Top brands on Facebook post more, but organic engagement is still on decline study reveals

Facebook brand posts have gone up, but engagement has continued to plummet, study finds.

The top 20k Facebook business pages have posted more than 8.1m pieces of content in Q2 2018, an increase from just over 7m in Q1, revealed a study done by Buffer and content marketing tool BuzzSumo.

That total figures to around 90k brand posts created a day in Q2, compared to around 72k in the previous quarter. Year on year, the Q2 findings show a 24% increase from the 6.8m posted in 2017.

Facebook tightened its leash on brand posts earlier this year in a rework of its algorithm to focus on friend interactions. This has forced the hands of many a brand to garner more engagement from their fans. However, engagement has steadily decreased since Q1 2017, where those pages collected nearly 30bn total interactions. Now that number has dropped to 12bn, a decrease of over 3.1bn from Q1 2018 and from nearly twice that amount from a year ago.

The study has shown that this isn’t just limited to text posts. Brands who looked to pivot to video content to draw eyeballs and reactions have seen a significant drop in just one quarter. For photos, which offer more engagement than links and videos overall (and make up a majority of brand posts), average engagement per post has dropped by over two-thirds.

Some of the most affected pages in the last quarter: artists, movies and news sites. Each of those categories has seen a 64% drop in engagement or higher. Mark Zuckerberg did want us to get back to connecting with our friends not too long ago.

Buffer’s explanation for some of these findings: increased competition (the social network hosts more than 80m business pages), higher quality content overall, and a push for more paid content to reach its users (as evidenced by the algorithm rework).

These findings coincide with what was a down Q2 for Facebook. Reeling from the Cambridge Analytica election scandal, the platform has also posted its slowest rate of growth ever. This has forced the company to start its first major marketing push since the launch of its stories feature back in 2016. Hired to assist in this company’s ‘inflection point’ was Antonio Lucio, who recently left HP Inc after nearly four years.

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