How to Pay Social Media Influencers?

How to Pay Social Media Influencers?
Brianna Blaney

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Brianna Blaney

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There are now over 4.74 billion social media users around the world. Thus, social media isa marketing channel that cannot be ignored, yet is often the last place companies want to spend money. That’s primarily because there’s a lack of knowledge and understanding of just how important social media marketing and influencer marketing campaigns can be for a business. 

However, social media influencers are bridging the gap. In fact, 82% of consumers say that they're more inclined to buy something if a social media influencer or content creator recommends it. And more marketers are catching on. In 2022, 72.5% of marketers admitted to using influencer marketing to get ahead. You might be one of the many new companies that are using or have decided to use social media influencers in 2023 and beyond.

So, if you’ve decided to hire a social media influencer, you need to know how to pay them. That’s why we’ve created this post.

In this article, we’ll look at why social media influencers are important, common influencer rates or pricing, the best ways to pay them for collaborations, and how to price a social media influencer for your brand today! Finally, we’ll also cover some of the best and proven ways to pay social media influencers for your marketing campaigns.

Why do Brands and Agencies Work with Social Media Influencers?

There are many reasons why a business chooses to hire a social media influencer. They are extensions of your brand, helping to drive awareness, increase sales, and reach niche audiences. 

Additional benefits of hiring social media influencers include:

  • Access new opportunities (like creator licensing) 
  • Influencers can aid in your content and influencer marketing strategy
  • Provide extra value to your audience via paid endorsements
  • Brainstorm with experts and social media pros
  • Help you appeal and reach to a younger demographic (Gen Y and Z)

Social media influencer marketing is accessible to companies of any size, including small businesses. You just have to reach out to the right influencers. Once you find them and hire them, you need to understand how much influencers charge and how to pay them. That's, perhaps, the most critical part of influencer satisfaction and retention. And we’ll cover that in the next section.

Understanding Average Costs of Social Media Influencers

In a recent study, 86% of marketers stated they don’t understand how influencers calculate their fees for sponsored content. 

The truth of the matter is, there is no standard way to pay a social media influencer. It can depend on a variety of factors like the channels they use, reach, number of followers, engagement rate, frequency, and style of posts. 

It may also depend on how much effort it takes to create the content and possible agency fees (if the influencer is represented).  Let’s discuss some all these factors in detail.

Influencer Size

This definitely plays a role in how much you pay social media influencers. The agreed-upon size of influencers is based on reach and number of followers: 

  • Nano-influencers: 1,000 to 10,000  
  • Micro-influencers: 10,000 to 50,000  
  • Mid-tier influencers: 50,000 to 500,000  
  • Macro-influencers: 500,000 to 1,000,000  
  • Mega-influencers: 1,000,000+  

Influencer Channels

Social media influencers are also paid differently based on the channel they are active in. Here are the most popular platforms for social media influencers:

  • Instagram (93%)
  • TikTok (68%)
  • Facebook (68%)
  • YouTube (48%)
  • Twitter (32%) 

Instagram 

Instagram is a cost-effective channel for influencers and is, therefore, the most popular. A very standard rate for Instagram influencers is $1,000 for every 100k followers. 

Here are the average prices per post:

  • Nano influencers $10 to $100  
  • Micro-influencers $100 to $500 
  • Mid-tier influencers $500 to $5,000 
  • Macro-influencers $5,000 to $10,000  
  • Mega-influencers $10,000+  
  • Celebrities $1 mil+

If you’re still not sure how much to pay, try this Instagram influencer earnings calculator.

TikTok 

This platform is quickly becoming one of the most influential on the market. Typical prices for TikTok influencers (per post) include:

  • Nano influencers $5 to $25  
  • Micro-influencers $25 to $125
  • Mid-tier influencers $125 to $1,250
  • Macro-influencers $1,250 to $2,500
  • Mega-influencers $2,500+  
  • Top influencers $10,000+

Top TikTok influencers will have tens of millions of followers and they can look like completely normal people. Unlike Instagram, they do not have to be actual celebrities to attract millions of people.

If you're still wondering how much to pay, try this TikTok Money Calculator to get a better idea.

