Mega-, macro-, micro- and nano-influencers — What’s the difference, and which should you use for your brand?

With the influencer marketing industry set to reach $10 billion by 2020, we are beginning to see how powerful social media influencers are. Influencer marketing is one of the most successful ways for brands to reach a relevant audience and increase sales and engagement, so if you are looking to dive into the lucrative world of influencer marketing, the first step is learning who your audience is and which type of influencer works best for your brand. Thus, understanding the different types of influencers that exist is important.

Social media influencers are split up into four different tiers: mega-, macro- micro- and nano-influencers, in order of largest to smallest following. Though it seems that the distinction between these four categories is merely the size of their following, the differences are far more nuanced.

Understanding the differences between these four types of influencers is crucial, as it will help you decide on the right one for your business or product. So, let’s jump in and look at them:


These are your celebrities, whether it be an actor/actress, singer or internet personality, and they usually have at least one million followers or subscribers on at least one social media platform.

Highest in the pecking order of social media influencers, mega-influencers are the ones to reach if you want your brand to be recognized globally. Because they have a massive following across all their social channels, their content reaches a vast audience quickly. The downside, however, is that they lack a real connection with their followers, so using them as a medium to establish a relationship with consumers may not be ideal.

Additionally, mega-influencers are extremely expensive, so be prepared to break the bank if you’re looking to work with one. To give you an idea of their prices, Kylie Jenner and Selena Gomez make an estimated $1 million and $800,000, respectively, per sponsored Instagram post. In conclusion, mega-influencers are most suitable for businesses that have a vast marketing budget and want to increase brand awareness to the masses fast.


Next in the hierarchy of influencers are macro-influencers, who have a following of 100,000 to 1 million. These influencers obtained their fame from the internet, whether it was through blogging, going viral, or being a social media star.

Macro-influencers could be called the happy medium between micro- and mega-influencers, as you really get the best of both worlds with them. They often have large, yet engaged, audiences and work well for brands looking to advertise to a specific niche. So, if you are trying to target a certain audience but still want to target the masses, macro-influencers would be your best bet.

The drawback, however, is that most macro-influencers work with an agent when dealing with brands; this comes with increased efficiency, but also means inflated costs. Make sure to keep an eye on your ROI though — macro-influencers tend to have lower engagement rates than their smaller counterparts (micro- and nano-influencers) and you want to get the results that you paid for.


The biggest group of influencers on social media , micro-influencers are known for being topic or industry experts. Since they really know their subject and are passionate about it, they’ve gained credibility and a very loyal audience. Micro-influencers have anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 followers and usually have some experience working with brands. What makes them most effective in terms of getting loyal followers is their “trust” factor; their followers know that they would never promote something that they don’t like or care about, so this could work in your brand’s favor if you are able to leverage the niche that made them “famous”.

By far, the best thing about micro-influencers is that they cost far less than macro- and mega-influencers. Although they have a much smaller reach, they have extremely loyal, engaged followers, and will give you a nice return on investment if your product fits with their audience.

Nano-influencers (everyday consumers)

There is quite some buzz around nano-influencers at the moment, as they are a new type of influencer. Nano-influencers are individuals who have influence within their local community; they typically have a very social media following (less than 10,000) and have little to no experience working with brands. Believe it or not though, despite their low follower count, nano-influencers are very powerful, due to their high level of engagement. Because they know most, if not all, of their followers, the trust level is very high.

The greatest advantage of working with nano-influencers is that they have the highest engagement of all influencers; because they are more authentic, their followers are more likely to trust them. The only drawback is that their audience size is very small, so you may not get the results you want. Nano-influencers, however, can be great for start-ups or small businesses that want to leverage influencers but have a very small marketing budget; using nano-influencers would allow those brands to test influencer marketing ideas before investing too heavily.

Because influencers are the connection between your brand and its potential customers, finding one whose voice and audience fits perfectly with your brand is crucial in social media marketing. As you can see, finding the right influencers for your brand is not so simple. It all comes down to what you are trying to achieve and what resources your business has access to.

So, that basically wraps up the types of influencers. Regardless of which type you decide to go for, keep in mind that influencer marketing is just one part of your brand marketing. You still have to invest in social media ads and other means of promotion, so don’t spend all your marketing budget and efforts on influencer marketing alone.

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