How to Use Influencer Community Metrics to Build a Winning Earned Media Strategy

Alex Rawitz
Alex Rawitz
May 11, 2021

Ever since we were founded in 2012, Tribe Dynamics’ signature metric for determining the viral reach of digital content has been Earned Media Value (EMV). Longtime readers know the drill by now, but for newcomers (and because a reminder is always helpful), EMV is a proprietary metric that uses likes, comments, and other engagement data to quantify the estimated value of influencer activity for a brand. However, EMV isn’t just useful for gauging the impact of content from individual influencers—along with other key metrics, it can also help your brand benchmark the success of your influencer community as a whole.

While EMV is an important tool for tracking specific content creators’ performance over time, and for assessing the overall efficacy of your brand’s influencer marketing program, EMV is best understood as a relative metric, and should always be considered in the context of more foundational data about your community. This is especially true given that multiple factors over the past two years, from the impact of COVID-19 to an overall decline in static Instagram posts, have resulted in lower EMV totals across brands and verticals when compared to historical levels.


Because EMV is directly affected by key community metrics—including community size, posting frequency, and total engagements—brands should weigh EMV alongside the other data points that contribute to it. This blog post details several of the metrics that brands should take into account when assessing their EMV totals, offering practical insights on how to use these tools to inform your influencer marketing strategy and strengthen your influencer marketing program.

Three women laughing in the sunshine. Priscilla du Preez via Unsplash.

Gauge Community Health With Size and Retention

Successful brands look for growing influencer communities, as indicated by positive changes in overall community size, and try to maintain consistent activity from the same core group of influencers, as measured by retention. While an expanding community, and recurring contributions from retained content creators, will typically lead to EMV growth, these community health metrics are ultimately a more reliable sign of long-term potential than EMV totals secured via one-off, boom-and-bust initiatives. Influencer retention is especially crucial: content creators who post about your brand time and time again are your most effective advocates, and recruit new brand fans with their enthusiasm, sparking community growth.

A hand holding a phone showing an Instagram profile. Jakob Owens via Unsplash.

Measure the Volume and Efficacy of Content With Post Count and Total Engagements

Post count is simply the amount of content generated about your brand. This metric is closely tied to community size, as a large volume of content is more impressive coming from a small but dedicated community than it is coming from a larger group of influencers. Influencer marketing managers should pay close attention to not just the number of posts created about their brand, but also how this content resonates with online consumers. That’s where total engagements comes in handy: this metric measures posts’ aggregate number of likes, comments, and shares, providing an indication of how well your brand is connecting with influencers’ followers. Because more content means more opportunities for engagement, the greater your brand’s community size and post count, the higher its likely total engagements.

Drawings of several charts. Jason Coudriet via Unsplash.

See How You Measure Up to the Competition With EMV Share and the EMV Index

A brand’s absolute EMV total is useful for benchmarking that brand’s performance over time—but other EMV-related metrics can help brands understand how they stack up to their competitors, and even their vertical as a whole. With EMV share, brands can accurately assess their strength relative to competitor brands. EMV share tracks how much of the total EMV generated by your brand and your competitors in a given time frame came from your brand alone—the greater your share, the stronger your position within your competitive set. Meanwhile, Tribe Dynamics’ EMV Index calculates the change in EMV that a brand would expect over a given time period based on general trends within that brand’s vertical. In other words, if your brand’s EMV growth outperforms your vertical’s EMV index, then you can count your influencer marketing program as a true success.

For a Complete Picture of Brand Performance, Use Multiple Metrics

By gaining a greater understanding of all the metrics available to your brand, you will be able to execute more sophisticated influencer marketing campaigns. Additionally, you will be able to further contextualize your brand’s EMV totals, gauging the underlying variables contributing to your earned media performance. With all these metrics at your disposal, and a complete sense of the factors that inform EMV, the influencer marketing strategy you devise is sure to be effective.

For more details on how to use community metrics to improve your brand’s influencer marketing strategies, including which specific metrics to prioritize based on your brand’s influencer marketing goals for 2021, check out our new Guide To Measurement report.