Influencer Analysis: Fashionistas For Vogue

Introduction

Despite influencers being around for a little over a decade, it is only now that they have an official market and space for brands and companies to take them seriously, and trust them with a company’s reputation. However, it is still somewhat difficult for brands and influencers alike to navigate this field of opportunity, because there’s no rule book and the algorithms are always changing. This study will analyze three top fashion stylist influencers in relation to the target organization Vogue Magazine. I chose Vogue because it is one of the most prestigious and most respected fashion publications in the world, and I think these three influencers’ overall vision and vibe are worthy of doing some work with the magazine. The influencers are Nausheen Shah (@nausheenshah), Shiona Turini (@shionat), and Olga Ferrara (@olgaferrara_ny). These influencers are a combination of macro and micro-influencers, with average engagement rates. The platform that will be analyzed for them will be Instagram, and specifically their last 15 posts. By the end of this study, I will have successfully highlighted not only these influencers’ social media metrics and practices but also why they make great partners for Vogue Magazine’s future influencer collaborations.

Nausheen Shah, @Nausheenshah

Shah never seems to post a curated post, not only in my observation period, but in almost her entire Instagram feed; She tends to stick to original posts. The language and tone of her posts also seem to align with her personality. It doesn’t feel as if she’s putting on a persona just for social. Moreover, her content is well received by her audience and fans which is a apparent in her comments.

What’s really remarkable about Shah’s audience demographics is that they are really in tune with Shah’s brand. According to Heepsy.com, 95.74% of her followers are real, leaving only a small percentage of followers that are suspicious ( 2021). And while she has a diverse following coming from France, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, etc, the majority of her fanbase is located in the United States and speaks English. What is also interesting is most of her followers are ages 25–35 with the second most popular group being 35–45, which matches up with Shah, as her age appears to be somewhere in the 25–40 range. The last important factor about her followers to note is their interests; their top three interests are fashion, entrepreneur and travel, which are all core pillars in Shah’s brand. This breakdown of her follower demographics shows that she has been able to acquire an audience that not only also identifies with her brand but has strong passions and interests in it as well.

Shah’s engagement rate is 3.0%, which is fairly high for her amount of followers (Heepsy 2021). While her followers and fans interact with her a lot on her page, she doesn’t reciprocate that much with them. From my observations, it looks like she only responds to people she knows or comments she likes, and most of the time the responses are just emojis. I think this kind of engagement pattern for Shah is acceptable because she’s not branding herself as an “influencer”. She’s just an industry professional that happens to be popular and followed by some other professionals and fans. For this reason, her “personal blog” approach works because it matches her authenticity of her personality. Her followers would definitely deem her credible and trustworthy if not for her article features she’s posted, but for her unique taste and style curation that is a common-and-rare gift in fashion.

Shiona Turini, @Shionat

Something that I noticed almost immediately about Turini’s photos, is that she doesn’t take any selfies; all of her photos of herself are posed, well composed shots. Her tone and characteristics, much like Shah are incredibly authentic to her as a person, and do not feel contrived or fake. It’s also well received by her audience as well which is noticeable in her many comments. These two posts from my 15-post observation period of Turini’s feed, are great examples of her engagement with a curated and original post. The left photo is a curated collaboration post she did with Tiffany & Co.; it is a piece of content where both the visual and caption were probably made for her as a promotion. On this post she got 1,535 likes and 79 comments. Something to note, since she does do some sponsored posts, Heepsy.com estimates that she gets paid anywhere between $740-$1,400 per promotional post. The photo on the right, is an original post she posted from a personal photoshoot. This post gained 9,950 likes and 149 comments. Based on this comparison we can conclude that her original posts do better with her audience than posts that curated and created for her. Despite this discovery, her most liked post in my observation period, at 22.2k, was a photo commemorating the popular film, Queen & Slim, which she worked on the wardrobe. What is astonishing however, is that even though she has great engagement from her followers engaging with her at a rate of 2.2% (Heepsy.com) she doesn’t respond back to her followers in the comments at all, or at least not in my observation period. But I don’t think it takes away from her stance as an influencer as many high profile influencers often do not respond to comments.

