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Being a micro-influencer: an unsustainable activity for young people

Santiago Giraldo-Luque, Isabel Villegas-Simón, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Alessandro Bernardi, Social Elephants; Cristina Fernández-Rovira, Universitat de Vic-Universitat Central de Catalunya
Project selected in the Call to support social research projects: vocational training, early school leaving and job insecurity

The earnings made by micro-influencers from their publications on social media networks are not propor-tional to the impact that they generate on their digital communities. The quest for fame and renown, for which social media networks are often used, is one of the main factors leading many young people to try to become influencers. In recent years, micro-influencers have become a key part of digital marketing, generating prestige or trust in certain products or thematic areas, and promoting them in their digital communities. The study underlying this article focuses on the social media network Instagram, on which young people spend an average of 2.5 hours per day. An influencer with a user community of between 5,000 and 100,000 followers can earn, on average, 102 euros per publication posted. But many micro-influencers are not satisfied with the income that they earn from this activity. The time that they invest in creating contents and feeding and managing their communities, as well as the fact that their capacity for adding value to brands is underestimated, are some of the reasons behind their discontent.
Key points
  • 1
       Some 62.2% of the micro-influencers who participated in the study feel unsatisfied with the pay that they receive in relation to the time that they devote to producing contents for their profiles.
  • 2
       Micro-influencers devote, on average, 45 hours per month to their Instagram profile, and they invest three hours in creating a publication. Per publication, they receive 102 euros on average, although not all of them earn money for their posts.
  • 3
       It can take each of them up to eight years to consolidate their own profile on Instagram as a micro-influencer and thus be able to generate income for the publications that they post on this social media network.
  • 4
       Micro-influencers guarantee a better conversion into sales for advertising campaigns and they have a major capacity for building bonds between brands and their followers. The added value of their activity is the engagement that they generate with their community, an essential element in the digital advertising market, as it enables the interaction between influencers and users to be evaluated.
How much does a micro-influencer earn for a publication on Instagram?
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