Social Media Influencers

56% of consumers allow their purchasing decisions to be influenced by friends and peers according to research done by Twitter and Annalect. In a similar survey done by Collective Bias, it was found that 70% of millennials’ purchasing decisions are influenced by peer recommendations. The Collective Bias survey also found that 30% of consumers are influenced by non-celebrity bloggers versus 3% influenced by celebrity endorsements. Meanwhile, Nielsen found that 66% of consumers trust online opinions and reviews and that, in general, people are more trusting of peer recommendations than they are of advertisements.

The social media influencer marketing is a fast-growing approach for digital marketing. Several recent studies show it is more than ten times more effective than traditional marketing. Influencers are social media users who can help guide prospective customers with their purchasing decisions. They provide a way for brands to distribute content and increase brand awareness. This trend of almost sub-conscious marketing acknowledges that there are people who have influence over others in regards to their purchasing behaviors.

Although many brands aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to social media influencer marketing, it has been found that micro-influencers are often able to achieve higher engagement rates and influence purchasing more than larger influencers who have a greater impression rate. Several studies have found that marketers utilizing influencers receive an average of more than $6 per each $1 spent and some see an ROI much greater than that.

Social Media Today asked marketers to outline their goals when it comes to utilizing influencer marketing. The goal rated most important was improving brand advocacy to build relationships with consumers (94%). The next most important goal was expanding brand awareness (92%) and reaching new target or niche audiences (88%) was deemed third most important. A common side goal stated was to improve SEO with more content, increased backlinks, and more brand mentions.

There are platform and 3rd-party based tools available to help you find appropriate social media influencers. Whether or not you utilize one of those tools, there are a number of things to consider when looking for an influencer to work with your brand. First and foremost, you must understand who you are trying to reach and who influences that target audience. You also need to know what niche audience the influencer influences. Then you can determine whether or not the two align.

Your influencers also need to be aligned with brand values and goals. You want to identify influencers who fit well with your organization. People who can tell compelling stories that incorporate your brand – stories that share an influencer’s experience with your products or services. Content that focuses on experience is more interesting than static product or service facts.

You also want an influencer who not only increases awareness, but also drives action such as purchasing. Your social media influencers should be people who want to tell the world about their experiences with your brand and who also have the ability to spark interest and conversations.

As you research potential influencers, learn as much as possible about who they are as an informal spokesperson. Has the person been over-promoting other brands? This decreases credibility and increases the perception that the influencer is in it only for the money not because he or she truly believes in a brand. What is his or her reach? Does it include your target audience? Is it an audience relevant to your brand?

Engagement and conversion metrics are more important than the number of followers especially considering that followers can be purchased (bots bought). What sort of engagement does the person garner? How many comments, questions, likes, shares, responses, etc. are occurring in his current work? You want a social media influencer not just for a large number of followers but, more importantly, for knowing that the prospective influencer regularly engages with those followers in a positive and favorable manner.

Be sure to handle your relationship with influencers just like you would any vendor or business partner. A contract should clearly define expectations for pay, content quality, who handles content, etc., knowing that influencer created content is perceived as more authentic and is more likely to be shared. As such, you should check their work portfolios for quality content, videos, comments, and images, remembering that original images and video carry more weight than stock.

You should also determine if you will use the influencer for a short-term campaign or if your brand will want to invest in a long-term relationship with the person. Many are predicting we will see a trend towards long-term relationships between brands and social media influencers. Either way, negotiate content rights so your brand is able to reuse posts on other platforms.

Costs of using social media influencers are determined by a variety of factors. The larger the following and the greater the engagement rate, the higher the price. A direct partnership with an influencer will cost less than engaging one through an agency.

Factors of the campaign, itself, are also taken into consideration – the number of posts, who is responsible for creating content, whether posts will be on a single platform or showing across multiple platforms, and whether the influencer will keep or delete the posts at the end of the campaign all influence the price. In addition, each social media platform has its own market rate.


In 2017, Instagram had 12.9 million brand sponsored influencer posts and social media influencers reported to Forbes that they experienced the highest levels of engagement from this platform.            

Buffer Social found the following guidelines:

$10 per 1000 followers; $250 per post with more than 50,000 followers

                  $250-750 per 1,000 engagements which breaks down to $0.25-$0.75 per engagement

                  FYI - Instagram Marketing Hub has a calculator that can help approximate costs found:

                  Overall average price per post is $271

                  Micro-influencers with fewer than 1000 followers make $83 per post

                  Influencers with more than 100,000 followers were paid $763 per post


Buffer Social found the following guidelines:

                  $20 per 1000 subscribers; more than 50,000 increases about $2000 per 100,000 subscribers

                  Greater than 1 million subscribers can run anywhere from $25,000 - $50,000 per video

                  $50 - $100 per 1000 views which breaks down to $0.05 - $0.10 per view


Buffer Social found the following guidelines:

$10 per 1000 followers – an average of micro-influencers ($2 - $20 per 1000) and influencers ($11 - $25 per 1000).

It is sometimes difficult to ascertain the number of followers so $100 per 1000 views is another way to look at an average pricing.


Forbes found that blogs are influencers’ favorite channel to use, followed by Instagram. report:

                  $175 per blog for a writer with 10,000 monthly impressions

                  $500 per blog for someone with 100,000 – 500,000 monthly impressions

                  $1,000 - $5,000 for an influencer with greater than 500,000 monthly impressions

A quick note that Facebook is not seen to be as impactful of an influencer market and is better served for content amplification.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently made some changes in regulations to ensure more transparency regarding paid versus non-paid posts. The FTC now requires a disclosure that someone is being paid for a post. The notification can be as simple as “#ad”, “#sponsored”, or “#AAPartner” if AA is the name of the brand. Because of these new regulations, it is good practice to check posts you have paid for to insure your social media influencer has appropriately followed through with the hashtag indicator.

Social media influencers can help you reach audiences you might not otherwise have been able to reach. Their natural and authentic messaging can help your brand gain customer trust through storytelling and by delivering valuable content. If you are interested in learning more about how you can make social media influencers work for your brand, contact the professionals at Strategy Driven Marketing.