The Rise of The Social Media Micro-Influencer

by Maisse Houri-Charron

Image via Canva

I must be honest here; I am not and have never been a fan of the influencer culture. I can’t stand behind mega-rich influencers like Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner promoting harmful products like flat tummy teas or flat tummy lollipops to their young audiences just to make a buck. Okay, maybe a few million bucks but nevertheless, they are promoting harmful products to their audiences and therefore, consumers. Before the ad hashtag and the sponsored post labels were introduced on Instagram and other social media platforms, there was no transparency as to what was a paid advertisement and what was being posted as something the influencer genuinely loved. The influencer culture has been around for a few years but with the recent rise of TikTok and its space for authenticity, Instagram has caught on and has shifted its trends to a less-than-perfect curated feed and pushing out more authentic content. And with that, the mico-influencer has emerged.

What is a Micro-Influencer?

A micro-influencer has between 1000 and 10 000 followers. According to Sophia Bernazzani at Hubspot “Micro-influencers are social media users unlike typical celebrities, experts, or public figures. They’re individuals who work or specialize in a particular vertical and frequently share social media content about their interests. Unlike traditional “influencers,” micro-influencers have a more modest number of followers — typically in the thousands or tens of thousands — but they boast hyper-engaged audiences.” (Micro-influencer Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide)

Audiences tend to be more engaged with micro-influencers’ content because they are niched and because of their small following, tend to me more authentic in what they post. “Micro-influencers generate a ton of content that appeals to their audiences and become well-established in their area of interest. Over 82% of surveyed consumers said they were likely to buy something a micro-influencer recommended.” (Sophia Bernazzani, Hubspot, Micro-influencer Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide.)

How to Become a Micro-Influencer

I think this goes without saying but first and foremost: be authentic! Be Real! Be yourself. When you have your personal brand and niche figured out, be consistent in your social media strategy. Post consistently, engage with your audience, show them the good and the bad. You will see that your following will go up and once you have over a thousand followers, brands will reach out to you and you can connect with brands that are all about your niche and share a similar target audience.

For example, here is a friend of mine who is branded as a “South Asian Mommy Instagrammer”. Her target audience is mostly mothers of colour but her content is relatable to all mothers out there. Her following is currently at 8109. She has had partnership deals with companies like Good Food and KurKure chips by Fritolay and local female owned businesses to host giveaways.

Her audience and consumers (her community as she puts it) trust her because she is real when it comes to parenting, not being the cook in the house and raising a family with a husband outside of her culture.

Meenakshi Sharma via
Meenakshi Sharma via
Meenakshi Sharma via

I, for one, am happy about this shift to micro-influencers because it’s exhausting trying to keep up with this “perfect” charade larger influencers are posting about. I want relatability and that’s where my money will be spent.

Am I alone in wanting the mega-influencer culture over? How do you feel about micro-influencers? Let me know in the comments!

Find this on Facebook:

The Rise of the Micro-Influencer

Find this on Twitter:

Are you a Micro-Influencer and don’t even know it? #microinfluencer


Micro-Influencer Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide

Don’t Blame The Kardashians For Posting “Secret Ads” — Blame Instagram

What it Really Means to be Authentic on Instagram

9 thoughts on “The Rise of The Social Media Micro-Influencer

  1. Maisse, I share the same view as you in regards to huge influencers. They seem fake and inauthentic. I much prefer small micro-influencers who really take the time to build a tight community. They build trust and have this relatability that larger-scale influencers don’t have.
    I am part of the 82% who would buy something a micro-influencer recommends.

    • Thank you so much for reading! I have disliked the influencer culture since the beginning. It creates these unrealistic expectations for their audience and most contribute to the harmful body image issue crisis we have going on. I love following smaller micro-influencers because they are totally relatable and down to earth.

  2. Hi Maissa, I really enjoyed reading your blog post! I totally agree that I am happy micro-influencers have been getting more attention for their authenticity compared to mega-influencers like you mentioned. Large influencers on social media have just that, a large influence on their audience. So many young individuals become victims to caving into fake products and information large influencers promote. I feel more welcomed and understood following micro-influencers because they are relatable and more unbiased towards promotions and recommendations.
    Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Thank you for reading! I long for the days when larger influencers have no power. I have two young kids and I worry for what they’ll fall for on social media when they’re older. I hope they see what’s real and what’s not and do their research.

  3. Hi Maisse,

    You make some great points regarding influencers and micro-influencers. When I’m consuming content online, I definitely gravitate towards individuals that come across as more genuine and down to earth, and lately that has been a ton of micro-influencers! I appreciate any influencer/micro-influencer that does brand deals with brands that they are actually users of, instead of taking brand deals solely to make money, even if they don’t stand behind the brand and truly like it or use it. Authenticity and transparency are so important when building a community of like-minded individuals and I’ve seen so many micro-influencers doing a great job with this lately. You also shared some great tips for how to become a micro-influencer. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks so much for reading! The bigger the influencer, the harder to know if they are selling what they really believe in, but also depends if they started out as micro-influencers. I guess it’s really a matter of being cognizant of what we are consuming. I think the key to being a successful influencer is being always keeping it real.

  4. Thank you Maissa, I enjoyed reading your insight on micro-influencers. I am in total agreement that the smaller more niched focused influencers can definitely be more authentic. However, I don’t know if all large social media influencers are necessary bad. My kids have influencers that they like to watch and are loyal followers. They treat these people no different then a TV show that we have watched for many years (one that comes to mind is Grey’s Anatomy). One that I have recently been drawn to is Mr Beast. He is a mainstream influencer but finds creative ways to give away his money. He seems authentic to me but I could be wrong.

  5. Hi Maisse! This is a really great blog post. I like that it promotes ‘the little guy’ instead of the super rich. I find a lot of micro-influencers to be more relatable over all. All lot of them will go the extra mile to reach their audience and be more interactive. Another great read! Thanks!

  6. Hi Maisse! It’s great to know I’m not the only one who has a dislike for major influencers like the Kardashians. I remember when I was in middle school and high school and I was constantly bombarded with these untagged ads for flat tummy tea and the new ways to lose weight! Needless to say this was not great for my mental health.
    I’m not really someone who follows microinfluencers but I definitely welcome them more than the ultra-rich influencers broadcasted on TV. The microinfluencers I follow are usually artists and its great to see authentic art being widely seen.

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