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Celebrity endorsers and social media superstars may seem like the ultimate coup when it comes to corporate online branding and marketing. After all, the bigger the better, right? Not necessarily. Not all that glitters in the popularity stakes online is digital marketing gold. The growing might of micro-influencers is proving that authentic communities are often packing a more powerful punch with greater engagement; the ultimate goal of successful digital marketing.

Post in haste, repent at leisure

The race for companies to conquer social media marketing can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle along a complex route, unless you are following a well-marked navigational strategy. Jumping on a fast-moving social media express train, such as a celebrity online influencer with access to instant audience numbers, is a tempting proposition. This is especially so when the ‘organic’ way seems far more labor intensive. However, the rewards at the end may not be as bountiful

Posts score in the right ball park

The bigger the social media influencer is, whether a global celebrity, sports star or a famed online personality, the less effective their power to influence may be. Brand marketing posts through big digital influencers may simply target the mainstream when a more niche approach could work more effectively.

Take a big sporting event in Thailand. Adding a celebrity spokesperson can work wonders in reaching out and defining a brand. However, do all the star’s fans like the same sports? Probably not. What about leveraging the impact of less ‘popular’ influencers whose followers are more likely to be interested in such an event. It makes sense that engagement is going to be higher.

Engagement is about interest. An online football enthusiast such as a vlogger or Instagram poster is going to attract far more football fans and exert a greater influence to engage in related content. If you weigh up one big social influencer against a handful or smaller, niche influencers at the same cost, the results may favor the so-called micro-influencers who promise a collectively bigger ROI.

Social media is NOT always a numbers game

The more ‘fans’ and ‘followers’ there are the less engagement activity there can be with brand marketing through a big-name individual. Smaller social media communities often bring together more like-minded individuals with specific interests who are therefore more likely to engage and interact. Platforms such as Gnack are for micro-influencers whose posts resonate loudly to their fewer followers.

But the numbers speak volumes!

Analytics and surveys are the truth-bearers of social media marketing campaigns. There is no hiding from clicks, conversions and engagements.

The latest findings suggest that micro-influencers really do influence their communities, albeit smaller
ones, than those in the social media stratosphere.

A recent survey by specialists in influencer identification and tracking, Markerly, reveals engagement rates on Instagram are 2.4 per cent for influencers with between 10,000 and 100,000 followers. This is in comparison to a rate of around 8 per cent of ‘Likes’ for Instagram influencers with fewer than 1,000 followers and 4 per cent for those with a community of between 1,000 to 10,000. Influencers, such as celebrities, with over 1 million followers had an even lower ‘Like’ engagement rate at 1.7 per cent with rates for comments similarly decreasing as following numbers increase.

Micro-influencers enable brands to fine tune social media marketing without increasing their budgets. Greater choice and flexibility adds real momentum to engagement in a more ‘natural’ feeling and sustainable way too.