Social Media Usage, Geographical Differences, and The Link To Influencer Marketing

It’s true to say that influencer marketing differs between locations across the globe. The key to a successful campaign is understanding this and planning your campaign accordingly. We all know that social media usage behaviors play a huge role in this, too. 

As with anything, each country will differ in terms of behaviors and characteristics, from things like working hours, eating habits, social behaviors, and more. Due to cultural differences around the world, businesses need to adapt their strategies in order to adapt to these changes and to meet the needs of consumers in various places.

In terms of influencer marketing specifically, there is a clear connection to social media usage across locations. But, more on that in a moment. First, let’s take a look at the data to understand where influencers are most populated.

Top influencer locations by country

Instagram is considered the hub of influencer marketing, with 67% of brands choosing this as their preferred platform for campaigns. So, it would seem appropriate for us to investigate these location differences directly regarding Instagram influencers.

According to a Heepsy analysis, the most populated countries amongst Instagram influencers are: 

  1. United States
  2. Brazil
  3. Russia
  4. Iran
  5. Turkey
  6. Indonesia
  7. India
  8. Italy
  9. United Kingdom
  10. Spain

The numbers are of course relative to country size, with the United States having over 1 million influencers, whilst Spain has around 175,000. However, it’s important to note that these numbers can vary significantly depending on your perception of an influencer. Some would say that having more than 1K followers would make you an influencer, yet others would say over 5K.

Instagram location tag for United States, a popular city for influencers.

Top influencer locations by city

To get a bit more precise, we decided to dig a little deeper and to investigate by city specifically. According to Heepsy, the most populated cities with influencers are: 

  1. Los Angeles
  2. São Paulo
  3. New York
  4. Theran
  5. London
  6. Rio de Janeiro
  7. Miami-Dade
  8. Paris

Instagram's location tag for São Paulo.

Again, when comparing numbers, in Los Angeles there are roughly 150,000 Instagram influencers. Then in Paris, there are around 40,000.

So, you may be wondering what these differences mean and what this will affect. 

The impact of these differences on your campaigns

Various challenges will have to be faced by brands, depending on the location for campaigns. It’s crucial to understand both the advantages of conducting an influencer campaign in a certain location, as well as the challenges that you may face.

You should consider:

  • the opportunity and availability of influencers
  • the demand for influencers based on current competition
  • influencer experience and advanced techniques
  • the affordability of influencers in this location

You may have already read our influencer marketing guide, and if not then I’d recommend taking a look at it. Here, you can find out how to plan an influencer campaign from start to finish.

The reason I mention this guide, is because you may know that during your initial planning process, it’s essential to outline your key objectives in relation to your budget, timeline, and resources. So, when thinking about these above elements based on influencer locations, you’ll want to cross-reference these with the objectives that you outlined too.

Availability

When considering availability, we need to look beyond just the number of influencers in an area. It’s easy to think that the more influencers in a location, the more competitive it will be to close deals. For example, the Heepsy data shows that the United States has the most influencers, but does this mean that there is more brand competition?

When looking at the information provided by IMA Agency, we can assess brand competition across countries. Of course, it’s not surprising that in the United States there’s both heavy competition between brands, as well as high numbers of influencers.

But, according to IMA’s data, there are far more brands working with influencers in the United Kingdom than in Italy. Yet, we know that Italy is actually placed higher in terms of the number of influencers. So, what we can understand by this information is that there is possibly more opportunity for brands to close deals in Italy than in the UK, with more influencers and fewer brands to compete against.

Affordability

A big consideration for brands comes down to the affordability of influencers. Understandably, influencer cost varies enormously, depending on not just location but the type of influencer too. No matter where you are, an influencer with 15 million followers will charge higher fees than one with 250K followers.

Heepsy's estimated cost of promotion.
An estimated cost of promotion for an influencer on Heepsy.

However, on average, some countries have a much lower cost for influencer fees than others. This is often a direct link to the market maturity in a particular area. The IMA report goes into this in further detail, showing the correlation between high influencer fees in mature markets such as the United States, but low fees charged in developing markets like Southern Europe.

In these countries, influencer marketing may be a more recent phenomenon, where they are still experimenting and discovering best practices in this line of advertising.

Social media usage

It’s definitely not news to tell you that distinctions in social media usage across locations entirely affect influencer marketing with regard to the above elements like competition, affordability, and availability. What’s interesting to note is that we cannot use social media as an umbrella term when linking to influencer marketing. Why is this?

Well, with over half of the global population now using social media, up 13.2% from last year, these numbers go beyond just influencer content. This includes usage of social networks like Facebook messenger, and other popular messaging chats like WhatsApp and WeChat.

It’s evident that this has a huge impact on the numbers, with China coming in at first place with 926 million social media users, yet do not appear in the top 10 influencer locations.  We know that in China, WeChat is the most popular social network and additionally, there are many more restrictions on social network availability and advertising limits.

Looking a bit further into social media usage, it’s clear to understand why Instagram is so effective for influencer marketing. Although fewer daily posts than Facebook,  Instagram has some of the highest engagement rates, with influencers having the third-highest engagement after Higher Education, and Sports accounts.

How does this link?

As our lives rapidly move further online every day, particularly due to the consequences of the recent pandemic, it’s no wonder that brands are thriving with social media marketing. However, as a multinational company, or a small business aiming to expand globally, it’s important to think about global cultural differences.

As a brand, if you have already commenced global expansion strategies, then you will most likely have started by asking yourself, “will my business attract consumers in this location?”. Therefore, an assessment of the consumer market in this area will have successfully been conducted.

But, what’s easy to forget is that the same must go for influencer marketing. Sure, you will have discovered that the consumers in this location are going to be interested in your product offering. But when considering an influencer marketing campaign, it’s important to understand the influencer market by geography too, to ensure the best success in reaching these consumers.  

Finding influencers by location

When you’re ready to search for influencers using Heepsy, it’s pretty simple really. If you are new to Heepsy, then just follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Select Instagram from the first dropdown box at the top.
  3. Click on the ‘Location” filter below.
  4. Choose to define your search by country, state, and city.

How to find influencers by location with Heepsy.

With the great number of influencers available on the platform, we encourage you to use all three of these location options, to narrow your search down as much as possible. For further detail on searching like this, check out our article about optimising your influencer search by location.

It’s important to remember that the location filter doesn’t necessarily mean that the influencers were born or are living permanently in the location. This filter works by taking information from the most tagged locations on Instagram. So, an account can have more than one location tag, for example, if they spend a lot of their time in a second country, tagging many of their photos there.

Conclusion

By understanding cross-cultural differences and how these can affect your campaigns, you will be able to better control your influencer search. We know that influencer marketing is increasing in popularity across the globe, even though some locations are more advanced than others. But, this is a strategy that can be implemented wherever you are.

Just remember to consider the key factors that we have talked about today. Think about the availability, affordability, and competition of influencers and brands where you are hoping to begin a campaign. And don’t forget, Heepsy is always here to help guide you through your search!

Olivia works on the Marketing team at Heepsy as a Content Writer. She is studying for a Masters degree and likes to play sports with friends and explore new cities in her free time.
Back To Top