Social media influencers can be great allies in the marketing strategy of your company. They can aid in building awareness of your brand, motivate and boost sales, get new followers or reap the many other influencer marketing benefits.
However, achieving success with this strategy requires you to find influencers that align with the mission and vision of your brand. Additionally, you need to find influencers that have solid performance metrics. That is, you should look for influencers with content that performs well and who have a genuine audience.
So how do you determine which influencer is best for you? Let’s go over what you need to pay attention to when looking for social media influencers.
Take a look at the number of followers that the influencer is following. This will impact the amount they will charge to use their service. The greater the number of followers an influencer has, the more expensive they’ll tend to be.
It is equally important to see the growth of followers. Check out how influencers have gained followers in time. Find organic growth that may be slow, but stable: it’s okay if influencers only gain a few followers per week or month, as long as their growth is consistently positive.
If you notice sudden increases in followers, bear in your mind the possibility that this is caused by fake followers. Check first whether there is a plausible explanation for the sudden growth in followers. This could be due to a giveaway or viral video. If nothing like that fits, the influencer likely bought followers.
Average views per video
For influencers whose main media format is video, such as TikTok creators, you should also examine how many views they get on average.
This is a useful metric because it provides you with an estimate of the number of viewers who are watching an influencer’s content regardless of their relationship to the influencer.
Take TikTok for instance. Followers will likely see an influencer’s content. However, you don’t have to follow an influencer to see their content. You might stumble across it on the Discover page, or while searching a specific category or hashtag.
Or on Twitch, there are a few ways to watch an influencer’s content. You can follow a streamer free of charge, or you can pay to subscribe to their channel. You can also simply enter into their profile and start streaming without being either a follower or subscriber.
So, looking at the average views per video will give an accurate picture of the number of views an influencer’s content receives, regardless of who’s watching it.
This shows how connected the influencer is to their followers. The more an audience is enthused by the content, the more they’ll engage with it. The engagement rate is calculated as follows:
- Add the total number of interactions (likes, comments, etc.) on a post.
- Divide the amount by the number of followers.
- Multiply the sum by 100.
This is the engagement rate for a certain post. It’s recommended to use an average from a sample of content, since engagement may vary between individual posts. Finally, check the influencer’s engagement against the benchmarks for their network, category, and follower segment.
Audience demographics and authenticity
It is also important to look into the influencer’s followers and their demographics. Does their audience match your target audience?
Analyze socio-demographics, such as gender, age, location, interests, and language. In the following chart for example, it is clear that this American Instagram influencer’s audience is mostly found within the United States.
While you’re looking at the audience, conduct a fake follower audit. Determine whether the audience is mostly real or mostly fake by looking for users who display the behaviors typical of bots.
Some of these behaviors are:
- Usernames that do not make sense.
- Not having a profile photo or profile content.
- Comments that sound unnatural or out of place.
The graph below indicates that 8.77% of this influencer’s audience could be bots. It’s common for influencers to have a tiny percentage of suspect followers. But once you get to 20% or more suspicious followers, you want to avoid collaborating with that influencer.
Quality of content and aesthetic style
Go through the posts of an influencer and discern the degree to which it is in line with your company’s brand. You must rely on your intuition here, as there aren’t any specific metrics that let you measure this.
In essence, you want your collaboration with an influencer to be perceived as genuine. Therefore, select influencers that are compatible with your brand’s purpose, values, and aesthetic.
In this example above, Instagram influencer @simplylaurenrose promoted an outfit from @somaintimates. Both the brand and Lauren have a common aesthetic. Lauren’s casual style is in line with the brand’s goal to provide women with stylish and comfortable intimates and sleepwear.
Where can I find this info?
You may be wondering where you can find the data for all these performance indicators. You can compute some of them through social media on your own. But you’ll have to inquire with influencers to send you their media kits in order to access data on the audience’s demographics and authenticity.
Alternatively, you could make use of an influencer marketing platform. The charts above are taken from this type of software. They function like search engines to find influencers, and they also have built-in analytics, allowing you to evaluate profiles right while you search.
Whatever your goals for marketing and no matter what your brand’s mission is, you should look over influencer profiles prior to choosing the partners for your social media marketing campaigns. Look for genuine audience members, high-quality content, and aesthetics and values that align with those of your company.