Social media influencer search tool for advertising campaigns
Searching for influencers is tedious work, and for our small marketing team it meant vetting posts and building spreadsheets to share research. Soapbox was created to streamline the influencer search process so that social media campaigns can be launched quickly. I worked alongside my product owner to update Soapbox to better serve our own marketing team and to prepare it for sales as a B2B product.
Discovery and learnings
I knew very little about influencer marketing at the time so I started off with some deep dive interviews with our marketing team who are based in NYC. Our product owner had established a relationship with another company that could provide us with their own database of influencers and had built metrics that could be used to streamline the selection process.
Finding influencers is a bit like picking stocks. The best influencers for our projects are beginning to trend and build their audience, can be hired initially at reasonable cost with the hopes that they become viral and boost the brands that invested in them. When it comes to metrics the two that were most important for the team were engagement and follower count. High engagement is fairly straightforward, the more that people are engaging with the content the better. However follower count has a sweet spot, a high follower count could have negative implications - high campaign cost, or artificial boosting.
The gold standard at the end of the day and the main way to pick or dismiss influencers for a campaign is post content. Our marketers were looking for a brand fit as well as red flags. Controversial posts or mis-matched ideologies could be damaging for a companies PR so they often went fairly deep into post history. Although we had metrics that could help narrow down the search, our marketers still needed a way to quickly review post content across the apps the campaigns would be run on.
To integrate the work flow of compiling lists and notes on influencers into Soapbox, we provided a simple way to create lists and notes on each candidate. A quick voting mechanism was also added as a way to narrow down to a short list for candidates that would be approached for hiring.
The feature set of the project was as follows:
Creator search and filtering (leveraging a 3rd party API)
Custom campaign lists for potential candidates
Creator profile pages with additional metrics and shared notes
The improved search tool helped to move the marketing team off of their various spreadsheets and into a consolidated collaborative tool they could use together.
At the time of my departure from HYFN engineering was underway and the marketing team was eagerly awaiting the new software.