Over three-quarters of the world’s four billion internet users are active on social media, with eleven new social media users every second. It’s no surprise that industries have turned to influencers to craft communication between brand and buyer. But brands beware: here’s what labels should keep in mind when on the hunt for the social media success.

1. Execution is everything. Nine out of ten brand Instagram handles mentioned influencers at least once between 2017 and 2018, according to Gartner L2’s intelligence report on the topic. However, with great adoption comes great responsibility. Nearly half of the brand handles that tag influencers in posts see a net increase in average engagement compared to non-influencer posts. However, the handles that fail to effectively incorporate influencers in posts actually bring down their sector averages.

2. Sometimes a pretty face is just a pretty face. While traditional influencer sectors like activewear, fashion, retail, and surprisingly, even beverage brands, receive a boost, influencer posts from beauty brands—despite their history with vloggers—experienced fewer average interactions than non-influencer posts. This is especially important to note for beauty brands willing to dole out the big bucks for famous faces. Some beauty influencers ask upwards of $20,000 per post—Huda Beauty, for example, rakes in a hefty $33,000 per post.

3. Think medium. It can be hard to compete with bona fide celebrities such as Selena Gomez or Rihanna, which is likely why some brands choose to work with mid-sized influencers, who cater to a different, albeit smaller, audience. Among a panel of more than 2,000 influencers posts from Q2 2017 to Q1 2018, Gartner L2 observed that medium influencer accounts actually mentioned the most brands across the largest variety of sectors. This indicates that brands have moved beyond a test-and-learn phase and into a full-fledged endorsement of influencers as they chase the dragon of social media engagement.

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