I’d like to start by sharing some eye opening statistics. According to a Salesforce digital advertising report
, Facebook and Google dominate digital advertising. In 2018, 66% of digital advertising spend will go to Google Search, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. However, young users are actually flocking away from Facebook, and users across all demographics are spending less time on the platform each day. Facebook may be attempting to combat this phenomenon by favoring friend posts over sponsored content, but it doesn’t seem to be working.
Could marketers be making a mistake by investing so much in a platform that could suddenly lose its potential to reach audience? Are they neglecting their own digital assets?
Facebook is No Longer the Platform to Reach Young Audiences
Despite having cultivated over two billion monthly users, Facebook is expected to lose roughly two million users ages 24 and under throughout 2018, and according eMarketer
, it is happening at a faster rate than expected. Could the reason for that be… a dull user experience? Since these users are migrating to Instagram and Snapchat, the answer may very well be “yes”. 1.9 million users aged 24 and younger will be picked up by Snapchat and 1.6 million by Instagram in the coming year.
Content Consumptions is So 2017
Users don’t just want to consume content - they want to interact with it. This also applies to ads and sponsored content. Instagram and Snapchat offer exactly that, enabling any user, influencer or brand to give followers a closer, more intimate glimpse of their lives or products. The main focus is a two-way conversation with audiences to gather feedback and insights on their wants and needs. With stories, filters, polls and direct messaging, anyone can fully express themselves and interact with everyone and everything they find interesting. When their two-cents doesn’t matter - younger users simply lose interest.
There are many more reasons for youngsters’ migration to Instagram and Snapchat. Firstly, Instagram and Snapchat are more about instant gratification. The platforms feature snippets of visual content that satisfy users instantly, whereas Facebook content requires more time and effort - it’s not coincidental that Facebook puts an emphasis on video. Additionally, unlike Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat were invented in the age of smartphones and provide UX that seamlessly aligns with mobile screens.
The Older Demographic is Also Losing Interest in the Platform
According to Facebook’s fourth-quarter earnings report for 2017, the amount of time users spent on Facebook decreased by 50 million hours daily. Additionally, for the first time in the company’s history, the number of daily active users in the U.S. dropped by ~700,000. Meanwhile, Snapchat’s fourth-quarter metrics indicate an increase in daily active users, hitting as much as 187 million.
What is The Lesson for Marketers?
2018 began with significant shifts in the social media landscape, that marketers simply can’t ignore. Users are ditching Facebook now, but who’s to say a similar process won’t take place with Instagram and Snapchat? In the long run, putting all your eggs in the social media basket will cause your other assets, such as your company website, to suffer - now is the time to consider how to enhance your website’s user experience, engage with visitors, gather powerful insights, increase the time they spend on it and keep them coming back for more.
The best way to tackle this, is to bring some of the loved interactive qualities offered by Instagram, Snapchat and other popular social platforms, to your own website. For instance, use the intuitive “Swipe Right” gesture for better website navigation such as adding items to a shopping cart, or a chat window to instantly answer visitor questions. In addition, you can provide visitors with instant gratification by utilizing visual storytelling - it is the ultimate way to get a message across in a quicker, more engaging manner. “Stories” are a great way to do that. Even Instagram copied Snapchat’s Story feature, which proved more successful than the origin.
Another tactic to consider is the use of polls, quizzes, chatbots and personality tests to get a better sense of what visitors think of your brand or content, as well as what they want to see more of in the future. In fact, deep user insights is the smartest long-term investment for marketers. Customizing content and communicating with users like they are people is key.
Do you have more ideas? feel free to comment below.
Raanan Eran, Founder and CEO of FORTVISION: Prior to founding FORTVISION in 2015, Raanan the Business Intelligence departments within several tech companies. Eran also served in the Israel Defence Forces as Head of an R&D team in the 8200 unit. He holds an MSc in Industrial Engineering and Management from the Technion.