Are All Social Media Influencers The Same?

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Influencer marketing is growing at a staggering pace and does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Since 2015, influencer marketing has grown into nearly a 10 billion dollar industry. With so much marketing done through social media these days, it may be a wise investment to look into bringing on some influencers of your own. However, influencer marketing is not a one size fits all solution. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of influencers and the roles they play in expanding your brand.

Influencer taking a selfie with friends on a rooftop for social media
Photo by Kampus Production from Pexels


One main way to categorize influencers is based on the size of their following. Macroinfluencers, for example, are able to reach a very large audience with typically 100k to 1 million followers across social media platforms. Larger companies usually opt for macro-influencers, as they are able to cast a much wider net through their social media activity and connect with a diverse audience. 

However, having more followers does not always translate to higher conversion rates. Macro-influencers may lack a personalized touch and specific niche that attracts certain customers in the first place. Focusing on one specific audience segment in a more intimate style could turn out to be a more effective strategy. 


While reach is an important factor in influencer marketing, engagement rate is what brands are really looking for. Micro-influencers may not have a million followers (typically less than 100k), however, they are able to build a strong relationship with an audience through thought leadership. Micro-influencers typically focus on a specific niche and are able to establish a reputation as an expert in their field. The ability to drive meaningful engagement and conversions are extremely valuable to your brand without sacrificing the authenticity and message that you want to convey


While many people view influencers as celebrities with massive following and strong voices, nano-influencers are the complete opposite of that. Nano-influencers typically have around 1,000 followers but have strong influence within their community. While famous celebrity influencers have the strong ability to influence purchasing decisions, in many cases it’s actually the people within a community that value each other’s opinions that turn out to be the strongest. In many cases this involves brands utilizing user generated content to promote the authenticity of their products and their message. 


While influencers are able to generate awareness about a brand’s product very quickly, Brand Ambassadors are able to generate actual conversions and keep the conversation about your brand going. According to a report from Nielson, 92% of consumers trust a recommendation from a peer, friend, or family member more than they trust a recommendation from a brand.  

A high follower count can be very valuable, but the relationship between the consumer and the brand becomes much more authentic when ambassadors are creating a conversation about the brand with their friends. Ambassadors want to help their friends and know who will connect with the brand and how they want to hear about it. 

Advocates as Social Media Influencers

Compared to the types of influencers listed above, advocates typically don’t receive any sort of compensation, instead looking to help grow a brand they love. These are your “diamond in the rough”  consumers. Every brand has them, and every brand should be tapping into them. They will talk about you wherever, whenever, however, and to whomever. Both online and offline. They’re your organic content drivers and generate the strongest referral sales conversions. As a brand, your goal should be to create as many advocates as possible through authentic engagement, open conversations, and high quality products or services.

Although these different types of influencers project different messages from the brand to the consumer, and reach different audiences, they are both proven to be thoroughly effective forms of marketing. Through the online communities that they can create, and the direct and targeted message that they engage in, influencers and ambassadors are able to help brands achieve far-reaching brand awareness while forming a genuine relationship between brands and consumers.





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