For many of us, 2016 was the year in which we learned what the term “Influencer” even means in relation to social media marketing. With the algorithm newsfeed changes favoring quality over chronological posting being programmed into both Facebook and Instagram this year, brands quickly turned their attentions to advocates who could get their name out there through highly shared and interactive posting.
Social Media Influencers, users on social media who have created credibility in a specific industry, shaped how no-name brands and fledging startups got their shiny new apps and products in millions of Instagram newsfeeds practically overnight. The marketing pairing made sense, but as 2016 comes to a close, brands are looking for the next best promotional (and affordable) avenue for product awareness.
In late August, influencer marketing platform Markerly conducted a survey in which they discovered that influencers with 1,000 to 10,000 followers have a much higher interaction rate than influencers who peak at the 500,000 to 1 million follower mark. The survey looked at 2 million social media influencers, and found that as an account’s follower count increases, the amount of likes decreases.
Brands are picking up on this trend and starting to pay attention to “Micro-Influencers” who although command a smaller following, have a much higher interactive rate with followers.
Markerly’s finding confirms that it makes more financial sense for a brand to invest in 20-40 Micro-Influencers than it does to pay a Jenner or Kardashian to hold up their product. Celebrity Influencers may command crowds of 10 million or more, but these crowds are comprised of all different kinds of consumers – with very different interests.
Micro-Influencers, on the other hand, have a smaller, authentic following that specifically follows them for eye-candy and recommendations on niche industries. So if you own a fitness brand, getting in contact with 20 fitness Micro-Influencers is going to garner you higher brand interaction than shipping off one pair of running pants to a celebrity (who will charge ten times as much as a Micro-Influencer).
Jumping on the Micro-Influencing bandwagon
If you’re serious about staying ahead of the consumerism curve (and you probably are if you’re still reading this), then you want to start compiling a Micro-Influencer list that aligns with your brand platform and consumer interests. Micro-Influencers are going to be snatched off the shelf in 2017, and you want to be one of the first brands proposing the pairing.
A few tips for identifying which Micro-Influencers are right for you and your brand:
- Interaction rates: Before you message any influencer, it’s important to do your homework and take an average of the likes/comments per post in relation to their follower count.
- Fake followers: There are plenty of Instagram-hack apps out there that buy users followers from a third-party platform. Although Instagram does its best to crackdown on this phenomenon, it’s still crucial you skim through an Influencer’s following and check for repeat names and accounts with no profile pictures.
- Authentic comments: If you’re a fitness brand, for example, go see what people comment under each photo. If it’s stocked with “Great! Amazing! Thumbs Up” comments, that’s not the kind of interaction you want. If you see “Wow, where did you buy those? Omg those are amazing, I’m buying a pair for Christmas!” then this is the kind of fitness Influencer you want to have wearing your product.
- Posting frequency: You want a Micro-Influencer who takes their position seriously. Check to see how often they post, and how many of their posts are directly related to your niche industry.
Ready for the year of Micro-Influencing? 2017 will be a year of more readily available and affordable influencing options for your brand. It’s time to take control of that Instagram algorithm.