Valentine’s Day has just passed, so it seems a suitable time to talk about engagements. Not the diamond ring, down-on-one-knee, doughnut kind – the social media kind.
Social media mavens (and loyal newsletter readers) will have noticed that Facebook, the mother of social media data, is updating its algorithm and features to encourage people to share the types of posts that their friends want to see and talk about. The platform is rich with content, but how much of the content do users actively and enthusiastically engage with?
The platform is already the gold standard for social media advertising due to the sheer amount of information it has on users. Brands can target users to serve their content to people who are interested in it, and there are plenty of interesting ways to deliver that content – carousel ads, sponsored posts, videos, and the list goes on.
This means the challenge lies in keeping engaged and relevant users on the platform so that brands are not just shouting out into infinity. The reason advertisers turn to a platform is ultimately because of their user base.
Other platforms are still working on ways to make their offerings more appealing to businesses. Snapchat is bringing in analytics for influencers andInstagram is introducing Carousel Ads for Stories – because they don’t struggle with keeping users engaged with their core function (posting images and videos).
Facebook has the user base and the business appeal – it just needs to keep people posting, liking, commenting and sharing original, compelling content.
When I first joined Facebook, more than 10 years ago (!), teenagers were mostly uploading lots of albums from Apple’s Photobooth and sharing statuses like ‘Antonia is writing a blog’, and then my grandmother and cousin’s best friend’s dog’s uncle would like and comment on it. As the website has grown in capability and user numbers, personal content has had to compete with news, advertising, content from influencers, games and other additions to the platform.
Let’s see how/if the content mix changes with Facebook’s updates – and whether other platforms eventually shift their focus from business capabilities to engagement-retention.
Written by Antonia Green, Account Manager