Monday February 26, 2018
By now, you've probably heard that Facebook changed its News Feed algorithm to lessen organic reach and favor "meaningful interactions." That's already made marketers scramble to figure out new strategies - check out our recent blog on ways to overcome the change. But what you may not know is the Facebook usage decline may be behind the algorithm change. A preview of the upcoming report from "Edison Research Infinite Dial" shows that American Facebook usage has decreased from 67% of the 12+ population to 62% this year. Not only that, but usage has decreased in every demographic group - age, ethnicity, and gender.
Don't misunderstand - Facebook is still the most widely used platform and will probably continue to be so for a while. But the trend is significant to note - this is the first time that usage has decreased since 2008. Every year prior has shown at least a 2% rise in usage. Plus, this early report aligns with other reports that show declines in personal sharing. So, how can you and your business respond to this data? Here are some helpful considerations:
Follow your audience.
If the people you're trying to reach aren't using Facebook, what platform are they using? For example, 59% of Instagram users are under 30 years old, and 70% of IG users have more than a secondary education. Find where your audience is going instead of Facebook and follow them there.
Evaluate your FaceBook strategies.
What are you doing on Facebook? Are you looking to directly influence ROI or are you using Facebook more for community engagement? Given the new changes, you may need to change your expectations for Facebook's ROI. Because organic reach is basically nill, you may not drive traffic as quickly as you expect. But if you're looking to build brand awareness and trust, the changes favoring Facebook groups could actually boost your success. Reconsider your strategy across platforms and how Facebook's new focus could help your overall goals.
Look for other ways to engage your audience.
If you've used only Facebook until now for your social community, the recent changes have made it clear that you should diversify. Facebook is still a powerful way to connect with your community, and leaving it out of your strategy may damaging. But relying on it solely isn't enough. Get creative with other ways of connecting with your audience - other platforms or the tried-and-true email campaign are just a few starting places.
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