By Bella Conferti
When I hear the word “influencer,” I automatically think of Instagram. I picture celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid promoting companies like as Adidas, Calvin Klein and Reebok to their millions of followers.
This isn’t always the case.
As it turns out, most influencers aren’t supermodels or household names. An influencer is simply anyone who has established credibility on social media. Most influencers focus on a specific niche and are influential in that community.
As social media continues to grow, the title of “influencer” is becoming more attainable. In class, the concept of “micro influencer” arose. The term micro influencer is relatively new and refers to anyone with a small but dedicated following. Micro influencers have high engagement rates and are typically relatable to most people.
Forbes argues that micro influencers have anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 followers. Other publications such as PR Daily say that 1,000 followers is the benchmark for receiving brand deals. Ultimately, this number varies based on what niche the micro influencer is targeting. For example, a micro influencer in the music community will most likely have more followers than a micro influencer in the adult fans of Lego community. Although follower count is one measure of success, it isn’t everything. Even more important than gaining followers is engaging them. Successful influencers, regardless of how many followers they have, boast high engagement rates. This is especially important when considering algorithms across social media platforms.
One case for working with micro influencers is that the cost of working with a micro influencer is significantly lower than working with someone with a larger following. When influencers such as Kim Kardashian charge anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000 per post, micro influencers provide attainable PR for startups and small businesses, especially in niche markets. According to Forbes, “the larger the following an influencer has, the lower the engagement rate is.” This means that micro influencers provide a better return on investment than their counterparts.
Another reason to work with micro influencers is that they often come across as more genuine and relatable to their followers. This leads to their followers trusting their opinions more and being more likely to purchase products they support. Because micro influencers have a lower follower count, many have more opportunities to directly engage with their followers, leading to stronger relationships with them.
As companies continue to evolve their social media strategies, I believe we will see a trend towards utilizing micro influencers. While celebrities like the Kardashians have a broad reach, consumers struggle to identify with them. Micro influencers provide the balance of being trusted authorities in a community while also being relatable to their audiences.
LinkedIn: Bella Conferti