Facebook is a global phenomenon. While it may have started as a humble social media platform to connect university students across a small sub-strata in the United States, it has since grown to infiltrate the very way we live our lives, adding a new dimension to not only how we interact with each other, but also how we conduct our businesses.
And yet, for the first time, Facebook has reported that its seemingly never-ending streak of gaining new users has done just that – ended. In their most recent quarterly announcements, Facebook reported a drop in daily active users from 1.93 billion in the preceding quarter, to 1.929 billion. While this does not sound like a lot, it is still one million people less, showing that not only have people dropped off the platform, but that new daily users aren’t offsetting the decline.
After the announcements were made (along with a serious drop in revenue) Facebook’s parent company, Meta, saw its stock plummet by 26%. And with investors spooked by the results, it has got us at Clearwater asking whether Facebook is losing its market share, as well as where we should think about broadening our digital marketing strategies.
Reasons for Facebook’s Diminishing Market Share
Apple Tracking Changes to iOS 14
Back in May 2021, Apple introduced ‘App Tracking Transparency’ to iOS 14. This meant iPhone users would first have to opt-in to having their data submitted for tracking with a personalised IDFA identifier. This has completely disrupted how Facebook advertising works across all platforms. A recent report has stated that Facebook can continue to share user-level ‘signals’, but they must be both aggregated and anonymised, as opposed to individual user profiles. Still, this has been estimated to cost Facebook around $10bn in advertising revenue this year, and severely impacting small businesses relying on the platform.
Competing with New Platforms
Popularity continues to grow around short-video platforms, such as TikTok, and Facebook is playing catch-up with their alternatives, such as Reels, now available on both their Instagram & Facebook platforms. TikTok grew to 1.2 billion average monthly active users in Q4 of 2021, however, and if forecasts are correct, this will continue to grow to over 1.5 billion by the close of 2022, fast approaching the reach of Facebook.
Elimination of Organic Reach
In recent history, content creators have found better success on other platforms in terms of organic engagement and reach, as the platform favoured boosted and paid alternatives. There is a shift back to organic content, like Reels and podcasting abilities being added to Facebook, but these are already featured on alternative platforms.
A New Focus on Augmented & Virtual Reality Projects
Parent company Meta has shifted a majority of their attention onto their budding augmented and virtual reality projects within a ‘Metaverse’, having already committed $10bn to the endeavour. While this may very well help bolster the social media platform’s performance in the future with new capabilities, until anything substantial is widely adopted by the public, it is not offering much to consumers.
How to React to Facebook Losing Their Market Share
Meta themselves have aired their concern for future declines in active users, and how it could diminish their ability to provide ad impressions for businesses of all sizes. Rightly so, as businesses and marketers are clearly seeking alternatives either to replace, or at least work alongside, their Facebook advertising campaigns.
To ensure you don’t have all your marketing eggs in one basket, it is important to explore your other options – and there are a lot.
Although still falling under Meta, Instagram continues to build on its active monthly users, largely because the platform has successfully cultivated a different type of audience. Instagram advertising can be simple and done directly from the app, unless you want to explore more advanced options, which is conducted through the Facebook Ads Manager. You can experiment with photos, videos, stories, reels, carousels, collection ads, Instagram Shopping and more, with a greater number of people than just your followers enjoying the content.
Leverage the popularity around short-video publications with TikTok organic content and advertising. While you might need to get creative with your videos, advertising options allow you to show your ad in user’s feeds, with audience targeting using demographics and interest, as well as the adoption of branded AR content and influencer ads.
While not a social platform, Google still holds an incredible market share in the digital marketing industry, with over 3.5 billion searches each day. Advertising on Google and its Display Network can prove extremely profitable, with a sophisticated interface, local capabilities, and a comparably lower cost-per-click than Facebook.
Continue with Facebook Advertising
With the above information in mind, Facebook remains to be the only platform where you can have text updates, videos, photos and more, all in one place. While there might be less value in Facebook advertising than in previous campaigns, it is still a highly lucrative space to promote your organisation, especially when partnered alongside other platforms frequented by your audience.
Contact Clearwater to Improve Your Digital Marketing Strategy Today
If you would like to learn more about how you can build your digital marketing strategy, please feel encouraged to contact us at Clearwater today and book a free session with one of our talented specialists.