Your customers are online. Therefore, your marketing needs to be online too. There are different digital marketing programs suited for different purposes. To take care of your business’s visibility, there is search engine optimization. For audience engagement, there is content marketing, video marketing, and the likes. And since social image plays a big role in how a business is perceived, there is social media marketing. There is another important element of internet marketing- social media influencers. What are social media influencers? How are they relevant for your digital marketing? This article has all you need to know about social media influencers.

Studies after studies have found that customers tend to trust other customers better than the business itself. More than what you have to say about your brand, customers are interested in knowing what other people like them think. Therefore, being an important element of testimonial marketing and advertising, influencer marketing is becoming exceedingly popular. It has helped many businesses increase brand awareness and revenue. But most importantly, it helps improve an organization’s social influence.

Being the meeting point for social media marketing, influencer marketing, and content marketing– social media influencers are extremely useful marketing assets for a business. Therefore, it is worth learning more about them.

Social Media Influencers: Definition

An influencer is someone who has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of a mass. It can be due to their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience. Apparently, such entities have a large number of followers on social platforms and their content revolves around a distinct niche.

With their power to influence a large number of people, social media influencers become important social relationship assets. They are not mere marketing tools, they are marketers. So, if you are planning to collaborate with a social media influencer to promote your brand, you need to be thorough with what social media influencers are and how they work.

Types of social media influencers

Social media influencers can be classified into various groups based on different factors. Therefore, we have created a list that divides influencers into the most relevant classifications.

Remember, this post is about social media influencers and not just influencers. Based on the content, an influencer can be a blogger, YouTuber, gamer, social media entity, podcaster, and the likes. But here, we are specifically talking about social media influencers.

Number of followers

This is one of the most commonly used metrics when it comes to dividing social media influencers. The number of followers one has determined how vast their audience is. Based on the number of followers, there can be the following types of influencers:

# Nano influencers

Nano influencers are those social media entities who generally have followers of about 1,000 or so. In fact, in many cases, they are found to have an even lesser number of followings. However, the influence such entities have on their audience is much more significant than those with a higher number of followers. They generally cover very specific and/or obscure topics and have a keen audience. Therefore, if you produce highly specialized and niche products, nano influencers can be your go through. Moreover, collaborating with such influencers is very pocket-friendly.

# Micro influencers

Micro-influencers have more followers than nano influencers ranging from 1,000 to 40,000. Their content is generally focused on a specific area. They may also be regarded as industry experts or topic specialists. However, convincing such influencers to collaborate with your brand can be a bit of a challenge. They are generally respected experts and have a reputation to maintain among their fellow experts and followers. If they like your product and think it can actually benefit their audience, they might as well just promote it for free. However, if they are not genuinely interested in your product, convincing them can be hard even with incentives.

# Macro influencers

With followers ranging from 40,000 to 1 million, macro-influencers are considered more accessible as influencer marketers. Such type of marketers can further be divided into two groups. One is of those who are mediocre celebrities who have made only enough success to just be known. Others can be those who rose above from nano and micro-influencers. These influencers are more experienced working as influencer marketers. However, most fraud in the influencer market occurs in this class. This is because many macro-influencers buy their followers. So, you’ll need to be a bit careful.

# Mega influencers

Those considered mega influencers have more than a million followers of social media platforms (s). Such entities are generally celebrities like movie stars, television stars, musicians, sportspeople, social activists, and so on. However, there are also some who have earned their fame only through online means. Such influencers are generally very picky and charge extremely high rates. Moreover, they are hard to approach and have agencies working on their behalf. Therefore, usually, only major brands work with such influencers.

Level of influence

The level of influence is a bit hard to quantify. Different types of influencers leave different levels of influence. We have tried to classify social media influencers on such basis in the most useful way:

1. Celebrities

Celebrities have been influencing great numbers of audiences since even before influencer marketing was a thing. In fact, they continue to be an important part of the influencer market. However, their significance as influencer marketers has been decreasing for some years now as online influencers are occupying more space. Moreover, Gen Z spends more of its time on the internet than on television. Hence, they are less likely to be influenced by offline celebrities. Doubtlessly, celebrities have huge numbers of fans following them on social media but their credibility as influencer marketers is still quite debatable. However many high-end brands still find it profitable to have celebrities promote or endorse their brands.

2. KOL influencers

Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) are respected for their qualifications, position, and/or experience about a particular topic of expertise. Some examples of such entities are:

  • Journalists,
  • Scholars,
  • Industry experts,
  • Professionals,
  • Political figures, etc.

People who follow such entities generally put a lot of faith in them. Therefore, it can be really profitable for your business if you manage to get your brand marketed by such influencers, . However, since such entities are not primarily marketers, it can be a bit hard to get them to market for you. Such leaders have a reputation to maintain. They won’t market your product unless they really find it valuable. But on the other hand, if they really like your brand, they might as well just promote it for free.

Moreover, many of these people earn their reputation offline and thus might not have much influence online. Thus, this is another important thing to be kept in mind before approaching such influencers for collaboration.

Final word

Social media marketing and influencer marketing are becoming common practices in the online world. If your business employs or intends to employ such marketing systems, it is crucial to be thorough with who social media influencers are and how your business can benefit from there. These influencers can be classified into different groups based on different factors. However, the most common classification is based on the number of audience and level of influence. With this guide, you can identify what sort of social media influencer(s) suit your marketing needs best.

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Somya Sharma : Regardless of being a Delhi University graduate with a major in English Literature, Somya's interests are not limited to poetry and drama. As a person who loves researching, discussing and writing about topics rooted in various disciplines, the list of subjects that tickle her fancy is ever-growing. She finds the power of psychology in marketing particularly intriguing and has set out writing blogs with the aim of helping budding marketers polish-up.