You can categorize social media influencers in 4 different tiers: nano, micro, macro, and mega influencers. Which one you may need for your brand will largely depend on a number of factors, including your budget, how accessible these may be, and other factors.
We’ll take a look at each tier and how these may affect your ability to recruit potential influencers for your business. Towards the end of the article, we’ll also look at how you can identify fake influencers.
These influencers have up to 10,000 followers and are considered to be at the lowest tier of the influencer-chain. These influencers tend to be the easiest to approach because they may simply be getting started building an audience and are not exactly as “in-demand” as other tiers yet.
Because some of them may be just getting started, you will have the easiest time in making your collaboration pitch to work with them. Note that this also means that your reach will be pretty low. Measuring results with this type of influencer is more difficult.
However, don’t let the low number of followers fool you. Be sure to check out their engagement levels and don’t waste any time in making your pitch, especially if your monthly influencer budget is low. In some cases, you may even get away by sending them a free product sample and they’ll happily vouch for you.
These influencers have over 10,000 followers and may have as many as 100,000 followers for those just about to jump into the next tier. These influencers may be considered specialists or experts in their industry.
As these influencers keep growing their follower base, it can be more difficult to work with them. This may be in part because they are more in demand and may have ad revenue, quite common for YouTubers.
Unless you catch them in the very early stages of reaching this tier, you should typically expect to have to offer a certain level of monetary compensation to get them to vouch for your brand or service.
On the plus side, this is typically the best influencer tier to reach out to for small businesses. This is because they may already be considered experts and have a large audience of loyal followers.
Note that top brands also seek to work with these influencers since they are so authoritative. This means you may already face significant competition and require a larger budget.
Macro influencers can have between 100,000 – 1,000,000 followers. At this point you may start coming across influencers who have a wider reach. That is, they may not tie specifically to one particular audience but may still focus in a particular industry. For example, if your aim is fast cars, they may also promote fast bikes.
These influencers are very easy to find. If you go on any social media platform like YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram and search for your product or service, you’ll usually come across their profiles or posts first. You can also easily find these authority leaders by searching for “top influencers in your industry” on Google.
Next to Micro, Macro influencers may be the most popular type of tier in terms of forming potential partnerships. They are also very difficult to get a hold of and can sometimes ignore your requests.
These authoritative figures may often have assistants who facilitate their content production such as video editors or professional photographers. It is very possible you will be in contact with them and no the influencer directly – not much different from the Mega tier.
Influencers at this tier are at the highest level with a minimum of 1 million followers. They may as well have 1 billion followers or more. At this point what you’ll find is essentially celebrities or really famous icons who have a much wider audience.
Although their numbers may not equal expertise in a particular niche, they can be very influential as they have the highest reach of all tiers, as well as very loyal followers.
These may be best for brands that cater to a wider audience, like car manufacturers or sports teams. Considering they may easily charge half a million dollars for a single post, it is no wonder only the biggest brands can reach them.
Depending on where your business is, nano and micro influencers are typically a great place to start because they give you the most flexibility in terms of how much you can afford to pay and their followers number.
Once you get comfortable working with influencers, it’ll be easier to recruit new ones. You may also work out long term deals and save even more by doing so.
Be sure to always review an influencer’s engagement levels as quantity does not always equal quality. You may come across influencers who have fake followers, in which case you may be better off avoiding them.