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In today’s landscape, consumers crave authenticity. That’s why choosing the right influencers for each campaign is just as important in 2021 as it has ever been. Maybe even more so. One of the key things to look into is the average engagement rate, which tells you a lot about how influencers connect with their audiences.

In the early days of influencer marketing, brands and marketers viewed follower count as king. Not so much today. In the modern marketplace, the average engagement rate is actually higher among influencers with smaller followings. Ready to take a quick, but deep, dive into why engagement rates matter? This guide will explain the basics you need to know, including the average engagement rate by follower count for each influencer tier.

Why Social Media Engagement Rates Matter

There’s more to influencer marketing than posting frequency and the number of likes a post or story gets. Social media engagement rates are an important metric for marketers. And that metric varies widely among the different tiers of influencers. Each tier is defined by the number of followers influencers have.

For most brands and marketers, engagement isn’t just a key performance indicator, it’s a campaign goal. A good engagement rate is an indicator of closeness, trust and loyalty. These are critical qualities that you can’t fake or manufacture. They’re also a good indicator of success, particularly for campaigns aimed at generating awareness.

How Engagement Rate is Calculated

Wondering how engagement rates are calculated? The basic formula is to add the number of likes and comments on a single post or story. Divide that by the influencer’s number of followers and multiply that number by 100.

If you’re calculating it for more than one post — many influencers calculate it monthly — you’d add up the total likes and comments on every post. Divide that by the number of posts to calculate the average engagement rate per post. Then, divide that number by the influencer’s number of followers and multiply it by 100 for the average engagement rate. For example, a nano influencer with 1,000 followers had a total of 10,000 likes and comments on 30 posts, the formula would be:

  • 10,000/30 = 333.33
  • 333.33/1,000 = 0.33
  • 0.33 x 100 = 33.33 percent

The example above is extremely high. In general, industry standards indicate that engagement rates above 6 percent are very high. Anything between 3 percent and 6 percent is high, while average engagement rates fall between 1 percent and 3 percent.

Average Engagement Rates Among Influencer Tiers

Different organizations have slightly varying takes on the number of followers that constitute each tier. This gives you a good idea of the average follower count and engagement rate for each influencer tier: nano, micro, mid-tier, macro and mega.


Nano-influencers are in demand as part of many brands’ social media marketing strategies in 2021. These influencers’ average number of followers range from 0 to 10,000, allowing them to produce content that carries appealing authenticity. And that’s something that today’s consumers crave more than ever. In fact, many consumers will turn to friends and family for recommendations instead of big names and brands. Because they have a small niche following and a high engagement rate that averages 4 percent — the highest all influencers — nano-influencers resonate powerfully.


Like nano-influencers, micro-influencers have a smaller, curated following. The average number of followers extends from 10,000 to 50,000. Consumers largely view these influencers more like peers, which imparts authenticity and trust. The average engagement rate of these influencers varies widely depending on the social media platform. For example, micro-influencers have an average engagement rate of 3.86 percent on Instagram, but 17.96 percent on TikTok.

Mid-Tier Influencers

Mid-tier influencers offer a happy medium of sorts. They’re more firmly established than their micro and nano piers, but still less famous than macro and mega influencers. They have an average follower count of 50,000 to 500,000, giving them a wider reach. Mid-tier influencers still have relatively high engagement rates, which average 2.58 percent, although their following is less relationship-based than influencers with smaller followings.


Macro-influencers are well established, with an average following of 500,000 to 1 million. Many of these influencers rely on their social media presence for their livelihoods. Or they may be musicians, actors, athletes and models also. These influencers command higher fees for each sponsored post. Macro-influencers have an average engagement rate of 2.6 percent.


Massive followings and broad appeal combined with the ability to create trends and shape pop culture make mega-influencers a popular option for large budget brands. While they’re effective in creating demand and gaining recognition, they generally have 1 million or more followers, but lower engagement rates. Additionally, research suggests that consumers are exponentially more likely to take the recommendation of a non-celeb. Mega-influencers have average engagement rates of 1.5 percent.

Finding the right influencer for your next campaign is the key to getting the results you want. If you’re looking to go viral or become a trendsetter, you might want to go big. To create campaigns that resonate with authenticity and drive results based on trust and loyalty, engagement rates matter more than the number of followers. Quickly and easily search for the perfect influencer using IZEAx Discovery, one of the largest marketplaces of its kind.