This article is predicated on a hypothesis: that celebrities and/or influencers who have had children mid-way through their careers and posted pictures of said children on their Instagram accounts have benefited from a higher engagement rate and better overall performance. I based this potential claim through my observations of Xiaxue, Naomi Neo, Kylie Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, and Karen Bakhazi.
These influencers fall into two groups: those that feature their kids in sponsored content, and those that share their kids in organic and unfiltered content as a manner of opening up their lives to their followers. Both choices are perfectly endearing, but what we are interested in is how both these approaches ultimately lead to a similar outcome: remarkable performance on Instagram.
Dash, Age 6 | @xiaxue
Xiaxue uses hashtags on almost all her posts (the most popular being #sp or #sponsored), so it is noteworthy that her 3rd and 5th most-used hashtag on Instagram is specific to Dash. This gives us an idea of the sheer number of posts she uploads that feature her son, not including the ones which do not contain any hashtags.
Since he was born, Xiaxue has made it a point to make Dash a regular feature on her profile. Considering she is a veteran influencer and lives most of her life online, this makes sense. Her son is such a regular feature on her stories as well that she has a highlight dedicated just to him.
Xiaxue’s second best performing post on Instagram is of Dash, and it performed at a 4.32% engagement rate, which is 4 times higher than her average. It is also a post for @dreamcruiseline.
From the image above, we can also see that despite aggregating fewer posts than her collaboration with NuffNang, #throwbackdash performed 1.2 times better.
Kyzo, Age 1 | @naomineo
Naomi’s top performing post in the last year (June 2018 till now) is a selfie she took after her delivery.
This post garnered a 20% engagement rate, which is 3 times higher than her personal average and the national average for macro influencers in Singapore.
Additionally, while her engagement rate has always been high, it piqued specifically between June-July 2018, which was when she first introduced Kyzo to her Instagram feed.
Her average engagement rate at this point was at a high of 10.09%, which is twice the average engagement for micro influencers even. The fact that she is a macro influencer makes this all the more impressive.
Additionally, Naomi has been able to include her child in existing collaborations and brand partnerships.
This post for @diownbeauty with Kyzo performed a lot better than her other sponsored posts for the same brand despite the fact that those are more ‘aesthetically pleasing’, and we can only attribute that to baby Kyzo. while her average for the previous posts got a 6% engagement rate (in line with her usual performance), the one with Kyzo got a 7.8% engagement rate.
True, Age 1 | @khloekardashian
Khloé boasts far more impressive numbers in relation to True. Out of her top 15 posts since January 2018, 12 out of 15 contain True. As a percentage, that is 80% of her posts that resonated better with her audiences and garnered a higher engagement solely because True was the subject of the picture.
Her top commented and second most liked post is this one:
It garnered a 7.04% engagement rate which is 7 times her average. On 4th Feb 2018 (same day that Kylie introduces Stormi Webster), Khloé posts a picture of the two pregnant sisters and audiences eat this up.
This appears to be a foreshadowing of how well-received the posts of both children are on Instagram. Everybody loves a good baby. Khloé has also taken to including True in her posts for Good American, which has been beneficial.
Both pictures performed better than the other posts for the brand and better than the overall average.
Stormi, Age 1 | @kyliejenner
Kylie Jenner puts out a lot of content, and with 140.7 million followers and 2 posts per day, she is doing quite well at a 3.36% average engagement rate. It is therefore interesting to note that 7 out of her 15 top posts (46.6%) in 2019 alone feature Stormi.
This means that on average, people appreciate the posts with Stormi more so than her regular posts (with exceptions of course). Her top performing post is of her, Travis Scott and Stormi on Halloween, and it garnered a 9.8% engagement rate, which is three times higher than her usual and notably high for a celebrity of Kylie’s stature.
It is therefore no surprise that her most liked and commented on post since the birth of Stormi is this one:
Apart from 18M likes, it also garnered 2M comments, which is more comments than most macro-influencers have followers. Unlike Naomi and Xiaxue, Kylie does not include Stormi in her paid posts for brands. However, her posts containing #stormiworld and #happymothersday, which so feature and focus on Stormi, performed better than the posts for her own #kyliecosmetics on average.
What would happen if Stormi started collaborating with Kylie Cosmetics and/or Kylie Skin? I don’t imagine we’d have to wait long to find out.
Karlie, Kay, & George | @karenwazenb
A cursory look at Karen’s Instagram will reveal that her life basically revolves around her family. Despite posting more sponsored content with #ad, her posts featuring her twins #KarlieAndKay garner more likes and comments on average.
Karen is different from the influencers we have talked about so far because she does not include her children in sponsored content or brand-related content. In fact, she makes a very clear distinction between her family life and work life, so it is quite remarkable that posts featuring them still receive a higher engagement.
All 15 of Karen’s top performing posts this year feature her children in one way or another, and No. 1 is this adorable video with the whole gang.
This is not to say that Karen’s sponsored content does not perform well. Rather, the fact that she is so open and candid about her family and kids makes her an even better influencer — one that is relatable and does not present and overtly curated life on social media. Some of her top collaborations include M.A.C., REVOLVE, Dior, Cartier, and so on.
We see this reflected in her engagement rate which is consistently high — drifting between 6-7%.
Her average engagement is 6 times higher than the average engagement for macro influencers in the UAE, which is very impressive. We can draw the conclusion that this is because she shares her beautiful personal life with her followers, who are then more likely to also engage positively with her other content.
All in all, it seems like influencers who feature their child on Instagram — especially as an adorable young baby — can benefit from higher engagement and better reception on Instagram. They become added facets to existing collaborations as well as open up new opportunities to promote childcare or mom-related brands. Whether these children will take on a social media life of their own once they are older is a different question but for now, they are both a look into as well as a manifestation of how different influencers live their lives.