Don't Hire Social Influencers Based On Followers

Dont Hire Social Influencers Based On Followers Following Count

3 Reasons Why Hiring Social Influencers Based On Followers Could Backfire

From the biggest traditional retailers to CPG brands and Hollywood entertainment companies, everyone is hiring social influencers as a major part of their social marketing and advertising campaigns. With the massive adoption of social media platforms/channels (e.g. Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat) and avoidance or decline of TV by many affluential demographics, both direct-response and brand marketers are discerning how best to allot their advertising spend in the upcoming new year.

While the vast majority of marketers are increasing ad spend to social and digital media, many marketers are still unsure about how to best identify, hire, and collaborate with social influencers. Similar to the history of display ads (rendered almost obsolete by the mainstream adoption of ad blockers), where marketers first evaluated campaigns based on cost-per-impression (CPM – possible reach, visibility), then cost-per-click (CPC – action-driven), and finally, performance (actual conversions, sign-ups, profitable action), the process of evaluating and hiring social influencers is experiencing a similar developmental path.

Read on to see why marketers need to make these following critical considerations beyond a social influencer’s follower count to best maximize ROI and create an effective influencer marketing strategy prior to hiring (for our 10-step process guide, check out our white paper here):

There’s more to social influencers than follower count

While reach and visibility are clearly important, the saying “quality over quantity” also applies when it comes to hiring social influencers based on follower count. Unless a marketing campaign is primarily branding in nature (think Karlie Kloss for Express or Johnny Depp for Dior), hiring the appropriate social media stars has as much to do (if not more) with eliciting audience participation and engagement as their social following. In many instances, brands are enlisting and needing social media stars to provide both branding and direct-response value to their marketing campaigns thus requiring marketers to evaluate beyond simple vanity metrics and into performance or actionable metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators including CPA – cost-per-acquisition, and CLV – customer lifetime value).

Hiring social influencers purely on follower counts (while expecting quantifiable performance-driven consumer action) is a mistake not to make.

For Social Influencers, Engagement & Performance Counts

Before hiring for a marketing campaign, it’s important to discern baselines for both engagement (likes, comments) and performance based on similar, past campaigns. Once you’ve identified a possible list of social media stars, begin to build a working correlation between the number of followers, likes, and comments whilst also gaining a sense of the overarching audience sentiment when it comes to previously brand sponsored posts.

For an in-depth look at how we vet top social media stars based on engagement and performance, check out our 10-step whitepaper guide here.

Here’s what to look for when hiring social influencers

The following points are excerpted from our 10-step guide to influencer marketing.

  • Set campaign objectives & KPIs — before hiring for your marketing campaign, define your KPIs. This largely helps to determine which social influencers and channels are best to select.
  • Evaluate the right social influencer media & channels — once you’ve determined your KPIs, review and evaluate the social channels that best achieve your objectives.
  • Research the right influencers for your brand — carefully review each social influencer’s content to make sure there’s an ideal, organic, and relevant alignment with your brand. Check to see which products they currently promote and link to within their channel.
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