When one thinks of influencers, one imagines figures like actors Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan with millions of followers. However, these days, thanks to social media, everyone’s an influencer, including you. However, when it comes to endorsements, brands tend to favour those with the highest reach and while mega influencers like Fawad Khan can reach a massive number of audience, they aren’t the strongest when it comes to brand loyalty and trust by followers. For instance, my best friend has only 300 followers on instagram, but since I know he is a foodie, I am very likely to try a steak recommended by him on social media than by someone like Princess Doll who has 3800 followers. FK and MK wouldn’t even recommend a steak now, would they?
Based on number of followers, my friend is a Nano Influencer and famous celebrities with millions of followers are mega influencers. Between these two extreme categories fall micro and macro influencers. The nano are in the highest number and possess a special kind of power as their word is most likely to be the most trusted by their network. This is because the consumers of today are much smarter than their predecessors. Each category of influencers possesses a special kind of power so let’s find out what that is.
Nano Influencers (range 10 to 1000)
Nano literally means one billionth of anything. In our world of over 7.5 billion people, it means that an individual person is nano. Believe it or not, in the world of social media, collectively, the nano are the most powerful people in the world and most are oblivious to their own worth. They have one billionth of the world’s population in their immediate circle.
The average person has 8 friends and family over whose lives they are likely to have a very strong influence over. The nano-influencer has limited reach, but a high level of authority and a very high level of engagement in his social group. It is the 99% of the nano influencers who have made Facebook and Google the gigantic trillion dollar entities that they are. More specifically, a nano-influencer is someone that has between 100 to 1000 followers on their social account. They are likely to have interesting hobbies, be attractive, knowledgeable and of course popular but most importantly a large part of their following live in the same area as them. For example, social entrepreneur and vegan, Zehra Abbas only has 500 followers on Facebook but her opinion has deep influence over the lives of her friends and followers.
Similarly, fashion graduate Khadija A. Qazi is also a nano influencer. She has below 1000 followers but her sociable personality and interesting life updates make her a strong influence amongst her closest circle of followers, most of whom personally know her. They are more likely to trust Khadija’s opinion when she reviews a pair of jeans as opposed to a mega-celebrity whom they know was sponsored to endorse a product. The nano influencer could be more important to brands that want more people to have a real connection with their brand as opposed to more people knowing about it. A nano influencer would also be more important to a local business in a particular area.
Micro Influencers micro 1000 to 10,000
Micro-influencers are generally understood to be topic experts or topic fans with follower numbers in the 1000 to 10,000 range. This includes in particular bloggers as well as “special interest” YouTubers or topic / industry experts on Facebook, who stand for a topic or question. They have achieved for this credibility and authority on a subject and gained the appropriate readership and commitment of their fans. In discussions, this group always assumes a commitment rate of 25-50%, which usually also has . The influence also increases, as far as the influencers create, to their “followers”.
Micro influencers tend to engage more with the audience with a 25% to 50% engagement rate from followers with a qualitative depth i.e. the influencer is intensively involved in interactions Such dialogs are really important for brand engagement as the influencer’s target group will be influenced immediately and that’s something a brand, as a third party, would find hard to do. Micro-influencers are relatable, authentic and trustworthy – three essential qualities when it comes to marketing. Their influence works as effectively as “word-of-mouth” as their followers believe in their word. Examples of Micro Influencers are fitness entrepreneur Aalishaan Khan Mehboob with 5000 instagram followers and journalist Mehr Sher with her 4095 followers. Both of these people have a higher reach and considerable influence over their following.
Macro Influencers 10,000 to 100,000
This group of influencers has between 10,000 to 100,000 followers. These can be everyday, bloggers or vloggers whose content is instantly relatable to their targeted audiences. These influencers take their social media presence more seriously than nano-influencers and micro-influencers and are endorsed more commonly by brands and have a special skillset. Macro-influencers are also perceived as genuine and relatable plus they add more professionalism to their content than nano-influencers. The great thing about macro-influencers if that to promote your brand, you can have them tell a unique story in their own voice such as their honest opinion on your product or a personal story in which your brand plays a role. Actress and writer Mira Sethi is a Macro-Influencer with her 50,000 following so is Vlogger Muzamil Hasan with his 42.1k followers and Radio personality Khalid Malik with a following of 41000. An international example of macro-influencer brand promotion is when Adidas used influencer @myhealthishlife to promote their brand.
Mega Influencers 100,000 to millions
These influencers could be a social media celebrity for example: Fashion and entertainment bloggers, Hira and Hemayel who have a following of 124 K and beauty blogger Anam Falak with a following of 654 k. Celebrities with a social media account such as actors Mahira Khan or Shahroz Sabzwari are also mega influencers with a following in the millions.
Yes, mega influencers have a following of between 100 k to millions. They win when it comes to number of likes, comments and reach. However, their engagement rate is around only 2 to 5% of their total followers. If you want to work with a celebrity influencer, you need to ask yourself if your brand is more local oriented instead of national or global. Do you want more people to simply know your brand or have a real connection with it?
People are less likely to trust a brand’s “awesomeness” if it is endorsed by a celebrity as opposed to someone they know and trust because a) the celebrity might not put as much effort in reviewing or promoting it and b) Audience would know that it is sponsored and c) it may not fall in the celebrity’s area of interest. For example, it was funny when Ayesha Omar endorsed “Harpic”, a toilet cleaner as one can’t imagine the star in high heels sweeping her commode.
Sometimes, a nano or micro-influencer who talks directly to their followers for a long period of time would be more influential due to the connection with their followers. As a gut instinct, brands may be tempted to prioritise mega or macro influencers over the smaller ones but they need to gauge what their marketing goals are, more customer loyalty and connection? or more people knowing about their brand?