Since the original publication of this post in December 2019 lots has changed. The core idea remains the same for people wanting to know if Facebook is declining. The answer is that with the outbreak of economic change across the world most companies are declining. Facebook remains a leader in this new normal. According to investment banking firm Cowen & Co, as reported on Fool.com, Facebook is expected to see $15.7B lower ad spending in 2020. But, year over year Facebook is expected to see 23% in total ad sales increase in 2020.
So, while Facebook revenues are going to be lower than forecasted, they remain a leader for media consumption time and advertising spending. You can see in this video details showing that traffic on Facebook has increased 20% according to Similar Web.
Below is the original contents of this post from December 2019.
Facebook has seen its share of turmoil among data scandals, political scandals, and a change in perception about the company. So, is Facebook declining?
Take the reporting from Digiday, showing 7MM advertisers and 2.32B monthly active users as of January 2019.
Revenues are increasing year over year, with data from eMarketer showing that Facebook (combined with Instagram) will earn $36B in 2020.
BrandWatch reports that 30% of the internet uses Facebook more than once a day, and 45% of people get their news from Facebook.
In the US Facebook will reach 52% of the US population, accounting for 176MM people. The largest contingent of its audiences are 25-54 year olds, in 2020 representing 99.2MM people, or 56% of all Facebook users.
Facebook’s ownership of Instagram is also increasingly valuable, with an estimated $13B in ad spend expected to run through its platform in 2020.
All of this is happening despite politicians and users looking for Facebook to commit to more stringent policing of political ads. As of this writing in December 2019 Twitter has eliminated the possibility of political advertising, and Google in the UK has done the same.
Among many walled gardens, including Amazon, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Reddit, the Facebook and Instagram combination is the pre-eminent powerhouse for digital ad revenues alongside Google. For comparison, in 2020 Google will earn $55B, Amazon $13B, and Microsoft $5.41B including revenues from LinkedIn.
Below are revenues for 2019 across many of the top platforms.
If you are looking to gain attention on Facebook here are some best practices that can be helpful.
1. Deploy remarketing from sites, pages, and email addresses to ensure you are reaching users who have recently connected with your brand
2. Activate look a like audiences to reach people who have the same or similar characteristics as the ones who recently purchased
3. Facebook’s advertising platform gives brands easy access to generating leads directly in Facebook without pulling users outside of the site. This often means lead cost is lower, and the leads can be pushed directly into a customer relationship management tool (CRM) to be added to an existing email drip campaign.
4. Use engagement as an easy way to capture user attention and identify the key users who are most interested in your product or service. This is valuable because users who engage give Facebook the signal that your content is good. So, look for likes, comments, and shares on your ad posts to encourage the ads to be delivered to more people. Engagement is also valuable for users to first like your page, and then get added to a remarketing pool of recently engaged users for conversion focused ads.
5. Deploy hyperlocal advertising with ads that are down to 1 mile around your targeted address. This is one precision targeting technique that creates an opportunity for a select group of people to see your ads. This tactic works great for marketing to people at a conference and around your retail location. This precision hyperlocal targeting also gives you an opportunity to deploy ads that are contextually relevant to the user in that very small geographic area.
So, Facebook is not declining. By all measures is doing well, growing, and remaining a financial powerhouse in the communications ecosystem. When people ask if Facebook is declining, tell them no, it’s growing by leaps and bounds.