Wondering why conversion is more important than influence? When you look for influencers to partner with, it is natural to place the most importance on their ability to influence. After all, isn’t that why you are working with them? Well, yes and no. While you want to work with influencers because they are able to exert influence over their viewers, the driving factor should be the results they secure for you—and this is often measured as conversion.

Why Conversion Is More Important Than Influence

Why Conversion Is More Important Than Influence

What Is Social Media Influence?

Social media influence is a term used in marketing to show how an influencer is able to impact the thinking of their audience. In many cases, this term is used interchangeably with reach, although they are not entirely the same.

Because social media influence and reach are often treated as the same thing, most tools that measure social media influence are really telling you about the reach of an influencer. They focus on things like the number of followers, the amount of shares, and other similar metrics. But because many people follow influencers without interacting with them or share without really engaging, measuring influence alone will not tell you if an influencer is a good choice for you.

What Is Social Media Conversion?

Conversion is whenever the person you are targeting with your marketing takes the action you wanted them to take. This may be to like or share, which puts it in line with the definition of influence above. However, it can also be to take a more profitable or long-term action, such as purchasing a product or signing up for an email list.

So, Why Does Conversion Matter More Than Influence?

Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that reach does not always translate into action, while conversion is inherently action. Your goal is to get the audience to take the actions you need them to take. And influencer who has a lot of followers may seem promising, but an influencer with a history of making conversions is one who can deliver results.

The Pitfall of the Fake Influencer

There is another big problem with focusing on influence/reach more than conversion: you could find yourself working with a fake influencer.

These influencers are individuals who have amassed a large following, but most of these followers are bought. Because their followers are mostly fake, the only way they can make a profit is through influencer partnerships, which makes them very eager to work with you. As such, they employ a lot of strategies to make them seem appealing to those looking for influencers to partner with.

One of the best ways to separate the fakes from the genuine article is to look at conversion. Other ways to spot fakes include shockingly low engagement compared to follower count, their engagement comes from outside their followers, their follower location does not align with their image, their follower growth was sudden and then stagnated, and their comments are all generic enough that they could have been written by bots.

So, when it comes to evaluating influencers you want to work with, always place conversion over influence.

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March 26, 2018

Why Conversion Is More Important Than Influence

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