- Getty/Tommaso Boddi
- Influencers seem to be well-positioned to benefit from Facebook’s latest algorithm change.
- Essentially removing brands from the equation will automatically boost organic engagement around influencer content on the platform.
- But it’s up-and-coming influencers, not the big-name ones, who are likely to benefit most.
- That is because bigger influencers last year were pushed to convert their profiles to “business pages,” which are presumably going to take a hit with the latest changes.
Facebook’s latest algorithm change is expected to make life a lot harder for publishers and businesses accustomed to getting their messages in front of the platform’s users with relative ease.
But it could have a surprising benefit for digital influencers – particularly those with only budding followings.
In a blog post explaining the changes, Facebook’s head of News Feed, Adam Mosseri, said page posts that generated conversation between people, such as videos posted by “creators,” would begin to show up higher in the News Feed.
“Many creators who post videos on Facebook prompt discussion among their followers, as do posts from celebrities,” he wrote.
In other words, as Facebook moves toward prioritizing content from friends and family members (like baby pictures) in the News Feed, influencer content – especially the kind that sparks conversations among family members and friends – is likely to also get a boost.
Influencer content is already inherently more engaging than regular organic brand posts, Marco Hansell, the CEO at the influencer marketing company Speakr, said. In effectively sidelining brands, Facebook will automatically boost organic engagement around influencer content even more.
“Content has five to 10 times better engagement when posted by an influencer rather than a brand, and that number will now go up even more,” he said. “The Facebook algorithm change provides an opportunity for influencers to stake a claim around the old slots left empty by brands and publishers.”
But in an ironic twist, some of the biggest influencers on Facebook may not fare as well compared with newer digital creators on the platform. That’s because Facebook implemented a shift last year in which top influencers needed to post from an official Facebook page to be able to use Facebook’s branded-content tools, for example, to post videos sponsored by advertisers.
As a result, most established influencers were pushed to convert their profiles to “business pages” – which are going to take a hit with the latest algorithm changes, just like any other marketer or media company’s pages.
“Facebook’s most recent announcement means people will see less content from pages,” said Kristy Sammis, the founder and chief innovation officer of the influencer marketing agency Clever. “This means that influencers who switched to pages will theoretically lose reach and engagement.”
Instead, it is smaller influencers who should see the most engagement and growth. Arnab Majumdar, a cofounder of the influencer agency Peersway, said the News Feed change would usher in a new trend in which brands would work closely with hundreds of nano-influencers instead of a few big influencers.
“Since nano-influencers rarely do brand promotions as their full-time job, very few of them have business profiles. So, this change will barely have any impact on their reach, while they will continue to have a much higher rate of engagement than bigger influencers,” he said. “This change will be a game changer for the influencer marketing industry.”
Facebook, in other words, may be inadvertently laying the foundation for the next wave of influencers, said Chelsea Naftelberg, the director of influencers and content at the ad agency Attention.
“This definitely leaves an opening in the market,” Naftelberg said. “If Facebook posts increasingly shareable content publicly, there may be a big opportunity for these people to achieve notoriety on the platform.”