Thanks to Influencers, Follower Size is Not as Important 

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Thanks to Influencers, Follower Size is Not as Important 

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As with most things in life, quality over quantity is ruling the day for social media influencers and how it relates to follower size. This means that you can be more efficient with your social media audience targeting by finding and tapping into the right influencers in your industry. Sure, a big celebrity might have a huge following, but are their followers your target audience? While 2016 was the year many learned the term ‘Influencer’, this year more marketers are leveraging ‘micro-influences’ who although command a smaller niche following, have a much higher interactive rate with followers.

This new style of influencer is grabbing the attention of big and small businesses alike because they are able to connect with their followers in a personalised way and create highly relevant conversations, seemingly impossible for a brand to achieve.

Micro-Influencers Resulting in Macro Engagement

These new micro-influencers might have as few as a several hundred followers up to 10,000 followers. There isn’t really any set amount of followers, but definitely less than social media moguls with multi-million follower bases. Instead, micro-influencers have followers that are in tune with a specific topic and higher engagement rates.

There is not really any universal definition for a micro-influencer, but AdWeek  describes a micro influencer as someone typically with less than 10,000 followers; however, it could even be as low as a few hundred followers. This allows them to form stronger personal connections with their followers and therefore can have an even stronger direct influence over them.

The key to finding the right micro-influencer for your company or brand is through data analysis and media intelligence techniques. Studies reported by  have shown that influencers with more than 10 million followers have engagement rates (likes and comments) of about 1.6 per cent while micro-influencers with follower numbers between 1,000 and 10,000 have engagement rates of 4 per cent.

However, this is where number crunching and analysis have to come into play along with other media monitoring factors because reach and engagement with 1.6 per cent of 10 million people is still more than 4 per cent of 10,000 people. You must calculate and test to see if the engagement rates from a micro-influencer result in better conversions and goal achievements than tapping into an influencer with a bigger follower base.

Finding the Influencer ‘Sweet Spot’

The goal for companies using social media influencers  will be to find what is most efficient. It might very well be worth it to find a micro-influencer with a smaller overall reach but filled with a target audience that is passionate about what is being talked about. Tapping a micro-influencer is also usually easier, less complicated, and less expensive than trying to work with an influencer that has millions of followers and less time to care about your brand and the engagement that may or may not arise as a result of their post.

The result with a micro-influencer therefore can mean a greater return on investment as well as a new base of loyal customers who really care about your products or services. Since media intelligence solutions now have platforms and algorithms that help with influencer marketing, they can help you identify all types of influencers including micro-influencers and also help with the computations and management of campaigns.

Working with an Social Media Influencer

Firstly, you may want to find out if they prefer the term entrepreneur. With the rise of apps like Instagram and the ability for anyone to quickly set up their own blog site thanks to sites like Squarespace there are many influencer hobbyists, posting for pleasure more than business. If your target influencer spends more than 20+ hours a week on social media, crafting content and tracking their impact than they might identify more as a business person who can connect your brand to the otherwise untapped or hard to reach audiences.

As such, payment is likely however it’s important to strike a balance between using their services to achieve a business goal versus being overly prescriptive and risk diminishing their impact as an influencer by changing their process. The key is to discuss and clarify goals, set clear expectations and deliverable and actively build a feedback loop.

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Author: Elizabeth Victor

Elizabeth Victor is blogger and Brand Advisor for iSentia. She enjoys writing about social media analysis and monitoring, as well as PR monitoring.

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