When you think about influencer marketing, what platforms do you think of? Probably Instagram, right? Maybe Twitter. YouTube too, if you’re a video marketer or have a video-watching audience. Probably blogs, if you think of “blogs” as a general platform.
What about Facebook?
Facebook is the largest social network in the world. With billions of people checking the site regularly, and with pages that can have millions of followers themselves, influencer marketing on Facebook has the potential to be broader and more focused than any other site.
Facebook is one of the top networks for entire generations of people. As long as you’re targeting an audience other than, say, Gen Z – the youngest people currently online and with any personal agency – you’re going to find that audience on Facebook. To be frank, you’ll even find a sizable number of Gen Z users on Facebook, it’s simply not the biggest or best site to reach them.
Have I convinced you? If so, then you need to start thinking about the next steps. How can you find influencers on Facebook, and how can you make use of those influencers to further your own brand?
Today, I’m just going to limit myself to talking about how you can find the influencers in question. What you do with them once you find them, well, that’s a topic for another day.
The Top of the Top
The first method you can use to find influencers is finding those generalist influencers who, while they may have a focus industry, can put their fingers in pretty much any pie. Think about the list of the top most-followed accounts on Facebook. You have accounts like, well, Facebook itself, or Samsung, Coca-Cola, and YouTube. You also have accounts representing individuals, like Cristiano Ronaldo, Shakira, Vin Diesel, and Eminem.
It’s easy to find these accounts.
1. Just use mega-lists like this one. It’s a common piece of trivia for people to share as part of posts like the one you’re reading right now. Data might be a little out of date and you’ll run into very old posts like this, but even that can have valuable data.
You can also use tools that will give you the top accounts with some subdivisions or categorization.
2. Social Bakers maintains this page and shows you the top Facebook pages based on audience size, as well as allowing you to choose by industry and by country. For example, they find that the top computer game brand in the USA is God of War, with two gambling-related pages, Lucktastic and 777 Slots Casino falling in second and third.
One thing you’ll realize quickly is that a lot of the very top pages on Facebook are focused on apps, because those apps have some kind of bonus for users following their pages. This isn’t necessarily very useful. In fact, none of the top of the top pages are useful at all. Unless you’re a mega-business or a very well-supported public interest, the chances of you getting Coke to give you a shout-out are null.
Finding Influential Brands and Individuals
What you really want to do is find the influential brands and people in your industry who may be willing to work with you. Some of these people will be willing to give you a shout-out if they like you. Others might have a way to pay them for the mention. Some won’t even listen to you. The real point is just to find the people and brands with a small, dedicated audience but who aren’t too big to care.
3. Use Facebook’s native search. Plug in a keyword in the search bar at the top of Facebook and then look for two different tabs across the top. The “People” and “Pages” tabs are going to show you specific entities you can use for influencer marketing targets. You can further refine your search by choosing locations and any relationship you might have with the entity. It’s not an ideal resource, but it works.
4. Use the Facebook group directory. This is a huge directory of groups on Facebook and it’s an absolute pain to scroll through, but you may find groups aimed at influencer marketing in your niche if you just look in the right places.
5. Use the Facebook Group Discovery system. This is Facebook’s guided recommendation engine and will show you groups you may be interested in. You’ll want to find, again, groups related to your interests that may have influencers as participants.
6. Another option I’m a little hesitant to recommend is the Facebook Brand Collabs program. This is a limited space where influencers can sign up as creators and where brands can sign up to access the creator network. Unfortunately, it’s currently very limited, and it’s basically a paid ads feature, so it’s not free. I’m also not in it, so I can’t tell you how it works specifically.
7. You can also just put out a public call. You never know who is already in your audience. Just post and ask your audience if any of them are creators and would be interested in working with you. Maybe put some minimal traffic or follower requirements to keep out the “creators” with 10 followers, you know.
Of course, Facebook’s native tools aren’t always very good. Therefore, it can be highly beneficial to use third party tools and directories. These tools can be used for social listening as well as for influencer searches.
8. BuzzSumo is the gold standard for social listening and analysis. Plug in a keyword and click over to the Influencers tab, and you can search through people, journalists, companies, influencers, and bloggers, searching by bio information and content shared. Identify influencers based on any keyword, trivially easily. Just beware of the limitations of using the free version of their site.
9. Awario is a social listening engine that can help you find brands and influencers using your keywords or target topics in their content. It’s great, but it’s only free for a two week trial, so use it fast.
10. AgoraPulse is another great social listening and reputation management platform with a ton of robust features you won’t have time to get to use unless you’re dedicating your days to it. It has a 28-day free trial, at least, so you can do a lot of exploration and experimentation.
11. SumAll is a social listening engine that gives you an overview of your own brand activities, which you can use to look for influential members of your own audience to reach out to contact.
