Despite all of the controversy surrounding Facebook, marketers are not leaving the platform. In fact, the number of US marketers using Facebook for marketing purposes increased slightly this year to 86.3%, according to eMarketer forecasts. A similar number of marketers are expected to continue to use Facebook next year.
Why Marketers Stick with Facebook
As noted in eMarketer’s Facebook’s 2018 Year in Review report, Facebook had a tumultuous year. The #DeleteFacebook movement gained traction after the platform fell victim to several scandals. However, social media activists are not representative of the general population, as evidenced by Facebook’s continued audience growth. eMarketer forecasts that the number of people who use Facebook per month in the US will grow from 166.2 million people in 2016 to 169.5 million in 2018.
Facebook has also gotten called into multiple congressional hearings for how it handled its user data. But advertisers aren’t pulling out. Estimates expect Facebook’s US digital ad revenues will increase from $12.2 billion in 2016 to $32.6 billion by 2020.
Regardless of how many congressional hearings it gets called into, Facebook still has a large audience, and advertisers keep using its products. A September 2018 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research report found that nearly nine in 10 US Fortune 500 companies have a public-facing Facebook page.
Despite the scandals, marketers still see Facebook as a highly effective advertising medium. It’s the largest social network in the world, so it doesn’t make sense for them to move off the platform. But user engagement is plateauing, so marketers are also looking at other platforms, particularly Instagram, to augment their social media marketing efforts.
Should Facebook Be Worried?
Through a turbulent year, Facebook has maintained a robust audience size and ad business. But signs of distrust are cropping up.
In an August 2018 survey of 1,079 adult US internet users conducted by Janrain, nearly one-third of respondents said that internet companies like Google and Facebook are the least trustworthy to protect personal data. And in an April 2018 survey of 2,772 adult US internet users by Recode, more than half of respondents said that Facebook is the company that they least trust with their personal information.