Marketing Influencer Marketing Influencers

Shakers and makers: two types of influencer that can drive fame, reach, action and conversion


By Laurie Fullerton | Freelance Writer

September 28, 2016 | 4 min read

'Shaken, not stirred' is the iconic image of James Bond's preferred drink that influences millions of people when ordering a martini. The same theory can be applied to the rapidly expanding 'influence' economy released today by Time Out which reveals two new types of influencers. 'Shakers', the professional bloggers, social media stars and celebrities, defined and motivated by their large social followings and 'makers' a group largely ignored by advertisers despite being hugely effective at driving consumer action. The study suggests that the latter group should be ignored no longer and may be the 'real' James Bond of influencer marketing.

time out
Time out

The study revealed, surprisingly, that the shakers who remain a force to be reckoned with and are well-known to brands, make recommendations that are 40 per cent more likely to be ignored, despite their large social reach. Yet, while the makers who can include the foodie colleague, or that cousin who’s a travel junkie, are often the most impactful influencers are revealed to be 10 per cent more effective than shakers at driving action, despite averaging around half as many followers.

The Time Out study revealed makers are about depth and making things happen. Additionally, this group has a broader reach and comprise large social networks compared to most people (an average of almost 1,400 followers, 15 per cent more than a non-influencer, but about half as many as shakers). Makers tend to be motivated by making meaningful connections, and remain very knowledgeable (52 per cent) about their areas of expertise with 13 per cent saying they believe makers are more knowledgeable than shakers. Further, makers are perceived to be the go-to people for advice or recommendations within their social circle (93 per cent) and are perceived as being more passionate (19 per cent) and more curious (13 per cent) than their shaker counterpart.

The report also suggests that the advantages of shakers is that they have levity and enjoy a larger social network (2,600 average followers, which is more than twice as many as a non-influencer). According to the study, they tend to define their success by the size of their following (91 per cent) and many of their efforts are motivated by building that following. Shakers are perceived by those surveyed as being very confident (68 per cent) but, once again, much of their confidence is linked to the size of their following and responses (number of likes, etc.). Shakers also do actively advise their friends and followers and this is very much a part of their personal brand (98 per cent).

“The first chapter of influencer marketing has been dominated by fame and reach, with brands looking to align themselves with 'Shakers' — those social media sensations with large numbers of followers.”said Justin Etheridge, president of Time Out North America. “Influencers continue to grow in importance, both as a crucial aid to consumer decision-making in the face of information overload, and as marketers search for new ways to reach ever-dispersing audiences. Time Out’s new research, however, suggests that a new opportunity for influencer marketing is emerging, one focused on the largely ignored but hugely important 'Maker' community, who have real power to impact on other people’s decision journeys and to convert influence to action.”

The report 'From Influence to Action' is a qualitative and quantitative study commissioned by Time Out and conducted by media research specialist Tapestry, and included interviews with leading academics, agency planners and Time Out’s tastemakers plus a survey among 1,632 influencers in NYC, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Miami and 2,717 Time Out consumers across these same five cities.

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