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The Great Facebook Engagement Drop of 2018

Organic social has historically been viewed as a great channel for marketing. However, in the last 6-12 months, Facebook's organic social engagement for business pages dropped dramatically for almost all industries. What's the best way to respond to the Facebook engagement drop and how should you adjust your expectations?

The Stats

Business pages experienced 49% - 70% overall drop in organic engagement from Q1 2017 to Q2 2018. This is happening for a few reasons:

  • Friend/family content: Facebook is prioritizing friend/family content over all other content 
  • Competition: There are 20M Facebook business pages so it’s harder to differentiate and stand out from messaging alone
  • Advertising revenue: Facebook would rather brands pay-to-play...and it’s getting more expensive to “play”
  • Time Well Spent Movement: Facebook and Instagram are creating tools that help limit users’ time on the platforms, effectively emphasizing the importance of quality content. In the wake of Cambridge Analytica, users have become more skeptical and are limiting their time and use

The typical Facebook user only posts four comments per month, emphasizing the need for brands to create a truly meaningful conversation in order to elicit comments. What's more, Facebook users’ time on site is declining and their behavior is changing. A company’s strategy should reflect that. 

How To Respond

Rethink expectations for organic social

New benchmarks will need to be established for organic Facebook as the platform’s strengths and weaknesses continue to evolve.

While organic Facebook becomes less effective in driving conversions for brands, it remains a strong channel to engage fans and potential fans, as well as manage customer service.

The rise of chatbots in Facebook Messenger will continue to grow Facebook’s effectiveness in communicating with customers and guiding them to purchase.

Experiment with stories

Facebook has cited stories as its “next big revenue driver” and will soon be expanding their beta story ads to be more widely available to brands. Consider testing this often overlooked feature as part of your next campaign.

Re-allocate your budget

If engagement is a paramount metric for your brand, we recommend investing more in owned assets like email, website, blog, case studies, and whitepapers.

Multi-channel creative

Creative should not be developed for the sole use of organic social. All creative must be produced with a multi-channel strategy in mind.

Video, video, video

Invest in video. Strong video (especially live video) continues to garner higher engagement than photography. It can also be used for social, display, and Youtube ads.

Up your organic IG game

Invest more effort in organic Instagram efforts. Brands have continued to see a growing engagement rate on this channel.

We recognize social is constantly changing and it can be an overwhelming task to keep up with everything. Room 214 is here to help you navigate it and make sure you’re adjusting course appropriately. Go ahead and ask us!

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John Franklin

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