As we all know, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) is, now, the ultimate forum for companies to advertise and promote their brands. Appearing of an ad on the Facebook page leads all the interested Facebook users to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ the particular brand. But the recent statistics from the GlobalWebIndex say that about 30 percent of Facebook users aged between 16-64 have already ‘unliked’ or ‘unfollowed’ the brands’ pages which once caught their attentions. In fact, 38 percent of the Facebook users who have ‘unliked’ or ‘unfollowed’ such pages are from the 16-24 age group. This underlines the challenge of keeping the youngest internet users engaged on a long-term basis. This indicates a slow downfall of the social networking giant.
The clear differences among the three important social networking sites are shown in the statistics obtained by GlobalWebIndex, where only 45 percent of Facebook users have visited company pages they already liked in the last one month, on Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR), only 23 percent and on Google plus only 30 percent did the same. But, at the same time, the percentage of Facebook (30%) users who ‘unliked’ or ‘unfollowed’ brands’ pages is more than that of Twitter (13%) and Google Plus (16%). But, significantly, small but important minorities are posting positive comments; 25 percent on Facebook, 17 percent on Twitter and 18 percent on Google plus. Whereas, only 13 percent on Facebook, 11 percent on Twitter and another 11 percent on Google plus posted negative comments about brands.
Statistics from GlobalWebIndex:
- Percentage of Facebook active users who have visited the pages of companies or brands on Facebook- 45
- Percentage of Facebook active users who have started following a new brand or product- 40
- Percentage of Facebook active users who have ‘unliked’ or ‘unfollowed’ a brand- 30
- Percentage of Facebook active users who have posted positive comments on a brand page- 25
- Percentage of Facebook active users who have posted negative comments on a brand page- 13
Reasons behind ‘unliking’ and ‘unfollowing’ the brands’ pages
3 in 10 Facebook users say that they have ‘unliked’ a brand in the last 30 days and some of the brand pages have millions of followers and updating pages at regular interval with lots of giveaways, contents and offers. Now, the prime concern is that why such huge percentage of Facebook users have ‘unliked’ or ‘unfollowed’ these brand pages. A study commissioned by 140 Proof, a digital marketing firm and IPG Media says that nearly 60 percent of social media users are willing to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ brands on social media. According to Matt Rosenberg, SVP of 140 Proof, it was a mistake on part of the marketers to think social media profiles to be stagnant. They had been focusing too much on increasing the number of fans on their pages. The study says that 61 percent of people ‘unfollow’ brands due to its lack of relevance to the content, they no longer buy from those brands or because their engagement and connection with the fans was very weak from the beginning. A decrease in the number of followers and ‘likes’ on these pages indicates a deflation in the graph of their popularity in the online market.
Brands on social networking sites need to concentrate on more interesting products and marketing strategies the consumers can connect with. Again, when further investigated, another study by Mediabistro tells us that 68 percent of consumers completely ignore the brands’ update they follow; nearly 40% of such fans only follow a brand to obtain a deal or an offer and another 12% follow a brand because of a recommendation from friends.
A report based on the survey by Kentico Software documents that 32 percent of Facebook monthly active users ‘unlike’ or ‘unfollow’ brands’ pages due to their uninteresting posts and 28 percent do the same due to too many posts by the brands which keep appearing on their walls.
Time to gear up Facebook!
38 percent of Facebook users between the ages 16-24 have ‘unfollowed’ brands’ pages, which means the youngest people on Facebook are mostly ‘unliking’ these pages. Thus, the youth should be targeted by the brands. Brands should start promoting and advertising products which benefit the youth or those which the youth can relate to. If they succeed in catching their attentions, there will be an automatic lift in the number of followers they have on their pages. Facebook has 1,350 million monthly active users and at the same time, over 15 million brand pages. If such a huge percentage of people stop following these brands, it affects the popularity and values of these brands. This will finally affect the Facebook and the revenue it earns. Hence, brands on Facebook should start concentrating on advertising interesting and unique products. Frequent posts from brands flocking on walls may disturb the users, so posts should be unique and less frequent. Sometimes, even boring and repetitive content can discourage users from following a particular brand. Offering good deals can also save the names of the brands. Brands’ pages should also work on posting relevant content in their posts. Though, Facebook is still the leading social networking site that already earned revenue of $3,203 million from 1.35 billion monthly active users in Q3, 2014, yet, huge percentage of ‘unliking’ of the brands’ pages would eventually benefit the other social networking sites to climb up the ladder. Twitter and LinkedIn have comparatively lesser percentage of people ‘unfollowing’ the brands on their networks. If the number of people starts ‘unliking’ or ‘unfollowing’ brands on Facebook, brands will start promoting their brands more on Twitter and LinkedIn. This will increase the value of these ‘lagging behind’ social networking sites in the domain of E-commerce.