Micro-influencers are the future of your brand

by | Jul 5, 2017 | Influencers, Media database, Social Media, Travel and Tourism

Who’s the most influential person on Twitter?

Well it’s not the account with the most followers.

But you’d be forgiven for assuming so; the person with the biggest microphone is usually the loudest. But the conception that the most influential social media users are the ones whose posts are seen — and listened to — by the most people is shifting.

The conception is dying.

We now know that increased number of followers does not mean increased influence. In fact, users with a huge following, such as celebrities, typically have less engagement with their followers, and are therefore less likely to influence consumer behavior. Influencers with fewer followers tend to know their followers personally and/or at least have more direct contact with them.

Enter the micro-influencer.

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What are micro-influencers?

“Micro-influencers are people with social media accounts who can inspire their audiences to take action; they’re not celebrities, they’re not ‘internet famous’ YouTube and Instagram stars,” says Advertising Age.

Definitions differ, but generally speaking, micro-influencers have less than 100,000 followers. These followers are more engaged with the micro-influencer, and thus place more value on their opinions.

What makes micro-influencers so good?

According to ad agency HelloSociety, micro-influencers generate 60 per cent more campaign engagement rates than influencers with a mass following.

As with so many things, it comes down to trust and authenticity.

Do you honestly think that Kim Kardashian eats that cereal everyday? Or do you think that maybe she’s just being paid to say that?

The truth is that accounts with millions of followers aren’t earning the same rate of likes or retweets, and aren’t spurring the same conversation.

Micro-influencers and their Instagram engagement rates

Source: Markerly

When it comes to these kinds of accounts, Kyla Brennan, the founder and CEO of HelloSociety, puts it plainly: “You might get eyeballs, but they won’t be eyeballs that care.”

What’s the ROI of micro-influencers?

Getting micro-influencers onside is cost effective. Having celebrities or YouTube stars sponsor your brand can be very expensive. To wit: Pepsi has paid Beyoncé approximately $50 million to promote its brand.

Micro-influencers don’t have the status to command as much money as a Hollywood or YouTube star. Oftentimes, their support can be gained through simple outreach (rd: brand advocacy).

How do I find micro-influencers?

And the good news keeps on coming: the same tools that you use to identify those with the most followers can also be used to identify micro-influencers.

We used Agility PR Solutions’ Enterprise technology to identify the micro-influencers associated with two pre-eminent travel brands.

We searched for Twitter mentions of MGM Resorts and Royal Caribbean. Then, using the analysis software built into our system, we pulled out a list of the top Twitter handles sorted by number of followers. This allowed us to compare the top users to the micro-influencers further down the list.

Chart of top MGM influencers and micro-influencers

Looking at MGM, the top handles included a celebrity, MGM Studios, and various news outlets. These accounts may lack the authenticity or cost-effectiveness one is looking for in an influencer.

On the other hand, one of MGM’s micro-influencers was a marketer whose tweets focus on hospitality and travel.

Chart of top Royal Caribbean influencers and micro-influencers

Similarly, a search for Royal Caribbean micro-influencers identified a technology writer who wrote about Royal Caribbean’s new Snapchat Spectacles.

The fact that this man is a virtual unknown somehow increases his trustworthiness.

As Forbes has said, love it or hate it, influencer marketing works. And what we’re starting to see now is that micro-influencers might just work the best: a recent survey found that 82 percent of respondents said they were “highly likely” to follow a micro-influencer’s recommendation. Yowza.

Whether you’re looking to increase engagement, save money on outreach, or both, micro-influencers are well worth getting in touch with. And a media database is the perfect way to do it.

Let us show you how.

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Chantelle Brule
After receiving her Master's in Communications from Carleton University, Chantelle brought her research experience to Agility's Media Insights team as a data analyst. She's particularly good at what she does.