But that’s simply not true. Facebook is changing and it’s up to us to keep up. It’s true that the younger generation isn’t as involved in Facebook as in years past, but that doesn’t mean a large number of all ages still regularly use the platform.
An article by Zenith says that 2019 will be the first year that social media ad spend outperforms print ad spend. Since Facebook is arguably the social media channel with one of the most robust advertising platforms, it’s worth Facebook staying as a priority for your marketing strategy.
One reason that small businesses are turning away from Facebook is that they’ve seen a drop in the engagement on their Facebook page.
Posts that used to get 20 or 30 likes are now only getting 2 or 3. You worked so hard to get 1,000 likes and yet, Facebook decides to only show your post to 100 people.
We know exactly how frustrating that can be. Could you imagine sending an email to a list of 1,000 people but it only gets delivered to 100? These are people who have opted into see your content, but Facebook decides the rules on what content gets delivered.
You can’t expect to post the same type of content on an ever-changing platform and get the same response.
That’s why it’s so important to keep up on changes that Facebook implements. We recommend Social Media Examiner for all the newest updates.
Improving Your Engagement
If you’ve seen your engagement drop don’t blame it on the so-called “death of Facebook.” Here are some quick tips for how to improve that engagement:
- Use new features that Facebook introduces (like live streams, stories, etc.) Facebook rewards you with a larger reach when you use the features Facebook is pushing out.
- When someone comments on a post, don’t just reply, but ask questions. Try to get that person to comment again. Facebook wants to promote posts that seem more conversational as opposed to something that seems too branded.
- Check your Facebook Insights to see what posts have done well. If you’re noticing that your audience loves videos but doesn’t respond to links, you know that you want to post more videos.
- Run ads. As Zuckerberg famously said when asked how Facebook makes money, “Senator, we run ads.” That’s the entire Facebook business model. It makes it harder for you to reach your audience so that you’ll spend more on ads. It doesn’t have to be much but even putting $10 behind a post and boosting it to your current likes can help.
- Post consistently. Even if it’s only a couple times a week, make sure your Facebook page doesn’t sit idle. Building up engagement after a long break like that can be challenging.
- Respond quickly. If people comment on posts or send you a message, make sure you’re following up. Like we said in #2, Facebook is focused on promoting a community. If you just seem like a brand that is posting promotional content without ever conversing with your fans, Facebook won’t give you the reach you want.
We’ve definitely heard a lot of people complaining that Facebook isn’t hip anymore because apps like Snapchat or TikTok have taken over. We also know that a majority of the users on these apps are teens. For a lot of businesses, that’s not the target demographic anyways.
Even still, 51% of U.S. teens say they use Facebook. For Instagram, that number jumps to 79%. If you haven’t heard, Instagram is owned by Facebook and if you’re looking to run ads on Instagram, you’ll need a Facebook page as well. Another clear sign, Facebook isn’t dead even for teenagers.
Aside from what’s trendy among teenagers, Facebook is still one of the most popular platforms in the world. In 2018, 68% of all people in the U.S. said they use Facebook.
The demographics of Facebook may have changed and if your target audience is teenagers, you might want to put more of your effort into other platforms. Still, a Facebook page is almost like having a website. People will look for you there. It’s worth having a presence even if it’s not your main platform. Not to mention, Facebook does well in SEO rankings. So if you website isn’t optimized or coming up in search results, Facebook pages pertaining to your brand, usually will.
Facebook’s Privacy Concerns
The biggest PR crisis for Facebook came with the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the news that Russian operatives were able to buy Facebook ads disguised as legitimate organizations to influence the American presidential election.
Being wrapped up in these two major scandals meant that Facebook had to make some changes. That’s, in part, why engagement dropped but also why certain features went away.
Despite all of this, Facebook still has a massive amount of data. That’s why it is able to run such effective, inexpensive ads.
Even some of the people who have boycotted Facebook will still have an Instagram account not realizing the data all goes to the same company.
While the scandals had some initial shock and outrage, we haven’t seen a mass exodus from Facebook. People might have a lower opinion of Facebook these days but they still need or want to use it.
Even advertisers have kept pouring their money into Facebook with the amount spent on social media ads expected to surpass print ads.
That being said, Facebook has put in some work. They’ve tried to limit the access others have to data and be more transparent. You can now see what ads a page is running (click “See More” in the Page Transparency section). You can also learn more about why you are seeing an ad (click the three dots in the top right of an ad and select “Why am I seeing this ad.”) Plus, Facebook limits what information they will show for small audiences so you aren’t able to pinpoint particular people.
Facebook is not dead
Which brings us back to what we said at the beginning. Facebook is not dead, but it did change. The algorithm changed how you get engagement on posts, the Facebook audience is no longer teenagers, people are more concerned about their privacy (although they’ve so far taken little action). All in all, most of these changes are making for a more genuine and meaningful experience on Facebook, which businesses can see as an opportunity to engage with their customers on a more personal level.
Facebook is a big deal for business but it can be a lot to keep up with. Stay tuned in the coming weeks. We have something in the works that should help take the headache out of running a Facebook Business Page.