Last year, Outlook Business executed a novel idea by publishing the first-ever rankings of India’s social media influencers on a methodology developed by Grapes. These rankings study the brand value of the country’s social media icons beyond a simple count of followers. As the social media space becomes organised, brands want to calculate their return on investment on each campaign deal they engage influencers on. While the number of followers matter on social media, the brand valuation must have a formula even beyond the engagement rate. The problem for a brand arises when we see the follower base increasing but without a corresponding rise in engagement. It happens due to a lack of a credible class of followers. Influencers tend to buy followers to up their visibility to brands, which, though aware of it, cannot easily separate the wheat from the chaff.
However, the Influencer Index Score, the foundation of this ranking, can cut the clutter. This metric is the weighted average of 40% of the follower base and 60% of the engagement rate. It helps establish the authenticity of followers and the right engagement they drive. Two columns describe what brands want and how this score helps them.
This year’s list has a mix of old and new faces. While the veterans swap their ranks among each other, their continued presence shows consolidation in this sector. It may not carry gender or subject diversity, but the youth rule it across themes and participation unapologetically both as influencers and users.