Facebook – Where Did Everybody Go?

Facebook – Where did everybody go? Contentworks takes a look at the shifting demographics of Facebook users. so, let’s start at the beginning.

Not so long ago, old people were old and young people were young. You were old if you were over 50, you were young if you weren’t. The places we go, the things we do are no longer clearly defined by our age. So, what are we doing? Well, for one, we’re both quitting and joining Facebook in our droves. BIG GASP!

Let’s look at the impact for businesses who have been using Facebook to drive revenue:

The Remainers

If you’re between 25 and 44 years old, 31.1 million of you are going nowhere, according to figures provided by Mark Sweney, media business correspondent at the Guardian in his recent article. Are they so busy building their new career, or keeping the wife/partner/kids/dogs /show on the road, that maintaining Facebook is all they can do on the social front?  Don’t forget that this is the generation who greeted Facebook when it launched back in 2004. “Social media users tend to gravitate towards the familiar. “ says Contentworks Director Charlotte Day. “These are the users who have grown up with Facebook, added all their friends and family to their network and rely on it for daily communication. Gen Z – Gen Alpha, that’s 1995 onwards never had the same relationship with Facebook.”

Key Takeaway – The Remainers

  • The Remainers are loyal and not as easily tempted to stray
  • They’ve grown up with Facebook and aren’t prepared to fake their own death to leave you.
  • Remainers may be interested in different products and services to leavers so check your offering.
  • Consider the language you are using to engage the more sophisticated tastes of these users

The Joiners

If you’re over 55 it’s likely you’re running as fast as you can towards the big blue F. But what took you so long? Facebook is now 14 years old and the joiners were younger when it launched! Have they finally realised it’s a brilliant way to keep up with the lives of their children and grandchildren? Richard Broughton, an analyst at Ampere provides an explanation: “Older people tend to be late to the internet party, but adoption tends to find its way through the demographics eventually. And with Facebook’s video and photo experience it is a platform they want to be on to keep up with the social lives of their kids and grandchildren.” In other words, they got to you in the end. Better late than never!

Key Takeaway – The Joiners

  • The joiners are on their way to making up one of the largest parts of the Facebook demographic. They’ve got time and money on their hands so they’re not to be forgotten in the mix.
  • The only problem is what if the very people they want to stay in touch with leave… Will they still stay?
  • Joiners may not enjoy overly complicated apps and may be more suspicious about entering contests of providing information
  • Consider the products you are promoting and the language you are using – will it resonate with the joiners?

The Leavers

Meanwhile back at the ranch, as Mark Zuckerberg’s social network popularity among the over-55’s grows, the kids have packed their things and are moving out. At first, they only threatened to leave whilst staying with their relative ‘Instagram, ‘an internet-based photo application allowing users to share pictures and videos either publicly, or privately to pre-approved followers. It’s a social media hit, with over 800 million Instagrammers, 200 million more than in December 2016, but is it enough to ward of the disrupters?

Key Takeaway – The Leavers

  • If it’s young people you’re marketing to, then Instagram is still one to watch out for
  • Snapchat, however, is certainly one to watch. The app has evolved from originally focusing on person-to-person photo sharing to featuring “Stories” of 24-hour chronological content, along with “Discover” to let brands show ad-supported short-form entertainment. Right up every teenager’s street. Make sure you’re living there too.
  • Leavers are more conscious about their data and how it’s being used by big brands so be aware of this
  • Diversify your offering onto Snapchat, Telegram and Instagram if your products are more suitable for this generation.

Facebook – Where Did Everybody Go? 

What We Always Knew

Last month, Facebook announced a major overhaul of its news feed algorithm to prioritise what friends and family share, while reducing the amount of non-advertising content from publishers and brands.

Zuckerberg has pledged to spend this year “making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent”. But is it too little too late? Is he ignoring an age-old fact of life that’s transcending the virtual world? It’s never going to be cool to hang out where your parents or grandparents hang out no matter what you do to the algorithm!

Key Takeaways from Contentworks

You can continue to market on Facebook – there are still millions of buyers to be found there. But your messaging may need to change.  If it’s the kids you want to reach then ad-supported, short-form entertainment like video and ephemeral (disappearing content) is the way forward. Mark I’m sure you’ve already taken note!

Before you start thinking or re-thinking your Facebook strategy remember this. In January 2018, Facebook revealed a $4.3bn profit for the final quarter of last year, a 61% year-on-year rise. Overall, Facebook remains the most popular social networking site in the US and the UK by some distance with 32.6 million total regular users this year.

To make the most of your Facebook content marketing strategy, and to drive results talk to us for outsourced content marketing solutions.

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