‘You have to pay to play’: Confessions of an influencer on Facebook’s algorithm changes

When Facebook changed its algorithm to favor content from friends and family in January, ad buyers began telling their clients to focus on influencer content because it was less likely to be buried in the news feed. As a result, influencers understand their worth and are raising their rates.

In this edition of Confessions, a micro-influencer and blogger who has worked with retail brands on social campaigns discusses how the algorithm changes have affected influencer pricing on Facebook.

How is the algorithm change affecting your engagement on Facebook?
I hate the algorithm so much. It’s much harder to reach your targeted audience. A year ago, I could’ve posted something and it would’ve gotten like 1,800 views in two hours, and now, it’s like 42 views. Overall, I’ve definitely noticed a drop in influencers posting on their pages. Some influencers are super consistent because that’s still where a lot of their audience is, but a lot of audiences have moved away from Facebook. They’re flipping back and forth between Facebook and Instagram, and some people are hanging out on Twitter all day.

What are you doing about it?
You tend to have to boost posts. So if I know a brand I’m working with wants a Facebook post, I’m going to charge a little bit more because I’m going to have to boost any posts to make sure there’s more eyes on it. You have to pay to play.

How much more are you charging?
The spend is usually about 25 percent more because I want to make sure it gets eyes. And to do that, you have to boost the post for at least a week. So, I’ll charge around $500 for a Facebook post. If it’s just a Facebook share, I’ll charge $250 to $400.

Do you believe that influencers in general are charging more for posts now because of the algorithm change?
Yes and no. Some influencers just want to be paid as much as possible, no matter what. But those who are worth their salt are charging more because they are going above and beyond the initial ask, and when you have a track record for creating as much engagement as possible and getting results, then you are able to charge more because you’re actually worth it, and not just because you think you deserve it based on number of followers.

Are brands willing to pay?
Yes, brands are meeting us there. They are making sure that if we do have to boost posts, they are including that in our rate as well. That’s super helpful. About six months ago, we weren’t getting compensated on that end, and we were losing out on money. Now, I’ve seen a lot more opportunities and pitches where the brand says, “This is our ask, and we’d like you to boost the post, and we’ll give you $75 to boost it.” But if you want to go over the stipend, that’s on you.

Why do you think brands are now willing to pitch in?
I think influencers are doing a better job of promoting their sponsored posts and getting the traction they want.

Has the algorithm change made other platforms more appealing?
Instagram is now my bread and butter. I’m finding that I can charge more for posting on Instagram now because there is real engagement there. There are actionable insights. The other day I posted about a book I was reading, and someone told me two months later that they bought it. I can screen grab that and show that it’s really working.


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