Facebook 

The following are the average costs (per post) for Facebook influencers:

  • Nano influencers $5 to $250  
  • Micro-influencers $250 to $1,250
  • Mid-tier influencers $1,250 to $12,500
  • Macro-influencers $12,500 to $25,000
  • Mega-influencers $25,000+  

Facebook can be on the more expensive side because it’s harder to build a large audience. It is a strict and heavily regulated platform. Plan on paying an average of $250 for every 10,000 followers.

YouTube 

Here are the average costs (per post) for YouTube influencers:

  • Nano influencers $20 to $200  
  • Micro-influencers $200 to$1,000
  • Mid-tier influencers $1,000 to $10,000
  • Macro-influencers $10,000 to $20,000
  • Mega-influencers $20,000+  

The average cost on YouTube is typically $18 per 1,000 ad views. Some YouTube influencers will also charge based on video views ($50 to $100 per 1,000 views). 

Twitter 

The average price (per post) for Twitter influencers is as follows:

  • Nano influencers $2 to$20
  • Micro-influencers $20 to $1,00
  • Mid-tier influencers $1,00 to $1,000
  • Macro-influencers $1,000 to $2,000
  • Mega-influencers $2,000+  

The industry-standard cost per post for influencers on Twitter is $2 for every 1,000 followers. Twitter is the channel that usually has the lowest fees for influencer marketing. 

Other Social Media Channels to Consider

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7 Types of Social Media Influencer Payments

When it comes to paying social media influencers, there are a variety of different methods that are acceptable. These include:

  1. Rewards and gifts
  2. Comped trips and events
  3. Rebating and store credit
  4. Pay per post
  5. Content licensing fees
  6. By performance
  7. Fixed-rate (plus performance bonus)
  1.  Rewards and Gifts

This is the most inexpensive way to pay social media influencers; even the best ones will accept gifts if they like the brand enough. In most cases, influencers are gifted an item that they then try out in front of an audience. 

  1. Comped Trips and Events

Another fairly inexpensive way to pay social media influencers is by creating a free environment for them to travel and network. If you’re a brand hosting influencers on a trip or at an event, this can give them the control and freedom to be creative with their content.

  1. Rebates and Store Credit

This works much like gifting and tends to target smaller influencers. However, unlike gifts (where they must announce it on the sponsored post) store credit and rebates do not require disclosure. 

  1. Pay-per-post

Also referred to as “sponsored” posts, this is the most popular form of payment for social media influencers. There is a wide price range that depends on factors like:

  • Type of content and quality
  • Follower count
  • Audience engagement
  • Length of partnership
  • Brand size or product value

Your budget will also dictate exactly what you pay an influencer per post.

  1. Content Licensing

When you want to quickly build a content library, content licensing (a.k.a royalty payments) is a good way to go. This can be integrated as a payment model in your contract, with a discussion on exactly where the content can be used (set period or perpetuity).

  1. Performance-based

These types of social media influencer payments are made based on a predefined measurement. This can include CTAs like:

  • Signing up for a service
  • Downloading a whitepaper
  • Creating an account
  • Booking a flight
  • Purchasing a product/service

This is a popular method because it’s easy to execute and highly trackable. It works great for influencers with a large follower base or micro-influencers with elevated rates of engagement.

  1. Fixed-Rate Plus Bonus

This method typically sees a higher return on investment and gives influencers upfront cash to cover their initial efforts. They receive a base rate, and then bonus pay depending on how many goals are reached (like sales, clicks, conversions, etc.).

How to Price a Social Media Influencer For Your Brand?

The top way to figure out how to price a social media influencer for your brand is to look at their follower count and engagement. The more followers they have, the more they can command per post. 

However, they must also have effective engagement with the people that follow them. This is the secret formula to pricing social media influencers accurately. 

When pricing a social media influencer, look at the following factors:

  • Average marketing ROI
  • Previous campaign performance
  • Standard rates
  • Rate cards

The influencer should be able to provide you with figures up front (and references) for proven campaigns that have been a success. You should also request rate cards or media kits for more transparency on what you can expect each influencer to charge.

If you have already begun working with the influencer, pay close attention to the ROI. If you’re paying out more than you're getting back, it might be time to switch influencers or channels. 

