Social influencer marketing service Social Circle has come a step closer to making influencer marketing measurable.

It’s rolled out a Social Valuation platform, previously reserved for users of its managed service, providing engagement metrics to assign a potential value to the work of social influencers, and how engagement on their channels translates to campaigns paying off.

This is achieved by attributing weighted “engagement points” to influencer activity across platforms, “whether it’s a tweet, retweet, share, like or view”, allowing clients to compare campaigns against a database of other similar work.

The company says its Social Valuation tools will go some way to providing the industry with a “standardised benchmarking system” to help understand the “true worth” of influencer marketing and could help combat fake engagement numbers and over or underpayment of influencers.

The influencers themselves also receive added autonomy in the form of contracts and advisory materials when they sign up, allowing to effectively manage their brand relationships, says the company.

Combating “gut feel”

According to Social Circle’s managing director, Matt Donegan, a “lack of science” has left influencer marketing to unreliable metrics or in the worst cases, “gut feel”, leaving some campaigns vastly overpriced in terms of campaign delivery, or influencers short-changed.

“We want this move to be a stick of dynamite that will blow away bad practice amongst the industry and level the playing field to allow all brands to generate huge value from well-run campaigns,” said Donegan.

The influencer marketing industry has become even more popular with advertisers as consumers become more willing to take buying recommendations from peers or idols on social media. As demand and spend increases on the channel, however, there’s become a need to account for spend and introduce practices for standardisation and transparency.

“In this sense, it was a no brainer to open up our platform to anyone one who wants to use it,” commented Donegan, “We’ve already got years’ worth of campaign data on the platform and our agency and direct clients all love the transparency we’ve been offering. It’s time to share our data.”

Despite the progress made by Social Circle, however, questions will always abound over whether influencer marketing campaigns can effectively be numerically benchmarked against each other, with each influencer representing a nuanced personality with their own respective audience ecosystems.

As such, influence to purchase may not always appear as night and day as the volume of likes and retweets a post gathers.

Social Circle is the lead sponsor of the Influencer Marketing Show in October, an event focused on the intersect of ROI (Return on Investment) and influencer marketing, where attendees can expect these kinds of discussions and more to take place.