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Brand engagement is plummeting on Facebook (contently.com)
157 points by rblion on June 16, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 98 comments

This seems like a good place to ask:

Why do people "become a fan" of a brand on fb? What value do people get from publicly declaring they like gatorade? I contrast this with the implicit declaration that occurs when I carry a gatorade bottle around, because in that situation presumably I'm enjoying drinking it.

I cannot see how doing so would benefit a) me or b) my friends who might see that I like gatorade.

It just seems like I'm a) giving fb more information about me and b) inviting gatorade to try and sell me things.

Am I wrong or is becoming a fan of a brand just all bad for the user and all good for fb/the brand?

I can think of several reasons:

1) discounts / promotions / contests and other forms of bribery

2) upcoming products you want to hear about as soon as they're ready

3) products you genuinely love and want your friends to know about

4) companies you support for ideological reasons (they support some charity/cause you like)

5) social signaling / status (mark yourself as an Apple customer, or a Coach bag owner, or whatever.)

6) the brand puts out genuinely entertaining advertising (some people really like the Old Spice "smell like a man" commercials)

People who wouldn't declare themselves "fans" of Gatorade might still be OK declaring themselves "fans" of The Glenrothes Distillery, or of The Butcher and Larder in Chicago, or of Merge Records. Doritos doesn't have much social signaling value, but the St. Louis Cardinals do.

Also: 99.9% of people who use Facebook don't think at all about how much information they're giving Facebook. They don't care. So Facebook knows I like Bob's Burgers but not The Family Guy. And?

>>> So Facebook knows I like Bob's Burgers but not The Family Guy. And?

This. While in general privacy is definitely a concern, I see "don't give your information" way too often and it's becoming sort of a cliche.

How might the fact that I like some certain artists affect me in the future? No one is going to blackmail me for the fact that I liked Wu Tang Clan. I won't get denied some visa or whatever because I liked Donnie Darko movie.

Privacy is important but let's stop from making it a cliche or some 'easy win'.

"This is an ecological problem, because our individual choices worsen the condition of the group as a whole. The service companies' interest, but not ours, is to hide this view of the problem, and concentrate on getting individual consent. From a legal perspective, the essence of transacting is consent. If privacy is transactional, your consent to surveillance is all the commercial spy needs. But if privacy is correctly understood, consent is usually irrelevant, and focusing on it is fundamentally inappropriate.

We do not, with respect to clean air and clean water, set the limits of tolerable pollution by consent. We have socially established standard of cleanliness, which everybody has to meet.

Environmental law is not law about consent. But with respect to privacy we have been allowed to fool ourselves.

What is actually a subject of environmental regulation has been sold to us as a mere matter of bilateral bargaining. The facts show this is completely untrue" -- Eben Moglen

Perhaps a good rule of thumb: if, fashion sense aside, you'd wear the t-shirt, it's probably not a privacy threat.

There's a huge difference between wearing a t-shirt, which makes the information available only to people who see you wearing that t-shirt, and becoming a fan of a brand on Facebook, which makes the information available to who knows what Facebook affiliate.

In one scenario, you have full control over when you signal that information and when you stop. In the other, once you send out the signal... congratulations, you're now in several databases and have opened yourself to all sorts of soliciting.

You can easily stop wearing a shirt when you change your mind about the topic.

Once it has been on the internet, it is forever.

Not saying you're wrong, but I don't think it is exactly the same.

Maybe tattoos?

> Once it has been on the internet, it is forever.

If that were truly the case, we wouldn't be so worried about NSA retention of data.

My phone conversations aren't supposed to be "on the internet."

This is probably something worth saying louder.

If you commonly display $information in all sorts of settings, then $information is not ipso facto private and leaking that information further is not a privacy threat.

(Of course, it can be used as an input to deanonymize you in some data-mining system, so there's that...).

>How might the fact that I like some certain artists affect me in the future?

Constellations of consumer interests might be enough to create a high likelihood that you're gay, a drug user, sympathize with anti-tax protesters, or with anti-globalization protests. The next algorithm to be run over your profile might benefit greatly from this initial filtering, and depending on the distinctness of the constellation, may not result in very many false negatives.

