A new report has found that Facebook users posted fewer personal updates in 2016 than they did in the previous year.
Interestingly for marketers, it also revealed that personal posts that mentioned brands were more effective than content from brand pages themselves. Another shot in the arm for influencer marketing.
The report was carried out by influencer marketing platform Mavrck, which studied more than 25 million Facebook posts from personal pages throughout 2016.
Here were the key findings…
Personal posts down year on year
Facebook users apparently posted less original content in 2016. To be precise, there was a 29.49 per cent decrease in posts per user. This decline was already becoming clear mid-way through 2016, with The Information suggesting that the sharing of personal posts fell 21 per cent between mid-2014 and mid-2015.
Part of the reason behind this could be the increasing popularity of video in the news feed. Users are spending more time watching video (100 million hours per day at the last count), meaning they have less time and inclination to post a personal update.
Furthermore, with messaging apps so popular, people have a reduced need to share personal thoughts with hundreds of Facebook friends.
Engagement down, despite apparent recovery
Engagement per post increased by more than 26 per cent. That said, overall engagement year-on-year declined 15.14 per cent compared to the previous year. However, a poor start to the year – which saw seven consecutive months of declining post engagement from September the previous year – was halted in April.
Despite this, engagement never really picked up despite Facebook making a series of changes to the news feed algorithm throughout the year.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, engagement levels were higher when users mentioned a brand compared to actual brand posts. User-generated content attracted 6.9 times higher engagement, illustrating the power of influencer marketing even on a micro scale.