Talk­ing num­bers AS­SESS­ING THE IM­PACT

Con­trary to the pop­u­lar opin­ion, the num­ber of fol­low­ers does not de­ter­mine the pop­u­lar­ity of an in­flu­encer as much as the rate of their engagement with their fol­low­ers does

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Sev­eral pre­mium ho­tels, like Le Meri­dien, have been ac­tively en­gag­ing with food blog­gers to gen­er­ate con­stant talk­ing points about new menus and launches. “We iden­tify our tar­get mar­ket and en­sure we work with the in­flu­encers whose plat­forms and au­di­ence is rep­re­sen­ta­tive of that. When we or­gan­ise in­flu­encer/ blog­ger events, de­pend­ing on the ac­ti­va­tion of the cam­paign, we see an in­cre­men­tal in­crease in the foot­fall. We also work with those who take a more life­style an­gle and can talk about the other as­pects of the ho­tel — such as the spa and the rooms,” says Meri­dien’s mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Deveeka Ni­jhawan

It may sound sim­ple, but the process of iden­ti­fy­ing the right in­flu­encer for your brand is key to the suc­cess of the cam­paign. Con­trary to the pop­u­lar opin­ion, the num­ber of fol­low­ers is not the big­gest fac­tor here, their engagement with their fol­low­ers is what most brands look into. Shamim Kas­si­bawi, the MENA re­gion CEO of SMC Group, says, “There are var­i­ous ways to as­sess the im­pact of a blog­ger. As a rights pro­cure­ment firm, we en­sure spe­cific KPIS ( key per­for­mance in­dices) are met — this can be done by mon­i­tor­ing a post, analysing com­ments, pro­vid­ing an in­flu­encer with a spe­cific code. It is vi­tal to mea­sure an in­flu­encer’s im­pact at the end of an ac­ti­va­tion so that the client sees the value and suc­cess.”

There are also sev­eral tools that de­ter­mine the pop­u­lar­ity and the rate of engagement of an in­flu­encer with his/ her fol­low­ers. Dig­i­tal and so­cial me­dia ex­pert An­thony Per­mal draws a list of the said tools. “My par­tic­u­lar favourites are Fol­low­er­wonk, which as­sesses the in­flu­encer’s con­tent reach, im­pact and cred­i­bil­ity based on va­ri­ety of engagement in their net­work. The easy- to- au­dit Twit­ter Au­dit tool ( free and paid, the free op­tion gives you the au­dited fol­lower de­tails based on the last crawl of the said user, paid will con­duct a crawl im­me­di­ately and give you up- to- date fig­ures), and, of course, Buz­zsumo, which al­lows me to check con­tent types and shows ac­tual in­flu­encers in my area within a genre.”

The thing to note here is that most of these tools de­ter­mine the so­cial me­dia im­pact of a blog­ger. This is not in­ci­den­tal. To­day, a large part of an in­flu­encer’s job is to care­fully cu­rate an im­age on so­cial me­dia that can ap­peal to a wider ne­ti­zenry. With at­ten­tion spans drop­ping at a fast pace, a nice, fil­tered im­age on In­sta­gram with a 50- word verdict on food and am­bi­ence can, ar­guably, gen­er­ate greater engagement than a 500word de­tailed re­view of the same. “The term ‘ in­flu­encer’ is now used for any­one who has a sub­stan­tial peer re­gard among their net­work, whether it is some­one who has a large fol­low­ing on In­sta­gram, Face­book, Youtube, Twit­ter, Snapchat and yet it is not a blog they are known for,” says An­thony.

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