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Marketing Defined: Types of Social Media Influencers

Whether you know what it means in relation to social media or not, you’ve likely heard the term “influencer” floating around—in the news, in the workplace, or even in casual conversation. Now’s the time to iron out that definition, and even look a little further into different types of social media influencers (yes, there are levels).

What is a social media influencer?

Social media influencers are just what they sound like—individuals with social media accounts that are influential to followers due to their expertise or focus on a particular topic or type of content. Generally, they have a extensive following, so their posts have the ability to make an impact on a significant number of social media users.

Social media influencers are a key part of a strategy known as influencer marketing, which is the practice of using these content creators to improve one’s brand/product awareness and drive customer leads in the process.

Types of social media influencers

Social media influencers can be categorized in a couple of different ways. Sometimes it’s based on the type of platform they are using (i.e. blogging, YouTube, podcasts, a specific social media platform). Another common way is by follower numbers, which is what we’re looking at here.

A universal ranking system for influencer categories based on follower count has yet to be established. These are the generally-accepted categories for Instagram, which is one of the most influencer-centric social media platforms.

Nano-influencer (1,000 to 10,000 followers)

The nano-influencer is a term that was coined relatively recently in the grand scheme of influencer marketing. With this “lower” follow count, nano-influencers may know their followers personally while still boasting enough momentum to partner with significant brands.

Micro-influencer (10,000 to 50,000 followers)

Before there were nano-influencers, this was the “smallest” influencer tier. As the name suggests, these influencers are able to effectively represent more focused niche communities related to a brand’s target audience.

Mid-tier-influencer (50,000 to 500,000 followers)

The mid-tier influencer may generate enough response in this role to serve as a full-time source of income. This influencer is a good “middle of the road” option for brands due to his or her sizable reach yet accessible nature.

Macro-influencer (500,000 to 1 million followers)

As a macro-influencer, one’s social media presence is almost always accounting for the entirety of his or her income. The macro-influencer category may include some lower-scale celebrities, athletes or personalities.

Mega-influencer (1 million-plus followers)

Now we’re talking major celebrities. With 1 million-plus followers, mega-influencers have an enormous following and therefore substantial influencing power on social media. Typically, the biggest brands, like Coca-Cola, are the ones working with mega-influencers.


Being familiar with the various types of social media influencers may help you in the event that you are considering influencer marketing as a strategy for your brand. From nano to mega, each type serves its role in the social media marketing ecosystem.

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

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