Over the past few years you may have noticed the increasing number of ads on Facebook. What used to be land of your best friend’s girlfriend sharing pictures of her new cat has transformed into the world of that same cat picture, but with an advertisement for new Nike running shoes right below it. Today, it is almost impossible to not find any business on Facebook (even local mom and pop stores). A recent quote from Socialnomics 2017 stands out; “The ROI of social media is your business will still exist in 5 years.” As crazy as this quote sounds it isn’t wrong. With the rise of the internet, smartphones, and social media any business not willing to migrate to some form of social media is literally writing themselves a death knell. Why is social media, specifically Facebook, so crucial for businesses of all shapes and sizes to leverage? Let’s find out.
The Millenial Generation
The Millenial Generation (otherwise known as Generation Y) is the largest generation of people behind Generation X and were born between the years 1980-2000. The Millenial Generation (Millenials) are unique in that they grew up during the height of rapid and consistent technological expansion through the internet and personal computing. If you ask any Millenial how they remember the internet as a child more than 95% of them will respond with, “You mean that thing you had to sit and wait for at the computer forever while it made a noise that sounded like a robot had just been shot in the chest and caused the phone to disconnect.” Millenials have been exposed to technology and the internet for most of their lives making them not only more inclined to use it, but to interact with other people through it. Thus, social media as we know it was born in a Harvard University dorm room in 2004 that aimed to forever change the way people interact with one another digitally on an enormous scale. This game changer was Facebook, and Facebook today remains the golden standard by which people interact with one another online. Due to this exponential rise in digital communication recent research suggests that the human attention span currently stands at 7 seconds; one second less than that of a Goldfish.
The Facebook Dinner Party…..Trust us it will make sense
Over the past 5 years Facebook has seen the largest growth of business users since the company’s founding. More and more businesses are realizing that Facebook has become a one stop shop for people looking to engage with one another socially by reading, watching, and listening to new, funny, and interesting things. However, most people are not on Facebook to be marketed to which is the only reason a majority of companies are on the site. Everyone is advertised and marketed to every day from the moment we get up in the morning to the moment we go to bed. It is never ending and it is constant. People log onto Facebook to take a break from being marketed to see what the people they care about are up to through personal photos, stories, and videos. People on Facebook can smell marketers from 100 miles away. This is why it has been such a challenge for many companies to properly integrate themselves into social media and join the social conversation as opposed to advertising the latest brand of men’s underwear. Try to think of Facebook as a dinner party. Everyone, from all walks of life, come to the dinner party to socialize and share interesting stories. Businesses on Facebook are like the socially awkward outcasts sitting in the corner of the room that no one really wants to talk to. However, once those outcasts join the table and start sharing unique, funny, and interesting stories they are accepted at the table and people are willing to interact with them. This needs to be the thought process behind every business social media manager in order for the the business to truly succeed on a social media network such as Facebook.
Shopping Moves Online
There is no denying that the consumer retail preferences have shifted greatly over the past few years. What used to be a desire to head to the nearest Macy’s department store to try on the latest fall fashion has evolved into hunting for deals on Amazon knowing that no matter what you buy it will arrive on your doorstep in less than two days….and you didn’t even have to leave the couch. Many of the large retail chains have noticed this shift in consumer retail preference and dumping more money than ever before into online retail and advertising. In 2016 more than 93% of buying decisions were influenced by social media. Given the size and scope of Facebook it makes the most sense that Facebook be the primary channel that companies have chosen to advertise through. With Facebook Ads companies are allowed to create engaging content that can be targeted to very specific groups of people for companies to obtain the largest ROI from the people that matter most. All a company has to do to run a successful Facebook Ad is to design a piece of engaging content, select a detailed target audience, and pay Facebook as much as they think their ad is worth to their target audience. If all of these simple requirements are met then the odds are high that your Facebook Ad will be successful to a degree.
Although there is much more to the world of advertising through Facebook this should give you a basic idea of its importance in the realm of business. Bottom line, if you’re a business you should be on Facebook. It is hard to tell how Facebook and social media will evolve in the coming years, but one thing is for certain; the largest generation of people on Earth use it daily, why not reach them where they spend most of their time?
Nick Myers is the Managing Partner of RedFoc Creative. For more information, or to leave a comment send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
References: Socialnomics 2017