Influencer Earnings Per Social Platform: How to Score Your Best ROI

Feb 15, 2017
Tina Courtney
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Getting great influencer marketing ROIPeople influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message.” ― Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook

Despite what critics say, influencer marketing has earned its place in the limelight. The results driven by such campaigns are astronomical when compared with even the most effective marketing practices of today.

Influencer marketing is essentially word of mouth marketing, which is what makes it so compelling and effective. But all social influencers are not created equal; nor are the platforms they inhabit.

As the discipline continues its evolution, certain methods, techniques, and networks are jetting out to the forefront, displaying dominance over more impotent ones.

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Recently, the analytics firm, Captiv8, released their findings on how much influencers are raking in. The data was broken down by the size of their followings and social platforms. This information, however, tells a much bigger story than how rich some digital authorities are becoming.

Influencer Marketing ROI ChartIn order to build a case for the most profitable social networks to leverage in an influencer campaign, we are going to examine the average earnings of these social superstars to determine how that correlates to ROI.

In order to do this, we must first consider a recent study from Burst Media which uncovered that influencer marketing returns, “$6.85 in earned media value for every $1.00 of paid media.” Using this information, we extrapolated the potential ROI for an influencer campaign based upon the amount these authorities are paid per post.

If you are prepping to enter into the world of influencer marketing, this is some key information that can profoundly impact the scope, longevity of content discovery, and earnings that a campaign can generate.


The most obvious place to start is with the world’s largest social network. Facebook’s prominence and ubiquity have seemingly poised the channel as the premier influencer platform seeing as it reaches over 1.7 billion people across the globe.

Interestingly enough, however, Facebook influencers are not the ones demanding top dollar. The smallest tiered authorities on the platform, those with followings of 100-500K, rake in approximately $6,200 per post. When you move to the mid-level influencer, their rates go up to around $62,000 per post. The largest influencers on Facebook are pulling in around $187,000 per sponsored update.

This means that using the largest tiered influencers on Facebook can potentially results in an ROI of $1.2 million.

While these are significant earnings, they are still not potent as influencers on other platforms. This is largely due to the fact that Facebook has a history of suppressing the organic reach of promotional posts and the distribution Pages on the network.

Instagram and Snapchat

Instagram and Snapchat are both extremely popular social websites for younger generations. And both have been growing like wildfire over the past year. Recently, Snapchat surpassed Twitter in daily usage and Instagram blew past the 500 million user mark making it the third largest social network in existence, right behind Facebook and YouTube.

What is slightly surprising, however, is that influencers on both platforms are paid roughly the same amount, meaning that the engagement and conversions driven by these sites is comparable.

For both networks, influencers with 100-500K users pull in about $5,000 per post. Authorities with 1-3 million followers generate roughly $50,000 per post, and the largest social celebs, with over 7 million acolytes, grab a cool $150,000 per post. Despite the significance, both platforms have their drawbacks when it comes to influencer marketing.

With Snapchat, posts by influencers have nearly no discoverability considering how quickly the updates vanish. This poses significant problems when content marketing is all about discoverability. With Instagram, marketers and posters cannot link to valuable pages for brands; this can significantly hinder a campaign’s conversion rate.

As is the case with Facebook, both platforms can still produce significant ROI for influencer campaigns (around $1 million for the most costly influencers), but neither are the Alpha or Omega of social media.


Twitter is still a tool that is heavily leveraged by marketers for influencer discovery, but the platform itself is not exactly a boon for any kind of marketing effort.

Over the past year or so, Twitter has been struggling with user growth, irked quite a few people with its algorithm changes, and is likely to be sold off as a result of these, and other, variables.

Considering the dire state of the little blue bird, it should come as no surprise that Twitter influencers are the lowest paid out of all social platforms. Its smallest influencers earn roughly $2,000 per post while the largest, with over 7 million followers, are paid about $60,000 per tweet.

These kinds of figures mean that companies can potentially pull down $13,000 – $400,000, depending on the level of reach they require from their authorities.

The fact is that Twitter, compared to other platforms, is largely ineffective when it comes to influencer marketing due to the miniscule amount of users who actually see tweets from authorities, combined with the realization that Twitter is losing massive amounts of users.

If you are looking to craft an influencer campaign that reaches stellar ROI stats, Twitter just isn’t the way to go.


It’s no secret that we here at Evolve! are big fans of YouTube. But then again, so are another 1 billion users from all over the world. And with the unprecedented spike in video consumption, YouTube is the premier influencer marketing platform.

The reasons for this are quite clear: Firstly, video is quickly becoming the most popular form of content on the web today. Moreover, YouTube is already the second largest search engine on earth and owned by Google (who is obviously #1). This means that YouTube content is twice as accessible and more likely to be discovered than that on any other channel. Most importantly, however, is that the content posted to YouTube is forever. Most social media posts fade away and stop earning engagement a couple days after hitting a site. With YouTube, videos continue to earn hits, engagements, and drive conversions years after they were posted.

Because of YouTube’s incredible reach, engagement, and content longevity, influencers on this platform are generating incredible amounts of money from brands who understand their power. The smallest YouTubers, with 100-500K followers, earn more than $12,000 per upload. Mid-level authorities who boast 1-3 million subscribers put about $125,000 in the bank per sponsored video. Influencers who reach more than 7 million subscribers have $300,000 per sponsored upload shoved in their pockets.

As far as brands are concerned, using the largest of YouTube personalities can generate an influencer campaign over $2 million. Wow.

Numbers don’t lie; the income of influencers on various platforms has a deep interdependence on the value they can produce for businesses who require their services. If you want the biggest bang for your buck in influencer marketing, YouTube is the place to be.


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