Facebook is not exactly the first platform that comes to mind when we hear the words "influencer marketing". Even though it's the biggest and most popular social media network that boasts about 1,62 billion users worldwide, influencer marketing is often implemented on other platforms, such as Instagram and YouTube.
Of course, neither the size of the platform nor the surface-level marketing trends should affect your influencer marketing strategy: what should affect it is an understanding of your target audience and where they hang out. Facebook, being one of the largest platforms out there, is a great way to reach all kinds of people with the possible exception of Gen Z, since this is the market Facebook lost to the platforms mentioned above. Find out which platform will be the best fit for your business with the help of our guide.
You can also use a social listening tool that covers major social media networks to see which platforms get the biggest number of post mentioning your brand and/or relevant keywords thus identifying where people who might be interested in your brand communicate.
So, let's say you did some research, maybe even used Awario to see which platform hosts the biggest number of keywords relevant to your brand, and decided that Facebook is THE PLACE for your influencer marketing efforts. Or maybe you're an influencer marketing expert who wants to try their hand with a new platform. Either way, this article is for you: it will walk you through every step of finding the right Facebook influencers.
Influencers on Facebook: who are they?
So, is there any difference between Facebook influencers, and, for example, Instagram influencers? The answer is yes and no. If we have a look at the top Facebook influencers, it will be pretty much similar to the most popular profiles on other platforms: famous people, media, and several lucky brands make the list.
Obviously, these are not the type of Facebook influencers you are trying to find unless you have the Nike money. We are looking for micro-influencers, those who have a smaller, but much more dedicated community.
Undoubtedly, the nature of the platform affects the posts and thus people on it. Facebook is a very content-oriented platform, so you'll more likely find influential Pages focused on content rather than people who manage the page. Plus, Facebook's functionality encourages sharing i.e. it's the best platform for viral content, thus pages that share sensational content, memes, and relatable posts also will have a lot of influence.
So the portrait of an influencer on Facebook will be as follows:
- Shares useful or extremely engaging content that has the potential to go viral
- Builds trust based on expertise in a certain field
- Doesn't have strong personal bonds with the audience
- Fosters community around the page (people talking in the comments, exchanging opinions and more)
So now that we know what kind of influencers are more likely to be on the platform, let's figure out how to find Facebook influencers that will be right for your company.
How to find influencers on Facebook
Influencer search on Facebook can be quite challenging: the platform's native search options are limited and inconvenient. Even the hashtag research, the most straightforward way of finding the important people elsewhere, is practically useless since very few people use hashtags on Facebook. Basically, you'll have to use marketing tools to find influencers on Facebook.
You have two options here: use an influencer database or a social listening tool. The first option is a bit simpler: influencer databases are categorized and you can search them based on your niche. However, there are several downsides:
- Databases are limited: you can only see Facebook influencers that applied or were discovered by the people behind the database.
- The categorization system may be too broad and not fit your specific niche: for example, if you're specifically looking for vegan chefs, you might end up scrolling the 'food' category for hours to compile a list of potential influencers relevant for you.
- Unless you work for a marketing or a social media agency, the cost of an influencer database isn't really worth it: chances are you'll not use it often enough to justify the spending, and it's not like you can make it suitable for something else.
Social listening tools eliminate the problems that come with using a ready-made database, but it will require a bit more effort on your side. While using a database is intuitive: you log in, you tweak some filters and categories, and you get the list of Facebook influencers; you'll need to take several steps to find influencers with a social listening tool. Let's go through them!
Finding Facebook influencers with social listening
Social listening (or social media monitoring, as it's also called) is the process of using a tool to find and analyze posts with your keywords on social media and the web. Social listening is incredibly diverse in its application — you can use it for everything from product development to SEO. Almost every social listening tool on the market can be used as an influencer marketing tool.
Simply finding public conversations containing industry-specific words and phrases wouldn't help you with identifying Facebook influencers — most of these posts are created by regular internet users with no audience besides their friends. Luckily, most social listening tools like Awario offer powerful analytics that lets you look at the collected data from different angles. Awario, for example, can analyze the reach of your mentions, their location, language, sentiment, words associated with your keywords and so on. It also evaluates the authors of the posts, which is exactly what we need for designing an influencer marketing strategy.
To guide you through the process of Facebook influencer research with the help of social listening, I'll be using Awario as an example. You can sign up for a two-week free trial here.
Step 1: Come up with keywords related to your niche
This is probably the trickiest part that will require your creative skills and a good knowledge of the market. You need to come up with a list of words and phrases that are used in your niche quite often. For example, if you want to promote your new yoga app, you can choose such keywords as yoga, exercise, fitness, meditation, and so on. Your imagination is the limit!
One of Awario's analytics features is the Topic cloud that might help you a bit with compiling the list. You can just draft a couple of keywords and phrases and then check out the Topic cloud to see more relevant keywords which people often used alongside.
You can also look for posts that contain your brand name if you're an established company. This will help you find influencers who already mentioned your brand (hopefully favourably) and are more likely to work with you. You can do the same for your competitors to see what influencers talk about them.
Step 2: Set up keyword monitoring
Once you have your list of keywords, it's time to start monitoring! You can choose how you want to find influencers: group all the keywords together in one topic, or divide them by topic (for example, one alert for vegan influencers focused on recipes, the other on vegan food reviewers).
You can specify the country and language of an influencer, and add some negative keywords to make the search more precise. Don't forget to choose Facebook as the source of mentions, otherwise, Awario will look for influencers on every major social media platform. Although, if you have a feeling you might want to check out other platforms as well, it's better to set the Sources setting to All - it will still allow you to see Facebook influencers in a separate tab, but will gather data from other networks and the web in case you'll need it in the future.
Step 3: Check out Influencers report
Some social listening tools have a separate report dedicated to identifying influencers. For example, Awario shows you influencers on each platform (if you've decided to focus on more than one) based on the number of followers they have, the number of times they mentioned your keywords, and their reach. You can change the time bracket to see influencers who mentioned your keywords more recently or a while ago.
You can choose how Awario ranks influencers: by followers, reach, or the number of relevant posts. The influencers with the biggest reach are the real gold mine, but you might want to focus on influencers with a smaller audience who talk about chosen topics more often, or, alternatively, influencers that have access to a bigger community but aren't passionately involved in your niche yet.
You can also use Awario further to research influencers you identified by setting up alerts with their names, gathering mentions of their name and page, and seeing how popular they are, who talks about them and so on.
Step 4: Look at the mentions
There is another way to find influencers with Awario that allows for even more flexibility. Let's say you want to find negative mentions of your competitors from influential Facebook Pages. If you go to Influencers report, it will show you influential authors, and the sentiment of the relevant mentions, but you won't be able to sort the list of potential Facebook influencers based on the sentiment in order to see authors who talk about a brand negatively first.
However, you can go to your Mentions Feed and click the Filter mentions icon. There you can choose from various ways to filter out the posts.
Once you do that, you can sort filtered mentions by reach. Logically, the posts with the biggest reach will come from the most influential Facebook authors. When you click on a mention, you'll see an author card on the right that will help you learn more about the influencer.
Step 5: Choosing the right Facebook influencers
Awario will give you a pretty accurate list of potential Facebook influencers in your field, but you can't just take it and start your influencer marketing campaign right away. A good influencer marketing strategy consists of three stages: discovery, evaluation, and outreach.
The evaluation will help you determine the influencers on Awario's list who will bring you the highest ROI. Here are the points to consider when screening the influencers:
- Content. Do they typically produce content you want to collaborate on? If you need a review of your tech, you should probably check whether the influencers on the list do reviews.
- Engagement rate. They might have a lot of followers, but do these followers participate in conversations? How many comments, likes, and shares they get? An engaged audience is much more likely to be persuaded by an influencer.
- Tone, language, aesthetics. They might be perfect for you content-wise, but do they deliver this content in a way that falls in line with your brand's image? If they are a controversial food blogger who uses strong language it may not fit with your audience if you're targetting middle-aged parents, for example.
- Conflict of interest. Would be pretty discouraging to spend time on cultivating relationships only to find out that this influencer is already working with your competitor.
Awario is very effective for influencer discovery, but it can also help you with evaluation. By monitoring their name you can find out how they are perceived on Facebook and the rest of the Internet. All the analytics you get for your topical keywords you can also get for a specific influencer - this will help you to determine whether they are the best person to represent your brand.
All that is left after you go through these five steps is the hardest part: reaching out, building relationships with an influencer, negotiating the conditions of your partnership, and launching an influencer campaign. Fortunately, we wrote a guide to influencer outreach — check it out!