Posted November 15, 2013 5:23 pm by with 2 comments

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Brr. . . it’s getting cold out there. Which means more people are spending more time in the house. . . and online. . . and on Facebook. Right?

Maybe not. Expion says that many Facebook users, both individuals and brands, suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This is a form of depression that leaves people feeling tired and uninterested in things that normally make them happy. Some say the disorder is trigger by the lack of natural sunlight while others say it could go back to our caveman days when food was scarce in the winter so we had to conserve our energy.

I say, depression of any kind is a serious medical problem, so instead of calling this SAD, let’s just say that Facebook users suffer from the wintertime blues.

wintertime blueswintertime blues 2

I’m going to be honest and say, I’m not sure I see the point Expion is trying to make but here goes. . .
Facebook suffers from the winter blues 

Historically, both Company Posts and Fan Engagement decline during winter, and it appears the trend will continue in 2014

Despite the consistent increase in fan acquisition (Lifetime Total Fans), Fan Actions peaked Fall 2012 (September 22 – December 21) and have continually declined, but Company Posts didn’t peak until Summer 2013.

Compared to last year, Fall 2013 (to-date*) posts and engagement are significantly down

Fall 2013 has seen 16% more company posts, but 38% fewer Fan Actions compared to Fall 2012 – 47% decrease in Fan Actions per Post – and we’re nearly 2/3 through the season

When I look at these charts, I get that it’s not so much a seasonal thing as it is an overall fading interest in Facebook.

On the brand side, I know several people who are ready to walk away from Facebook because building an audience there is harder than ever. If you didn’t have a solid group of followers a year ago, it’s nearly impossible to gather that group now.

On the personal side, I do believe there’s a classic winter ennui that keeps people from posting and responding.

Is there anything online marketers can do to combat the blues? You could try posting contests and great coupons – or just wait it out. By Valentine’s Day everyone will be posting, liking and commenting again.

  • Hi Cynthia,

    Thanks for the post. By looking at the charts, I also only see an overall decrease in Facebook usage. I think it would be difficult to really measure whether SAD is really the contributing factor. New social media platforms are being created constantly and people are moving to the social media platform of their preference. Fall is also peak holiday season, and folks may not have as much time as they usually do to be spending on Facebook.

  • Miguel Fernández

    Indeed an interesting point of view Cyntia!

    I also could see that interactions are falling. I was asking if the new “Story Bupm” and “Last actor” algorithms have something to do….

    I could not find this graphics/post in Expion. Where can I find them?