Researcher develops model of influencer importance within Instagram networks

May 31, 2024
Researcher develops model of influencer importance within Instagram networks

A study published in the International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing has provided new insights into social media influencers, particularly focusing on those in the women's fashion sector on the well-known image and video sharing platform Instagram.

In a departure from the approach taken by earlier studies, Jens K. Perret of the International School of Management in Cologne, Germany, has used network statistics and centrality measures to establish a model of influencer importance within their network.

Perret analyzed data from 255 influencers covering a four-year period. Influencers are loosely defined as individuals, or even companies, that have a significant online presence and influence on one or more social media platforms. They typically have a large number of followers and a high level of engagement with that audience in terms of their sharing of content and approval by their fans.

Topics such as fashion, beauty, lifestyle, fitness, and gaming have many prominent influencers. Influencers often work with brands to promote products or services to their followers, and so can have an important effect on marketing strategies for companies.

The work has found four main factors contributing to an influencer's significance: followers, reach, engagement rate, and posting frequency. Through regression analysis and artificial neural networks, Perret examined just how consistent these factors were in affecting the influencer's relationships.

The practical implications of the work are that it offers a methodology for evaluating an influencer's importance using readily available metrics. This could streamline the influencer selection process for companies seeking to recruit influencers for their marketing campaigns. It also provides solid evidence that could be used in fair compensation negotiations between companies and influencers.

While the study focused on Instagram, the same approach could work just as well with other social media platforms and even in other cultural contexts. This could open up the possibility of related research into social media dynamics and influencer marketing.

Source: phys