Brands on Facebook posted more frequently during the first quarter of 2015 in an attempt to combat declining organic reach, while Periscope is starting to pull away from Meerkat in the live video-streaming sector, according to the latest research from Adobe Digital Index.
ADI analyzed 490 billion Facebook post impressions; 525 billion ad impressions from search engines Google, Yahoo and Bing; and 2 million mentions of social streaming applications between the first quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015.
Overall Facebook posting by brands was up 31 percent in the first quarter of 2015 compared with the year-ago period, but down slightly versus the fourth quarter of 2014, ADI found, adding that organic impressions were down 35 percent year-over-year, while paid impressions rose 8 percent over the same time period.
Post interaction rates were down across-the-board when looking at brands on Facebook by sector during the first quarter, and ADI principal analyst Tamara Gaffney pointed out in an interview with SocialTimes that retailers have weathered the storm better than other sectors, either due to quicker adjustments or better treatment by Facebook’s News Feed algorithm.
Gaffney also mentioned that the travel sector was hit particularly hard, which she found surprising due to the visual nature of most posts from that industry.
She added that text-only status updates have seen declines, partially due to the explosion in mobile devices being used to access Facebook, and partially due to the News Feed algorithm.
And on links, Gaffney said attribution has always been one of social media’s biggest challenges for advertisers, and Facebook is beginning to show up more often due to these types of posts.
ADI analyst Joe Martin said of the first-quarter Facebook findings:
These results show just how much control Facebook has on its platform in terms of content that performs well and content that does not. Marketers that want to be successful on the platform need to be nimble in switching their strategies with every algorithm update.
As for real-time streaming apps Meerkat and Periscope, Gaffney gave the edge to the latter, saying that ADI is able to track the number of times each app is mentioned via the Twitter firehose, and pointing to the surge by Periscope since its launch at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, in the middle of last month.
ADI said Meerkat is averaging the most social usage since March 1, but Periscope caught fire mid-month, and Gaffney added:
The challenge for marketers is trying to figure out how to get into these new things. There is a big opportunity for influencers. The next question is going to be: Who will the influencers be, and what will the big topics be?
Gaming is a big opportunity. It’s going to be an interesting year for this type of technology.
For marketers who are trying to keep the pulse on new platforms and opportunities, live-streaming might be something to keep an eye on. Meerkat and Periscope are two newbies worth watching.
Readers: What did you think of ADI’s findings for the first quarter of 2015?