Is Facebook Marketing on the decline? That’s atop of every social media marketer’s mind these days.
A recent report, released by Michael A. Stelzner from SocialMediaExaminer.com and titled 2019 Social Media Marketing Industry, offers insight into how marketers are currently using social media and their future plans. In the report, Stelzner argues that there is “a clear indication that marketers are diversifying away from Facebook”. He also argues that Facebook lost its status as the most important platform for marketers, dropping from 67% in 2018 to 61% in 2019. According to the report, one in ten marketers indicated that they want to move away from organic marketing on Facebook.
2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report: Key Finding
The following is a summary of the report’s key ﬁndings.
- Facebook marketing is declining but staying strong: More and more Social Media Marketing managers are no longer content with Facebook. Organic reach has taken a major dip in recent years. In an effort to cut down on fake news, the platform is making it harder for marketers/users to reach their fans without paying for ads. The Cambridge Analytica scandal of 2017-18 has also made it hard for marketers and consumers to trust Facebook and how it collects and uses user data. As a result, only 51% of marketers plan on increasing their Facebook organic activities, which is a 12% drop from the 2018 stats.
- Despite the decline in usage and lack in consumer/user confidence, a whopping 94% of marketers still use Facebook. 61% of marketers are still arguing that Facebook is their most used social media platform, according to the report. Facebook ads are still used by 72% of marketers and 59% plan on increasing their use of Facebook ads in the near future.
- Interest in Messenger bots is also declining: Marketers are not using messenger bots to the fullest potential, despite earlier predictions that the feature will help improve customer service on social media and make Facebook marketing efforts more automated. According to the report, only 14% of marketers are using bots (down from 15% in 2018). Only 32% of marketers plan on increasing their bot activities, which decreased by 7% from 2018. Interest in learning more about Messenger bots also declined from 70% in 2018 to 45% in 2019.
- Instagram is trending: Usage of Instagram is up by 7%, from 68% in 2018 to 73% this year. It is ranked as the second most important social platform for marketing, surpassing LinkedIn for the first time. 69% of marketers surveyed in the report have indicated their intention to augment their Instagram organic activities in the next 12 months.
- Engagement matters most: For the ﬁrst time, how to achieve better engagement is a trending question among social media marketing. This is likely in reaction to Facebook news feed changes made in early 2018 that reward quality interactions.
- YouTube interest is high: 71% of marketers plan to increase their brand activity on YouTube video and 75% want to learn more about best practices for marketing on the video platform. YouTube is the number-one video channel, but I am sure this statistic does not come as a surprise to anyone.
3 Reasons for the Decline in Facebook Marketing
Why, after a decade, did Facebook finally see a reduction in usage for organic marketing? I believe there are three major reasons:
1. Increased Distrust of Facebook
To say that it has been a tough two years for Facebook as an organization is an understatement. The mainstream media has consistently covered Facebook’s role (or at least complicity) in the world of “fake news.” The recent EU report about Facebook failing to keep its promise to combat “fake news” made the situation even worse. When you combine this with the company’s other missteps in the areas of privacy and accountability, you end up with a toxic environment where the users of the platform may not fully trust the motives and judgment of the operator. With less consumers shopping for products/services on Facebook, businesses are following suit and diversifying away from Facebook. Why spend valuable time and resources on a platform that does not bring in the expected ROI
2. Increased Discord on Facebook
If you are a Facebook user, I am sure you have come across the follow post in your news feeds: a friend who states that they are logging off of Facebook forever. In the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections, there has been an increase in polarization of thought in America. Each time a person expresses an opinion on Facebook, they must defend that opinion against opposing views from friends. No fun! Our social media marketing team predicts that we will see an even greater drop in daily usage among marketers and users, as a result. While there are some people who have signed off of the platform entirely due to discord, anecdotally I believe the bigger change is people/companies using Facebook once a week or less instead of every day.
3. Increased Disinterest in Facebook
Sudden outages and technical glitches, especially in the past two years, have befallen Facebook. They have caused a disruption to not only everyday users, but advertisers who rely on the platform to do business. The last outage occurred in March of this year; Facebook was down for almost one whole day in North America and Europe with little explanation. According to Facebook, the outages occurred as a result of a “server configuration change.” In the aftermath, users and advertisers turned to Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger to fill the void caused by Facebook. As social media progresses, it is natural for our own usage to settle for one or more platforms that offer a more specialized experience and are more reliable in terms of functionality.
About iRISEmedia | Social Media Marketing Agency | Toronto
At iRISEmedia.com we are specialized in social media management, digital marketing, online reputation management and online branding. Our team helps clients manage and grow their online presence and branding to increase qualified web traffic and online leads. We service clients in Toronto and throughout Canada and the U.S. Give us a call or contact us if you want to discuss any of your social media marketing needs or to conduct a social media audit of your brand at no charge.