Who Are Micro-Influencers & How to Find Them

Mar 30, 2017 · 6 min read

In the case of the report, we’re talking about industry influencers and thought leaders with millions of followers. Their insights and opinions give shape to the industry, trends, tools and best practices we implement in our daily work. They are relatively well known to marketers all over the world. I guess the vast majority of marketers reacts on hearing “Gary Vaynerchuk”.

Influencers gathered in the report certainly aren’t micro-influencers. They’re rather MACRO-influencers.

Who Are The Micro-Influencers?

Cooperating with the biggest industry influencers usually has a positive quantitive result. It’s based on social media reach and engagement those influencers drive. It guarantees us a large exposure.

On the other end of the scale, we have micro-influencers. It’s a relatively new term and has barely anything to do with the buzz, fame and fortune influencers from our report generate. Micro-influencers are social media users with significantly smaller but more engaging following than macro-influencers.

For example, in the case of Instagram, a study from Takumi proves that the huge following has an inverse effect on engagement. Below you can find some numbers to get perspective.

It appears that relationships and relatability between people have, in fact, a bigger impact than the influence of top influencers. It of course influences purchasing decisions.

The term “mico-influencers” immediately brings to mind the quantitive qualities, such as the number of followers and social media reach. This, however, is a short-sighted view that requires deeper investigation. The gist of the term lies in proximity between people. It’s all about the same footing, accessibility and shared experiences.

For example, a group of cyclists connected on social media has a bigger influence on the purchasing decision of another cyclist than any top-shelf influencer.

So micro-influence is not defined by the number of one’s social following but the relevant conversation groups that a buyer engages in. Therefore, a micro-influencer is not someone with a specific number of followers — engaged or otherwise — but the people whom your potential buyer speaks with when considering a purchase decision.

The truth is, that the number of followers in no way allows predicting if someone will buy or not. Having this in mind, it seems that more and more brands tend to engage micro-followers.

Shane Barker, a strategist, an author and one of the leading experts in influencer marketing and SEO, created an awesome gifographic about micro-influencers. He put together in one place everything you should know about them.

Image courtesy: Shane Barker

How to Find Your Micro-Influencers?

The job can be done with the help of a social media monitoring tool.

Social media monitoring, also known as social listening, allows collecting in real time online mentions of predefined keywords from all publically available online sources. It includes social media, blogs, websites, discussions forums, news sites and more. The keywords can be related to anything of your interest, be it your brand, product, industry, competition or cat videos.

All mentions are collected in real time and land in the dashboard, a user’s inbox or in a Slack channel.

Social listening tools, in general, have wide analytic capabilities and provide rich data. One can analyze the number of mentions, the number of interactions, social media reach or sentiment of each and every mention. It finds broad application in brand reputation management, social selling, customer service, research or influencer marketing.

Here’s how to use it to identify your micro-influencers.

Track Online Conversations About Your Business

A sure-fire way to identify micro influencers among your customers is to listen to their online conversations related to your brand, business, product or service. These days, the Internet is where people discuss all sorts of things. They seek recommendations, do reviews, share their customer experience, expect customer service and more.

Your task here is to discover these conversations and identify customers who drive a particularly high engagement in social media and therefore generate a considerable social media reach.

One way to do so is to use a social media monitoring tool like Brand24. If you decide to go for a trial account, which is completely free, here’s how you can track online conversations about your business.

1. First of all, you need to set up a project and provide keywords you want the tool to keep track of. Since you want to track conversations about your business, here are some suggestions for keywords:

Here’s what I would put inside if I worked for Specialized. It’s one of the leading bicycle manufacturers. The keywords below are used by Specialized for their online presence.

It’s important to remember that social media monitoring tools, in general, don’t provide historical data. They collect data from the moment a project is created.

Once you create a project, you move to the dashboard which looks like this:

The dashboard shows you the tool’s panel, the number of mentions and social media reach represented by a chart, sources of mentions of your keywords, the newest mentions, sentiment filter, influencer score filter, e-mail alerts and other filters. You can search these mentions even more by the Search in Results option. By narrowing down the results adequately, you are able to identify micro-influencers.

Each mention is described in a few ways: it shows the source, the number of followers, the influencer score and the number of interactions.

You should certainly consider sorting mentions according to sources and influencer score which describes the number of followers, social media reach and social media engagement an author of a mention drives.

2. What’s of interest to you, is the Analysis tab which contains all bits of data, including the most interactive mentions, the most popular authors, mentions by categories, the influence of social media authors and more.

Here’s an example of the mentions from the most popular authors. You can browse 100 most popular authors.

Your mentions are sorted according to the influence of social media authors. This gives you a clear picture of who might become the micro-influencer to work with your business.

Similarly, you get the most active social media authors. It’s based on the number of mentions and social media reach they generated.

You should look for people who drive a significant engagement and social media reach becasue they probably have an established authority and impact in a given field.

3. Once you have your list of potential micro-influencers, go through their content and decide if they are a good match for your business. Then you can reach out to them.

Fingers crossed!


If you feel like social media monitoring is the way, here you can start a Brand24 trial. It’s completely free. In fact, you can learn more about social media monitoring here. It’s our old-but-gold piece of content about 12 ways social media monitoring helps running a business.

Thanks for reading this blog post. I appreciate you!

Originally published at brand24.com.


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Identify and analyze online conversations about brands and products. Easy to use, cost-effective. Used by hundreds of businesses of all sizes.

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