Facebook announced in January that its latest algorithm update would be de-emphasizing updates from business pages in users’ News Feeds. At the time of the announcement, many social media marketers expressed concern that brands’ organic reach, which had already been hobbled by past algorithm updates, would become a thing of the past on Facebook.
The latest News Feed algorithm update certainly seems to point to a future where brands of all sizes view Facebook as a pay-to-play advertising platform. But while “free” Facebook marketing opportunities are being firmly nailed into their coffin, brands are getting creative and looking for more authentic ways to connect with their audience on the social media site. Influencer marketing—a strategy that involves partnering with influential social media users—is becoming a promising path forward.
Facebook has already introduced several features to facilitate influencer marketing:
- Branded Content tags have been around since 2016 and allow influencers to clearly label posts that they’ve created in partnership with a brand. This helps keep both influencers and brands in compliance with FTC guidelines for sponsored content.
- Facebook Groups for Pages lets brands create Groups that are linked to their business page. These Groups give brands a space to engage with their community organically (for example, Instant Pot uses their Group as a recipe-sharing space).
- A new boost feature lets brands pay to increase the reach of a post that an influencer has created for them. Brands can target a specific audience, and the audience will see the post as originating from the influencer rather than from the brand. Previously, marketers had to share an influencer’s post through a brand’s account before they could boost it.
How Does Influencer Marketing Work on Facebook?
The idea behind influencer marketing on Facebook is, fundamentally, the same as influencer marketing on any other online platform. It starts with a brand identifying a Facebook user with a medium-to-large (and highly-engaged) follower base that overlaps with the brand’s target audience. The brand then reaches out to the influential Facebook user to see if they’re interested in posting about the brand’s products.
Businesses that are new to influencer marketing should keep in mind that influencers expect to be compensated. While some micro-influencers may be willing to produce branded content in exchange for free products, most influencers charge a fee. Brands may negotiate the compensation with the influencer after discussing the collaboration.
Once the brand and influencer have reached an agreement, the influencer will create a specified number of Facebook posts about the brand’s product. They might share an unboxing video or a picture of themselves using the product. Because the content is coming from an influencer rather than a brand, it has a better chance of getting in front of an audience that is interested in the product. And that audience is more likely to trust a product recommendation from an influencer than from the brand itself. In fact, 85% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family.
Influencer marketing on Facebook starting to sound appealing? Here’s how you can get started with your own Facebook influencer marketing campaigns.
Finding Influencers on Facebook
There are two basic routes you can take to find influencers on Facebook: manually searching your existing Facebook fan base or tapping into tools that will search the entire platform for you.
If you decide to start with the manual search approach, you’ll need to identify a pool of Facebook users who have already engaged with your brand, perhaps by sharing or commenting on your posts.
After identifying these potential influencers, you’ll need to vet them yourself by checking out their social media presence. Do they have a large enough follower base to make a potential collaboration worthwhile? Does the way they present themselves on social media fit with your brand? If you answer yes, you can reach out to them directly to see if they’re interested in working with your brand.
The manual approach to identifying influencers can be labor-intensive and may not make sense for brands that don’t already have a large, highly-engaged audience on Facebook. The alternative approach is to use influencer identification tools that are essentially search databases of bloggers and social media influencers.
There are dozens of these tools available, with prices ranging from free to thousands of dollars a month. Most offer a free trial so that you can see how they work before committing to them.
Defining the Goals of Your Campaign
As you begin finding and reaching out to power users on Facebook, you should be thinking about the goals of your influencer marketing campaign. Be specific. For example, rather than just setting a goal to “increase brand awareness,” you might set a goal to “get at least 15k impressions” on an influencer’s post. You may also want to set goals related to:
- Social media engagement (e., likes, shares, or comments)
- Website traffic (e., how many visitors did an influencer’s post drive to your site?)
- Conversions (e., how many sales or sign-ups resulted from the campaign?)
- Revenue from the campaign
You’ll need to work with your influencers to tailor a campaign to your goals. The type of content an influencer produces should directly tie into your goals. For example, if you’re trying to drive traffic to a certain promo page on your website, the influencer will need to link to that page in their post.
Ideas for Influencer Marketing on Facebook
Facebook gives influencers a lot of flexibility in terms of the types of posts they can produce. Below are a few influencer marketing ideas to consider.
Video accounts for an estimated one-third of all online activity, and 45% of internet users spend more than an hour watching Facebook or YouTube videos per week. As video consumption increases, it makes sense for influencers to use native Facebook videos to catch the attention of their followers and encourage engagement.
Still a relatively young format, Facebook Live gives brands and influencers an opportunity to create video content that feels authentic and in-the-moment. An influencer could use Facebook Live to broadcast themselves trying your brand’s product or attending a live event that your company is sponsoring.
Contests can be useful when you’re trying to increase social media engagement and drive Facebook users to your site. An influencer could post photos with a product you plan to give away along with a link to the contest page on your website.
Most social media influencers are active on more than one platform and will likely be willing to run a campaign on several different channels. For example, an influencer might write a blog post about a product or use a food brand’s ingredient on a recipe on their site, then link to that content on Facebook and their other social media channels. This helps you reach a relevant audience at as many touchpoints as possible.
Looking for more ideas to use influencer marketing on Facebook? Need help setting influencer marketing goals and measuring the results? Leverage Marketing’s social media team is on it. Let’s start a conversation about how to succeed on Facebook as organic reach declines.