22 Facebook Statistics that Every Marketer Must Know in 2017

Brad Smith

Size matters online.

Here’s why:

At the start of 2017, more than 65 million local businesses had a Facebook page.

Because bigger and better.

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There’s no shortage of Facebook case studies to follow (or copy).

But with great amounts of case studies comes great amounts of migraines.

So skip the series of Google searches.

In this article, you’ll find the 22 Facebook statistics that you absolutely can’t-do your job without.

These stats will cover everything you need to know before you launch your next campaign, from audience demographics to Relevance Score to ad engagement. Curious to see them all? Here they are:

  1. At the start of 2017, more than 65 million local businesses had a Facebook page.
  2. 79% of online adults use Facebook.
  3. 42% of consumers do not follow brands on social media.
  4. 42.2% of people like or follow a page so they can get an exclusive offer.
  5. Every Facebook user has more than 1,500 stories competing for a spot in their newsfeed at any given time.
  6. However, only about 300 of those stories are chosen to appear in the newsfeed.
  7. 40.5% of people say they prefer ads that are directly related to their interests.
  8. Ads with a Relevance Score of 3 cost about 73% more than those with a score of 8.
  9. They are 167% more expensive than ads with a score of 10.
  10. Ads with a score of 8 have a 77% higher CTR than those with a score of 3.
  11. Ads with a score of 10 have a 158% higher CTR than those with a score of 3
  12. 34.7% of people who unfollow a brand on Facebook do so because of low-personality or uninteresting posts.
  13. 57.5% of people who unfollow a brand do so because of an excessive amount of promotional posts.
  14. Shorter Facebook posts get 23% more interaction than longer posts.
  15. Posts with photos receive 179% more engagements than other posts.
  16. Videos are the most shared post type, with 89.5 average Facebook shares
  17. The average number of videos posted by a page was 24 per month.
  18. The average length of a Facebook video was 3 minutes and 48 seconds.
  19. The average person only watched a Facebook video for10 seconds.
  20. 85% of Facebook videos are watched with the sound turned off.
  21. People are 1.5x more likely to watch video on a smartphone instead of a desktop.
  22. Square video takes up 78% more space in a mobile newsfeed than landscape video does.

You can Jump straight to the one that picks your curiosity or keep reading! We’ve got one down and another 21 Facebook stats to go.

Facebook Users: Who is on your page?

Who exactly is on Facebook, to begin with?

The easy answer is pretty much everyone. Here are a few Facebook user statistics that may surprise you.

79% of online adults use Facebook

For every five adults who use the internet, four of them are using it to check Facebook. This should give you a good idea of how many people are on Facebook. In a recent study, the Pew Research Center goes on to break things down a bit:

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So, that’s the thorough answer to our prelim question.

But of course, all these people don’t like your business page specifically. Which has more to do with them than you.

42% of consumers do not follow brands on social media.

Some people just aren’t very liberal with their likes. Many of us tune out messages from brands we don’t recognize.

But that doesn’t mean you can give up. We’ll talk more about how to reach this group later.

First, let’s explore why your loyal fans clicked Like in the first place.

42.2% of people like or follow a page so they can get an exclusive offer.

They say it because it’s true.

Offering incentives to customers, like special deals for Facebook fans or access to online contests, increases your number of likes.

But that’s not the only way to attract fresh faces to your page. There are plenty of other things you can try, too.

Ever put up a winning post that really spoke to people?

Ever felt a small part of yourself perish as that post moved further down the page due to new posts taking up the top spot?

Well, get ready for a good old-fashioned resurrection.

Try pinning your greatest post to the top of your Facebook page, so new visitors will always see it.

Hubspot’s Facebook page pinned a fun video that really grabs a visitor’s attention:

Your whole goal with new visitors is to get something out of them.

You need a click, comment, like, or view. (Because you can use that to re-target them later.)

Pinning top content is literally the lowest hanging fruit you can imagine.

And the longer the post stays pinned to the top of the page, the more those numbers will grow.

Faking social proof at its finest.

Pinning posts can get newbies engaged with your cream-of-the-crop content straight away. But how do you draw said newbies in the first place?

Like a moth to a flame or a blinding light? (Except, without the whole bang, zap, dead, part.)

As the numbers said, many people hesitate to like a brand at all.

You can combat this by running your best ads for the people who need them most. Or, at least, are most likely to need them most. Lookalike audiences.

These are tailor-made Facebook audiences made up of people who share important traits with your current fanbase. The only major difference is that they’ve yet to take the plunge.

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With lookalike audiences, you’re not targeting randoms who’ve never heard of you. You’re only targeting customers who are likely to be interested in your product.