The second algorithm auto-authorizes full text email and full audio telephone collection and review. </dystopia>

Agreed. Both ability to read materials anonymously and to discuss things privately are very important for both freedom and democracy.

That does not mean we must treat every single personal preference as top secret material.

> How might the fact that I like some certain artists affect me in the future?

What if the FBI decides to categorize your band fandom as a form of gang affiliation?


Some people may not like it when companies deny them services or charge a higher rate because people who share the same interest are riskier or are willing to pay more.

Our historical data indicates that people who like Bob's Burger but not the Family Guy have a higher probability to default on a loan (PD).

But can't you do that with anything? Browser statistics, which page they spend most of their time on? What colors they use in their profile picture? What stuff their friends like? Sentiment analysis of their status updates? How many likes per page view they post?

I feel like this could very much be a case of http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikaandersen/2012/03/23/true-fa...


US spending on science, space, and technology has a 0.992 correlation with suicides by hanging, strangulation and suffocation

None of those things could tell you if the human torch was denied a bank loan or something. You're better off just grabbing their bank records.

Why should Family Guy viewers be required to pay higher loan rates?

Public interest is probably best served by making sure that lending markets are healthy enough that making meaningless distinctions based on silly data is not a viable practice (rather than fretting over exactly what data is allowed to be considered).

>>> So Facebook knows I like Bob's Burgers but not The Family Guy.

I see how they would know that you like Bob's Burgers, but how would they know that you dislike The Family Guy? Or, were you saying that they know you haven't declared you like Family Guy at this point in time? I ask is cause I was missing a way they could track the former, and also because I think Facebook is missing the boat by not having a way to dislike something.

If I were looking to by Brand A and saw a lot of my negative sentiment for that brand Brand B would need less positive sentiment for me to be sawed to it. In that scenario they start to displace services like Yelp.

Facebook needs to learn the things I hate, because whenever I get IKEA ads I post a bunch of stuff a out how they don't pay their tax.

I really want all ad platforms to give me the choice to opt out from some advertisers -- especially from alcohol and gambling.

I assume an EXTREMELY high number of these 'likes' are due to these companies offering freebies/prizes that you have a 'like' and comment on their page in order to participate.

"Likes" are like currency that is virtually free of cost, and I think the younger crowd has no problem giving away likes. They don't have the stigma / fear of spam, data mining, etc. that the HN crowd does.

Please even the HN/Technology crowds don't have a fear of spam, data mining etc.

Gmail, Google Search, Twitter, Facebook etc are all widely used.

For everyone, it comes down to convenience

Its a pity that one of Facebook's main revenue source is promoting brand's posts, because otherwise it would seem like the best decision they could make is to outright ban any posts along the lines of "Like and share and comment on this to win a prize", both to reduce the noise on people's timelines, and to improve the quality of the like data they're collecting on users.

There's a similar effect on Twitter with brands asking for retweets, but I see less of those, presumably because the kind of people I follow on Twitter are less likely to get sucked into that.

I could be wrong, but I'm fairly sure some years ago FB had a rule that you weren't allowed to force people to like your page to enter a competition. Last time I had to set up a competition for a client (a couple of years ago) that rule didn't seem to exist so either the rule has changed, or I dreamed it.

Either way I'm glad I have nothing to do with that sort of work anymore. Having quite a few friends in agencies I see the X likes Y posts all the time because they have to like a load of brands for their jobs. What a miserable waste of time.

They can do better - they just don't show you them, unless the page pays to promote it.

I'm a homebrewer and lover of craft beer. I follow a lot of local breweries and beer brands that I like? Why? Because I want to hear more from them. They are a part of my life, just like my friends, so they should be included in my feed.

I also follow Fox Soccer and ESPN FC because it's easier to have content pushed specific to my interests rather than go to espn.com and click on the soccer tab.

I follow businesses as my business because I want to build a profile. I also follow competitors and peers because I want to stay in the loop.

