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What role does social media screening play when choosing an influencer for your brand?

The importance of social media screening for influencer marketing

In the world of digital marketing, influencer partnerships have become an increasingly popular and effective way for businesses and organizations to promote their products and services. The influencer marketing industry is currently valued at $16.4 billion, and this growth is mostly due to the increasing popularity of short-form video content featured on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.

Above and beyond this, it’s important to note the growth in the number of influencer marketing organisations – which saw a 26% increase in 2021 alone. Another interesting point is that the most common social media platform for influencer marketing is still Instagram. Whether this trend will continue is anyone’s guess.

What is an influencer?

An influencer is, well, just that. Someone who yields influence over a group of people through social and digital media. An influencer is someone who has a large and engaged following on social media, and by partnering with them, businesses can leverage their reach and credibility to promote their brand to a wider audience.

Statistics show that influencer-generated content far outperforms branded content, with 61% of consumers saying that they have more trust in influencer recommendations compared to the 38% who say that they trust brand-produced content.

It is important to note that there are different categories of ‘influencers’, some of which include:

  • Mega influencers: more than 1 million followers (celebrities)
  • Macro influencers: 500k to 1 million followers
  • Mid-tier influencers: 50K to 500K followers
  • Micro-influencers: 10K to 50K followers
  • Nano-influencers: 1K to 10K followers
Influencer generated content far outperforms branded content, with 61% of consumers saying that they have more trust in influencer recommendations.

Risks involved in influencer marketing

Before choosing an influencer for a marketing campaign, it is essential to carefully screen the influencer’s social media presence to ensure that their values and beliefs align with the brand and that their audience fits into the business’s target market.

When it comes to digital marketing, one of the most effective methods to promote your brand, products, and services and one which has a proven ROI, is influencer partnerships. The results are usually worth the challenge of identifying the right influencer, but they can also have dire consequences if not managed carefully.

Although there is a multitude of reasons for social media screening, one of the most common is to do with the avoidance of PR mishaps, and mitigating online risk. Influencers are well-known for sharing their personal opinions on social media, and if these views contradict that of your brand, it could result in reputational damage.

A prime example is a case involving Kanye West, otherwise known as ‘Ye’, who had a long-running partnership with Adidas. Ye was recorded saying that Adidas would ‘never drop him’… until they did. West has been banned from a range of social media platforms due to the Anti-Semitic content that he has posted, which demonstrates the point of this article very clearly.

These kinds of events cause huge negative publicity for the brands backing the individual, and the important thing is that they can mostly be avoided through the integration of social media screening and assessing an influencer’s full digital media history to ensure that it is in line with your brand values and messaging.

Another example involves Fyza Ali, who yields 1.3 million Instagram followers and had brand partnerships with the likes of Missguided, Pretty Little Thing and Shein. A video which appeared to be a screen recording of a voice note from Ali was leaked and featured what appeared to be Fyza’s voice making anti-Asian comments, racial slurs and even threatening violence. Needless to say, the influencer had all influencer brand deals terminated and has taken a ‘social media break’ to reflect on her behaviour.

The true power of this marketing strategy is reflected in the results of the most mentioned brand on Instagram in 2021. Surprisingly the winner was Zara, with a gobsmacking reach of over 2 billion people and over 300,000 mentions, beating even Instagram itself!  

It is important to consider not just the type of influencer and their audience, but also the size of their audience. This may seem counterintuitive, but as the number of followers grows, the rate of engagement decreases. Data says that users with 10K – 100K follower range have the best combination of reach and engagement.

The role of social media screening

In addition to avoiding PR disasters and mitigating risk, digital media vetting can also help brands find the perfect influencer who aligns with their brand and their values. Through the analysis of an influencer’s followers and activity online – brands can ensure that they will be reaching the right target audience for the product or service.

For example, if you are an outdoor apparel business and are looking to target an adventurous, athletic audience, it would make sense to partner with an influencer who has a large following of outdoor enthusiasts. However, if you are a luxury health food business, it would make sense to pick an influencer who has a large following of health-conscious foodies. Through the use of a thorough digital media check, brands can ensure that the influencer they are partnering with will help them reach the right audience to promote their brand/product/service.

Finally, as is so often the primary reason for social media background checks, the process can help brands identify any red flags which could point to a PR nightmare. For example, if an influencer has a history of posting unpredictably, sharing fake news, or being inappropriate and unprofessional, it would most likely be worth looking for a different influencer to partner with.

By screening the full social and digital media presence of a potential influencer partner, brands can ensure that they have the best possible result with the lowest risk, thereby avoiding any potential pitfalls. Put simply, the integration of digital media vetting can help brands partner with the perfect fit, in order to effectively promote their brand.

Farosian's solution

Farosian is proud to offer a Corporate High Profile Report, which goes above and beyond the standard social media background check. This report takes a deep dive into an individual’s online activity from all angles, and even includes the likes of article inclusions, extended association (who the individual associates with and what potential risk they pose), individual sentiment and even a dark web search to ensure that all bases are covered.

To conclude, we believe that social media screening is a critical part of the influencer marketing process, and the businesses that choose to avoid this will most likely pay the price. Make the proactive choice today, to ensure that you get the best results for your marketing efforts. Get in touch with us today so that we can help your brand be the best it can be.