Turini’s audience demographics are very similar to Shah’s in the sense that her followers are female-dominated, English speakers from the United States. Another similarity is the top two age ranges for her page are the same, 25–35 at 62.19% and 35–45 at 22.64% (Heepsy 2021). Where she starts to differ slightly are in her follower's interests, with their top three categories being fashion, entrepreneur and blogger; as well as the real followers to suspicious followers ratio standing at 87.4% to 12.6% respectively, nearly an 8% difference when compared to Shah (Heepsy 2021). However, based on my knowledge of social media, it is not out of the ordinary to see more “suspicious” followers on accounts with large followings, in this case just under a 200k follower difference between Turini and Shah.

Overall despite Turini’s low responsive engagement patterns, I do not think it interferes with her credibility as a stylist and fashion influencer. Since she often posts her work, she is someone who can really let the photos speak for themselves; she doesn’t have to constantly engage with her audience to win them over. I see it as they view her page more like a lookbook or mood board, and don’t necessarily seek or demand reciprocated interaction.

Olga Ferrara, @Olgaferrara_ny

Considering the pandemic aspect again, it’s fascinating to see that her content has been completely unaffected by the virus. Not only does she not take a break in posting, but there are no masks present in her photos, and she’s traveling all over the world. I think her followers can receive and interpret it two ways: if they are the kind of social media users that use it as an escape, they might like that her content doesn’t feature Coronavirus. On the other hand, if her followers do care about the morals of who they follow, they may perceive Ferrara as tone-deaf or careless since her platform seems to not address the pandemic head on. It’s inconclusive whether or not this affects her credibility because she still gets hundreds of positive comments on her posts. I think what affects her credibility the most is the overall “artificial” nature of her Instagram account, because it feels like a business and is lacking the authentic person-to-person connection we’d get through her personality, like followers get with Shah and Turini.

Ferrara’s audience is almost exactly the same as Shah’s and Turini’s audience in a broad sense, as Ferrara has a female and English speaking-dominated fanbase from the United States, mostly between the ages of 25–45 and has interests in fashion, bloggers and travel. I found it most surprising that compared to the other two influencers in this study, Ferrara had the least amount of suspicious followers at a measly 1.76% (Heepsy 2021). Recently, I watched HBO Max’s Fake Famous, a documentary that featured three millennials’ journey from regular Instagram user to influencer status. In the documentary, one of the main themes is that the influencers have thousands of fake followers bought for them to make their accounts look more real. So because Ferrara’s account looks like a “typical influencer’’ account to me, I was shocked that she doesn’t have more bots following her.

Ferrara has an amazing engagement pattern that she religiously keeps on her platform. There’s literally not one comment she does not respond to; which is remarkable considering she gets hundreds of comments per post. It has to be pointed out also that a lot of her followers are also verified accounts.

Conclusion

References

Fake Famous. (2021, January 20). Retrieved from https://www.hbo.com/documentaries/fake-famous

Log in to Heepsy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.heepsy.com/instagramers?utf8=✓&filter[select_search_source]=instagramers&filter[custom_search]=@olgaferrara_ny

Log in to Heepsy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.heepsy.com/instagramers?utf8=✓&filter[select_search_source]=instagramers&filter[custom_search]=@nausheen+shah

Log in to Heepsy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.heepsy.com/instagramers?utf8=✓&filter[select_search_source]=instagramers&filter[custom_search]=@shionat&filter[cat_subcat_OR][]=&filter[location_aal0]=&filter[instagram_followers_filter]=0,10&filter[instagram_engagement_filter]=0,5&filter[instagram_engagement_percentage_filter]=0,30&filter[audience_age_filter]=:0;:0;:0&audienceAge[0]=&audienceAge[1]=&audienceAge[2]=&filter[audience_loc_filter]=:0;:0;:0&audienceLoc[0]=&audienceLoc[1]=&audienceLoc[2]=&filter[audience_cat_filter]=:0;:0;:0&audienceCat[0]=&audienceCat[1]=&audienceCat[2]=&filter[audience_lan_filter]=:0;:0;:0&audienceLan[0]=&audienceLan[1]=&audienceLan[2]=&filter[audience_gen_filter]=:0&audienceGen[]=&filter[instagram_quality_score_filter]=0,100&filter[audience_is_real_percentage_filter]=0,100&filter[instagram_cost_estimate_filter]=0,12&filter[percentage_branded_posts_filter]=0,100&filter[instagram_posts_per_week_filter]=0,15&filter[order_by_property]=

Written in March 2021.

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