Interview: Exploring Data Science at Brandwatch with Hamish Morgan
By Olivia SwainAug 23
Published July 17th 2014
When we think about the many social media platforms that have sprouted up within just the past decade, and those that have vanished in that same amount of time, there are still a handful of networks that have stuck around for the long term.
Facebook, the most popular platform by far, has seen massive growth ever since its introduction in 2004, when it was aimed primarily for college students.
Now analysts are keen to say that Facebook is too big to sustain itself, and that the plethora of other, more specialized options are enticing users away toward content that they prefer to look at on a daily basis.
But is that true? Is Facebook slowly fading out of the picture as MySpace once did to the point where it’s become a marketing dead zone? Is it still a viable place to promote a brand?
To a great degree, Facebook has taken the place of actual face-to-face human contact. It’s made personal communication and conversation almost redundant in the minds of many people.
A sizable amount of people have reported that they actually feel lonelier and more isolated than connected.
Still, Facebook still has over a billion (with a b) users connecting at least once a month. At this time, it may be too early to be completely accurate about Facebook’s demise.
Since its inception, Facebook has become so popular, so ubiquitous, companies have had to scramble to develop marketing strategies that complement its realm, including mobile marketing.
That kind of activity is still going on today in full force, and Facebook’s actions seem to point the trend in both directions for the time being. On the one hand, you have stronger algorithms to target ads towards a users browsing preferences not just on Facebook but the internet at large, as well as greater visibility for sponsored posts.
On the other hand, smaller businesses have been forced to reconstruct their Facebook pages entirely due to a new structure that requires them to pay Facebook money per post to have their information distributed to more than just a percentage of total followers.
Is it too late to build a Facebook marketing strategy?
This is a question that’s probably too fluid to garner hard answers. Some suggest that in the United States, Facebook may have hit a saturation point, with younger users drifting toward other social networks like Instagram, Google +, and Twitter.
In Asia -and the rest of the world- however, user growth is still on the rise, with Facebook management and marketers scrambling to design new gameplans to accommodate that growth and capture those demographics.
Here’s the thing though, if you’ll permit me to repeat myself: Facebook has over a billion unique users each month.
Forget demographics; forget market studies – if you can disseminate the right message among Facebook followers, people will talk about and share your content, and it will find its way into the hands of more and more users.
Of course, there has to be a downside to that kind of saturation as well, and there is. With those billions of users comes thousands if not more businesses and other professionals, all trying to do that same thing that you’re wondering if you should do.
Facebook users are so used to scrolling past ads and marketing posts thinly disguised as content that standard measures simply have a low probability of working on the average Facebook user.Facebook can be a goldmine when it comes to the number of people who might see your content, but it will take something truly unique and special to catch the attention of a whale that large.
Should you still be strategizing for Facebook?
Certainly while there are so many people still using the site regularly. If it’s more important for you to create a true sense of buzz among users, you might be better served targeting a smaller, more receptive group of consumers on a different social network.