What to Consider When Working with an Instagram Influencer  by Jeff Lindstrom, ECHO Digital Solutions

Seemingly everyone on social media considers themselves an “influencer” these days.  In fact, many people claiming to be influencers sell sponsored posts to businesses to promote products and brands.  This is a great way to spend marketing dollars for your company if it will be effective.  So how can you tell if you should align your brand with someone’s Instagram?

Check Post Engagement 

If an influencer has real followers, you should expect real engagement. The average Instagram engagement rate to be considered an influencer (based on the 10,000+ followers ) is somewhere between 3%-5%.  In our experience, real results come from influencers who have closer to 10%-15% engagement (20%-25% for a “personal” brand).  To do the math, take the total engagement (likes + comments), divide it by followers, then multiply by 100.  Example: 2500 likes and comments/ 10,000 followers = 0.25 x100 = 25%

Follower to Following Ratio Matters

Generally speaking, if you are an influencer and post quality content on a consistent basis for your followers, you should have more followers than you are following.  A healthy ratio with 10,000 followers would be following no more than 2,500 (preferably less) and have average post engagement be around 2,500 as well.  An account with a significantly higher number of those being followed to those following is a flag.

Does the Influencer & Followers Align with your Brand?

The typical purpose of sponsored posts is to generated revenue or followers for your business.  Just like any other paid advertising campaign, it is important to ensure your content will reach the right target audience.  This is why you cannot rely on the number of followers or levels of engagement alone.  Working with an account that has the right type of following is critical to getting real results – even if that means you work with a smaller influencer.

Developing the Right Strategy 

Before you work with any influencer – paid or not – you should ensure your team has developed the right strategy to move forward.  If your internal team does not have the experience to manage an influencer campaign, you can work with a marketing agency like Echo Digital Solutions who will help with the entire process, from start to finish.  Before you move forward with any campaign, you should be clear on the goals, how they will be measured, and what reporting is available to help you determine success.