Working with Influencers Through New Instagram API

NickArnett |
 12/18/18 |
4 min read


Instagram influencers are incredibly powerful assets for promoting your brand. So, it’s important that you have the ability to track not only what they’re sharing, but how their audiences are responding. It’s a complicated bit of business, that’s shifted a bit with Instagram’s API changes. We’ll explore them below!

The New Instagram API & Influencers

NetBase listens to and analyzes your partnered influencers, and also analyzes comment text on their business channels. This comment analysis is extremely useful for understanding how your audience is responding to your influencers and what else they are talking about – identifying those adjacencies, and the sentiment each is generating, is crucial.

Instagram has made some big changes recently that affect how you monitor influencers, as they move from their old to the new API as of December 11th.

Marketers can no longer see non-business profiles on Instagram, so it is important when working with Instagram influencers to make sure they have switched their profile to a “Business Profile.” As a Business Profile, marketers will be able to see an influencer’s post and post text along with like counts, comment counts, bio, follower counts, and potential impressions.

To take this a step further, when working with influencers, if your account has the proper authorizations, you will also be able to see comment text and comment user names. This means that the influencer has given your account permission to see the comment text and comment usernames. You can (and definitely should) review a list of available Instagram channel metrics by channel in our previous blog.

Influencers: Followers versus Engagement Metrics

Instagram Influencers, and their engaged following, are the new word of mouth marketing for brands. But working with influencers is not without its caveats. There are a lot of things to consider.

Many people only look at follower counts when deciding which influencers to work with, but follower counts don’t always tell the full story as followers can easily be bought in today’s digital age.

A metric that is more important than follower counts is Engagement. Engagement is defined as any time a user interacts with an influencers post, by liking or commenting on it. Many marketers make the mistake of working with influencers based on follower counts without looking at these valuable engagement metrics.

An influencer with a more engaged following means their followers are more likely to interact with and respond to a post. This creates a more impactful brand message, with greater reach, than what you’d get when working with an influencer presenting lower engagement metrics.

It’s also important to note, the Instagram algorithm rewards posts with higher engagement. The argument for working with influencers offering exceptional engagement instead of those sporting potentially inflated follower counts is strong.

According to Ted Tagalakis, VP of Social at Intermark Agency:

“In today’s dynamic, influencers can and, at times, do artificially bloat follower counts. At a high level, large audience size or follower count can seem like a great metric for identifying the value and reach of a given influencer, but in reality this vanity metric can be very misleading. A more valuable metric that we analyze is engagement rate. Engagement rates tend to be higher with influencers that have slightly smaller audiences. This is attributed to them actually creating and fostering relationships with their followers. Authentic and trusted content from these influencers tend to inspire and persuade their audience to change consumer behavior. A brand’s social influencer program benefits from these intimate relationships through a stronger ROI.

When integrating a social influencer into your social program, it’s important to deliver or create content that is relative to their audience. Unfortunately, there isn’t one type of content that fits all influencers. Through social intelligence, we’re able to identify content that is relevant to the influencers audience and then craft the brand’s shared influencer content to be contextually relevant and more likely for amplification. When providing content to influencers we’ve noticed 3x higher engagement rates with animation or movement in the creative.”

Amplifying reach of these highly engaged influencers is another important consideration to have top-of-mind . . .

Creating Engaging Content:

So what types of posts get the highest engagement rates when working with influencers?

Videos and carousel posts with multiple photos increase engagement time and time spent on the Instagram app and therefore usually get higher engagement rates.

While a stellar photo is also a good place to start, captions play a part in engagement too. Captions that have a call to action give followers a reason to share their opinions and engage with a post.

Instagram stories enable an influencer to share more intimate and spontaneous moments, giving viewers a sneak peek into their lives, and the opportunity to promote upcoming content that may be featured on their Instagram feed or on other channels.

What’s Next from NetBase?

As data privacy and compliance is at the forefront of many of Instagram’s recent changes, it can make measuring the effectiveness of campaigns with influencers a little more challenging. NetBase hasn’t skipped a beat and we continue to innovate to support Instagram’s latest changes, and we’re getting these changes out to you with transparency and speed.

We’re here to help you maximize your Instagram marketing efforts as we continue to launch new features to help you full take advantage of Instagram’s API as it continues to evolve. For example, watch for our upcoming launch of Business Profile @mentions and Instagram story mentions! And we have a few other surprises up our sleeve that should make your Instagram listening strategy even more productive!

Be sure to stay tuned to this blog for upcoming announcements as we innovate alongside Instagram, continuing the conversation around Influencers’ unique stories and offering ideas that can help power your brand marketing.

If Instagram analytics is important to your social listening strategy, contact NetBase for a demo. Let us show you all the new Instagram capabilities supported *today* and how we help brands avoid any disruptions in their Instagram coverage tomorrow!

Subscribe to our blog to follow our series of Instagram updates including @mentions, stories, and supporting tools.

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