Now, I don’t make a secret of not being in the ‘first flush of youth’ – I think ‘middle aged’ or ’50 something’ covers my age profile well enough – but like many who share my profile, I’m pretty active on social media.
I check in on Facebook every day – multiple times, usually – for my business and socially, and use Twitter and LinkedIn for business (albeit to a much lesser degree). To be honest, I’ve not embraced some of the newer platforms – Pinterest, Google+, Instagram and so forth – and tend to focus on ‘the big three’ – and from what I can see I’m not alone.
But, as a marketing specialist, I can’t tell you how many clients I talk to whose decisions about media choices are heavily influenced by one, or both, of the following thought processes …
- My customers aren’t on Facebook – it’s for youngsters
- I hate social media – I don’t give a damn about what you had for breakfast
And both of these display a massive ignorance of both the facts and the massive potential Facebook (in particular) and social media (in general) offers pretty much every business in today’s market. I can’t think of any other media that would be so viewed so dismissively by so many, without reference to the facts.
So, what are the facts?
Facebook now encompasses the BIGGEST database in the world. In 2013, worldwide, Facebook boasted a database of 1.23 billion users and 757 million of these logged on to facebook daily. Back in just 2008, the number of worldwide users was 145 million.
In some more recent stats, in the third quarter 2015 showed Facebook users logging on at least monthly at 1.55 billion. Growth in users is at 15% or more each year.
And in the UK in 2013 …
- There were 38 million Facebook users – 61% of the population – compared to under 10 million Twitter users
- 38% were under age 25
- 25% were 25 to 35
- 37% were 45 and over
- 51% were women
It’s true that lower age groups show higher levels of penetration …
- 83% of 12 – 17 year olds
- 89% of 18 to 24 year olds
- 81% of 25 to 34 year olds
- 70% of 35 to 44 year olds
- 53% of 45 to 54 year olds
- And 50% of 55 to 64 year olds
It’s a money making machine …
Facebook was initially dismissed as a ‘fad’ and people couldn’t see how it could be monetised. By the end of 2014, Facebook had earned $12.47 billion with approx 80% of this coming from advertising revenues.
The main reason for this growth is that Facebook can demonstrate real results – the entire advertising machine setup means that you can see at a glance what’s working and what’s not there’s nothing woolly about FB ad results. The new ‘Lead Ads’ option introduced in 2015 (where users don’t need to leave Facebook to ‘sign up’ for offers) is likely to make results even more impressive for many advertisers.
Apart from the age and sex demographics, Facebook knows A LOT about its users – where they live, their interests, relationship status, what they ‘like’, what they’re browsing, etc, etc, etc. The opportunities for targeting specific users are simply awesome.
Not surprisingly once they’ve experienced what Facebook can do with delivering on results, many businesses are committing more budget to this media. It’s true that iot won’t work universally as well for every business type, but the range of advertising objective options makes it likely there is some benefit available to the majority of businesses – it certainly warrants worth further investigation.
So, for those of you who think it’s all about 20 somethings discussing their cool breakfast choices and drunken escapades with their mates, you need to think again.
When asked in a recent television interview what my prediction for 2016 was, I said without hesitation, that we would see a LOT more businesses using online advertising and Facebook advertising in particular. (see the interview here – 49 seconds in>>)
If you want to be one of the businesses that understands how they can access your target customers via this giant, super-targeted database, then I strongly suggest you find out more about how Facebook advertising can work for you.
And if you’d prefer to stick to your guns and believe Facebook isn’t relevant to your business, genuinely, it’s not a problem … your competitors, however, may take a different view!