Social media influencers: Love Island, six weeks on
It has been just over one month since ITV’s hit reality show finished its latest season. And just over one month since our CEO, Rick Guttridge, published his piece on social media influencers.
So what did we learn about social media influencers from the show?
If you’ve downloaded our free guide, ‘Out of the Fyre, Into The Future: The New Influencer Marketing Age’, one thing should be clear. When it comes to social media influencers, appearances are deceiving.
If you missed Rick’s article for Prolific North, we recommend catching up. It clarifies that by reading between the lines, or metrics, the influencer marketing potential Love Island’s stars seemed to have is significantly reduced.
Let’s take one of the most prominent faces from the series, Molly-Mae Hague. Growing Instagram followers by 1million in the 28 days to the series finale sounds impressive. Impressive enough to land lucrative brand contracts.
But, if we look at engagement, the numbers were far lower than you would expect. Hague generated just 7.1million likes for every post she actioned during that period. Worse still, there were just 34,000 comments. Considering the follower count, these figures are very low.
Wait, there’s more to the story.
During July— a month that ended with Love Island’s final— Hague’s engagement fell, with a significant decline in the second half of that period. Nevertheless, follower counts continued to climb. Followers and likes are, of course, the easiest thing for social media influencers to fake, primarily by buying them in. By comparison, more significant engagement metrics, such as comments, are difficult to automate.
The point being that by focussing on follower and like counts brands are misunderstanding what separates strong from weak social media influencers. Even if the discrepancy between Hague’s followers and engagement is legitimate, it still shows the real purpose of influencer marketing— to generate engagement from fans and followers— is not dictated by the influencer’s follower count.