How to Identify a Real Instagram Influencer
The notion of social media influencer is either embraced or bashed by marketing professionals. In an age where user-generated content is about to replace traditional advertising, influencer collaborations were able to attract over $ 1 billion in 2017. The real problem is to identify those accounts which are genuine, have loyal followers, and the ability to generate ROI.
The Plague of the Fake Instagram Influencer
In 2017 a marketing agency created an experiment with two fake Instagram accounts. The goal was to get paid advertising contracts for these fictive influencers who only had purchased followers and comments. The real aim was to show how vulnerable are the platforms to false content. While calibeachgirl30 featured photos of the same model girl, wanderingggirl‘s profile contained only stock photos. They secured contracts with apparel and beverage companies.
So, as a marketer, what are the signs you should pay attention when choosing an influencer to act as your brand ambassador?
The recent changes in Instagram allow you to follow hashtags much in the same way you followed accounts. By consistent scouting of top posts for your range of interests, you can identify those accounts that are consistently having excellent results. Make a list of the top 20-50 potential influencers that you would like to reach out to. Use the next step to narrow down the selection.
Show Me the Numbers
A marketer is a strategist, and you should act by looking at business indicators, not tempting pictures. Disregard the visual coordination and harmony and go behind the scenes, since you should always choose quality over quantity. The total number of followers does not tell the whole story. You should dig deeper and ask for additional information and look at some industry-specific ratios.
- Follower growth.
Some tools give a sneak preview of the backstage. The aim is to see a steady, linear growth of followers. Any sudden spikes could be an indicator of purchased followers. Only an occasional spike could signal viral content, but those are rare.
- Engagement ratio
Industry standards define 5% as an average for likes/comments, while a rate towards 10% is extraordinary. Another study shows that once an account is over 10K it has a hard time sustaining a high engagement rate, even if it is a real Instagram influencer.
- Video views
Fake accounts and bots don’t bother to watch videos. A clear indicator of the genuine people who engage with a page is the number of video views. It should be around the same value as the previous rate.
Remember these rules when choosing an Instagram influencer. If you have a hard time finding the right one for your brand’s voice, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.