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Facebook Influencer Marketing: Your Guide to Leveraging Influencers on the World’s Largest Social Media Network

It’s easy to argue that, in the world of influencer marketing, Instagram influencer marketing gets all the attention. This isn’t surprising given the fact that Instagram is the most popular choice for influencer marketing today. However, while it’s been out shadowed by its younger subsidiary, Facebook is also a great place to reach potential customers with influencer marketing. After all, there are many more Facebook members than Instagram members, and basic posts are just as easy if not easier to create. Not only that, but since both networks are owned by the same company it’s easy to repurpose and buy accompanying paid advertisements. In this article, I’ll talk about how Facebook influencer marketing is a viable option for your business or clients.

Why Facebook?

Especially if your business or agency is using Instagram a lot, it may seem strange to use Facebook as well. You’ve already developed a list of influencers for your campaigns, and you know how to be successful leveraging their talent. So why add Facebook? There are several reasons to consider adding Facebook influencer marketing to your mix.

Huge number of users

Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 2nd quarter 2020

Facebook statistics don’t lie: Did you know that there are over 2.7 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide? That’s a lot of people, and you’re sure to find a large proportion of your target audience here as a result. People from all walks of life regularly spend time on Facebook. These people include individuals who can barely read, and people who can only access the Internet for a few minutes a day while logging in from the local library. At the same time however, Facebook users include people with a lot of time to spend online and plenty of disposable income. Even older people who aren’t normally active on social media find Facebook to be a useful way to keep track of their family members. Because of the audience versatility in Facebook, your choices for target audience are virtually unlimited.

People hang out here

Did you know that Facebook is a happening place where people love to spend time? In fact, studies show that the average daily time spent on Facebook is almost as much as they spend on YouTube. Which is to say, there’s a lot of opportunity for Facebook influencer marketing. What’s more, people don’t spend as much time on Instagram, meaning there’s more opportunity to make an impression with each visit. Users tend to scroll through their Facebook feed and check out whatever they’re interested in, whether that’s a family birth announcement, party invite, or the latest fashions. It takes time to see these things, and in the mean time followed pages (and people) can reach those users with your brand message.

Easy sharing

With the inter-generational audience potential on Facebook, adverts and influencer campaigns can be shared with other people who might want to make gifts. Around the holidays, this can be especially useful (and profitable). Think about it this way: advertisement posts can be shared and reposted just as easily as organic content. Passing on “hints” to out of town relatives can’t be easier. If you’re looking at an influencer-related sponsored posts, they can be passed on to someone who might be interested in the item. That could mean a friend with similar interests or a family member trying to solve the same problems you are. While this is true for Instagram as well, on Facebook there is significantly more user diversity to take advantage of. Finally, engagement with posts is often posted on the feeds of other users, easily multiplying your chances of making a sale.

Superior analytics

Since Facebook is one of the oldest social networks still operating, they have a lot of experience with analytics. As with other forms of this technique, Facebook influencer marketing is dependent on efficient analytics to ensure success. However, unlike some other networks Facebook has an excellent set of native analytics tools. Known as Facebook Insights, this part of the application will give you a wide variety of statistical information on various pages. One example is follower info: not only will they tell you how much your page is growing, they’ll let you know how that person reached you. When developing the buyer personas for your campaigns, this is especially valuable because you can see what else they’re interested in.

Facebook Influencer Marketing Features

Since it often seems like Facebook influencer marketing is easier said than done, the company has developed a number of tools that can help you with campaigns. Not only do these help with FTC guidelines, but they also are useful for businesses trying to show how people and companies are linked.

Branded content tags

Specifically designed to help businesses comply with FTC regulations, Facebook has added the ability to tag branded content. It used to be that Facebook, unlike Twitter, didn’t use hashtags for anything. However, with advertising rules and the effectiveness of tagging, Facebook has caught up. In fact, there’s a whole section on their website about how to create  new tags and add them to your pages. These techniques work on Facebook, Live, Instagram, and through APIs. As a result, Facebook is more user-friendly than ever if you’re a brand. Just make sure that if you don’t have access to this feature to request access to the Branded Content Tool here.

Brand collabs manager

facebook brand collaborations manager

Facebook has a whole website dedicated to helping brands and influencers find each other. If you’re a brand, Brand Collabs Manager will give you information about each influencer on Facebook. For content creators looking to find sponsorship deals, there’s a corresponding place to sign up. Both sides can apply filters to try and find the type of partners they might want to engage in. What this means in practice is that Facebook influencer marketing has never been easier, now that there are more ways to find the appropriate people. Facebook seems to understand that this is a win-win for everyone involved.

Facebook Groups

Another way to make your marketing life on Facebook easier is through the power of groups. These are pages where people who share common interests can talk about what matters to them. Groups can center around everything from religious institution members, to social clubs, hobbies, and even politics. While this isn’t the best place to look if you want to target a particular profession (that’s where LinkedIn gets involved), you can work with just about anything else. What does Groups have to do with Facebook influencer marketing? It’s one of the ways that influencers can develop a sphere of influence. People with certain affinities will often hang out in Facebook groups to learn from other people with similar interests. Over time, those who teach become influencers.

Boosting posts

Once upon a time, you could only pay to “boost” your own content onto other people’s feeds. Now, however, Facebook allows brands to do this with influencer content as well. Basically, the idea is that if you paid to have it posted, you can pay to have it boosted. In other words, this is something available for sponsored posts but not regular ones. Want to boost a “regular” post? You’ll have to repost onto your brand page first. Chances are that you don’t want to go this route. Either way though, by boosting a piece of content you’re making it more visible to your target audience.

