This summer, a study by the Pew Research Centre found that teenagers had abandoned Facebook in their droves. While almost three quarters (71%) of 13 to 17 year olds claimed to use Facebook in 2015, this year, that figure had fallen to 51%.
For years, the social media site enjoyed prominence, reigning supreme. While people seemed to be capricious users of Instagram, or Snapchat, or Youtube, their Facebook account was the real hub, with its Messenger app and it’s ability to integrate with many of the other apps on your phone.
Once, it was people’s address book, their photo albums, their communication hub, and their social calendar planner. Increasingly though, Facebook is a graveyard of memories and faces you can’t quite place. Add a severe data scandal and a good dose of mistrust to the site’s natural ageing, and it’s a toxic mix.
While there are many people who will tell you that Facebook is still where it’s at—it still has huge user numbers, after all—it’s engagement is rapidly falling. What’s the point of having millions of people who opened accounts a decade ago, if they rarely even open the app anymore?
And as people rely on Facebook less and less, there are plenty of others snapping up their attention. With this increasing competition (and less engaged Facebook users), Facebook is no longer a surefire way of finding an engaged audience. Many of them are on Instagram, or Youtube, and the ones who are still on the site are not as active or interested as they once were.
It all means that if you’re advertising on Facebook, you may well be seeing diminishing returns for your marketing spend. Focusing too much on the promise of this bastion of social media could also mean you’re overlooking places where audiences really are flocking (and paying attention while they’re there!)
Our latest Media Consumption Report revealed that 86.8% of Brits watch over an hour of television every day (up 5% from 2017); there’s sustained interest in podcasts; and other social media platforms are on the rise. These channels shouldn’t be ignored simply because Facebook has dominated in the past.
Read on to discover how you can build your brand beyond Facebook, to reach the right audiences who are going to engage with your company.
Finding which channels to diversify to
Facebook has successfully managed to capture various generations throughout its life (in fact, the fact that parents of most Gen Z kids use the site is one of the reasons they’re put off by it). Its appeal was wide, so it’s a good idea to think about all the different groups you were reaching through the platform, and uncover where they’re looking now.
It’s useful to think of your audience not as a homogenous group, but as a whole made up of various different segments. Understanding more about your audience in terms of their attitudes, their motivations, their behaviours, and their demographic means you can build out a picture of how the people you want to target live their lives.
Whereabouts in the country do they live? Which podcasts are they listening to? Are they more motivated by convenience or quality? Do they listen to the radio in the morning on their way to work, or are they more likely to tune in once they’ve arrived at the office?
Podcasts have taken the world by storm in recent years, with productions like Serial achieving worldwide fame and audiences
For a comprehensive guide on how to build a detailed picture of your audience segments, click here.
This process of mapping out your target consumers’ habits and interests will better allow you to devise a strategy that will reach them when they’re most alert and interested. Firstly, it means you’ll maximise ROI on the channels you do pick. Secondly, you’ll appeal more to the people your adverts are appearing in front of, because you’ll be slotting into a channel they’ve deliberately chosen to engage with.
Recalibrating your metrics for more accurate attribution
Naturally, a move away from Facebook where measuring success is so easy, will be a little daunting. Although the fact they have to admit to inflating metrics every couple of months should make the adjustment a little easier.
Start by re-adjusting your mindset: look beyond Cost Per Acquisition and stop using it as your ‘north star’ metric. By ceasing to use it as your ‘be all and end all’ measurement, you can get out of the mindset of counting views, or even more meaninglessly, clicks.
Focus instead on the strength of your brand—start measuring brand awareness, affinity, purchase intent, consideration and sentiment—and forge more lasting relationships with your audience.
This isn’t some fluffy approach, these are hard metrics that provide a leading indicator of sales. With a scalable intelligence tool like Attest, you can drill right down into the specific campaigns that are moving the needle, or individual channels, so you can deliver granular attribution reports the same way you would with digital marketing.
If you reduce the number of people who see your adverts, but in exchange, they’re better targeted and tailored, you’re likely to improve the quality of your leads.
Sales, and more importantly, the number of consumers who will convert to brand ambassadors will rise.
Hold onto the dynamism Facebook taught you
The Facebook strategy you’ve carefully crafted over the last few years will have undoubtedly taught you a lot. The responsive approach you’ve learnt to take (A/B testing; monitoring your best performing posts; refining your targeting) can now be applied to above the line advertising more than ever before.
Dynamic media planning is increasingly being facilitated by advertising platforms. It’s a skill, that involves testing and iterating in real time. Once reserved only for digital, now with increasingly flexible deadlines, even billboards and television adverts can be adapted right up until the last minute.
It means you can tap into conversations happening virtually in real time, so that your adverts are intensely relevant.
Re-negotiating a more successful relationship with Facebook
With a broader strategy split across various channels, retaining the dynamism of Facebook advertising, you can take the pressure off your Facebook ads. Maintain a presence on the site, but with less expectation that it will deliver all of your business’s growth goals.
Check back after a few months of targeted investment in above the line advertising, and you’ll likely see that looking beyond Facebook has actually contributed to higher Click Through Rates (CTRs), more engagement and lower CPAs on the platform.
Because by spreading your efforts across different media, whilst also making sure they are more tailored to your specific audience, you’ll increase meaningful engagement. By looking beyond just Facebook, you’ll find your Facebook performance also improves.
One of Facebook’s own graphics demonstrates the extent to which advertising away from Facebook (here, on TV) strengthens ad lift.
Of course, leaving the safety of Facebook is a scary thought. It can feel like jumping from the safety of a helicopter, without any confirmation that your parachute will open. Which is where Attest comes in. Find out, before you jump, where your audience are congregating and how they most like being interacted with. By the time you decide to make the leap, you’ll be completely confident it will go well.