You can stand out to these people right away by acknowledging the fact that they may have no idea who you are. Yet. 

Fashion company Tobi does this well:

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(Yes, I’m up with the fashion game. Don’t judge me.)

This ad displays another great benefit of lookalike audiences: you can use them to offer exclusives only to the hard-to-get leads you’re trying to draw in.

Facebook Demographics: Who finds your ads relevant?

If you had 1,500 emails in your inbox, you wouldn’t answer all of them.

I know I wouldn’t. The delete button would be soon to follow.

If you did want to answer some of them, you’d prioritize. You would answer the emails that were most important to you and ignore the rest.

And then you would take a very long vacation.

The moral of that story is that Facebook is a lot like you. It thinks in terms of importance, or relevance.

And it won’t bother a user with an irrelevant post.

Every Facebook user has more than 1,500 stories competing for a spot in their newsfeed at any given time.

That’s a lot. Right? Too many, in fact.

Which is why…

However, only about 300 of those stories are chosen to appear in the newsfeed.

Those 300 are the “relevant” posts, according to the Facebook algorithm.

But that word “relevant”… what exactly does it mean in Facebook-speak?

Many many things. For starters, it means an ad or post is connected to someone’s interests.

Why does that matter?

40.5% of people say they prefer ads that are directly related to their interests.

That’s more than double the amount who would prefer to see unrelated ads.

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When people see ads that speak to what they care about, they engage.

And engagement matters on Facebook.

It increases your ad’s Relevance Score, for starters.

A higher Relevance Score means you’re paying less for engagement with your ad.

But how much less? Get ready for a data-dump:

Ads with a Relevance Score of 3 cost about 73% more than those with a score of 8

(Much too much.)

They are 167% more expensive than ads with a score of 10

(Multiply that against your Cost Per Lead.)

Ads with a score of 8 have a 77% higher CTR than those with a score of 3

(Getting warmer.)

Ads with a score of 10 have a 158% higher CTR than those with a score of 3

 

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As you can see from the graph above, even one extra point can increase CTR significantly.

So how do you increase your Relevance Score?

First, check what your Relevance Score is in the first place. It could be 10, for all you know.

It could also be less than 10. A lot less. (It’s most likely a lot less than 10.)

And if it’s lower than you were hoping, your next step is to ask why.

Don’t assume that Relevance Score is a direct reflection of your ad copy. Even the best-written ad can get a low score if it’s run for too broad of an audience.

Exhibit A: this ad.

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When we ran this ad for a broad audience, Facebook gave it a whole 2.9 points.

Little did the folks at Facebook know we were testing them.

And the test continued when we narrowed down the audience. Now, the ad only ran for users who had visited the our site in the past 90 days.

And the results were dramatic.

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The Facebook custom audience increased the ad’s relevance across the board.

One of the reasons Facebook custom audiences work so well is because they allow you to make your ads more specific.

People don’t like to be treated like a name on a giant list. By narrowing down your audiences, you can say specific things in your ad that only apply to a small group.

You gots to segment.

The result: an ad that speaks to an individual and not the whole wide world.

Here’s an example from Best Buy:

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This ad retargets customers who abandoned their cart. It’s giving them the final push they need to convert. It’s not generic. And that’s what makes it effective.

Great tactic, but unfortunately, not all of your ads will be retargeting ads like this one. In these cases, it’s helpful to have buyer personas.

Good buyer personas. Detailed buyer personas.

Try filling out this very detailed template from Blogger Sidekick to see if your buyer persona has what it takes:

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Know your customers better than you know yourself. Turn bits and pieces of basic info into a guide on that customer’s feelings and thought process during the buyer’s journey.

Those feelings could be very different for your different personas. Use that to your advantage.

By playing to those unique feelings in each ad, you can create a campaign that’s relevant from start to finish.

Facebook Ads: What makes an ad interesting?

There are two sides to every Like button.

When someone clicks the Like button the first time, that means Like.

But when they click it a second time, that means Unlike.

Confuses me too.

Convincing customers to Like your page is a day one thing. Convincing them not to unlike your page is an every other day thing.

34.7% of people who unfollow a brand on Facebook do so because of low-personality or uninteresting posts

(Show some sass, people.)

57.5% of people who unfollow a brand do so because of an excessive amount of promotional posts

That’s why it’s your job to make every post and every ad as interesting as possible.

Easier said than done? A little bit. Not everyone will find the same posts interesting.

That said, there are some tricks that’ll never fail you. That’s why cliche sayings like “less is more” exist.

Speaking of which:

 Shorter Facebook posts get 23% more interaction than longer posts.

