Last spring, it was revealed by The Information that the sharing of original personal stories on Facebook has dropped 20 percent year-over-year since 2015. Facebook says posting is strong but this is because people would now rather share third-party videos and news articles over everything.
Facebook’s Less Personal Than Ever
If you’ve been on Facebook for even a minute over the past two years you’ll notice that most of your feed is shared videos– comedy, politics, and global awareness being at the top of the subjects. Most users have over a decade’s worth of friends, with the list growing slowly still, and the average user no longer feels comfortable checking into places or sharing personal updates. This could be due to a large group of users growing older and worrying about coworkers or employers seeing something they may not like. The other large group of users is the over 60s; older individuals share third-party stories rather than post status updates.
Either the majority of Facebook’s users are growing up and no longer care about what people are doing/how they feel every 30 minutes, or something is going seriously wrong. A line from the film classic Zombieland said it best, “Rob Curtis is gearing up for Friday. Who cares?” Are people really starting to not care or are they starting to care about the bigger picture? This is a platform that was intended to keep friends in each other’s personal business.
De-emphasizing Public Content
Last Thursday night, January 11th, Facebook announced that they are going to try fending off “fake news” and foreign manipulation, as well as increase user engagement. In order to do this, Facebook is going to prioritize content from “friends.” This move will take the emphasis off of content from brands, businesses, and media publishers. This means sponsored, public content may see the biggest decrease, as this type of content doesn’t always get the most reactions or comments. Facebook predicts “some measures of engagement will go down” for public content.
This could put businesses, especially small businesses, at risk because Facebook is one of the main advertising tools used because it is so accessible.
How to Keep Users Engaged
- More Video: We already know that videos grab user engagement, possibly more than anything these days, especially when it begins to auto-play as you scroll through your newsfeed. Creating quality videos that can capture a user in the second it takes before they keep going is essential.
- Content: Spend more time crafting beautiful, engaging, and relevant content. For something so important, good content is often overlooked in favor of upgrading other marketing services like SEO or mobile-first website. However, each cog in the machine helps to create a full user experience, this is what will keep customers coming through your virtual gates.
- Click Bait: Don’t trick people into clicking your ad by leading them to believe they are going to read a legitimate news story or video when it’s really a link to your eCommerce site–that’s a quick way to lose customers.