Since launching in 2004, Facebook has aimed to be a place where friends and family members can connect, find out what’s going on in the world and share what matters to them. Originally launched as a platform for university students, it took less than 12 months for Facebook to gain 1 million active users. Two years later the platform opened up to allow anyone to create a profile and their users quickly grew to 12 million. Since then the platform has been through numerous changes and as of June 18 had 1.47 billion daily active users and 2.23 billion monthly active users.
A big milestone for Facebook was in 2007 when the platform launched their self-service ads platform and pages. These changes enabled businesses to begin connecting with their audiences in a natural environment and showcase their products and services as adverts, without many customers actually realising these were adverts. This added feature then enabled the social network to grow to 58 million users, just 3 years after being launched by three college students. Other important dates for the platform include launching Facebook video in 2007, the like button in 2009, buying Instagram in 2012 and achieving 1 billion active users.
Is it all too good to be true?
Flash forward to 2018 and it seemed like the platform was finally experiencing issues. The Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed that 50 million accounts had been harvested to predict and influence choices for the presidential election. This was one of the biggest data breaches the platform had ever experienced and Mark Zuckerberg had questions to answer. The platform began to look at its data protection policies and gave it’s users the chance to find out how much data Facebook actually stored about them. The platforms stock fell drastically and many users woke up and either decided to not trust the platform and delete their profiles, or cut back on the information they were willing to share. Add this to the GDPR changes that occurred in Europe and the social network had one of the lowest amounts of growth it had ever seen.
All of this won’t stop the social giant as it appears businesses aren’t slowing down when it comes to adverting spend and the platform is still gaining new users every day. So with all that in mind, is it time your business gave up on Facebook, or is there still hope left?
Adapt your advertising
As we stated the platform has been through a lot of changes since their security breaches, users are now less inclined to share more information than necessary. This lack of data and changes the platform has made itself such as removing the ability to target by job function makes it more difficult to run certain adverts. However, you and your business can combat this by making sure your target audience is more specific in other ways. You can also use the Creative Hub to mockup your adverts, see how far your ad will reach and how well it will perform. With Facebook owning Instagram you can also target just users on Instagram which can be more beneficial if you use the shop functions on there.
Many accounts did and still do, use Facebook for raising brand awareness and creating customer loyalty. Your business might have moved onto new objectives such as lead generation or conversions, however, that shouldn’t mean your business should give up on engagement and encouraging loyalty with existing customers. Sharing regular content, encouraging reviews, running competitions, and engaging with activity can all help to do this.
Know your audience
As with many things, with Facebook, you get out what you give. What we mean here is that in order to get good things from Facebook you need to share good things. Understanding your audience and analytics can all help with this. Facebook analytics can show you when your audience is online, when and what they are engaging with and much more. You can then use this data to ensure the content you are sharing is what your audience wants to see and engage with, in order to get the best results.
Don’t just play it safe
Facebook has over 1.47 billion people log on every day looking for content and with over 70 million businesses all fighting for their attention, you can’t afford to just do the usual or share other people’s content, you need to create your own. Now many already do and if you aren’t already, it’s never been easier to do this. However, here are a few things to think about first:
- What’s your objective?
- Who’s your audience?
- What medium are you going to use?
- Have you or others done this before?
These questions can help you to create content which has a purpose and gets results. It’s also important to remember that just because you do one specific thing doesn’t mean you can only create content about that or that focuses on that. It’s important to think outside of the box, for example, if you sell men’s shoes, your content doesn’t only just need to be men’s shoes, you can also create content that showcases a full men’s look. This can be a good opportunity for you to create brand partnerships and to tap into other brands audiences.
Facebook isn’t going anywhere
Even though the platform is going through some big changes right now, we know it’s not going anywhere. Throughout 2018 users and businesses have adapted to the changes Facebook have made, and we predict more changes are yet to come. One of the biggest changes we predict is for more investment into Instagram, in order to grow that platform further and keep up with the needs of their users. In order to prepare for these changes, we suggest you regularly review your social media strategies, monitor your results and objectives and keep up to date with what’s happening on social media, by attending events, checking the news and personally making the most out of the platforms.