If interaction measures how interesting a post is, the results are unanimous. Longer posts just aren’t as interesting as shorter ones.

TrackSocial quantified this in a recent study. The graph below illustrates their findings.

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Note the 1500+ point difference in response score between “tiny” posts (0 to 70 characters) and “large” posts (231 characters or more).

70 characters may seem a little light. But with the right words, you can keep all the important info in your content while cutting half the characters.

Start by editing out unnecessary words. For example, change “you can submit your application online” to “apply online.” Anywhere you can cut a word, get snipping.

(Meet concision: the most important lesson you’ve never learned.)

Meanwhile, you can also make your posts more interesting by posting about the things people are already interested in.

Create content that relates to your business and a trending topic.

There won’t be a clear connection between your company and every trending topic, but when there is it, take advantage of the opportunity before it slips away.

For example, Target doesn’t make a specific post for every individual product they sell. However, they do highlight products that they know people care about, like Taylor Swift’s new album:

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(Yes, I’m also a Swiftie. Quit hating.)

It can be tricky to figure out what to post. But thankfully, it isn’t tricky to figure out if you failed or not. If something isn’t getting the engagement, move that strategy to trash and switch it out with some surefire ways to make your posts interesting.

Chances are, you’re already familiar with some of them. For example, you know to post pictures when you can.

Posts with photos receive 179% more engagements than other posts.

However, videos still reign supreme.

Facebook Videos: How popular are they?

Let numbers talk the talk.

Videos are the most shared post type, with 89.5 average Facebook shares.

Of course, videos are complicated. They deserve their own subset of stats.

That subset is brought to you by Business 2 Community. They analyzed 500 pages that posted Facebook videos in the first three months of 2017.

Here’s what they found:

The average number of videos posted by a page was 24 per month.

The average length of a Facebook video was 3 minutes and 48 seconds.

The average person only watched a Facebook video for 10 seconds.

So Facebookers are missing a good deal of these videos.

Lengthwise. And sound-wise.

85% of Facebook videos are watched with the sound turned off.

Consumers are watching your video during college classes and office meetings, after all. Having the sound on would just be rude.
And very conspicuous.

Desktops tend to be conspicuous as well, which is why so many of us watch Facebook videos on our phones:

People are 1.5x more likely to watch video on a smartphone instead of a desktop.

In light of that last handful of stats, check out these best practices to spice up your next video post.

First things first: optimize for mobile.

The Jane Goodall Institute recently ran a test on their Facebook page to find out which mobile video format sparked the most engagement. They created the same video in both square and landscape formats, and then they tested them against each other.

The square video won this round. By what we like to call “a landslide.”

It received twice the likes and thrice the shares as the landscape video.

Square video takes up 78% more space in a mobile newsfeed than landscape video does.

Here’s an eye-catching square video from New Scientist:

 

Make sure your video has enough space to shine in the newsfeed by putting it in a square format.

Now that you’ve got the format covered, it’s time to talk about time.

You don’t want your fans to miss the best part of your video. And they probably will, if they’re scrolling away with more than three minutes to go.

Just as text posts are best kept short, shaving time off your video is essential to getting your entire message across.

Don’t tackle too many things at once, though. Focus on one story per video to make sure your viewers actually watch it until the credits roll.

Toms has mastered this concept. Every so often, their page posts a “We Are What We Do” video. These videos provide short stories about one person who relates to the company:

Typically, they’re short. As in, 15-seconds-short.

One of the ways Toms keeps the videos so short is by including the bare minimum of info in the video. Then, they link to explanatory pages in the text part of the post:

Note that they also include a quote in this area, instead of including the quote only in the video. This way, Toms makes sure that even the people who watched without sound will see the quote.

You may also choose to include subtitles in your video.

Finding the right font, font size, and font color to ensure your subtitles are legible can be tricky. One way to get around this is to leave a space for subtitles at the bottom of the screen, like this CollegeHumor video does:

 

As a result, the subtitles are easily visible and the message of the video is clear.

Even to those viewers stuck in a boring meeting.

Conclusion

Facebook has obviously become essential. But that means there’s more competition for the same eyeballs, too.

Start adjusting your strategy now to stay ahead of the game. Now that you know the numbers, you know how you can get them on your side.

Use pinned posts and lookalike audiences to encourage unfamiliar users to like your page. Increase your Relevance Score with target audiences and buyer personas. Avoid Unlikes by including videos, trending topics, and as few words as possible in your posts.

The Facebook stats are already out there. They’re not just for pretty infographics or automated tweets.

They’re to inform. They’re to guide your decision-making and strategies.

So that you do exactly what people are interested in to get more of what you’re interested in.