What is Bat Factor?
- 7 March 2018
- Written by: Ghino Rickmansworth
What is Bat Factor?
The Bat Factor is an index that measures the degree of “influence” of a social page, whether it is of a blogger, a celebrity, a company or a product.
Before we demonstrate how the Bat Factor is calculated, let’s quickly explain what we mean by “influence”, as well as looking at how it’s used in marketing today.
What is influencer marketing?
Social networks are now an important part of every marketing strategy.
With billions of social media users around the globe, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many other social networking sites allow for rapid and amplified dissemination of content, which can help build a brand and drive sales.
But before you can reap these benefits, you need to attract and engage the right audience.
Building an audience usually takes time, but there is one surefire shortcut – influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is promoting a brand or a product through an ambassador or a series of ambassadors, from popular bloggers to well-known celebrities. Essentially, it’s all about creating relationships with ambassadors who can generate visibility for your product in front of their audience.
The industry has expanded exponentially over the past few years, and is now an essential part of most social or marketing budgets. And it’s easy to see why. Influencer marketing is a highly intelligent mode of communication; it’s interesting, always different, and most importantly, it gives you access to an audience you’d probably never reach on your own, who views the ambassador as a trusted source of information.
How to choose the right brand ambassadors for your brand
So how do you choose the right ambassador for your brand? And how do you measure the real degree of influence of an influencer?
Bat Radar is an easy to use social influence platform that will a) identify the most appropriate influencers to represent your brand (scouting), and b) evaluate their effective degree of influence. The latter can also be carried out to evaluate influencers who are proposed by influencer agencies or marketing companies.
Let’s look at Bat Radar in action
A recent article in the newspaper listed the most followed models on Instagram. Though it was an interesting read, there was the suggestion that followers were a proxy of influence – which seemed wrong.
Surely, the size of the fan base of an ambassador, alone, can’t wholly determine their influence. After all, “fans” can be purchased or be the result of targeted campaigns, so the number of followers or fans can have little impact of the degree of influence of a social page.
Interested to see if our theory was correct, we put Bat Radar to the test and created a simply survey:
- Which international fashion bloggers have a follower base of 100k to 999k on Instagram?
Bat Radar produced the following answer:
Top 10 positions | Observation period: 6 February 2018 – 7 March 2018
|3||Margaret Zhang 章凝||918698|
|4||Amlul – Gala Gonzalez||871658|
|5||Jessica Mercedes Kirschner||862027|
|8||Andy Torres Style Scrapbook||820123|
|9||Iris Apfel Official||805315|
|10||VivaLuxury Style Blog||723625|
Then, in line with the theory that the size of a follower base doesn’t instantly mean more influence, we adjusted the question accordingly:
- What levels of engagement (interactions) do the same bloggers achieve?
Interestingly, the ranking adjusted:
The ranking of the international fashion bloggers (fanbase 100k-999k) for engagement actions (interactions) on Instagram – Top 10 positions – Observation period: 6 February 2018 – 7 March 2018
|1||Jessica Mercedes Kirschner||1683772|
|5||Camilla Callen Noholita||1341937|
|7||Marta Lozano Pascual||1108953|
|10||Elva Ni 倪晨曦 – Miss Elva Ni||907321|
Entered: Tamara Kalinic, Marc Forne, Camilla Callen Noholita, Marta Lozano Pascual, Giulia Valentina, Valentina Coco, Elva Ni 倪晨曦 – Miss Elva Ni.
Come out: Alice Gao, Carin Olsson, Margaret Zhang, Amlul, Andy Torres, Iris Apfel, VivaLuxury Style Blog.
But the results are still not black and white.
Though engagement is a more indicative value of the effectiveness of a social page than the size of a follower base, reporting on interactions, or engagement, alone still cannot sufficiently express the value of a social page, or the degree of influence of a page.
After all, the data could indicate a number of different things: that a user appreciates the content, has participated in a discussion, or has intervened with an impromptu comment because of a particular theme. It could even imply that the user wanted to express a negative comment, but actually has no desire to follow that page.
Given these facts, what statistical significance can the data have if it is not contextualised?
We believe that engagement matters, but only if it’s measured in line with the size of the follower base. When you look at the two statistics together, you get a much more accurate view on how much influence or likeability an influencer has – and therefore how successful a job they could do at promoting your brand or product to their followers.
Okay, so we know that engagement and follower size are important, but there’s one other variable that also comes into play: time.
To accurately measure an influencer’s influence, we need to analyse his or her followers’ engagement over time. From this we can learn if the influencer has a real hold over his audience, or if it’s just certain posts, themes or factors that are causing spikes in engagement.
The Bat Factor
In partnership with the Politecnico di Milano, we have created an algorithm – the Bat Factor – which measures influence through analysing relevance, relativity and time and frequency.
The relevance feature measures the real involvement of the public on a social page. So the algorithm is based on the number of actions actually performed by users on that respective social page. The more engaged the audience, the more influence the page holds.
The relativity factor compares the total user actions in relation to the size of the follower base of a social page. In other words, this shows how many people actually cared enough about what the influencer had to say to result in some kind of action. An audience must be seduced and stimulated to do something for a page to have influence.
The Bat Factor also considers time as a primary variable. Audiences are constantly changing, so it’s vital that social pages are kept up-to-date, relevant and that the owner appears active.
Finally, the Bat Factor takes into account the number of posts posted on a page. We have found a positive correlation between frequency and engagement. When posting frequency wanes, so does traffic – so it’s important to be active on social media and post often, without becoming a nuisance or overcrowding your followers’ feeds.
Now let’s return to our rankings and re-set the question, this time indexing for Bat Factor:
The ranking of the international fashion bloggers (fan base 100k-999k) more followed (and more influential) on Instagram (Bat Radar factor) – Top 10 positions – Observation period: 6 February 2018 – 7 March 2018
|2||M é r y l||6,9307|
|6||Marina the Moss I’M SUCH A CARRIE BRADSHAW||5,8912|
|10||Camilla Callen Noholita||4,8823|
As you can see from the results, engagement and the size of a follow base do not have a direct correlation. Marc Forne is certainly the blogger (among those taken into consideration in this survey) that best manages to engage her audience. Interestingly, he was not in the top ten in the ranking for fan base, but tops the ranking for Bat Factor.
Ultimately therefore, the Bat Factor is an order by degree of influence – and the rank brands or social users should be utilising before selecting an influencer to help promote their product.
So to conclude…
With consumers getting increasingly tired of traditional marketing, more and more companies are turning to influencer marketing to reach people in a more authentic and interesting way.
But it can be a minefield trying to select the “right” influencer for your brand. As this article has proved, businesses not only have to select the right person to represent their brand, but the person who is going to achieve the best engagement, influence, and therefore the best visibility for their product.
Accepting the first influencer recommended by a press office, or an influencer with the highest fan base is therefore not going to cut it in today’s marketplace.
Influence is not a question of style. It is not even a question of data. It is a question of value – and that’s exactly what the Bat Factor can quantify.
If you’re serious about influencer marketing, you need the right tools. And with our software, you can identify the ambassadors who can use their influencer to drive action, not just brand awareness.