It's just a large RSS feed really.

Except, with an RSS feed, you can be assured that you are receiving ALL of the content that is being published by the site you are following. With Facebook, you are at the mercy of a black-box algorithm that decides which posts you want to see. Those local breweries are going to have to pay FB in order for all of their followers to view any specific post.

But I don't want to receive ALL the content. Unfortunately social media "consultants" and "experts" have decided to conflate spamminess with user engagement, and many businesses I legitimately want to hear from have taken to broadcasting every minutiae of what they do.

The black-boxiness of the algorithm is non-ideal, but some algorithm is required.

What FB has done is force people to game the system in order to appear in the feed, which results in more content than people are able to consume, which results in the fact that we don't want to see it all because some of it is junk.

This is a problem that Facebook has created, and one they will wrestle with until they either fix it and save their business, or are displaced by an upstart.

You can tell Facebook to deliver all the content from a particular brand or person. There is a setting.

Well, people don't see the world as you do. They don't/can't see they are giving more information to Facebook by liking a brand.

They do it because it's a way to socialize.

Also when you like a page, you will be following it. That is, you will see news from that brand's page on your news feed.

I don't "like" any major brands or companies on Facebook, but I do several local companies. The froyo place we like publishes their daily flavor offerings on Facebook. The local butcher gives coupons on their Facebook page. Stuff like that.

Facebook is constantly recommending to me things I should like. I ignore them all. I drink a Diet Coke from time to time, but I don't need the latest Diet Coke news.

Certain brand are worth following for the content they publish. Gopro's pictures/videos of the day are almost all stunning and one might want to follow them the same way you would subscribe to the RSS feed of The Atlantic's In Focus or Boston.com's The Big picture.

I personally follow a few kiteboarding brands that publish great pictures that I enjoy having in my feed.

I'm not sure about gatorade, but with some brands it can be a show of support in the company's mission/values/etc. It could also be a smaller company that you just want to make the existence of known to your social network because you think their product will better everyone's lives.

>> It just seems like I'm a) giving fb more information about me and b) inviting gatorade to try and sell me things. Am I wrong or is becoming a fan of a brand just all bad for the user and all good for fb/the brand?

This assumes that giving Facebook information to deliver ads for things you actually want is a bad thing, a position I disagree with. No matter how hard I try, I will be advertised to. I'd prefer to get ads for things I might actually want than a return to the lowest common denominator ads of the past (which tend to be things like diploma mills, insurance, or payday loans).

Depending on the brand some people like to see updates from them. Of course this isn't true for all brands and like batiudrami said people get tired of how often many brands post updates.

Ultimately AS a marketer, I'd agree that the point is to sell you something when you like my brand. It's inherently self-serving, but that doesn't mean that a brand can't bring you joy and satisfaction through their interactions with you online.

IE I like GoPro on Facebook. Ultimately they want me to buy a $400 camera and all the accessories, but they also inspire me with images and photos to get me outdoors enjoying things I also love.

So...complicated thoughts are complicated.

I fb-like brands, specifically to show my friends which brands I like, similar to how I liked specific movies, books, and music.

A few brands that I have very high affinity towards: Crumpler, Nike, and Canon.

Your friends don't care what brands you like! I promise you.

I think it is possible for someone to desire their friends to know a thing about them even while knowing that their friends don't actually care about that detail.

Maybe a subtle unconscious change about how one is thought of might possibly be a result? (I don't know, but I don't think I can rule it out as a possibility that could be desirable to some.)

Oh, you know my friends?


Hey we're going to grab coffee next friday, you should come along!

Some people just like the free dopamine hit from clicking on stuff.

Is it not so you can get updates on new product ranges and coupon codes, if I ever like a Facebook page its so I can get coupon codes. Nothing else.

But using the Gatorade example, if I already like gattorade, presumably I buy it already so I don't need incentives. It is almost like finding out who doesn't like Gatorade so tthey can be targettted.

