The Power of Peer Influence

How peer influence is much more effective than relying on well-known influencers for business marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is still the most popular and useful way to successfully market your business. Many entrepreneurs rely on influencers with a huge social clout to post professional or fun tweets and status updates about their merchandise. These people usually have more than a thousand followers or fans, who may or may not follow their suggestions to buy a particular product or service from a certain establishment.

If we really think about it, are influencers really effective in getting our marketing message across? Some would strongly agree, especially the fans, who have followed the progress of their idol since the early days. But what about those who became fans because they want to keep up to date with the influencers’ thoughts? All they do is note down and never take part in the influencer’s activities, endorsements and sponsored events. If they don’t want to join, they’ll just ignore such posts coming from the influencer.

Peer marketing is different from the dependence on influencers to market businesses. In this method, entrepreneurs rely more on their loyal customers to get the good word out. These satisfied customers tell other people about your business and refer those people to call you. This is way more effective than relying on influencers. This is proven with Duncan Watts’ study about “the pass-around power of everyday people.” The research he accumulated demonstrated that “close networks of [everyday] people drive influence on and offline.”

According to Crowdtap’s infograph, 92% of the respondents rely on advice from people they know. People listen more to their families, friends and everybody else they are familiar with, rather than some random person they encounter in the Internet with thousands of followers. Influencers do have some power over their fans’ choices, but what would you really choose — an influencer’s recommendation or a friend’s suggestion?