In Defense of Facebook

28 Aug


There is a whole universe of marketers who make their living by selling their wares on Facebook- or finding the best algorithm to sell one’s wares on Facebook. So the livelihoods of many depend on the continuing popularity- nay, supremacy- of the social network. So a few weeks ago when a young 13 year old wrote I I’m 13 and none of my friends are on Facebook, many digital marketing pros sat up and took notice. Has Facebook reached peak profile, and if so, does it even matter?

Some say that even if teenagers are no longer using Facebook because of its popularity with the over 50-set, well, the over 50s have disposable income, so why not embrace the fact that Facebook is now skewing older? While that may be an argument, it’s a weak one, and doesn’t address the fact that without young users, Facebook loses caché…which is what lead to MySpace’s downfall. Remember MySpace?

I think that marketers would be wise to think of more than just Facebook when they think of social media marketing. And yet Facebook remains the 800 pound gorilla in the room. LinkedIn may be for the college-educated pro, Twitter may be for the technorati, but Facebook is still used by pretty much everybody. Ask someone if they’re on LinkedIn, and if they say no, well, no big deal. But have you ever met someone who is not on Facebook? It seems rather odd, like someone admitting to still using a typewriter or rotary phone. The lifeblood of any social network is people; without people you want to connect to, you’re sending your voice out across an empty void. We may be getting post-literate and living in an increasingly image-centric world (I am one of the last holdouts staying away from Instagram and Snapchat, which are purely image-driven), but for the time being, as long as Facebook is where our friends are found (and yes, even our annoying Great-Aunt who loves conspiracy theories), it is where we will spend our time. And it is where marketers should stay, for now at least.

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