About 3 – 4 years back, Facebook Pages was a hot property. Till just some time back, every brand, every advertiser wanted as many “Likes” as possible. At peak of this trend, some brands even did press releases on reaching 1 Million Likes.
Here is some bad news for Social Media Agencies, Consultants and everyone concerned with Social Media, Facebook Pages as a product has reached the end of its life cycle and is no more valuable for brands. Why do I say this?
Check the metrics for some of the most popular internet brands in India and also International brands.
[gdoc link=”https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0ArHSURy5v2pFdC0wZmMxVGYwQUxFNFRaeEZjWm9HSXc&single=true&gid=0&output=html” height=”600″]
As defined by Facebook, the ‘People talking about this’ includes – likes, comments, shares, answering a question, responding to an event and claiming an offer. The average ‘People Talking about This’ is drastically reduced to just about 2%.
Why is this happening?
- Facebook has two current priorities – Improve (and retain) User Engagement & Grow Revenues.
- In an attempt to retain user engagement, Facebook wants users to engage with each other (people to people) and not with applications or pages.
- To grow revenues, Facebook wants you to pay to reach its audience. If the natural viral factor is high, brands no longer have to pay Facebook.
- More pointers on this in my earlier post, where I said Facebook is no longer a powerful distribution platform.
What this implies?
- Most pages listed above are currently (probably) not advertising on FB. It effectively means that the natural engagement of a Facebook page is now at an average of 2%.
- If only 2% of your page audience is going to engage, the ‘viral factor’ that introduced new users to your page will be a minuscule number.
- If a brand has gathered Facebook Fans / Likes by doing advertisements for its pages, value of the money spent is $0 today.
- In case you are running any advertisements to get Likes to your page, consider halting it.
- The only way to reach your own audience (people who have liked you) is using advertising tools like ‘Boost Post’.
So why is it a dead product? If a Facebook page (as a product) that has over a million users connected to it, generates only 2% engagement and possibly even less viral factor, then it is as good as dead. As a transaction product (like ecommerce) the conversions from Facebook Page will be further down since your posts reach a smaller percentage of ‘your Facebook audience’.
Going forward if the audience that you are building through Facebook Page is never going to engage with your posts, it might be a better option for advertisers to consider simply running CPC advertisements to target the necessary demographic, take users to their website and engage them there (back to pre-social media days of Facebook).
If you are a start-up building products around Facebook Pages or anything that concerns with distribution through Facebook Pages or even through Facebook, take a hard look at the data/funnels.
Some exceptions above are Mashable, BuzzFeed and 9GAG. Why? Because they are in the content business (yes Mashable too, in my opinion its no more a social media site) and for the fact that they have exceptionally high engagement numbers is probably because they are the only ones doing content marketing right on Facebook!
For everyone else, no one really is talking about you on Facebook. Not unless you are paying for it!