12. BoardReader is a search engine that looks for your brand mentions or for a specific keyword on sites like Reddit and on web forums, as well as in comment sections, which can provide you some insight you wouldn’t otherwise find easily.
13. Google, of course, is your friend. Search for your keywords or your brand name using Google along with keywords like “influencer” and specify Facebook, to see what comes up. You might find a few gems.
14. Grin is an influencer marketing platform that can find influencers on a variety of different sites, including Facebook. It also helps you manage influencer marketing campaigns from one dashboard.
15. HYPR is another influencer marketing platform I haven’t really tried, but which seems to be pretty solid, with a free trial you can use to experiment.
Identifying opportunities is the first step, and capitalizing on them comes later.
Looking Elsewhere First
One thing you might have noticed is that despite Facebook being a massive corporation with billions of users, it’s pretty difficult to search or categorize. It’s easier to find influencers on other sites. So why not just do that? Most of the time, if an influencer is influential on one platform, they have a presence on another as well. So just look for influencers on those other platforms and then search for them on Facebook.
16. Hype Auditor is a free access, though limited, directory of the top users on both Instagram and YouTube. You can search through categories related to your industry and find people to track down on Facebook this way.
17. Phlanx is another Instagram directory that has a bit more of a robust search engine you can use to find influencers. You can then look for those users on Facebook.
18. Discoverly is a plugin for Google Chrome that aggregates information about people and displays it in an informational box when you’re on a profile on a site. For example, if you visit someone on LinkedIn, you can see their Facebook pages, which allows you to track them down more easily.
19. GroupHigh is a company with a great, paid platform for influencer marketing. For free, though, they have an email mailing list that sends you a monthly list of influencers for 15 various niches, at least one of which is likely to fit your brand.
20. MentionMapp is a Twitter analysis and visualization tool that lets you look for influencers and trending users in your existing network.
21. Google Alerts allows you to set up flags for your brand name and your primary keywords, to look for instances where you’re mentioned, which can lead to opportunities to reach out for a shout-out or partnership opportunity.
Finding influencers can be pretty difficult, so it makes sense to find them in any location you can, and then see if they’re also present on Facebook for you to target.
Checking Paid Lists
Now, this option is something I would consider “freemium” in nature. There exist a variety of sites out there that allow you to buy shout-outs or influencer marketing mentions, usually focused on Instagram. However, you can usually use them to search on a limited basis for free, or pay a very minimal fee to access a list without obligation.
22. Shoutcart is one of the most popular influencer shout-out networks. They maintain a proprietary score that measures how willing and reliable the influencers are to work with people, and they let you browse a limited list for free.
23. iFluenz may sound like a flu vaccine, but it’s actually an influencer marketing and networking platform. You can sign up as either an influencer or a brand, and it’s free to get started. You can then pay varying amounts for influencer ad campaigns, essentially.
24. BuySellShoutouts is not affiliated with BuySellAds, but they work in a similar way, as a network you can use to connect with and buy shoutouts from influencers.
25. Tribe Group is a “branded content marketplace” that allows creators to sell shout-outs and branded content to brands willing to pay. I haven’t dug into this one as much, so if you’ve used it, please leave me a review below in the comments.
26. Fiverr, surprisingly enough, has bloggers willing to sell a shout-out on their blogs or social media pages. You will need to vet and monitor these carefully and make sure you’re not buying from someone who isn’t giving you anything of value, but it can be useful for a few cheap connections.
Of course, there’s one drawback to this route; these influencers are used to getting paid for their shout-outs. It’s going to be difficult to work with them organically and on a free basis. You may be able to manage it, but results may be mixed.
Tools for Analysis
Finding influencers is difficult, and with social media, it can be difficult to determine if an account is as influential as it seems. Someone with a million followers might not be very useful to target if only 100 of those followers are legit, right? So here are some tools you can use to vet the people you find.
27. SEO Quake is a plugin for your browser that analyzes the SEO ranking for a website. When you find a potentially valuable influencer, check out their website and analyze it. If it’s not a very good website, how useful can the influencer really be?
28. Hunter.io is a contact search tool. You can search for a website or domain, and it will attempt to find contact information for that domain and the people who own or use it. It’s free for up to 100 searches per month, and can help you find the way to reach out to a given influencer. Then you just need to know how to do it.
29. SimilarWeb is an analysis site that helps you identify the metrics for a website and its audience. Investigate websites for influencers and see if they’re up to snuff. Unfortunately, you only get five limited reports per month for free.
30. And, of course, you’re going to want to develop some manual techniques for vetting an influencer before you decide to work with them.
Once you’ve vetted your potential influencer connections, all you need to do is, well, the hard part. Network with them, connect with them, and work with them for your mutual benefit. You know, simple stuff.