Nanoinfluencers: When Friends Promote Brands

Influencer marketing is one of the hottest trends on social media, and it’s no longer just the rich and famous plugging products. Brands are now pursuing what the New York Times calls a largely untapped and inexpensive network. They are known as nanoinfluencers – some with as few as 1,000 followers – and they offer companies something celebrities cannot.

That’s right. Pouring money into bigwig endorsements isn’t the only path to success. Influencers come in all shapes and sizes, and management agency God & Beauty says there are four distinctive categories to consider:

Mega Influencers (100,000 +) Though costly, celebrities do offer huge exposure to brands with often millions of followers tuning in. Unfortunately, consumers often don’t trust that the celebrity actually uses the product, and limited engagement does little to help build a real connection with the brand.

Macro Influencers (10,000 to 100,000) Experts in their fields – fashion bloggers, YouTubers, fitness coaches, and such – these trendsetters bring a high level of professionalism to social media. With quality content and a committed audience, these users are heavily pursued by brands. That may be a problem, as saturation lessens their effectiveness.

Micro Influencers (1,000 – 10,000) These topic enthusiasts are highly interactive in their niches. Companies that mesh with the micro influencer’s lifestyle can do well here. For example, beauty brands partnering with a make-up artist are a natural fit and can expect outstanding conversions. Just remember: relevance matters.

Nano Influencers (500 – 1,000) Regular users may seem like small potatoes, but the fact that they are not famous is what grants them big influence. Content shared among friends on personal accounts tends to be accepted as genuine and trustworthy; in fact, studies show peer recommendations are trusted by 92% of consumers. Nanos can really pack a punch!

The ROI with “ordinary” superfans is attractive, because for most nanoinfluencers, money isn’t a must-have. Many loyal fans will happily post whatever the company suggests, in exchange for free products or even a simple thanks. “It’s just something I enjoy doing,” 25-year-old Instagrammer Alexis Baker told the NYT.  “I love challenging myself with how I can advertise and market something, and seeing the impact it has on people is really rewarding.”

Shfiting the focus on common people is a logical progression, according to The Guardian’s Richard Godwin. Ordinary people are easier to work with, and while they may reach fewer people, they certainly do it better. “You’re far more likely to book a holiday on the suggestion of a discerning friend than some random celebrity,” Godwin explains. As this intimacy or “real-time personalization of the brand” continues to spur sales, odds are we’ll be seeing more friends on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posting with #sponsored and #ad hashtags.  Chief Executive Mae Karwowski of influencer agency Obviously says their firm alone works with 7,500 nanos and plans to double that count by March.

“The youngest generation has grown up with this technology, so they’re very accustomed to seeing people talk about products they like and are recommending,” Karwowski reflected, adding, “There is a new willingness for them to participate in that.” While this isn’t breaking news for the Twine team (we’ve been helping brands get more engagement through UGC for quite awhile), growing media attention confirms what we see every day. Fan content matters.

A variety of consumer brands and marketing agencies use TwineSocial to locate superfans. Aggregating relevant UGC into admin-friendly hubs is an easy, engaging way to get started, and platform features make it possible to then showcase valuable UGC, track engagement, and ultimately inspire greater connection around your brand’s story. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your marketing team doesn’t have any nanos to pursue. They’re out there, and we’d love to help you find them!

For more ideas on how to promote shared enthusiasm around an idea, product, or community, check out our solutions gallery. Then, kick off your own success story with a free 7-day trial of TwineSocial. Let us know how we can help!

Join the world's most sophisticated social marketers

Ready to unlock your fan content? Get a demo of TwineSocial.