Published on Apr 22nd, 2019
What do Justin Bieber and former President Barack Obama have in common? These hunky (to their followers!) men each lost more than 2 million followers in Twitter’s recent purge of fake accounts.
And just a few weeks before, at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Unilever global chief marketing officer Keith Weed announced a three-step plan for cleaning up the ecosystem of influencer marketing that included removing misleading engagement. His call to arms: “We need to take urgent action now to rebuild trust before it’s gone forever.”
With this sort of scrutiny on the role of influencers in social media marketing—real, versus purchased or fake influencers, micro versus macro, bots—Shareablee thought it might be helpful to bring about some definition as to exactly what an influencer is, at least by our measurement.
While there is no hard definition as to what exactly constitutes an influencer, Shareablee uses numeric cues to assist. We offer our approach here as a guide for the industry to base their decisions upon.
The first thing we look at is to assess the nature of influence. What does it actually mean for an individual to be capable of influencing other consumers to take action? Do influencers influence sales, attitudes, opinions, time spent, or nothing? Influencers are genuinely people with complex backgrounds and attitudes, so each must be assessed individually.
From there, Shareablee measures influence based upon three factors:
Combining these and other subsidiary elements, Shareablee’s influencer score can be used to quickly determine the real impact of a potential influencer—prior to an engagement, not just after it. As Twitter’s big clean out and ongoing revelations of false accounts adding zero value to brands shows, it’s time to apply a logical and more measured approach to choosing social influencers. Fortunately, cross platform social data, when used effectively, turns social influencer connections into wisely placed, effective and measurable campaigns.
As has often been said in our industry, if you can’t define it, you can’t measure it. And if you can’t measure it, you can’t monetize it.
(Originally published in AdWeek.)