New Study: Instagram Influencers with More Followers Have Less Engagement Rate; Opposite On Tiktok

With the imposition of total or partial closure on physical commercial stores, influencers have became true windows that have mastered the ability to generate brand impact with their followers and return on investment (ROI) for companies hiring their services.

In fact, according to a study by Kantar and Be Influencers, influencers are increasingly being considered in the media mix of advertising campaigns.

We verified that including influencers in an advertising campaign can generate, on average, an incremental impact of up to 8% in the advertising recall,” says Mariela Mayal, Media Director of Kantar’s Insights Division.

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In addition, they can increase the purchase intention and communication of brand differential messages by 5% over people not impacted by their content,” Mariela concluded.

With this framework, you might suppose that influencers boasting more followers or larger communities generate better results, but this is not always the case.

Interesting details have emerged from new studies carried out by Later and Fohr as well as Hype Auditor, firms that analyse engagement on social media platforms and creators with different sizes of followers.

Engagement is the metric that quantifies what percentage of an influencer’s audience interacts with their content.

Gabriela Perez Millon said,

The influencers with the highest volume of followers show a more aspirational content.

On Instagram, engagement is usually measured by summing the total of “likes” and comments and dividing it by the total number of followers of an influencer, although sometimes other indicators such as “saved” or “direct messages” are taken into account, among others.

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Later & Fohr analysed data from 3.5 million Instagram posts between December 2020 and March 2021.

While HypeAuditor studied more than 12 million Instagram accounts, 4.5 million YouTube channels, and 5.2 million TikTok accounts during 2020.

What Was The Conclusion of the Study

For Instagram influencers, a lower number of followers meant a higher engagement or influence rate. But on TikTok, the opposite was the case, as influencers with millions of followers tended to have the highest engagement rates.

The two reports found that on Instagram, the “nano” influencers (between 1K and 5k followers) had the highest engagement rates, followed by the “micro” (between 5k and 50k).

Influencers with followed between 1,000 and 10,000 had a participation rate within the 4% and 5% range.

For those having between 10,000 to 100,000 followers, the engagement range dropped to between 1.4%-2%.

For 100,000 to 1 million followers it stood between 1.3% to 1.6%.

And for more than a million followers, the rate plummeted to percentage between 0.8% and 1.6%.

As the influencer grows, he begins to be more generic and it becomes impossible for him to maintain such an empathetic closeness,” said Juan Marenco, CEO of Be Influencers.

Powerful Digital Villages

Niche audiences and authenticity are two characteristics that represent an advantage for lower-scale influencers.

Small accounts build a different relationship with their audiences: their fans follow them because they really care about the content. There is usually a much more intense back and forth between both parties, and a sense of community is generated that is not so easy with large volumes,” points out Ignacio Guebara, director of Amplifica.

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US cosmetics brand Glossier, for example, with a net worth of 1.2 billion dollars, is today a reference brand for the “Instagram Generation”. It gradually evolved from a beauty blog to a skincare and make-up empire with a strategy based on small-scale influencers, who from minute zero embraced a photogenic aesthetic and packaging very suitable for Instagram. Today, its 1.7 million micro-influencers drive 70% of the company’s growth.

Juan Marenco, CEO of Be Influencers, knows this as a fact from his own analysis of the results, drawing the conclusion:

The younger influencers generally base their content on a particular topic.”


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