#SocialSpeak: 220 Days of Facebook Flops

August 12, 2018

BufferApp and BuzzSumo teamed up and did a little [huge] thing! The research they conducted is looking at the performance of business pages on Facebook. The implications of this research indicate performance from A to Z. What kind of pages are experiencing what kind of engagement? What is an engaging post? This week’s Social Speak is going to break it down for you!

Buffer is a company that specializes in social media channels and online customer service, and have conducted this research to help businesses find ways around these debilitating trends. In one of the largest studies of 2018, they analyzed more than 43 million posts from the top 20,000 brands on Facebook. They found that existing pages on Facebook need to adopt more of a growth mindset by experimenting constantly and learning from this.

Taking a look at the findings is a little bit daunting, as the results indicate that page engagement has seen a huge decline from the start of 2018, and is continuing to decline.

  1. Top pages are posting SO much more. There has been a 24% increase in the number of posts per quarters of 2018; posts have increased from 6.5 million to 8.1 million per year. Every day, the world’s top brands are posting an extra 20,000 posts. And while some brands say this increases engagement, others actually experience the opposite.
  2. There is so much more competition in the News Feed! With more posts, our feeds are stuffed with visuals and catchy captions, making it harder to engage with them all. Engagement has dropped by more than 50% in the past 18 months. However, it comes as a surprise that images, and not videos regularly receive the most engagement, although this has even dropped from 9,370 engagement per post to 3,454.
  3. There is actually an optimum amount to post. Buffer found out that there pages that posted less than once a day had the highest rates of engagement per post, but these pages had low levels of overall engagement due to less exposure. Their results showed that as you increase the frequency of posts, overall engagement increases, but only to a certain point. Posting 5 times a day seems like that optimum point.
  4. What type of business page are you? Find your type, and make sure you follow through. Each type, or genre, of business page experienced a different change in their engagement. Figures show that artist pages saw the most decline, at 70.6%. This was closely followed by movie pages, and the media and news pages, which were at a 64% decline. The pages that showed the least decrease in engagement includes clothing and retail brands, at around 50% decline.

The Facebook algorithm does not cater to this decline. In attempts to promote organic connection and communication, priority is given to family and friends’ posts over business pages. Competition for business pages has come to encompass all posts, and not just competing with other businesses. It’s become less about consuming media in isolation and more about sharing this consumption with those close to you.

We’re not going to leave you hanging though, and so here are some tips on improving your FB marketing strategies.

  1. While posting, it’s really important to consider the return investment of each Facebook post. Looking at quality versus quantity, it seems that quantity is no longer a viable approach to designing content. However, with such high quality coming from marketers, there needs to be a cohesive tactic behind the direction your brand is choosing to take. Tap into why people share things on online platforms. The New York Times found that the first and foremost reason is to delight and entertain others with valuable and entertaining content.
  2. You want your content to go viral. Forget the links. Facebook is no longer a means to an end, it is the end, with the focus being engagement and interaction rather than broadcasting. Food, fashion, beauty, and animals were some of the topics that seem to receive the highest rates of interaction. So, viral content needs to appeal to people’s desire to connect and share, and the closer the content is to their hearts, the more likely it will be engaged with more.
  3. Tailor your posts to mobile phones! 90% of social media usage is through smartphones, and this needs to be addressed. Be conscious that your captions are showing and not telling, and optimize the videos! The prime length is from 30-120 seconds, and interestingly enough, vertically-filmed videos are more likely to be viewed, as this is the natural way people hold their phones.

 

Long story short, get your followers’ attention by sparking their interests. Social Speak signing off here!