In the evolving digital landscape, social media has emerged as a dominant platform for businesses to connect with their audience and boost brand visibility. However, recent data indicates an interesting trend – a gradual decline in social media reach across all major platforms. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what reach is and the decrease in each social media platform.
What is Reach?
Social media reach is the number of unique viewers who have seen your content (Reach will consider three views from the same individual as one, rather than counting each view as a unique view.). Unlike followers or impressions, the metric gives you an accurate count of viewers who has seen your content. This allows you to estimate the size of your real audience.
Reach can provide useful information, such as the real number of active followers, the impact of your partnerships with influencers and other brands, and the interest generated around your online events. Reach allows users to monitor the effectiveness of their campaigns in real-time. This feature enables them to make timely adjustments before it’s too late.
When evaluating the performance of your content, reach provides a more accurate representation compared to other metrics like impressions. This is because reach only considers each individual once, regardless of the number of times they have viewed your content.
Instagram and Facebook Reach
Both social media platforms owned by Meta have seen a steady decrease in reach over the last 3 years, and it seems this trend will continue for a while.
There are several possible reasons contributing to this decline, such as the saturation of content on these platforms, overwhelming amount of posts, updates, and ads, users may have less time to use social media platforms due to their personal lives and the shift in user demographics and preferences.
Despite these challenges, Meta is continually working on strategies to improve organic reach on its platforms, such as developing targeted content strategies and enhancing user engagement.
When comparing the two, numerous social media studies have highlighted Instagram’s superior performance over Facebook in recent years. Instagram has shown to be the better choice for marketing purposes, with healthier reach, engagement, and other key performance indicators (KPIs).
According to recent data, in 2023, Instagram’s average reach engagement is 4.20%, whereas Facebook only reaches a maximum average of 1.90%. Also, in 2021, Instagram had an average reach rate of 13.90%, while Facebook’s average reach rate was only 6.53%. Unfortunately, as seen in the graph below, Instagram and Facebook reach has decreased yearly without no signs of stopping.
It’s worth noting that Instagram consistently boasts higher engagement rates than Facebook. Regardless of how marketers analyse engagement, Instagram should be their top choice when selecting between the two platforms.
TikTok has become the quickest-growing social media platform and a high-performing marketing channel for certain industries. While Gen Z users make up the largest consumer base on the platform, TikTok has expanded its appeal to a diverse range of audiences beyond just Gen Z.
TikTok calculates engagement differently from other social media platforms being a video-exclusive social network. TikTok calculates engagement based on video views rather than depending on the number of followers. For a TikTok video to count as a view, it must be played for at least three seconds. Data has confirmed that other social networks’ user bases are gradually transitioning towards TikTok-style video content.
When it comes to reach rates, TikTok performed well among its competitors. In 2022, TikTok had an average engagement rate by views of 6.73%. Although the TikTok engagement rate experienced a slight decline in 2021, it has since changed course and is now on an upward trajectory.
TikTok is the most popular video social media network, with an average watch rate of 16.23%. Smaller businesses with limited marketing budgets can leverage this opportunity to improve brand recognition and gain significant visibility. One effective method to increase TikTok reach is by mentioning another user’s handle in a video. As seen in the graph below, mentioning another creator improves watch rate and reach.
Twitter and many other social media companies employ “black box” algorithms that keep their inner workings secret from users. These algorithms employ machine learning techniques to prioritise content based on various ranking signals.
The rate of engagement on Twitter has fluctuated throughout the years. Unfortunately, Twitter currently has the lowest average engagement rate at 0.11%. Despite the fact that most industries post approximately 3.91 tweets per week, Twitter’s reach engagement rate remains relatively low, indicating that the platform does not share tweets with new audiences often.
Here’s a chart that displays the Twitter Engagement Rate over the past year. As you may notice, the monthly average tends to fluctuate, which is why it’s crucial to compare your Twitter performance to the monthly average.
The organic reach on LinkedIn has significantly decreased. LinkedIn is now giving more priority to LinkedIn Ads, internal promotions, LinkedIn Influencers, content from their internal editorial team, and publishing partners. As a result, user-generated content needs to work harder to achieve the same reach as before.
LinkedIn has significantly decreased the effectiveness of user-generated content in favour of other content types. LinkedIn has achieved this by re-prioritisation of content types and higher engagement-rate thresholds.
This means the platform will prioritise ads and people users already follow in their newsfeeds. There appears to be no clear bias towards any particular type of content, be it text-based, photo-based, video-based, or document-based. Also, if your post doesn’t get enough engagement in a certain amount of time or does not have a good amount of likes, reactions, comments, and shares, it will not spread to other LinkedIn users.
It’s still possible to achieve amazing results through content marketing on LinkedIn as long as you approach it strategically.
How to Counteract the Decline in Reach
To counteract the decline in social media reach, businesses should focus on creating personalised content for their target audiences. This can be done by regularly engaging with their customers through poll questions, surveys, and feedback forms. Additionally, businesses should measure the success of each post using analytics tools as well as experiment with different content types such as videos. Videos attract more attention as they are easier to digest. Therefore, altering the type of content can significantly impact a business’s social media performance. Lastly, companies can boost their visibility by using advertisements on social platforms. Social platforms will prioritise advertisements over any other form of content, meaning your post will be seen by audiences.
If you are searching for a social media marketing strategy, we highly recommend contacting our experts at Odyssey New Media. We are well-known for our exceptional expertise in this field and can help you maximise your online presence through various social media platforms.
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