(Updated) Um, Facebook, This isn’t Great

Engagement with brand content is evidently dropping  pretty dramatically. As a guy that went all in on Facebook when i was in a seat to influence a lot of media spend, this is concerning. For brands, it’s obviously bad. For consumers, it’s probably a win of sorts.

These numbers are even more striking when you consider engagement is significantly down even though brands are almost certainly spending more money to promote their posts to combat plummeting organic reach. Facebook’s ad revenue reached $2.27 billion in Q1 2014, up 82 percent from Q1 2013.For brands on Facebook, these are dark days. They can choose to spend more money to reach fans they had already accumulated in the past, but Facebook will likely decrease branded reach even further.

But, this also speaks to challenges in the FB ad model from the brand perspective. It seems like Facebook is  resorting to limiting organic impression supply (by tweaking the algorythm to lessen brand reach), making it more important for brands to pay to get the exposure.  The main reason i believed Facebook was a great platform was the  combination of organic and efficient paid reach. With the constant tweaks to the organic reach black box, that mix (of organic and paid) gets less attractive and FB becomes just another paid ad platform.

UPDATE 6/18/14: I think i buried the lede here. The point i was REALLY trying to make is that it looks like Facebook is losing one of the aspects that made it so attractive in the first place: It enable brands to build deeper relationships (that’s good) while also building a more modern media mix, one that delivered a beneficial combination of owned and earned media and paid. The less organic reach a brand can generate, the more they have to pay to get the reach, the less attractive the original value proposition is.

via New Report Reveals Just How Drastically Brand Engagement is Plummeting on Facebook | The Content Strategist, by Contently.

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4 thoughts on “(Updated) Um, Facebook, This isn’t Great

  1. At what point though, do we ask our brand marketers to do better? As a Facebook consumer, I am at a point where I can’t take one more filtered ‘creative’ picture of a brand’s product. I want to interact with brands, and allow these technologies and the communication that happens through them to benefit me, as it pertains to my brand experience in my everyday life.

    While I appreciate that argument that the Facebook landscape is changing, and becoming more complex and ad driven, I also feel that if a brand is present, understands and caters their socially focused content to their audience’s specific needs and to a specific objective, that the opportunity to do well organically still exists. Those mechanisms within the platform can still be utilized and grown, I see certain brands that do this very well. It is not however typically under the guise of ‘here’s our latest product, like and share for us’ messaging.

  2. I’ve seen organic reach of brand posts slip to less than 1% of the total audience, but, as Carrie says, it’s often the brand product posts – content that is less than “engaging” itself.

    I think marketers need to plan for two things – 1. Spend on Facebook. Add it to the media budget, and get over it. 2. Commit to content that is more exciting, shareable – content that is social itself. The model has changed, to be sure, but these efforts are still worth it. Your Facebook fans have asked to be a part of your community. They’ve asked to interact. Find better ways to do that.

  3. I’ve seen organic reach of brand posts slip to less than 1% of the total audience, but, as Carrie says, it’s often the brand product posts – content that is less than “engaging” itself.

    I think marketers need to plan for two things – 1. Spend on Facebook. Add it to the media budget, and get over it. 2. Commit to content that is more exciting, shareable – content that is social itself. The model has changed, to be sure, but these efforts are still worth it. Your Facebook fans have asked to be a part of your community. They’ve asked to interact. Find better ways to do that.

  4. Brands need to be value-add in social networks. Period. I think brands have gone too far into deep analysis, manipulation, gaming an algorithm, buying placement and going bonkers figuring out how to monetize or how to suck “friends” into a sales funnel. Individuals don’t look at their “friends” in that manner and neither should brands. Facebook gives brands a place to deepen relationships by listening to, responding to and helping their constituents. Facebook should be regarded as a pipeline to building brand champions and loyalty not sales.

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