Organic engagement on Facebook pages has decreased by half over the past year, according to a study conducted by Buffer and BuzzSumo, the online content insights provider. Other page categories saw engagement cuts of up to 70 per cent.
The study looked at 43 million posts from the top 20,000 brands on Facebook to compare organic engagement levels year on year. Key findings include:
Facebook Pages are being updated more than ever before. There’s a 24 per cent increase in the number of posts per quarter since last year. The means nearly 20,000 more posts daily.
Despite the increased activity, brand page engagement has declined by more than 50 per cent in just 12 months.
This drop can be seen across all content formats. Surprisingly, the study shows that images, not video, receive the highest levels of engagement.
The optimal number of post daily? Five. Pages that post 10 or more times a day have seen the greatest drop in overall engagement.
The drop of engagement has a greater impact on some page categories than others. Brands are least affected at 49.5 per cent. Media, movies and artists take the biggest drops at 64, 68.6 and 70.6 per cent respectively.
Rethinking Facebook Marketing
The decline in engagement stems from multiple issues such as increased competition for news feed placement and an algorithm that now favours family and friends over pages.
Facebook has 1.47 billion daily users, so for most brands, no matter how frustrated they are, walking away from the platform is not an option. But they are going to have to get a whole lot smarter about using it.
One important aspect will be to shift the focus away from output or reach objectives to engagement ones. This study shows that increasing the number of posts has very little, or negative impact. And, if reach is main objective, paid ads are the best solution. To build an organic audience, community or a loyal following of any type, it will take a committed engagement focus. Each content piece should be created with a specific engagement objective in mind, and its performance should be closely monitored.
Next is the need to really get to know the audience. It takes understanding of who they are as people, not just as a demographic group. What are their likes and dislikes? What are their motivations? How do they behave? Facebook data is a rich resource of insight. Dig deep. Use these learnings to inform content and tactical plans. Monitor constantly; adapt on the fly.
Lastly, become mobile-centric. More than 95 per cent of Facebook users have a mobile app. This has implications for content formats especially visuals and video. Vertical screens, video and text lengths, captions are all important considerations for mobile.
A New Facebook Strategy
Facebook is optimized to keep users on its own platform, and now the accepted ‘Best Practice’ of posting links to draw Facebook users to a website no longer applies. Shift your brand’s Facebook paradigm with a relevant, effective strategy. Contact me to set up a call where we can discuss your challenges.