I’m not breaking news by saying Facebook hasn’t had the best year.
A slew of negative PR hits.
And, rumors that more people are leaving Facebook every day.
As a result, many pundits in our industry are predicting the end of Facebook–some (former founders) are even calling for it to be broken apart!
So, the “feel” around Facebook right now isn’t so great.
But, two big numbers tell a completely different story:
1 – Facebook had more then 2.38 billion monthly active users (MAU) worldwide as of March 31, 2019. This is an 8 percent increase in Facebook MAUs year over year. This is compared to 2.32 billion MAUs for Q4 2018. READ: Facebook is still growing!
2 – 1.56 billion people on average log onto Facebook daily and are considered daily active users (Facebook DAU) for March 2019. This represents an 8 percent increase year over year. READ: People are still checking in on Facebook (but might be representing something completely different to friends and survey administrators).
Sure, Facebook growth numbers may be hitting a plateau for the first time. But, the platform still has the most users and the best working ad platform in social media.
For that alone, it’s still worth investing in.
And, brand ad budgets haven’t been impacted by all this negativity at all. Brands are investing more heavily in Facebook Stories, too, believe it or not.
Anecdotally, in the work I’ve done with brands this year, Facebook continues to work just fine as: 1) A driver of engagement; 2) A traffic driver; and 3) A lead generator.
HOWEVER – things do feel a little iffy with Facebook right now.
Earlier this year, in giving my annual social media trends presentation at Social Media Breakfast here in MSP, I asked the crowd “how many of you have either deleted Facebook or thought about deleting Facebook in the last six months?”
Almost every hand in the room went up.
That’s not a great sign.
So, while I don’t see investment in Facebook going anywhere anytime soon on the brand side. I do think it makes sense to step back, take a deep breath and look at your holistic approach to social media marketing.
How much time are you spending on Facebook vs. other platforms? Should that change? Should you start shifting more time to Instagram, for example, if you’re seeing big organic numbers there?
How many dollars are you investing in Facebook advertising compared to other social AND digital channels? Does Facebook represent a disproportionate amount of your spend? If so, that might be worth a closer look.
And, is all the time you’re investing in Facebook keeping you from experimenting with others channels or formats? I’m thinking specifically about Stories here, as many people I’ve talked to recently say they’re simply too busy to take on more work. What if you spent less time on your Facebook marketing to free up that time to experiment more?
Bottom line: I don’t believe Facebook is going anywhere as a key social media marketing tool. Not in 2019. Probably not in 2020. But, the environment certainly feels a whole lot different than it did a couple years ago. There’s still a lot of negative juju around Facebook right now. For that reason, I would re-evaluate. Are you spending time in the right places? Are you spending your social media ad dollars in the right spots? Do you resources line up with where you’re seeing the best results?
All questions I’d be asking myself if I were a social media marketer right now.
Note: I don’t do this often, but if you ARE interested in re-evaluating your social media program, I offer a social media audit and strategy package that has been hugely popular with clients over the last few years. If you’re interested, send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat.