Influencer marketing has grown rapidly over the decade, and I believe it to be an extremely powerful marketing tool… When used the right way, of course. Throughout Marena’s World I plan to divulge more into my thoughts and strategies on this incredible form of marketing, but I am beginning with the most powerful tool I have used over the past year to identify whether prospective influencers are valid and most importantly, if they are a good fit for my brands. Aside from engagement rate (obvious), those two components are the most important measures for me when choosing influencers, and they should be the most important to you, too. Continue reading for tricks on how to analyze a HypeAuditor report to gain insight on a prospective influencers following/follower growth habits and demographics.
Let’s begin with the simple realization that not every influencer is the right influencer for your brand. For example, I currently manage a nightclub, nightlife restaurant, cocktail lounge, sports bar and tequila bar, a mommy blogger with 1M followers on Instagram who mainly posts mom-oriented content and likely has a large mom audience is absolutely not an influencer I would contract for any of my brands. Her audience, quite frankly, is following her for mom content and would not typically identify with nightlife content, therefore, the return on investment (ROI) for this particular type of influencer will be relatively low for my brands, even though her following count is high.
This is where HypeAuditor becomes your best friend as a marketer approaching an influencer marketing strategy. Below is an example of demographics pulled from a popular mom blogger on Instagram (account usernames hidden because I am not in the business of exposing, rather educating).
As you might expect, the mom blogger’s audience is mainly interested in children and family, and largely female. Additionally, her audience is mainly located in the United States, with minimal following in other countries. This is a great first step in identifying whether the prospective influencer’s audience aligns with your brands’ audience.
Another feature of HypeAuditor is helping you realize what type of followers a prospective influencer carries, broken down into four categories: real people, influencers, mass followers and suspicious accounts. Real people are well, real people. The real people category includes the average account on Instagram, the you’s and me’s of the world, the people with a normal follower/following ratio who are utilizing Instagram for personal use. Next is the influencer category, which is defined by HypeAuditor as accounts with greater than 5,000 followers. Third, is the mass followers category, this includes accounts who are following more than 1,500 accounts. Mass followers typically will not see the influencer’s posts due to algorithms and their large following, oftentimes, these are accounts utilizing follow/unfollow tools. Finally, suspicious accounts indicates accounts which are deemed suspicious due to inactivity, strange following patterns and other. Nearly half of the influencer’s followers are mass followers or suspicious accounts, which should begin to raise a red flag in terms of authenticity, but doesn’t completely rule them out from my consideration. So let’s dig deeper into this…
Above is a screenshot of a new account’s (not the mom blogger above) follower growth chart over the past ~6 months. Note: most HypeAuditor graphs go much further back when the account has normal follower/follwing patterns, but as you might be able to see, this account does not have a normal follower pattern at all. This “influencer” with currently 175K followers on Instagram shows quite obvious signs of inauthentic follower growth. How do you determine this? Well, when you look at the second two images, you will see this particular influencer has many spikes in their follower graph. For instance as highlighted, on May 25 they have 180K followers and on May 26 they suddenly have +5K follower gain, and there are many similar spikes like this in their growth chart. To me, this 100% indicates that their audience inauthentic and purchased. One way to back up the thought here is by performing a quick Google search and determining if the influencer appeared in the news or press article on the dates in question, which this particular influencer did not on any of their spike in growth dates. The large decreases are from Instagram purging those massfollowing and suspicious accounts, which are bots used when someone purchases followers. Next, let’s move onto the following graph… see below.
Here is an example of someone with an inauthentic following graph by utilizing massfollowing/unfollowing patterns. I apologize this account isn’t necessarily “high” in followers, but I haven’t ran across too many influencers who utilize this method in my HypeAuditor experience, but I wanted to pull one I have seen so we can explore why this is also inauthentic. You can visibly see the large downward spikes in this account’s following patterns. On December 30, they purged ~300 followers and they do it a few more times, according to the graph. Accounts use massfollowing/unfollowing patterns in an attempt to gain followers from “follow backs”, and then turn around and remove them in the hopes the account loves their content enough to continue to following – ha!!! – or just not notice they were unfollowed. This method of gaining traction dates back to the earliest days of Instagram, and we’ve all experienced those pesky “follow back?” comments even on our own personal accounts. The reason this is inauthentic is because the audience is not typically genuinely interested in following for content, but rather for the return in a follower number.
Utilizing the tools offered in HypeAuditor have transformed the way I approach influencer marketing, and have quite honestly, saved my brands a lot of money over the year. Recognizing that not every influencer is authentic or a right fit for your brand can help you save a lot of money and time, too. Completely worth the small investment HypeAuditor requires, in my opinion, because no, this tool is most certainly not free.
Do you have questions about HypeAuditor or comments regarding influencer marketing itself? Let’s divulge and discuss!
*I did not receive compensation or motivation from HypeAuditor to create this blog post.*
Featured header image shot by Oleg Magni, pexels.com.