I was briefing a designer to insert a Facebook icon.
Our social media planner heard me say the now prolifically popular F word, and let out a mini-rant.
“Facebook. Always bloody Facebook.”
He finished his rant and I finished my briefing, but it had got me thinking.
Facebook is a worldwide phenomenon, courting the attentions of people in unrivalled measures. This stretches from the very succesful ‘The Social Network’ Hollywood film to daily, almost religious use by many.
Interestingly, there are now more Facebook users over 50 years old than there are under 16. Both of these demographics hold more than 2.4 million people, and rising.
These kind of stats are reason alone for holding Facebook up as a great social platform and an indisputable way to reach people.
The social media planner definitely does. I do. We all do.
But for this very reason, it is becoming increasingly flawed.
Don’t worry, there are still a good few more glory years for Mark Zuckerberg’s baby.
A client would be dumb not to see the promise in these facts and the many success stories so far.
However, Facebook needs to adapt to avoid becoming a BP sized oil spill in the sea of content that is the web.
As it grows in reach and use, suitable targeting becomes harder.
The company’s messaging is exponentially lost.
The more people talking, the fewer that can listen.
The less chance your brand has of being heard.
My mini feed is inundated with information.
10% of it is corporate. 90% is personal.
On top of that, we all admit to having Facebook ‘friends’ we would subtly scurry across on an amber to avoid having to talk to.
Therefore about 30% are relevant, 60% irrelevant.
That’s two-thirds of the personal content I’m skimming through.
Comparatively, I’m looking for fewer and fewer needles in a growing haystack.
The more that grows, the harder it is to make that 10% stand out.
It becomes friends vs. companies.
WPP’s Alexandr Orlov loses out to Dave, John, Stacey, and those 6 people you once met in Marbella.
With so much content on one page, Facebook ads get lost where they are.
Viral and consumer owned content will still thrive but there aren’t many brands that have that potential, and for much longer….
Therefore, Facebook needs to be able to suitably separate and target its users to avoid becoming advertising background like so many initiatives within the Internet.
Whether this is another annoying layout change to make the adverts worth their buck, or a subtle shift towards a more brand friendly environment.
Otherwise it won’t always be Facebook, bloody Facebook.