Project Type

The type of project will also determine how much you pay an influencer. After all, making a video and writing a tweet are two separate planets when it comes to effort. Therefore, studies have shown that common rates based on popular projects include: 

  • Sponsored Facebook post - $319
  • “Like” a brand - $171
  • “Follow” a brand - $156
  • Sponsored photo - $272
  • Sponsored video - $496
  • Sponsored Tweet - $418
  • Sponsored email- $634

How to Pay Social Media Influencers?

When it comes to paying social media influencers, the majority want to be paid in cash. In other words, gifts and trips no longer cut the mustard for serious professionals. Therefore, you need to find the most efficient ways to pay influencers, especially if you plan on hiring a few of them.

This is where automation comes in. You find an online payment platform and let the computer do the rest. The step-by-step process typically goes something like this:

  1. Sign up for the platform
  2. Connect your bank account or credit card
  3. Wait for your account to be authorized
  4. Start sending out ACH payments across the globe

Other platforms will boast additional features like invoicing, recurring payments, and subscriptions. It’s all about finding the tools that work best for your top business needs.

Here are some of the more common platforms companies of every size are using to pay social media influencers right now:

PayPal

PayPal is available in over 200 countries, supports 25 currencies, and has been a major player in the B2B financial market since 2003. The platform offers a variety of payment methods including global ACH, credit and debit cards, and bank wires. 

A basic account with PayPal is free and a business account starts at $30/month with a fee of 3.49% +$0.49 per transaction. Credit card transactions cost more.

Bill.com

This is a cloud-based payment gateway that helps a business manage cash flow and pay social media influencers. Send wires to over 137 different countries, set payments to a schedule, and manage expenses, all in one spot.

Pricing for Bill.com starts at 49 cents per transaction. Subscriptions range from $45 to $80 a month depending on your size and business needs. 

Stripe

Stripe is an online payment processor that offers custom APIs for ecommerce brands and mobile apps. The software accepts payments in over 135 different countries, in multiple currencies. It also integrates with a variety of finance apps.

Stripe costs 2.9% plus a 30-cent fee per transaction. There are also different costs to further customize the platform.

Lumanu

If you really want to enhance the social media influencer experience, Lumanu helps to simplify the entire process. From onboarding to taxes and multiple payment methods, it’s a solution that makes paying influencers stress-free.

Lumanu saves marketing and finance teams hours from having to onboard new vendors, processing and scheduling payments, and managing invoices. Plus, making ACH payments and mailing paper checks can be tedious if you have to pay dozens of vendors at once.

Lumanu also gives a business access to instant working capital (EarlyPay) and the ability to pay social media influencers at mid-market exchange rates. It plugs directly into your existing AP/AR system where you can send invoices, streamline workflows, and manage all influencer payouts in a single spot.

Learn how DIME Beauty uses Lumanu to scale its payments to hundreds of social media influencers at once

The cost for Lumanu starts at free with zero processing fees. The Business Lite plan is $99/month and the Business Pro plan is $299/month.

Other Social Media Influencer Payment Platforms to Consider

  • Skrill
  • Payoneer
  • Venmo
  • QuickBooks
  • Wise (formerly Transferwise)

Final Thoughts: How to Pay Social Media Influencers

Hiring a social media influencer is a smart move for a business of any size and industry. Everyone is on social media; it's a prime location to explore new audiences and post relevant messaging. An influencer helps you bridge the gap, increasing brand awareness, driving sales, and reaching new customers.

However, paying a social media influencer can be a complex process. There are numerous factors, from channel to experience, followers and engagement, that will go into properly pricing an influencer. 

Once you decide and sign an agreement, solutions like Lumanu can help take care of the most important process of all…paying the people that drive your business. Schedule a free demo to see how Lumanu can help you automate social media influencer payments and drive sales today.

Additional FAQs: Paying Social Media Influencers

What Form of Payment Do Influencers Use?

The most popular way to pay social media influencers is with a fixed rate plus a commission or by performance only. 

Another widely accepted method is to pay by post, which usually looks at the number of followers. Other forms of payment include gifts, comped travel, store credit, and content licensing fees. 

How Do I Pay An Influencer Commission?

An influencer commission is paid as a percentage of a sale that they bring in. It can also be paid by other benchmarks like conversions, clicks, and traffic. 

Commissions are typically paid the same way as a fixed rate via ACH, wire, EFT, and other agreed-upon payment methods.

Brianna Blaney

Schedule a demo to learn how Lumanu can help your business pay out TikTok influencers hassle-free.

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