How to Evaluate an Influencer with Hidden Likes

By Paiame Shalalvand

If you’re working with influencer marketing you maybe are panicking when Instagram is hiding likes. Since the rise of influencer marketing, engagement rate has been the number one metric to evaluate an influencer. The more likes in relation to number of followers the more engaged audience. Basically a simple number to understand how engaged their followers are.

The challenge with engagement rate is that it’s easy to fake likes and comments. Most of them are bots but also from other influencers boosting each others content. Likes are actually a pretty bad metric to measure engagement.

The audience has shifted from consuming images/posts to daily stories. In a way it’s more interesting to know engagement of stories. That’s story views which unfortunately only the influencers can see...exactly what’s going to happen now with likes. The experts in the influencer space always ask for story views so hidden likes isn’t an issue for them.

So if you’ve been depended on likes here are 4 other ways to evaluate an influencer audience’s engagement.

Average Daily Stories

Sebastian, co-founder of Scope explains why average daily stories is a metric to consider; “The interesting thing here I've heard from brands is that influencers that post stories more often tend to have loyal audiences to a bigger degree than influencers that don't post regularly. @Carmushka is a good example, every day posting 20-50 stories. Her followers then get more loyal, as she "owns" their attention literally 24/7.”

Type of Comments

Number of comments is of course one metric to look at but the real insight is what and who comments. There are 3 things to check in the comment section:

  • Longer comments with substance (not only emojis)
  • Mix of influencers and “normal” people commenting
  • Many replies which means there is a communication between the influencer and follower

Story Views

Number of views could be interesting if reach is the goal. But to get an understanding of the engagement you need to divide story views with the number of followers. We’ve heard from brands that you should aim for 30-50% engagement rate. Remember that this is a metric you’ll need to ask from the influencer, simply ask for a screenshot.

Saves and Shares

We’ve read about other metrics like saves and shares as a potential replacer. But that’s not public data and only shown to the influencer. You can always ask for it to later understand if it’s actually a metric you need to look at.

Don’t Panic

Search tools like Scope still have the number of likes and comments to calculate engagement rate, if you still feel those are important. Scope also calculates average stories per day, which you can filter on when finding new profiles.