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.
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.