Marketing Dilemma: Is It Time to Give Up Facebook?

Leading social platform Meta has recorded a decline in revenue for three consecutive quarters since 2022, along with a slowdown in user growth. Recently, some businesses have been considering whether they should abandon Facebook as the focus of their future online marketing strategy, or even stop updating Facebook altogether.

Originally published by MORE Digital, this article will look into the discussion from a marketing expert perspective. If you are a part of the marketing team and your boss, colleagues, or clients have the same doubts, don’t miss out!

According to MORE Digital‘s observations, clients such as property developers, insurance companies, government departments, etc. started to allocate more budget to Instagram content and advertising in 2021. 

However, as of now, the majority of clients still adopt a mirror content approach, which means publishing the same content on both Facebook and Instagram is still the mainstream practice.

Some Business Considerations

Under ideal circumstances with abundant resources, it would be best to create customised content for each platform. However, this often requires additional resources (including manpower and advertising costs). Therefore, in reality, most clients’ Instagram posts are the same as their Facebook posts, but they create separate Instagram Stories or Reels.

It’s important to note that even if you adopt customised content, performance is not necessarily better; content quality is still the most crucial factor. Excellent content and interesting topics can often achieve a good response on all platforms.

Adapting Facebook contents to other social platforms is still the mainstream practice.

Looking at Unignorable User Habits

If we need to check a company or shop’s announcements, opening hours, etc., we tend to look more on Facebook. The reasons behind this are: 

  • Information on Facebook is better organised and clearer than on Instagram
  • Content can be searched on Facebook pages, while on Instagram, specific posts within a particular account cannot be searched

Think about it, when you’re at work, do you open Facebook or Instagram more often on your computer? Where have you read the recent heated discussions about documentaries, on Facebook or somewhere else?

Moreover, if you want to visit a physical store that doesn’t have a website, would you search for its address, products, and promotions more on Facebook or Instagram?

Even if you think fewer people are checking Facebook, having an extra channel to publish content doesn’t seem to have any significant downsides. It simply increases the chance of content exposure (of course, you might need to spend some time managing comments and messages).

Looking at the Big Data

Take Hong Kong as an example:

According to data from Meta’s Ads Manager, excluding foreigners, the total number of Facebook users in Hong Kong is about 3,700,000-4,300,000, while the total number of Instagram users is 2,900,000-3,400,000.

Compared to one or two years ago, the difference in user numbers of the two platforms have become closer. However, the numbers in Ads Manager only account for the number of users that can be targeted by ads, and do not show their activity levels or the time they spend on the platforms. Nevertheless, from this data, we can see that Facebook still leads in user numbers and remains an unignorable social media platform in the Hong Kong market.

People tend to look for company information and news on Facebook pages rather than Instagram.

Marketing Expert's Views

The captioned question was actually raised by MORE Digital‘s clients, and the discussion basically repeats itself every year. The social media landscape changes incredibly quickly.

Do you still remember the discussions that once appeared:

  • “MeWe replacing Facebook”
  • “Everyone abandons WhatsApp for Signal”
  • “The rise of Clubhouse brings the trend of audio social platforms” etc.

Everyone in 2023 should be aware of the subsequent developments of these stories, right? We can perhaps be grateful that, aside from legal and political factors, social media platforms generally do not disappear overnight. So when observing changes, there’s no need to rush, because many times you are more likely to “move too fast” rather than “seize the opportunity early”.

That said, Facebook has gone from being a leading social media platform to simply copying popular features from other platforms (Snapchat’s Story, TikTok’s Reels etc.). After the rise of the metaverse concept, Meta has invested a lot of resources, but besides the half-body Avatar that everyone mocks, can you remember anything else Meta has done?

Picture of Rem Chiu, Co-Founder of MORE Digital

Rem Chiu, Co-Founder of MORE Digital

Ms. Rem Chiu is the Co-Founder of MORE Digital, and has over 10 years experience in Digital Marketing. Rem and her team specialize in helping brands to maximize exposure, building awareness, reaching potential customers and increasing revenues via digital marketing solutions. Their existing clients include Property Developers, Shopping Malls and Global Brands.

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