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.