Let’s talk about social influence.
Imagine 2 billion people concentrated in one place, sharing experiences, thoughts and emotions.
No other platform has more social currency than Facebook, but in the world of influencer marketing, Facebook has not been as popular as other platforms like YouTube and Instagram.
There are two main reasons.
First, Facebook is not particularly known as a discovery or search tool. Something YouTube (second biggest search engine in the world) and Instagram are pretty good at. When we talk about influencers, this is extremely important. The more windows you have to showcase your talents, the better.
Second, algorithm changes. In 2009 Facebook started updating its News Feed. It was no longer a first-come, first-served approach. The ever-evolving algorithm has made it very difficult for influencers to engage with their audiences. The Instagram feed is slowly following suit; however its mobile functionality, simplicity, and visual nature separate it from its parent platform. Needless to say, the changes were compensated by adding the “stories” tool. With its 300M daily active users, it screams success.
Facebook also recently announced additional changes to its platform. In short, they will rank posts from family and friends first and de-emphasize content from brands and publishers.
This announcement has marketing professionals speculating as to what this can mean for brands and marketers. Here’s our take on how this could affect the influencer marketing ecosystem:
With less publisher and branded content cluttering the feed, there will be more space for user-generated content. This will be a win for influencer marketing.
Let’s not forget “influencers” are people creating valuable and creative content for their communities. They are known for having engaged social connections that genuinely share mutual interests. If there’s more room for their content to shine, we could see engagement rates increase dramatically.
As this starts happening, we could expect seeing more brands partnering with influencers to battle the changes.
On the other side of the conversation, there’s something we can’t ignore.
On April 9, 2012 Facebook made one of the most important acquisitions since its inception. The company purchased Instagram, which back then had just 30 million users (now at 800 million users). This not only shows how groundbreaking the business acquisition was, it emphasizes on the visionary element that makes the social network shine.
BUT (there’s always one), it’s been over 5 years since they became one (but not really) and we haven’t seen evident success in the integration of the two platforms.
How does this affect influencers in the new landscape?
Again, Instagram has been really good at leveraging the power of online influencers giving them the tools. Facebook not so much.
As reported on Digiday, last year Facebook pushed many influencers on both Facebook and Instagram to convert to “business” pages (Most were previously categorized as “public figures”).
Then when Zuckerberg announced the recent changes he said: “As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
According to this, there’s a contradiction that could affect influencers trying to integrate both platforms to distribute their content.
Will they workout something different with influencers? Time will tell us.