Influencer marketing is a key component of the ever-evolving public relations industry. As advertisements and sponsored marketing campaigns continue to boldly move away from television and into social media, implementing influencer partnerships is crucial for brand growth in the millennial era. While traditional media continues to stand the test of time, influencer marketing as a part of your overall social media strategy should be weighted just as heavily.
However, and as with any carefully executed public relations strategy, researching and vetting are crucial to ensuring the success of an influencer partnership. With purchased fake followers and engagement bots on the rise, it’s critical to implement strategies that will truly help your brand meet its PR goals.
Here are four key strategies we at BLND PR utilize when considering a partnership (whether it’s for trade or paid!) with an influencer.
Examine audience growth and watch for sudden spikes which may account for paid reach or engagement. Whether it’s a rapid rise in followers, or a sudden drop, these are red flags of an unhealth (and inauthentic) influencer reach.
Calculate engagement rate and know the sweet spot is about 10% (anything less may mean fake followers, anything more may mean fake likes or comments). Here’s an easy formula for it:
Average Engagement Rate (%) = (Likes + Comments) / Followers / Number of Posts x 100
Check post comments to ensure they’re relevant and on topic. General statements like “This is great!” may be a sign of paid bots or spam. Similarly, a flood of similar comments can be another sign to watch out for.
Verify geography of the influencer and their followers is aligned. A large quantity of comments in a differing language may be another sign of paid engagement.
While influencer marketing is a worthwhile PR strategy, vetting potential influencers before reaching out for a partnership is just as vital. To learn more about accountability and authenticity in influencer marketing, check out our post here.