Find the sweet spot of real life credibility and online followership to uncover influencers with impact.

Look, we get it: When it comes to selecting the right influencer to collaborate with, numbers do matter. How much does this person cost, what is their engagement rate, how many followers do they have? Without these data points, we can’t make a decision on which influencer to work with. But with them, we only have half the story. The answer? Find the sweet spot between the numbers (followership in the digital world) and the human (real life credibility) to uncover the influencers who will truly have an impact.

successful influencer campaign

Followership in the Digital World

Here’s what we know. There are five very (read: one dimensional) traditional tiers of influencers to consider when measuring followership in the digital world. They help us understand part of the story. They, and their average engagement rate*, are:

  • Mega-influencers: 1,000,000+ followers
    Avg engagement rate = 1.5%
  • Macro-influencers: 500,000 – 1,000,000 followers
    Avg engagement rate = 2.6%
  • Mid-tier influencers: 50,000 – 500,000 followers
    Avg engagement rate = 2.58%
  • Micro-influencers: 10,000 – 50,000 followers
    Avg engagement rate = 3.3%
  • Nano-influencers: 1,000 – 10,000 followers
    Avg engagement rate = 7.2%

*avg engagement rate source: Rate and Engagement Report 2018

These traditional tiers of influence are a useful quantitative benchmark. They enable us to quickly assess the number of individuals an influencer will reach and how many of those individuals are likely to interact with their posts. But they don’t tell us who these influencers really are – their tone, their content, their personality…their credibility.

Credibility in the Real World

Think about it this way: If you were asked to find someone to date via Instagram, and all you had were the number of followers and the engagement rate your potential date had, would you feel confident about finding someone compatible? Hell no. Well, when you zero in on an influencer solely based on these numbers, you’re risking getting into a relationship with someone who might not be the right fit. At M Booth, we think about the influence landscape a little differently to make sure that never happens. One way we do this is with The Fluent Axis Of Influence.

The Fluent Axis Of Influence provides the context that the five traditional tiers of influence are missing by mapping influencers to an axis of followership in the digital world and credibility in the real world. It breaks out the broad “Mega” and “Micro” tags into the nuanced subgroups that we know these influencers are part of, and outlines which influencers are ‘Protectors’ and which are ‘Promoters’. Oh, and they’re all illustrated as donuts. Because hey, we love donuts. Here’s a handy guide on how to make this axis work for you…

The Fluent Axis Of Influence


So, here’s how to read The Fluent Axis…

First of all, let’s address the two tasty looking types of influencers – the Protectors and the Promoters. The Promoters are influencers who we work with to promote your brand. Protectors are influencers that you build relationships with – monetary or otherwise – so you have third party endorsers that believe in your brand. Think of these folks as the friends that can protect and advocate for your brand when the chips are down.
So, who do you want to work with and when? Let’s take a look at each corner of the axis and figure that out:

Top left hand corner – High Credibility & Narrow Reach

Micro-Tribe Leaders, Trusted Voices and Industry Leaders

These are some of the most trusted influencers you can work with – they’re an integral part of the community your target audience is passionate about. While they have a lower reach (typically between 10 – 100,000 followers) than the likes of Queen Beys, they make up for this with real life credibility and influence. Micro-Tribe Leaders (think Spin instructors, community art class leaders, etc.) in particular have a direct impact on the online and offline lives of their followers.

Top right hand corner – High Credibility & Broad Reach

Queen Beys & Having-A-Moments

‘Queen Beys’ are the creme-de-la-creme of influencers. Think Beyonce, Beiber and the Beckhams. If they post about your brand, the world is going to know about it. However, with followers in the millions, working with them will come at a hefty price. More accessible, and with higher engagement rates, are the ‘Having-A-Moments’. These are the influencers who are trending right now – think the lead actress in the hottest new Netflix series or the viral singing Subway sensation who just interviewed with Ellen. Hop on these folks while they’re hot.

Bottom left hand corner -Narrow Reach & Lower Credibility

The “nanos” & “The every-days”

You. Yes you, reading this right now. You’re probably one of the ‘every-days’ – a regular Instagram user with under 1,000 followers. You have a strong amount of influence among your close friends and brands are interested in that kind of affordable but effective influence right now. But who they’re really starting to pay attention to are the “nanos.” These influencers have between 1-10k followers, a dedication to specific passion and the highest engagement on the axis. Work with them and you’ll find your target audience in smaller but highly focused pockets.

Bottom right hand corner – Lower Credibility & Broad Reach

“Instagram stock photos” & “Spam-ville”

We can keep this one short. AVOID. Instagram “stock photos” are the accounts that post photos that look overly staged (because, well, they are) and have amassed a high following because they’ve paid for it. While “Spam-ville” is that weird named account that just followed you, has 300,000 followers but they all…seem to be from Russia? Yup, *block*.

So folks, that’s just about the whole donut when it comes to Fluent. Want to find your influencers? Email us at

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