In 2017, more than $1 billion was channeled toward Instagram influencer marketing. While Twitter and Facebook have a lot of scope for influencer marketing, Instagram is the top choice for brands, companies, and small businesses.
While marketing and its methods have come a long way, everything boils down to what keeps consumers interested. Gone are the days when people read lengthy texts to understand a product and its benefits. Nobody has the time for that. It is all about images now, which is why Instagram takes the top position in the market.
An Instagram influencer can be extremely beneficial to your marketing campaign and brand, but it is important you choose the right ones. Despite strong efforts, Instagram has thousands of bots and fake profiles, many of which pose as influencers. Here are some ways you can recognize good influencers from the bad ones.
Focus on the followers to following ratio
When you open someone’s Instagram profile, you get to see how many followers they have. You can also see how many profiles they are following in return. One of the strongest sign of authenticity on a potential influencer’s profile is their followers to following ratio.
Legitimate influencers usually follow anywhere between 1 percent to 5 percent of their following members. Any number above that should tell you that there may be a hack or some foul play going on. These include bots that may not necessarily cause any harm, but are pretty much useless to your campaign.
Next is their engagement to follower ratio
Another way to make sure the profile you are looking at is authentic is by observing the user’s engagement to follower ratio. The rate of engagement is calculated by the ratio of engagement to impressions. Since the public cannot access impressions data, you should pay attention to the comments and likes on a potential Instagram influencer’s profile and posts in relation to how many followers they have.
The easiest way to get an idea of your influencer’s engagement is to check a few of their posts. The number of likes and comments on these posts should give you a rough picture of the number of followers and the rate of engagement between influencer and followers. An engagement rate between 3 percent and 10 percent is ideal, but since Instagram’s algorithm is always changing, this number will fluctuate.
While reading through comments, look for full sentences or questions from other users. Short comments such as “love this” and “great post” may come from bots.
How old is their account?
The age of an influencer’s Instagram account is a great way of telling if they are authentic or not. While it is not impossible to go viral off the bat, but many legitimate influencers would have spent years of hard work to generate a loyal and dedicated following.
A new account with a significantly large following should raise some flags. Chances are many of these followers are unengaged and/or fake profiles.
How good is the content?
When you are focusing on building a brand, it should be fairly easy for you to recognize good quality work. While different people “like” different things, everyone enjoys good content regardless of its theme.
An influencer’s following size matters only if they post good quality content. Even if they have millions of followers, poor quality content should be enough reason for you to find someone else. Pay attention to your influencer’s past campaigns and how engaged they are with their followers. A legitimate influencer will stand out in a sea of fake profiles and bots.
If you are looking for Instagram influencers for your marketing campaign, you could use a platform like Ifluenz to help find legitimate influencers. In fact, Ifluenz has developed an algorithm that takes into consideration the criteria mentioned above to prevent bad influencers to sign up. Otherwise, simply trust your instincts. Understanding an influencer’s profile is quite similar to understanding a person.