It's way easier to sell stuff to people who already like it. You just need to convince them to buy more often and larger volume. (2L coke bottles, 2+1 deals). You can do this by creating occasions for people to consume your product and combining products.

The idea is that they'd RETAIN you as a customer through giveaways and/or coupons. Also, there's the possibility of word-of-mouth advertisement from happy customers (eg "I won a free case of Gatorade! I love that company!")

People don't see becoming a "fan" as a declaration of love for Gatorade. They see it as a way to win tickets or something similar.

I've noticed that brands now post far too much stuff. Back in the day, if you 'Became a Fan' of a brand/band/organisation, you might expect maybe two posts a week, maybe less. Now liking a page means you can expect to be subjected to 5+ posts per day. No wonder people are hiding them from their feed/being more careful with what they follow on Facebook. People don't necessarily want to see 20.1% more posts from a brand than they did this time last year (and from a user end, it's good to see that Facebook is cutting it back).

On a related note, recently my group of close friends created a group on Facebook, which was originally to help with organising events/activities (because group messaging was becoming unweildy and distracting). The requirement for adding someone to the group is 'would anyone else be upset if the new member invited themselves along to anything posted here', so it's relatively small - about 20 members. But we've been using it for about 3 months, and it has almost become a social network in itself - people post things during the day, we interact without worrying how it looks to outsiders, and there are no posts which are 'showing off' the way facebook status updates sometimes do. I'm not being constantly marketed to. Facebook is fun again - like it was in university.

I do engineering support for a major company that supplies a relationship management tool to companies like Nike, P&G, Zimmerman, DPSG, etc. I've been in this line of work since 2010 and have watched it explode. In the beginning companies usually only hired a singular person to be their social media manager. These days companies have entire departments doing digital social canvasing. Some of our clients have 20 Facebook admins alone on their social teams, then another 30 doing canvasing for the companies various brands.

These teams had to prove their value, especially a few years ago when it was one or two people justifying their existence to upper management. These teams today have to work to get paid, work involves canvasing media sites. At this stage so many companies have invested so heavily in social spaces that they can't admit defeat to their investors whom they assured "social is the future!". This is why it's so bad these days, the number of canvassers has exponentially grown and they have to constantly prove their worth to their employers.

I'd follow more companies on Facebook (or Twitter) if most of what they posted where product updates etc, not inspirational messages and fitness tips.

Agreed. Before I follow someone on Twitter I look at their recent stream of posts. More than one or two a week, you don't get a follow from me. It's not worth the clutter in my stream.

The problem is that Facebook forces brands to create engagement. You get rewarded for posting easy to consume content that generates a lot of likes and but not for a few quality posts.

I dont play anymore but the only reason I load Facebook is to see posts from my guild members on our guild page. My "friends", which is mostly acquaintances and long lost relatives, rarely post anything that entertains me but I really enjoy the smaller knit group that posts more raw and relatable things. I thing google has something going for it focusing on circles. Now if only i could get passed the naming scandal and the fact I dont want another Facebook to deal with.

this, they are on a "prisoner spiral".

Some time ago there were a few posts now and then from a few pages. Now there are dozens of posts per day from basically everything. And people have more likes because more pages exists.

So more content -> facebook trims it -> page owners see a decrease in page view and push more content of lower quality -> interactions decrease -> push even more lower quality content...

This is what drives me nuts. I've seen "social advertising consultants" or "growth hackers" give talks and even expensive training on how to plan a calendar where you're publishing updates of one type or another (not that your "fans" care in most cases) multiple times per day, every day. Completely unsurprisingly, even genuine fans of, say, $big_name_drinks_brand get fed up with that very quickly.

On the other hand, there are organisations that want to use the system as originally conceived, just like your friends: they post an update every now and then when they actually have something of genuine interest to share with their "fans". These days, most of the fans won't actually see it unless the organisation pays FB a fortune to promote every post they make. Probably no big deal if you're Coke or Ford or something, but more so if you're the Friends of St Paul's Church and you're just trying to tell your local congregation about the summer fete next weekend so they can come along.

