Facebook and Instagram Stumble on Engagement As We Head Into the New Year
December 22, 2015 Aaron Miles
Facebook continues to weaken on organic reach.
Stories about Facebook lately struggling with organic reach and engagement are not new, but there was still some solace in the fact that while Facebook may have reached market saturation with 1.55 billion users, it was still bringing in new blood with Instagram. It was a pretty smart idea. Whoever wasn't on Facebook was probably on Instagram, and the social media giant could still claim dominance. But, some are now asking, is Instagram's rise over as well?
Kinda, maybe, sorta. According to new information from Locowise's November study of organic growth and engagement on social media, things are still great for Instagram, but maybe less so than they were before.
And Facebook? The issues analysts had previously warned about seem to be continuing.
According to Locowise, Instagram has higher engagement and growth than both social media stalwarts Facebook and Twitter. Profile growth on Instagram in November was 0.28%, better than Facebook's 0.18%, and almost double Twitter's 0.15%. The problem with this is that Instagram's engagement was down 18% from October to 1.12% of their audience.
But, this engagement rate still was much higher than Facebook (0.41%) or Twitter (0.14%), so Instagram remains in a very good position compared to other social networks.
Organic reach on Facebook continued a downward trend, dropping 1.14% in November to 7.15% of all page likes for a typical post. According to Locowise, this is "the lowest post reach since we started doing these studies seven months ago." The best way to connect with your audience? Use a video, which has a nearly 9% reach rate. Also useful are link posts, which have a 8.36% success rate. Photo posts are actually below average at 6.7%. Plain old status updates sit at 5.23%.
How are brands combating these drops in reach and engagement? With ads. According to Locowise, "42.01% of pages used Facebook advertising in November purchasing 28.98% of their total reach."
What trends in social media can be expected for 2016?
Additionally, the report has some very interesting predictions about social media trends for 2016. Among the more noteworthy events Locowise says will occur are Instagram and Twitter remaking their own news feeds via algorithm into something resembling Facebook's. This could work on Instagram, but considering that many people on Twitter craft the list of people they follow specifically so they can see who they want and not be distracted by clutter or extraneous tweets, one has to wonder how well this will work on the micro-blogging platform.
Another prediction from Locowise is that various social media platforms will be "going all-in" on video. Considering the success Facebook has had with it, it's only natural that others are playing follow-the-leader. Also predicted; the further expansion of things like "Instant Articles" and the diverting of traffic away from traditional websites and more towards proprietary publishing apps.
The whole report is very much worth checking out, you can find the whole thing here.
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