How to Find Influencers on Facebook

With so many people on Facebook, finding influencers isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Some people are great at talking to family and friends, but they don’t have the wider audience of a commercially-valuable influencer. Add to this the complication of finding the right influencer, and locating the perfect person for your next campaign can seem like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack. Fortunately, there are plenty of effective ways to find an influencer in the right niche for you, if you know where to look.

Use general discovery tools

Most of us know how to use Instagram-based discovery tools, but did you know that many of them can be used for Facebook as well? In fact, some tools like Hypr claim to work with all of the social media platforms. While there’s always room for them to add new platforms as they get big enough for influencer marketing, you can bet they support Facebook. Of course, this also means that tools of this nature are even more valuable to you. Not only do they give you more functionality for their price, but it also simplifies your job somewhat if there are fewer moving parts. I have an extensive list of influencer marketing tools on my blog.

Hang out in groups

While it’s a given that you’ll hang out in any branded groups you’re managing, don’t ignore the other ones in your niche. One of the best ways to find new influencers is to spend time seeing who interacts with group content. At the same time, check out the people with a lot of activity in other groups. For example, most of you know I’m a big fan of Japanese food, and that I speak Japanese. There are Facebook groups that talk about Japanese cuisine in particular metropolitan areas, such as Los Angeles. If I’m looking to promote a particular brand of soy sauce, I might spend time in those groups to see who is sharing recipes that include this ingredient. Alternately, I could hang out in a group of restaurant owners who might be comparing notes on the sauces they use. In the process, I can potentially find an influencer to help sell the sauce.

Use social listening tools

Most people think about social listening as a way to find out what people are saying about a brand. After all, programs like Agorapulse will tell you at a glance when your company, brand or product has been mentioned on social media. They’ll even give the same information about any competitors you’ve requested that it monitor. Most brands do this as a way to manage reputation and keep tabs on competitors.

However, reputation management and corporate intelligence aren’t the only use of social listening tools. Rather, they can be used for Facebook influencer marketing. Why? Because the people who mention your brands or competing brands often might well be influencers. By taking a look at these social mentions, you can build a pattern of behavior for certain people. If they’re recommending products or promoting something, even if they aren’t sponsored posts, you have an influencer. Then, use influencer evaluation techniques to decide who to approach.

Don’t forget the marketplaces

As with other social networks, Facebook influencer marketing can be facilitated in part by influencer marketplaces. While most of us think of marketplaces as Instagram-focused, that isn’t always the case. In fact, marketplaces have branched out to include a wide variety of social networks. There are also some marketplaces that work primarily with Facebook, or with Facebook and Instagram.

Levels of service vary. For instance, some of them simply provide you basic profile info and contact info or link. On the other hand, there are others that let influencers post portfolios of their work, or even vet them for authenticity. This second type will give you some level of influencer statistics. Depending on how much you want to go it alone, you can choose any of several marketplaces.

Be old school

If you have the time or are looking for something very specific, old school research methods can still be used to find influencers. One of these techniques is hashtag research. Since hashtags aren’t as common on Facebook as they are on other networks like Twitter, this can produce mixed results. On the other hand, since there are requirements that influencers mark sponsored posts as such, they’re likely to use hashtags to some extent. A related technique is keyword research. Here, it’s just like a search engine result, only Facebook specific. Doing this lets you see who is writing about a particular subject and evaluate them for influencer status.

Facebook Influencer Marketing Ideas

Now that you’ve found an appropriate influencer for your campaign, what kind of content or promotion do you want to run? It goes without saying that different influencers are better at some things, and someone else should be chosen for others. In addition to letting your influencer leverage his or her strengths, here are some ideas to consider.

Facebook Live events

Facebook Live is one of the newer Facebook features. It used to be that if you wanted to do a live event, you’d have to do it on YouTube. However, Facebook Live has become a much more prominent feature in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many volunteer groups and religious organizations have streamed events for their membership. This kind of Facebook influencer marketing can take a variety of formats. For instance, you could have the influencer get creative with a craft material and show people how to use it live. Or, a nonprofit could leverage the power of influencers to raise money. Want to demonstrate the superiority of a yoga brand? Let the person showcase the unique features of those fitness products. In short, Facebook Live options are almost endless.

Have a giveaway

This one’s old school, but still highly effective. It’s also a common technique on Instagram. After all, who doesn’t like getting “free” stuff? In this case, you’ll want to provide the free swag to your influencer, and have them ship it out to the winner. You should also consider having the influencer show off what is being given away so that people understand its usefulness or the enjoyment they can get from using your item. With that said, you’ll need to ensure you’re compliant with regulations for this technique and design it in such a way that it’s fun for everyone. Look here for some great social media contests ideas.

Sponsored groups posts

Especially if you have a niche product, a sponsored text-based post in groups can be useful. One of the main characteristics of Facebook influencer marketing is that it doesn’t have to include pictures or video. Rather, you can have an influencer just discuss why your product is awesome in a group or on her profile. While this isn’t a good approach for every brand or product type, it’s definitely something to consider if your product is results oriented. For instance, if you sell hair care products geared towards swimmers, you might have the influencer talk about the results. Swimmer haircare is a hot topic in the community, because pool water dries hair out easily. In this case, words are probably just as effective as visuals.

Contrary to popular belief, Facebook is a great place to do influencer marketing. So many people are members, meaning that brands can reach a wide variety of buyer personas. Furthermore, Facebook has become a much friendlier place for influencer marketing. By following the tips in this post, you have the potential for success in your Facebook influencer marketing efforts.

Hero photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

If you're considering working with influencers, you wouldn't want to miss out on Facebook influencer marketing. Here's the why and how.
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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.
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