This seems like a short-sighted bait-and-switch from FB to me. They're removing most of the value from the "like" mechanism for both the liker and the likee, just to try and squeeze a bit more advertising revenue out of the mega-advertisers who can afford it... until everyone decides the game is up, takes their ball, and goes home, presumably.

That's pretty much how I use facebook, though its in the form of a chat and related group, while I'm still in Uni. One or two chat threads with ten or so good friends each. Lots of great conversations, sharing, in-jokes, etc. Way more meaningful than my timeline or anything else on the site.

When every company under the sun is pitching to you, trying to engage you on a personal level, it seems like it would become tired and old. Maybe there was a point when it was novel, but now everyone is doing it. As the level of advertising increases, it seems logical to me that engagement will decrease across the board. There's only so much a person can handle before they become saturated.

But what do I know? I don't use social media or willingly look at ads.

This article is very sympathetic to the brand pages and wants to make Facebook out as the bad guy (which I'm not saying they aren't). But while they'll certainly make money by making pages pay for exposure, they also need to maintain as many eyeballs as possible so there's a supply to sell.

The brand messages that were mixed in my news feed would usually be disruptive to me. I'd rather have them be an ad so that I can distinguish them more easily. It's a better user experience, which results in a larger supply of eyeballs.

Boo hoo for the brands. This seems like a win for the user, in my eyes.

Me either. It seems like we kinda reached that point a while ago where hearing "Find us on Facebook and Twitter" became so repetitive from a business that you really couldn't help but tune it out.

That's just me, though.

What happens when facebook engagement as a whole starts dropping? My news feed is maybe 5 real posts, 10 "upworthy" style video shares, top10 lists and "brand" content. The whole thing feels useless, and all the things I actually care about are buried under ads and crapware. Events and messaging are the main usable portions of the platform - I only know a few people who use those exclusively, and once they're off I'm done with facebook entirely.

New trend to expect: People are so afraid of posting their real status because of privacy, that you won't expect anything meaningful from your newsfeed.

We like to believe privacy will be a determining factor but even most of my CS university friends don't give a damn about privacy.

People need to burn their hands before they watch out for fire.

There is another problem. Namely not wanting to bother some segments of your contacts. Twitter and linkedin suffer from the same problem.

As an example if I post something to facebook is it the sharpneli that loves to fish? Is it the one who plays esports at somewhat competitive level? Is it the one who posts an example how to do something with OpenCL?

All of those circles are mutually exclusive and frankly posting something regarding esports would bore majority of my friends. Same applying to any other subset.

That's why my own postings are always in sites that are very specific and focused on a certain topic.

This is why I'm frustrated that G+ (or something similar) hasn't taken off.

Facebook's usefulness is limited to friends and family. Twitter is good as a fine-tuned information feed. I've also tried using Twitter for two-way communication on very specific topics, but there's an immediate problem: I have many and varied interests, so I know that most of my followers won't be interested in most of my tweets. The character limit is also a significant handicap (and makes little sense now that SMS is being replaced by IM).

Google+ with its circles seemed like a perfect solution to this problem, but unfortunately, except for topics related to technology, there seems to be very little interaction going on. So this means I'm limited to specialist websites or sites like Reddit. While this isn't awful, I think that having a genuine interest-based social network (that isn't just a mouthpiece for the powerful and famous) would offer several improvements.

For a start, I'd have control over my 'circles', eliminating the troll problem that plagues all forum-based websites. I could make my circles as large or small, and as specialised or general as I wished. This ideal social network would emphasize mutual following and active participation, and provide many tools for discovery of relevant connections.

Maybe there just isn't the demand for this, I don't know.

Ok... this is not ready yet. I'm working on it on and off but you might want to try out http://fbtidy.com. The basic concept is to extract "real" status messages in FB. Rest of the things are in other tabs to checkout if you have time. Nothing is stored on server. The whole app is JS making client-side Graph API calls directly to FB. Code is here: https://github.com/sytelus/fbtidy

Any feedback welcome.

Great idea, but if it is takes off you will get a C&D from facebook unfortunately.

