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Companies Boycott Facebook but Punish Influencers Instead

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On June 17, a group of civil rights organizations including the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP and Color of Change called on businesses to “hit pause on hate” and not advertise on Facebook in July, hoping that it would cause them to make changes. With Facebook making more than $70 billion in ad revenue, last year alone, you would think they would have already committed to making the changes, but it seems those changes aren’t happening fast enough and they still aren’t tackling the biggest issues.

Companies have the right to spend or not spend their advertising dollars where they please, but there’s one very big problem… companies are not only pausing their paid ads on Facebook and Instagram, they are also pausing influencer campaigns.

Someone, somewhere got the purpose twisted.

I support the reason behind the boycott 100% and agree that the changes absolutely need to be made and Facebook needs to do WAY better. But how does pausing influencer campaigns hurt Facebook? Something may have been lost in translation. Because, pausing influencer campaigns does not hurt Facebook. Influencer campaign money goes directly to the influencer, not to the social networks. And now, with this boycott, campaigns are getting postponed and cancelled completely, even though many of these influencers had already done the work to create content, take photos and submit drafts. And now, they won’t be paid for months, and some, won’t be paid at all.

And this doesn’t stop at the influencers. It extends to anyone an influencer hires to help them get their content ready, like photographers, videographers, managers, agents, virtual assistants, etc. What about the agencies that work solely with influencers? How will they pay their staff if everything has been paused for a month? This has become so much bigger than just punishing Facebook.

So what happens to those of us that solely support our family as content creators?

We suffer. We suffer because someone, somewhere thought that boycotting Facebook and other social channels meant pausing all influencer campaigns.

SOMEONE WAS WRONG.

We are not Facebook. We definitely don’t have Facebook’s money. Many of us are struggling right now already, because the pandemic slowed down campaigns drastically and now, we are left wondering how we are going to pay our bills and worse, how we are going to feed our families. Many of us aren’t eligible for unemployment because we are self-employed. We can’t just run out and get a job to supplement our income either, because as of May 2020, there are 21 million people out of work and a lot of businesses are running on a skeleton crew right now.

If companies don’t reconsider who they are punishing with this boycott, you can add influencers to that list of unemployed as well.

What Needs To Happen?

Companies can stop spending their advertising dollars on social media and still keep influencer marketing alive. Companies are estimated to spend $9.7 billion dollars this year on influencer marketing, because it works. It gets their product out to the masses through regular people, like me, who have a love of marketing, photography and sharing our favorite products with our friends, family and followers.

Influencer marketing not only helps companies to keep their product fresh in people’s minds, but it helps people all over the world, support their families.

Influencer marketing is needed right now, more than ever.

If I’m able to reach just one company with this message, I hope that they will reconsider pausing influencer campaigns this month. Instead, why not reallocate some of the budget that would have been given directly to Facebook and Instagram, to us, the hard working influencers who have always had your back and use our voices for good. Don’t punish us for Facebook’s wrongdoing.

Please.

Edited 7/7/20: I want to thank Ilyse Liffreing for featuring me in an article titled, Influencers and Their Agencies are the Unintended Victims of the Facebook Boycott on AdAge.com. Please check out that article for an agencies perspective as well.

Companies are currently boycotting Facebook because they want changes. But somewhere, the purpose got lost in translation and they started pausing influencer campaigns, hurting influencers that rely on their campaigns to pay their bills.

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30 COMMENTS

  • Flossie

    Tweeted and shared on (haha) FB. I’m with you – totally supporting the impetus BUT not how it’s the “little people” who are being hurt the most. Pivot or perish, I get that, but still – this is hurting a lot of my friends as much as the Amazon revenue-sharing slash this spring has been hurting me ever since…

  • Melanie

    I had no idea this was even happening! Thank you for sharing this. Like you said, hopefully it will reach someone.

  • Julie I Aloha Lovely

    It’s unfortunate that it is hurting content creators. Maybe brands could have leveraged their social dollars on another platform other than Facebook?

  • Nicole

    Wow, I had no idea this was happening! I hope it gets resolved soon!

  • Christine Weis

    Insightful! I didn’t know about this and agree with you 100%. FB is a huge moneymaker and can definitely hurt influencers and small businesses. Time for even more change now!

  • Tara Pittman

    I so agree that companies don’t think about how this effects influencers. I had a couple of campaigns not run because of this.

  • Lisa Favre

    Yes! I agree with this. There is so much power in influencer marketing and hopefully this whole ordeal will cause a shift with these companies’ marketing strategies.

  • Brianne

    I totally agree with this. I think the people behind the boycott probably don’t understand that this kind of marketing doesn’t give FB any real money to speak of. Sure, we may boost a post, but the real ad dollars for FB come from big companies who push their products and services on the side bar.

  • I’m absolutely all for the boycott too. But it’s a total shame to pull influencer campaigns and hurt creators. Like you said, when you support a creator directly you aren’t supporting Facebook… I’m really glad you’re shedding light on this issue!

  • Kita Bryant

    There are so many things wrong with some of the bigger companies. They are always squeezing the little guys.

  • Sherry

    I knew about the boycott but I didn’t think about how it affects influencers. I hope that these companies review their decisions and reinstate influencer programs soon.

  • Kristine Nicole Alessandra

    I can so relate. My income has been cut in half (even less than half, actually). It is not fair for the small players. I hope something gets done to put an end to this.

  • Gervin Khan

    I once heard about it but never knew how hard it affects those influencers, I hope they will resolve as soon as possible time.

  • Toni

    I’ve been hearing about this, and it’s really a sad news for us, influencers. I hope companies would think about it again.

  • Marie Phillips

    I had actually already detached from a lot of Facebook marketing because of advice from my company a year ago. Facebook was already screwing with influencers and messing up their algorithm. So it made sense for me to not spend so much time there. But this is just unfortunate all the way around because it hits people so personally. Amazon hasn’t been much different. Nobody in big business is really looking out for the influencers. And because of that we have to be very careful where we hang our hats.

  • Catherine

    I agree 100% with you on this. Unfortunately, people do not consider who they are hurting in the process because they only have one goal. To these companies, setting us (influencers) back is just a small price to pay. They are on salaries and are still getting paid, influences rely on the income they make through their own hard work and ad campaigns. It’s really a shame they just don’t care about that.

  • the joyous living

    i do not understand. why are these companies mad at Facebook?

  • chad

    oh! I don’t understand why these companies are boycotting Facebook, what is the back story?

  • norma

    Wow thanks for the heads up and info. I actually had no clue that any of this was happening.

  • Kuntala Bhattacharya

    I also read about it. In fact I completely agree with it. These ad campaigns have to stop. I am not into Facebook marketing.

    • Heather Castillo
      AUTHOR

      Yes, but they are also stopping influencer marketing which doesn’t hurt Facebook.

  • Megan

    This is super important!

  • Sue-Tanya Mchorgh

    I had no idea all of this was going on. Thanks for the info.

  • kumamonjeng

    I totally agree with you that there is not right to punish influencers for Facebook wrongdoing. Many times influencers’ hard work is overlooked and not being appreciated.

  • Anuradha

    I was not even aware of such a thing happening! Why can’t big companies pave way for emerging ones? What’s wrong with them!

  • Kait

    I do not appreciate the choices Mark has made, especially recently. And what’s sad is he knows that so many businesses rely on his platform to advertise. So now it’s about really using us influencers to make the difference instead!!!

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