Social audiences are influenced by authentic posts that make them feel an affinity with the author.

Mediacells can reveal that social media folk respond less to celebrity endorsements and more to meaningful recommendations made by trusted commentators who make them feel special.

We analysed the latest adidas influencer campaign and awarded a lesser-known volleyball player the highest engagement rate, blocking fellow campaign influencers Lionel Messi, David Beckham and Paul Pogba from the top spot.

Mediacells identified 100+ million social views across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in the context of the adidas social influencer video campaign ‘Calling All Creators’.

The multi-layered story drew on stars from sport, fashion and music to inspire a creative dialogue in 33 countries, using curated video content across social, TV and

The #1 influencer was a US female volleyball star, called Paige Tapp, who inspired 17% of her social audience to share, like or mention the specific campaign in tweets and posts.

Paige, 22, was most effective on Instagram, where her ‘seat at the table’ post won 7.6k ‘loves’. The reactions to the post were deeply personal, with family and friends showing their support, which in turn created a groundswell of positive sentiment around the Team USA middle blocker’s brand messages.

The closest influencer to Paige was Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, who inspired 7% of his audience to join the conversation, while NFL superstar Aaron Rodgers prompting 5% of his fan base to engage in meaningful interactions about the campaign.

From outside the world of sport, rapper Pusha T converted 4% of his social audience to ‘create’ with his ‘Three Stripe Life’ tweets.

The findings come as influencer marketing is becoming the advertising saviour, at a time when the world’s largest advertising and marketing services group, WPP, announced its worst year since 2009.

Brand conversion is becoming less and less about big numbers and more about attributable, authentic conversions from loyal fan bases. Instagram fan Brooke Schwartz responded to Paige Tapp’s endorsement of adidas sneakers thus,

 “I have been a Nike girl for 26 years and yesterday I bought my first pair of Adidas because of you.”