Nike vs. Snap Influencers: The Data View of the Cases

Nike and Snap (previously Snapchat) may not seem alike, but they have one thing in common and that's influencer marketing. What's a deciding success factor for any influencer campaign? It's choosing the right partner! In the case of Nike and Snap, the results of the two campaigns are entirely different, but one thing is clear. Aligning your brand with interests an influencers' audience cares about can create a lasting impact!

Nike vs. Snap Influencers: The Data View of the Cases

The case of Nike and Snap perfectly illustrates the importance of employing the right data when searching for an influencer to collaborate with. General engagement and fans are only one piece of the puzzle. What matters more is if an influencer’s engagement in specific interests is in line with the same interest the brand is trying to promote.

Luckily with the right data, you can easily see if the influencer engages their audience exactly on the interests that are a right fit for your business. Looking at actual engagement created per interest, and not only what the influencer posts about, is what brands can do to confidently seek out the right influencers for their campaigns.

Let’s take a closer look and jump into real life examples to show you what we mean…

Influencer Marketing Campaign: Nike

Influencer marketing can create a huge impact when the engagement an influencer is getting on interests is paired with the right brand. A great example of a powerful influencer campaign that did just that, was Nike’s collaboration with San Francisco 49er’s athlete Colin Kaepernick. In fact, it was so great you’ve probably heard of it.

The campaign was extremely engaging and captivated relevant audiences – and for good reason. Just take a look at the data, the numbers speak for themselves.

Nike’s sales surged by a whopping 31% after working with this talented athlete. Kaepernick posted the first version of the campaign ad on Labor Day, featuring a black and white photo of himself with thde slogan, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. Just do it.”


Influencer Marketing Campaign: Snap

Like Nike, Snap has also dived into influencer marketing, collaborating with Luka Sabbat who paid by Snap’s PR agency to model Snap Spectacles. The idea was to partner up with Sabbat to model their new v2 spectacles. While belongingness to inner circles can play a role in an influencers success, it’s not all that should be considered. Here’s what we mean:

Looking closer into Sabbat’s performance data shows that the topic @lukasabbat gets most audience engagement on is Gaming. After Gaming, his most engaging sub-topic is Performing Arts. While Sabbat does post about fashion accessories and other topics frequently, his audience engages with his posts about Gaming most. This would lead us to believe that he would pair well with a gaming brand, as opposed to Snap.

Unsurprisingly, if the right preemptive research isn’t conducted beforehand, brands risk losing valuable resources. Fortunately, brands can avoid these pitfalls and confidently establish influencer relationships that will generate results by matching an influencer’s most engaging interest to their own. Let’s take an even closer look at the data to show you more numbers behind the story.

It’s More Than Just a Match of Interests…

Influencer marketing is complex and it’s become even more critical than ever for a business to look at a multitude of data – both quantitative and qualitative – before making their decision. This becomes clear when we take a closer look at different types of data that revolve around Nike and Snap’s selected influencers.

For starters, there is one main difference between the two influencers and that pertains to their ability to communicate about their interests on a larger scale and over a longer term. In terms of @kaepernick7, his interests are supported by audience engagement he’s getting on his interest-specific content.

This isn’t always easy to know unless you’re able to use a platform like Socialbakers that can quickly organize all the different types of topics influencers are getting the most engagement on into clear interests so brands can easily gauge if they are a right fit for them.

According to Socialbakers platform, Kaepernick’s interests are focused and include Sports. Parenting, Politics and Social Issues, Family, Healthcare. After Sports & Family related topics, his most engaged sub-topic is – Politics and Social Issues. Looking at these interests clearly shows why Nike would select Kaepernick to represent their brand. As a sport’s apparel business with an aspirational brand message, Kaepernick seamlessly fits the profile.

In contrast to @kaepernick7, we were only able to detect 1 or 2 posts for each interest on @lukasabbat’s Instagram feed. It’s known that Snap’s PR agency selected Sabbat for an influencer campaign after he was seen with Kourtney Kardashian. While the influencer had the right connections and high publicity, he didn’t have consistent interests or engagement on his Instagram profile. To get influencer marketing right, all spectrums of an influencer need to be explored, from their social circles to their performance data.

But it’s not just about interests, it’s also about bringing in other types of data to build a complete picture. Marketers can also gain insight into an influencer’s interests by looking at their hashtag usage. Are they using hashtags your audience uses? Can you see clear similarities in their interests, or do their hashtags differ across the board? These are the types of questions brands should be asking themselves when conducting their influencer research.

For example, when looking at @lukasabbat’s most used hashtags we can see a clear pattern. Sabbat’s hashtags are far less diverse. In fact, his most used hashtag is #ad.


In contrast, @kaepernick7’s hashtag cloud looks extremely different. His hashtags nicely complement his interests and vary in subject matter. What’s even more important is that his hashtags do not revolve around advertising, which makes him more of an authentic spokesperson.


When taking a closer look at the brands @lukasabbat’s mentions it’s clear that they are primarily fashion brands. But it’s not just about who he posts about but also how often he shares branded posts. In the timeline below, you can instantly see that his branded posts are almost published one after the other with little space in between. This could show that Sabbat may be more willing to partner with more brands, as opposed to carefully choosing one brand that share’s the interests of his audience.


Seeing that influencer marketing is so successful because of its authenticity, this hashtag along with the frequent number of brand mentions should be a concerm for any brand that digs deeper into an influencer’s profile. It’s vital for influencers to have real interests and passions outside of making efforts for reposting branded posts that have nothing to do with their audience’s interests.

The Takeaway

Choosing the right influencer has never been easier. With the right data, brands can zero-in on an influencer that’s a perfect match for the audiences they want to reach. Be sure to take a closer look at an influencer’s content before collaboration. Remember that it’s not what they post about, but what their audience is engaging with most.

Influencer platforms like Socialbakers turn a complicated process – stress-free. In just a few clicks you conduct a fast and thorough background check by taking a look at the hashtags they mention most, which brands they have collaborated with, along with how much their audience engages with their content.

Social Media Marketing Manager

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