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
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.