Social influence: How to measure it

Measuring influence is one of the hottest topics in social media marketing right now, which means there’s a lot of advice— and a lot of confusion.

We’ve written about how you can identify the right type of influencer for your brand before, but we wanted to get into more of how you measure the impact of an influencer you work with.

Got questions or something we missed? Find us on Twitter @UnionMetrics.

So you’ve got your influencer

There are the big celebrity influencers, the influencers who have become so popular they’re celebrities in their own right, and then there are the micro-influencers: They have smaller followings but really high engagement rates. Their following is made up mostly of friends, family, and coworkers or people interested in the same hobbies as them.

This gives them more of that coveted influence among their followers because they’re not just a celebrity being paid to shill the latest supplement or diet fad on the market. They are sharing things they actually use and enjoy and often those brands they’re sharing reach out to work with them more directly.

Micro-influencers are also much more affordable for most brands, as working with them doesn’t cost thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But no matter the type of influencer your brand is working with, you want to know what kind of impact they’re having. That’s why you hired them in the first place, right?

Well you may have noticed we just mentioned how high engagement typically is with micro-influencers. Let’s dig into it more.

What are your goals?

This is the most important part of any campaign, but especially with influencer marketing campaigns and partnerships. Disappointing results are guaranteed on both sides if you don’t clearly outline your goals before the outset. Do you want to increase your share of voice in the industry? Build a bigger, more cohesive community around your brand? What is it that this influencer does that you want to tap into?

Engagement is the best measure of impact for most goals with influencer marketing; if people are commenting on your posts asking questions about your brand as a direct result of your influencer partnership, they’re much more likely to have your brand in mind for their next purchase in your industry. If an influencer does a Story takeover and you get a ton of DM’s from it, your brand will most likely rank higher in their feeds in the future based on what we know about how the Instagram algorithm works (DMs are weighted in how the feed is ordered).

The very basics you need to know here?

  1. Outline your goals, and be specific
  2. Decide which metrics will reflect on those goals
  3. Let the influencer you’re working with know exactly what you expect of them
  4. Run the campaign or launch the partnership
  5. Measure

If you need help with that last part, let us know.


Photo by Andreas Klassen on Unsplash