Video Killed the Facebook Link

So this is interesting.

BuzzSumo, a social content monitoring company, found that Facebook engagement for brands and publishers has fallen by 20% in 2017, in spite of increased spending on Facebook promotion overall. This was particularly true for shared links and images. Based on surveys to brands and publishers, BuzzSumo thinks that this is because organic reach is declining. 

Some of this could be happening because of more competition for attention, as the amount of content on FB is ever increasing. And some of it is no doubt caused by the algorithms, which Facebook is always tweaking.

The one place engagement is NOT falling? Video. Just in time for Facebook’s new Watch hub, designed to take on YouTube. It will feature videos of different lengths, from short videos to half-hour programs designed to compete with television shows. And, of course, plenty of opportunities for ads and sponsored content. Convenient, no?

As a lifelong bookworm, if I hear the phrase “pivot to video” one more time, I may scream. But video is everywhere. Snap is also “carving out a space for itself as a mobile-first, youth-focused digital video network.”* Even LinkedIn is doing it.

There is lots of good to be said for video, even from a skeptic like me. I’ve gone to more than one event with looks pulled entirely from YouTube how-to videos (for those of you less into hair and makeup, it means I watched lots of instructional videos and followed directions). But sometimes a girl just needs a list of ingredients, not a cute cooking video, dang it!

There’s also some interesting chicken-and-egg effect happening. Are people watching more video because they want to, or are they watching more video because it’s more visible than ever before? Or is it a little bit of both?            

By the way, if you do decide not to fight our Facebook video future, Buzzsumo does offer a handy list of best practices to get you started.

*I rolled my eyes pretty hard at that turn of phrase, but we’ve already covered that Snap makes me feel old.

About the author:
Tara Saylor is a communications manager by day, grad student by night and curious all the time. She is also a web nerd and recovering copywriter. Tara focuses on the channels that enable communication and using metrics to improve communication effectiveness. She tweets about communication and combines as @AnokheeTara.