If Facebook stopped promoting brands above my friends then maybe I'd stop unliking/hiding brands. Seriously, when I'm on Facebook I want to see people. One or two brand posts here and there is okay, but when I have to go through 10 brand posts to get to a real person that's a problem.

My friends aren't going to pay your stupid "Promote your content" fees. Stop asking.

wtf is 'brand engagement'? does that mean likes and comments on a post? it would be great if either article spelled that out because if companies are just chasing eyes and clicks, that seems like a stupid game to play that could lose value as brand realize it doesn't necessarily mean conversions.

Simply Measured Engineer here! To clear up your question, we define Brand Engagement as:

"The total number of likes, comments, and shares on Brand Posts that occurred during the reporting period." -- SM Help Docs

I'm guessing that it wasn't spelled out in the post because Contently and our original article are primarily aimed at Social Media Marketers, and the definition is fairly well established.

While the definition is established, we've published some articles that dig deeper into engagement:

Looking into the different pieces/parts: http://simplymeasured.com/blog/2013/11/18/likes-are-passive-...

and looking at a more relative number: http://simplymeasured.com/blog/2014/02/19/facebook-engagemen...

maybe a hotlink to the def in future articles. this comment got a dozen upvotes fyi

Engagement on Facebook involves counting "Actions" users perform on the page. The main ones: Like, Share, Comment.

Let me explain, some parts of this, I have been working mostly as a UX strategist and growth hacker for a lot of startups and somehow I ended up leading a small social media consultancy and helping a lot of brands. (Don't ask me why - I have no idea - it just happened).

Facebook has always been a very weird communication medium, it's the only algorithmic communication medium that people actually use. One truth about this is, that 99% of all brands and companies are not able to use this, because optimizing your communication and ads for an algorithmic model is too complex. Brand Communication has always been quite simple: Find some values you want to attach to your brand, find something creative that sticks and mix these values and your brand... then publish.

Facebook is insanely complex, because you have a third layer: find something users want to interact with. Now you have three layers and those three are mutually exclusive for many brands. A Toilet paper company may find some ideas people want to interact with, but those ideas will probably not match their idea for their brand or values. And even if a brand finds a sweet spot between those three coordinates, they have to use right technique and be insanely creative to stay in that spot.

This is something brands and companies are learning very very slowly, so Facebook is not really changing anything in a way, it's just adapting to the situation.

>Facebook is insanely complex... they have to use right technique and be insanely creative to stay in that spot.

Inevitably when one of these articles crops up, someone "in the business" comes out of the woodwork to say, "Everything is fine, these brands just don't know what they're doing."

I'm not sure I buy it. I dabbled in the space a few years ago, so spent more time than I ever intended reading about FB advertising. It seems to me that a long predicted issue is slowly developing: ad space and eyeball time are limited, so as people "like" more and more material over time, Facebook will have to cull and restrict to keep the news feed relevant to its users, most of which don't really want advertising.

Facebook is not really changing? Am I to assume that with another year experience these social media teams got worse at doing the things you suggest? That's hard to believe.

Sure, I'll bet that these teams can be doing some things better. On the other hand, how many brands are going to continue to spend money on a constantly evolving, unpredictable advertising platform that requires outside consultants to navigate properly?

This article reeks of cherry picked data and is written with a vitriolic bias. When you get to the end and "Fuck you, pay me" is repeated three times, it's a good reminder that you're reading some bullshit on the internet. Facebook is an affordable and effective place to advertise a brand, and it's worth paying much more than they charge.

Well, I viewed the article as nothing of value - the actual study (done by Simply Measured) is more interesting. This article is nothing more than a republishing of the results with the vitriol that you rightly call out.

I wonder how much of this is due to people realizing that interacting with the types of people who are "engaged" by these big brands on facebook doesn't lead to interesting conversations?

The small amount of such brand engagement I've witnessed has reminded me of the rule of thumb: "just pretend comment systems on large websites don't exist."

I'd be interested to see how corporate engagement is shifting compared to overall engagement. Also to look at things in absolute numbers.

