Having an expertise of 4+ years in the influencer marketing industry, we saw the market evolving and the metrics challenged all the time. Back in 2014, having a strong followship + a consistent engagement rate was enough to assess how a influencer was doing.
It's not the case anymore.
Starting 2016, the issues about fake followers started to rise again, especially on Instagram - $$$ started to flow in the industry, hence the concerns.
Fake likes are an issue as well since a few years - and now Instagram thinks of removing them as well.
These metrics are very popular - but how to make sure a static rating is appropriate?
My best advice: don't rely on a simple rating. All Instagram & Twitter account have fake followers and fake likes - it doesn't matter how much.
To get strong results with your social media strategy, you should focus on a set of metrics that will give you a understanding of your match with the account.
For instance: Do you share the same audience? If not, are they complementary? Is the account generating valuable conversations?
First, we'd like to cover a few basics that are sometimes misunderstood - because as basics, they matter.
Over time, these metrics show how much an social media account's able to stay consistent with audience acquisition.
All things remaining equal - a account with more followers is more valuable with one with fewer followers. An account with more interactions per content is more valuable than another.
However, you wanna take a look at those long-term, especially to spot fake influencers and/or fake interactions.
A huge spike followed by a slow decrease in your followers size is usually a sign of bought followers.
But a huge spike in itself is not a sign of bought followers in itself - sometimes, things are working out for social media accounts, and it can happen in one day. 🙂
This metric is usually a way to spot social media accounts you don't wanna work with - but what about the metrics to see is an account is worth the time?
A classic, which change a bit according to which social media you're looking at and the kind of data you get.
On YouTube, it's the amount of likes / amount of views (some take views/subscribers). On Instagram, likes/subcribers. Etc.
As a classic, you see right away when an accoun is supposed to be, and plenty of benchmarks out here to see if an engagement rate is alright.
For instance on Instagram, if you're over 30k subscribers, a 3% engagement rate looks alright.
But if you're below 5k, you wanna be at a 10% engagement rate to have something significant.
Note: As a classic, this is the metrics most people are following.Consequence: This is one of the metrics most social media accounts are faking - and it's not hard.
That's why I'm proposing these other metrics today, so you could be one step ahead.
These are the key metrics we're watching on any potential lead/partner Instagram or Twitter account, whether it's an influencer, a brand or a professional.
These metrics are more advanced, but they allow you to get a complete understanding of how, why and for what you should consider a social media account:
You may have noticed - but these advices and metrics can very well apply to your accounts as well!****It's indeed the case and can help you notice where you can improve your social media game.
That's the amount of "likers" who are actually following the account.You can discover content on Twitter/Instagram through many ways.
The essential one is your feed: **** You can see the publications of the people you're following (or - on Twitter, the publications the people you're following have interacted with).
But you can also see publications through a "Discover" tab, a hashtag, a link from somewhere else, etc etc. I'm not even mentionning the fake likes here (that are coming from nowhere) - but you see my point.
This metric measure how many likers are actually engaged mid/long-term with the owner of the account. It's a good proxy for the engagement rate - take this example :
The Account #2 does a way better job at engaging its community! When the Account #1 rely on other sources than the feed/organic reach over its community to gain engagement on this content.
Privilege who are able to leverage their communities - that's what works.
Checking the amount of @mentions or tagged photos an account have is a great way to understand if the account is well integrated within the social network community.
You want to partner and work of people who are well aware of the grammar of the network and that can give you awareness within the network.
Not someone who's doing his thing on his side - but doesn't really interact with other users.
Then, when you see this kind of posts, check their engagement as well: make sure interactions on it are real.
FYI - this is often underlooked but highly important. Partnerships happen all day for legit accounts. One of the best way to grow on a social network is to partner with other accounts. This happens especially on YouTube and Instagram, both for business and influencer accounts.
What's the point of having 10k followers, but none active on the platform?
To check the health of any social media account, take a look at how engaged with the platform are the followers. The more they're engaged, the more likely they're actually seeing the content and can interact with it.
I've seen some cases where an account had a large legit followers base, but outdated. I've seen this happening a lot on YouTube for example - when YouTubers are inactive for a certain period of time and then "restart" their channel. Their followers base is unchanged - but their views are dramatically low compared to what it was before.
This ratio allows you to check if the account has super-engaged followers - true fans. Same, this applies both for businesses and influencers.
You want to know how much of the audience is engaged only one time, from time to time or on every content posted. The higher the consistent liking ratio is, the better it is: it means that these followers are hardcore fans of the produced content.
This set the case for micro-influencers: they're might be reaching a smallest audience, but it's pretty good if this audience is following & interacting recurrently.
While you can aim for accounts that reach a more diverse audience over time in some situations, this is particularly important when you're working on a one-off operation: it means that the audience will respond.
This one's important when you're looking for partnerships or to see how a competitor is behaving on social medias.
Take your own account and one of your competitor (or one of a potential business partner/influencer): the goal here is to measure how much of your followership is common between your two accounts ie. how similar you are.
What for? Because even if your followership is similar, the probability that your reach is the same is very low. That means that you'll be able to partner with this account to reach on your audience, but with a different approach.
This also helps you detect influencer accounts in your niche!
This shows the consistency of the account. Let's consider two accounts with the same average likes ratio: 3 average likes - but not distributed the same way.
That's what basic account checkers will give you: 3 average likes.
But average means nothing (see what I did there?).
These two accounts might have the same average engagement rate or average likes, but they don't behave the same way. And given my experience, let me tell you - you wanna work with the second account, as he is way more consistent than the first one.
Don't aim for the engagement spike - usually, it shows an exceptional behaviour that will not lead to consistent growth.
This one's amongst my favourites: it's so easy to get and it tells you right away how an social media account's doing, if you can read it right.
Social networks are all about engagement, right? That's why all their main product metrics are about. So te see if an account is actually well-integrated within a social network, you should look at how much engaging the content is.
And for the majority of social network, one of the most precious engagement is content reaction. A like is cheap - you don't know for sure what it means. But a comment - whether it's on a video, photo or post - is the most precious form of engagement: it means that it triggers a conversation.
And that where anyone (brand or influencer) wanna be on social networks: conversations.
You could look at the average comments ratio - but I like this comments per like ratio because it can be applied on any social network and on accounts of all sizes. Simply look at the amount of likes of a content and the amount of comments/replies generated. It gives right away of much interesting the content is.
Make sure to filter out short ("😍") and op comments for your count - those does not count as conversations.
When done the right way, this can help you identifiy social influencers that can matter for you or your business: these are the accounts able to create conversations on social media: and you wanna be in these conversations!
Last one - and this one's a trick.
Many social media accounts out there are using shortened tracked links to track clicks.
Most use a service called bit.ly - even if it doesn't show because it's custom.
That's for instance the case of Zara's Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/zara/
While writing this, the url featured in bio is go.zara/newin - which is a disguised tracked link.
Just add a "+" at the end to access the stats of the link: go.zara/newin+
Do this check on accounts to check how much traffic they're able to generate. YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. On almost every social network, people are using this kind of tool.
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