Facebook has not been as popular a platform for influencer marketing as platforms like YouTube and Instagram. That could change with upcoming feature and algorithm upgrades planned by Mark Zuckerberg and team that will be good for creators and users alike.
Despite having the largest social audience on the planet, Facebook has not seen a similar level of influencer marketing activity. More visual mediums like Instagram have been used by fashion and other photo-driven industries. YouTube’s video focus and creator-friendly platform made it a popular venue for influencer marketing. Snapchat and Vine each have a quirky character that lends itself to creators coming up with interesting ways to incorporate products into their videos. While Facebook has long had Pages for brands and influencers, using them for branded content was not as easy as it is on other platforms. For influencer marketing, Facebook has often been treated like an amplification tool to push users to content hosted elsewhere.
That is changing. On just about every front, Facebook has acted to make itself more relevant for influencer marketing. That was not the primary focus of these moves. but a welcome outcome of Zuckberg’s desire to get Facebook to be not just where people happen to gather but a place where people really want to gather.
Facebook’s focus has been on improving content creation and optimization. While they have not crafted the seamless creation and monetization platform that YouTube has, they are in the process. From surveys the company has been running, it is clear they have been exploring ways in which users can make money from their posts. Whether this is a full-blown YouTube Red or YouNow setup or just a ‘tip jar’ remains to be seen.
Branded content is general got a lot easier as Facebook has made it frictionless for verified brands and creators to partner on content, like the recent effort from Lady Gaga to work with Intel. The changes in their branded content policy make it simple for influencer marketing partnerships to be done with full FTC-friendly transparency.
Creator-friendly solutions like these are a far cry from earlier last year when Facebook was repeatedly called out by YouTube creators for not cracking down on ‘freebooting,’ or the sharing of creator content without compensation. Facebook introduced a Rights Manager to help track content creator efforts and improve attribution but these changes show a continuing commitment to support the development of content on the platform.
Facebook Supports Quality Content
Algorithm updates will also help drive quality content contributions from publishers, brands and social media creators alike. The new algorithm encourages a variety of factors that will be music to the ears of serious creators and publishers.
- Originality and in-depth content that tells a story fully will have an advantage. Traditional media and journalism outlets will love this change.
- Polls, tests and other interactive content that has the power to engage readers will do well.
- Format variety will also be a factor to help people see your content. If you incorporate different styles like longer stories mixed with shorter updates plus video, you will do well with the algorithm.
- An existing Facebook presence will help. The platform looks to reward creators that have an established presence on Facebook. If you are already seeing solid engagement on your page, you can expect more of the same.
After years of hyper-optimized Buzzfeed-style publishers gaining traction on Facebook, these changes to focus on quality are welcome for brands, publishers, creators and users alike. Facebook is showing that it can prioritize content that helps everyone involved. Well, everyone but clickbait-driven pages with limited editorial capabilities.
Facebook has been criticized as a bloated platform that was starting to fade from relevance for the most desirable audiences. Recent changes should counter that claim. While these innovations will expand use of influencer marketing on the platform, they are really about delivering better content to users. Making moves that help both users as well as the companies with whom they want to do business is an impressive feat. Mark Zuckerberg seems to be pulling it off.