Increasingly both brands and influencers are optimizing everything they do to maximize engagement, and that makes sense right? The more engagement, the more favorable the algorithm will be, the better your reporting will look and ultimately the happier the brand will be.
The problem is that as we have focused so much on engagement we have lost track of what that engagement is actually doing. At Fohr, we’ve started to better separate good engagement from, well, less good. Here are a couple of things we’re looking at:
1. See who is engaging
When looking through an influencer's comments, brands may click through to see who is engaging. If it looks like it's a lot of other influencers commenting on the post, it's likely they are part of a comment pod. While this isn't the worst thing if 50% of the comments are from influencers, it means those people aren't organically engaging with the post and therefore the brand, and aren’t driving any authentic action.
2. Notice what they are saying
If you are looking to drive your product story home, brands want to work with an influencer who cultivates product driven conversation in their comments. While it's nice to have people comment "Goals" or "You are perfect" it probably isn't doing much to help the brand tell its product story.
That being said, many brands look for audiences who are actively asking questions and discussing the brand or product in the comments. Influencers can kick start those conversations in their caption or stories.
And back to my earlier point, often the product/brand mentions on a sponsored post are from other influencers to help the engagement look more brand focused. Watch out for that.
3. Watch out for bots
You can often identify bot engagement by looking out for those three to four word comments that are vague enough to work on any photo. "Love your feed" "this is great" "really nice!"
4. See if the Influencer responds thoughtfully to questions
Ideally, the influencer will answer specific questions in the comments, especially if those are product focused questions, but brands also want to look out for influencers who are answering every single comment with a general "thanks!" to try and boost the total number of comments on the post.
— Fohr CEO James Nord
To learn more insider insights on the influencer space, keep a close eye on our blog.