Are people simple interacting less and this is a general trend across FB? Or are people just getting better at ignoring corporate posts?

Also do we have a finite interest/time to interact? As every company flogs the FB horse, have we hit a limit to the number of posts we will interact with in total and this is just being distributed over a wider no. of companies?

I was looking at FB social media marketshare the other day and was impressed how they continue to grow market share. Less engagement or not they remain completely dominent in this space: http://gs.statcounter.com/#all-social_media-ww-monthly-20090...

The assumption is that the majority of this downturn is because facebook has reduced how many users even see the content... given how closely it correlates to the FB News Feed Algorithm releases.

Alas, FB doesn't expose views on normal posts, so we'll never know the actual numbers.

The consensus seems to be that Brands should post more often, as their posts are only being shown to legitimate followers half as often... :-(

"Build an audience that secretly belongs to a social media mob at your own peril, and don’t be surprised when the brands and publishers that own their audiences are the only ones that survive."

Umm.... Buzzfeed's audience doesn't belong to FB. Neither does Upworthy's. Anyone can visit BuzzFeed.com without going thru FB. Anyone can receive an email link to BuzzFeed.com without FB. FB is just ANOTHER distribution method. It's a bonus, like search engines. Of course everyone wants to take advantage of it, if it's there. What the hell is this article even saying? Don't go to FB. It's an additional distribution method, that's all! Nobody is putting all their eggs in it.

Audience does belongs to FB. See upstream traffic report of Upworthy. Alexa [1] says 50% traffic is from FB.

[1] http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/upworthy.com

I think the author is mentioning sites like Viddy.com that completely fell off the map when FB began to devalue someone posting a link from viddy

That's quite a good news if that means less spam.

Well, that's some nice news, if mild. Cheers!

What should companies use instead of Facebook to reach users with small updates and the like?

What did companies do before facebook?

Struggle to reach potential customers. Are you really advocating for a return to the Yellow Pages and direct mail postcards?

As a consumer, yes. I don't need to be reached.

This is not about Facebook or not Facebook,this is about not put all your money into Facebook.Truth is,Facebook is doing fine,but advertisers are getting less and less for their money on Facebook.Facebook is not Google.Social networks eventually die and people go somewhere else.

I would love to know how Facebook could possibly die and what might replace it. Google+? Unlikely. It feels like it's somewhat unreachable. I'm sure that perhaps in 25 years time, something else will have replaced it but what and how, I would love to know.

I'm seeing a lot of baffling names on the Top 10 list.

What are all the aspirational car brands doing up there?

And Intel?

I doubt BMW or Intel is selling any more cars or chips because of facebook engagement.

Their products mostly sell themselves.

BMW products don't sell themselves, they are constantly advertised to push an image in your mind of their upscale luxury materialistic desirability.

The companies are pulled from Interbrand's top 100 Global Brands 2013, then sorted by Engagement on Facebook.

More info in the study we released last year: http://simplymeasured.com/blog/2013/07/23/facebook-study/ (click the 'Download' to get to the PDF, look at last page.)

I think what you're asking is, why care about these companies, when there isn't a single post that'll make a sale. The difference is the line between Advertising and Marketing... These are companies that had created content compelling enough to convince the public to engage with their Facebook Brand. They aren't there because they post the most, or because they spend the most... it's because their content engages the most.

And it's the companies that were the best that were hit hardest. While these companies certainly use advertising, their brands had been strong enough to sustain engagement numbers that make you pause, and wonder what the hell is Intel doing that gets people to like/share/comment their posts more than BMW, Harley-Davidson or Starbucks. But you're right... ALL of these products mostly sell themselves... because they've built such a brand that it's hard to imagine anyone making a decision to NOT buy their product.

"Aspirational" brands are the absolute best fit for Facebook because a major differentiating factor between them is social signalling.

For any practical use, the cars will do an equally good job. So am I a "BMW guy" or a "Mercedes guy"? Facebook is a great place to create and exhibit that sort of public identity.

And who cares except for the brands?

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