Recently I have noticed a trend in Social Media where many of the top Influencers and social media bloggers have been paying to increase their engagement across their social platforms. This is why many brands need to start researching their influencers before paying big bucks to people who may never give them a return on investment.
Let's break this down to the simplest form. A blogger/influencer with ten thousand followers but a high engagement rate on almost all their posts obviously has a loyal following that is invested in what that person has to say. Now take a blogger/influencer with thirty thousand followers and an influx in engagement due to paid likes and comments from pods or promotions and you may not have a loyal following that is even half interested in what that person is attempting to promote.
Just like how many bloggers research the brands they want to work with by; checking stats, price points, and feel of the concept of whether they can authentically promote the brands- brands in return should start researching the influencers they are working with.
I have become close with many bloggers who have been turned down from collaborations with brands due to lack of followers, yet their engagement is solid across the board. If brands would take more time to track these bloggers they would see that investing in them would bring a more loyal customer base back to their company.
So often brands only see the quick numbers (huge followings or a surge in likes on a few posts) and assume that their money will be well spent on that particular influencer. I'm here to tell those Brands.. DON'T BE FOOLED!!! We on the blogging side know plenty of tricks to make our stats look plentiful to gain big brands and big paychecks.
The thing that brands need to be conscious of, is the authenticity of the influencers they want to work with. My tips for brands looking to collaborate across social platforms would be this:
When you find an influencer you want to work with, check them out on ALL platforms
Keep an eye on all posts engagement to spot an influx in "likes"
Watch to see if the same influencers are commenting on each others posts every time, this is a sign of comment pods
The likes to follower ratio is a HUGE sign of bought "likes" or like pods
Take time to read the comments, are they genuine and engaging?
Does the influencer show your brand in a "real life" setting or is it all staged
Find time to engage with the influencer for a while to see how they interact
Be willing to take offers from small influencers and well as big ones to gauge the return on investment
Does the influencer connect with your target market? If not, no matter how big the following the return will be low.
I'm not saying all big influencers are "faking it," some are absolutely hustling honestly to make it. However, currently the name of the game is "do whatever you can to get those numbers up..even if it means cheating a bit."
"Authenticity is magnetic" - Unknown
Photos by Sarah Vanderford Photography