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Does Following Size Matter?

Does Following Size Matter

With social media becoming an increasingly crowded space, more creators are vying for attention and hoping that audiences will hit that follow button. But with more competition, along with shifts in how users interact with social media content, it becomes more difficult to skyrocket in following and go from everyday social media user to bonafide influencer.

Of course, there are still plenty of creators who boast hundreds of thousands, even millions, of followers across their profiles. For many brands, that large following is incredibly enticing, and a lot of budget gets put towards partnering with macro influencers who can reach a huge audience with just one post.

On the other hand, micro influencers and even nano influencers have shown brands just how powerful their content is when it comes to bottom-of-funnel goals like link clicks and sales conversions, so the decision of what types of influencers to work with becomes more complicated.

Let’s break down what following sizes really mean and how you can determine what influencers will work best for your campaign:

A high following size does not automatically equate to strong performance.

We get it; seeing an influencer with an M in their following number is incredibly alluring, and we love working with macro creators (in fact, you can meet our roster of macro influencers here) to build major brand awareness, reach a wide audience, and even drive sales.

But not all million-plus followings are created equal, which is why you must look beyond that following number and delve into the creator’s engagement rates as well.

Statista notes that the average engagement rate of influencers of all following sizes is 1.9%, with influencers who boast over 1 million followers earning an average of 0.92% engagement rate. Nano influencers however (defined in this report as creators with between 1 to 10 thousand followers) achieve an average engagement rate of 2.53%.

When examining engagement rates of potential influencer partners, then, it is important to keep these stats in mind. A macro influencer with an engagement rate of over 1% is doing pretty well, with anything over 2% far exceeding the average. However, a nano influencer with that same rate would be considered a substandard performer.

Micro and nano influencers can receive high engagement.

One reason why micro and nano influencers have become so popular is that they boast a higher average engagement rate than their larger counterparts.

A higher engagement rate means a higher percentage of viewers are actually interacting with the content (whether through likes, comments, saves, and/or shares), and that’s important for brands who are looking for concrete data to track ROI.

With their tight-knit online communities, micro and nano influencers can also be powerful partners when brands want to drive sales, as followers trust these creators when it comes to their shopping recommendations. Smaller creators also may have a geographically specific audience or a specific audience demographic that they speak to, making them great partners for brands looking to reach those specific audiences.

The right influencers will depend on your campaign’s goals.

Long story short, it’s all about who you partner with, not just how many followers they have. A macro influencer with millions of followers may end up having a low engagement rate that does nothing for your brand.

Or even if they have a great engagement rate, they might not make sense just based on what your brand is or the product you are trying to promote. A macro beauty creator can have all the great engagement in the world, but their followers may not care about them promoting a home goods product. On the other hand, a nano influencer who speaks to interior design and has a 5% engagement rate might be the perfect partner if your brand is seeking to drive new customers to your site.

Influencer selection is all about factoring in all the numbers, not just a creator’s following size.

Lucky for you, we here at The Digital Dept. can help you navigate who to work with and pair you with the perfect influencer partners! From our exclusive talent roster featuring creators of all sizes, from micro to macro, to our extended creator network of thousands of opted-in influencers, we can find the right creators for your campaign’s needs. Let’s chat!