“Find 5 influencers who are well-educated in the travel category”

A colleague assigned me this task on my eighth week at my summer internship. You would think after all that time; I would be able to spit out five names in the span of five seconds. I couldn’t.

What is the context?

On the summer of 2014, I worked as a social analyst intern at the advertising agency, Ogilvy & Mather, in Singapore. While there, I not only discovered the use of jargon for ‘influencer’, but also the entire process that comes with selecting one to represent your brand or support your campaign. This post aims to collect these glorious realizations with some free commentary and advice (you’re welcome) in a span of five minutes (not seconds, please).

What is an influencer?

You. An influencer is not only a leader, but also a human being. Your family and friends do affect your thoughts and emotions, and as a result, do affect your decisions and actions. These decisions could lead you to either buy or reject a product or service. In the given context, influencers primarily referred to bloggers, especially because of their effectiveness in the Singapore market and authenticity to convey the message.

What was the given task? “Find five influencers who are well-educated in the travel category”

Since I was working in the social media department, my colleague expected me to find five influencers that had a high social media presence across all channels. However, this proved to be a difficult task. It wasn’t as simple as scrolling through my database and selecting an influencer in that category. (My database was excellently organized with all relevant information pertinent to influencers: category, Facebook followers, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, Twitter following, Tweets, Instagram followers, Instagram following, Instagram posts, email addresses, agencies, and so forth)

What if one influencer had a high following on Twitter but was inconsistent with postings on other channels? Would he or she still be applicable? (Fun fact: Twitter, more so than Facebook, is proving to be more readily used to deliver messages to their fans.)

Or, what if this influencer had a medium reach across all channels?

Would you pick the influencer with high reach in one channel, verses another influencer with medium reach across all channels?

What is “reach” referring to?

The term, “reach,” refers to the ability for us to use the influencer’s user-base on these social media channels to drive awareness to our brand. Therefore, this judgment of high, medium, or low reach can only be made based on comparisons to the other candidates who are still in the running (to becoming America’s Next Top Model – it sounded sophisticated when I was writing that sentence).

What other factors do you need to consider?

The personality. How do others perceive them? Why do their fans love them?

  1. For example, an influencer may have medium reach, but have established a name for themselves. Given the context of a campaign or message behind a brand, he or she could prove to be the right influencer to drive awareness.
  2. The other go-to points to identify the right influencer is to research their expertise and credibility. Can this influencer drive the right conversations through their user-base? Can this influencer accurately execute your message?

I haven’t even finished all the areas that needed to be explored, but a goal is a goal. And whether five minutes may or may not be coming up, my fingers are tired.

I provided 15 names.

Go to bed now,



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