The social media landscape is constantly shifting. New platforms emerge, demographics change and patterns of use alter. Whether as a result of algorithms or a consequence of planned changes, there are a myriad of factors which influence the social engagement that a post receives.
One of the most notable shifts in recent times is Instagram’s decision to remove ‘likes’ from posts. With likes and comments being the easiest ways to measure the success of a social campaign, brands must now consider putting in place other analytics to judge their performance.
Measuring the success of a social campaign
The most obvious metric would be reach. Using the example of an influencer campaign, this would mean seeking out those with the highest number of followers. But what impact does this have on the way that businesses work with influencers?
Firstly, removing likes as a measure flips on its head recent learnings, which show that those with the highest number of followers often have the lowest engagement rates.
In fact, preferences had shifted to micro and nano influencers, who were steadily building their followings, yet still remained small enough that fans were willing to support them by getting involved in their social posts.
Generally, people feel that they can still relate to those who haven’t reached stratospheric audience figures. In my opinion, this is a principle which applies throughout life. Though people like to gain inspiration from those who are more outwardly successful than themselves, they aren’t as quick to support them with a like or comment.
Moving into macro territory
Conversely, though people may resonate most with the person who is the closest to them in terms of achievements, the likelihood is that the aspirational blogger is the one who they seek to replicate.
Though this may not lead to a like or comment, it may be more likely to lead a person to explore a product or brand further. This is certainly food for thought when it comes to determining how the success of an influencer campaign should be measured.
Furthermore, a switch to macro influencers is likely to impact the budgets of a brand, who will now need to invest significantly more in a social engagement campaign and outreach programme. After all, bigger influencers charge higher prices.
Putting things in perspective
Judging the success of a social or influencer campaign solely by the engagement that a post receives can be considered short-sighted. Instead, a better metric would be to review the activity using more holistic KPIs. Only by taking into account the whole package can the true impact be accurately and fairly assessed.
While likes and comments are a definite positive, there is certainly a much ‘bigger picture’.
A few alternative points to consider include:
- Does a post look visually appealing?
- Is it reflective of brand values?
- Does it contain any key messages or hashtags?
- Is it likely to inspire others?
- Does it feel ‘natural’ or overtly staged?
- Is there are a way to measure how many people saw the post itself?
- Can you measure click through to determine how a post impacted on site traffic or sales?
What’s really important is that a brand stays true to its values. Authenticity is everything these days. People want to see the businesses they support retain morals. This then gives them the confidence to invest in those with which they have a natural affinity and shared values.