are, or is it time to get some on board with your brand?