The simplistic philosophy that large numbers of social media followers mean high levels of engagement and influence no longer carries weight. The easy accessibility of automated algorithms means that even those starting from scratch can boast of thousands of Twitter or Instagram followers within just a few weeks. While the numbers may look good on rate cards, there is nothing in these stats that demonstrate any sort of targeted, relevant or sophisticated reach.
Micro-influencers are people with social media accounts who can inspire action or motivation that is impactful, even if the total number of followers is small. If you consider an example such as with very specific hobbyist influencers, then it is better that the influencer is posting regular, impactful, insightful content that drives a small number of followers to take massive action (typically with purchases).
Some have tried to define just what defines micro-influencer reach, positing that 100,000 followers is the “maximum.” In reality, this effort misses the point. Large followings are typically said to be a ‘large gathering of eyeballs and ears’ but they are not necessarily sensory entities that care (or even notice) what you are posting.
One great advantage for companies which reach out to micro-influencers is in terms of cost; and thereby ROI, assuming that a small number of followers reading up on a niche interest subject via their favourite small blogger are way more engaged than the typical social media user.
Finding appropriate micro-influencers is not difficult because you search on the same handles and tags as you would to find those with big, switched-off audiences. Typically, applying some care to the search terms will yield best results, especially when searching for industry-specific terms within niche interest subjects. Avoid generalized search terms as they bring up influencers with large audiences posting general rubbish.
When a social media celebrity with 1.3M followers posts about how great their new wristwatch is, does anyone really associate this with product credibility? Well, ok, some do – but at huge cost to the hiring company.
If you’ve followed a small influencer for several years and really enjoy engaging with their posts, you’re highly likely to believe it when they tell you that their new product find is awesome.