On deciding which influencer to partner with, one of the first metrics that come to mind would usually be engagement and followers. Oftentimes, social media influencers have one but not the other, and as a brand, you need to determine strategically which type of influencers you want to partner with for your TikTok campaign. To do that, let’s try to break down the implications of the two.
First of all, engagements cover likes, shares, comments, and mentions, while followers simply mean the number of TikTok accounts that follow yours. Engagement rate shows the percentage of people that react to your TikTok post, this means it helps see if your content is likable and if your followers are taking actions instead of passively following you. Meanwhile, follower counts determine the number of people that could potentially see your post. A content partnership with an influencer with a large number of followers can help your brand be seen by a larger and directed audience based on the audience profile of the influencer’s followers.
Both are good. The best-case scenario is finding influencers that have a large follower base while maintaining healthy engagement rates. Unfortunately, these types of influencers aren't always easily identified on TikTok or even Instagram. Therefore, when you need to decide the trade-off between selecting influencers with high follower counts versus high engagement rates, try to consider at least these three factors.
1. Your Campaign Objective
Every social media campaign needs to have a measurable objective. This could be to spread awareness or to promote a call-to-action such as joining a challenge, a giveaway, or dance competitions. An influencer with more followers is more likely to showcase your campaign to a larger number of people and appear on the For You Page, so it is preferable to partner with them in this case. Meanwhile, if your priority is to have more people viewing, joining, and interacting with your campaign, it is crucial to have influencers with high engagement in your campaign. Or why not get the best of both worlds and engage a mix of influencers with both high follower counts and high engagement rates?
2. Popularity vs Good Content
In most cases, engagement comes from skilled content creation. This often means the influencers with high engagement would be specialized at creating engaging content in comparison to more popular influencers because their career relies on it. Medium-sized influencers on TikTok often have a great way to connect with their niche using funny or interesting content, making their niche a loyal fanbase of their art. So think about what you want to do with this campaign's content, do you want it to be clever and memorable? If that's the case, you might benefit more from a highly engaging content creator. You will have a creative output to remember and good content to repost in the future. On the other hand, if you want a simple content that features an easily recognizable image, you should choose a more popular influencer.
3. Tailor Your TikTok Content for Success
In the end, there is no one-size-fits-all formula to selecting influencers for social media campaigns. However, you can maximize your potential by tailoring your content to what your influencers need. Perhaps you could alter your campaign's content to compensate for what your influencers lack. Creating your own music, hashtags, and clever challenges may increase the engagement of this popular influencer. You can also opt for paid-advertising to boost your campaign to reach a wider audience.