Social media influencers are having a, well, influence, on consumers. A survey by influencer marketing intelligence provider Sideqik found that 70 percent of consumers trust the opinions of an influencer personality on social media as much or more than those of their actual friends, and 78 percent say they trust influencers more than traditional ads.

Maybe surprising is the finding that more than half of those surveyed said they consider influencers part of their “circle of friends.” This is despite only 57 percent saying they regularly engage with them online while 77 percent of respondents have said they purchased a product based on a social media post.

Why do people connect with influencers? Sideqik says that 84 percent of those it surveyed attributed it to their authenticity—a similar number said forced or faked authenticity would make them unfollow someone. However, “real value” tops authenticity for 65 percent of survey respondents.