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Evaluating Influencers and Their Engagement Rates

Updated: Jan 14, 2021

If you haven’t noticed yet, people are powerful! In the last several years, the rise of influencers and celebrities growing their social media presence is becoming more important as part of their ever-growing success. A crucial step for any rising influencer is to ensure they make a concerted effort to create a devoted and loyal fanbase that supports them in all they do. 

The term influencer is becoming more and more popular each day. They are taking over different platforms like Youtube, Instagram, TikTok, etc. Their voice and the actions they take are very powerful to their community and to potential companies who would want to work with them.

If done efficiently, influencers have the power to build and grow the company's overall success, profitability, and awareness of the company. This also brings in the phrase, “To make money, you need to spend it.” If a company allocates its budget to hire an influencer, the company should expect the influencer to represent the company in the best light and to help bring in revenue. One specific company that claims their success due to influencer marketing, is a company called MVMT. According to, this company focuses on selling “stylish, less pricey watches.” Influencer marketing was their biggest strategy when getting the word out and they have more than 1 million followers on Instagram. 

There are several ways an influencer can make money on social media. One popular way is that if their followers buy a product or service they're promoting, the influencer receives a portion of the profit of each sale that is done through them. Another common way is that the company gives them a set price to post about the products. The amount of sales does not make a difference in how much they make. A single post can net them thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on who they are and what they are promoting. 

Influencers who are more well-known and popular tend to have supportive fans who they can count on to support them. Whether the influencer has built their own success and life on their own, or through the family and background they come from, their fans continue to purchase their products and follow everything they do and say. 

For instance, Kim Kardashian, a very popular and well-known media personality, business owner, and influencer has appeared on various different platforms throughout the world. With 171 million followers on Instagram, she has built an empire and been very successful, specifically with influencer marketing through Instagram. Whether she is promoting her own products or advertising for another company, her large number of fans continue to follow her and want to try and use what she promotes.

In the majority of circumstances, engagement rates are critical when evaluating an influencer. An engagement rate measures the engagement an influencer has through their likes and comments, combined with their number of followers. Typically, the higher the engagement rate, the better. It shows their followers are connected and engaged with what the influencer is posting. It shows they are making an influence on what they are doing, and that the people are responding well and wanting to stay engaged and up to date with the influencer.

Phlanx, a social media marketing platform website, actually measures the engagement rate for different celebrities and influencers, just by typing in their account name. From there you can see their engagement rate. According to, the industry average for influencers on Instagram with more than 1 million followers is a 1.97% engagement rate. Compared to accounts ranging from 1 thousand followers to 5 thousand followers, who average a 5.6% industry average. The correlation between the number of followers and the engagement rates shows the higher the amount of followers an influencer has, the smaller the engagement rate is. When looking at Kim Kardashian, we can see her engagement rate is just 1.53%. This percentage we see here shows that no matter how little or much her fans were to interact with her, they know who she is and will continue following her and seeing what she does. 1.53% of 171 million people is a lot of people!  

A low engagement rate for influencers with smaller followings who are still getting their name out there may be troublesome for brands. Kim has low engagement rates but still does extremely well in her sales and growth as an influencer. Brands should do their due diligence before partnering with smaller influencers who have a low engagement rate. 

These influencers are truly dependent on their most active, engaging, and consistent followers. Creating new content, engaging with other similar accounts, and truly going out of their way to find what their followers enjoy will help tremendously. 

Everyone in the influencer market comes from a different background. As an influencer, it is important you find the right niche and then start creating content around that to help spur growth. Using a website like Phlanx can help determine where a certain influencer stands and how well they engage with their followers currently. With technology rising and the ability to use more resources to find information, use it to your advantage!

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