Digital strategy

It’s a fact: Facebook is used by literally…..everyone?

Ok so not quite – but this week there were two major pieces of news from Facebook HQ.

The first is that Facebook officially boasts more than 2 billion active users per month… and this number is growing every single day.

The second piece of news is that (and this will resonate more with people like me who love FB ads rather than everyone) is you can now (finally!) bring your Instagram followers into your custom audiences. YAY!

So what do both of these mean for those of us wanting to use the latest and most powerful online marketing strategies to build businesses?

Well, think back to ye ole days when we had the Yellow Pages. The world looked pretty big then didn’t it. Those tiny thin pages, the teeny tiny text, all packed with details of businesses in the UK and poured through by those of us looking for something.

(Did JR Hartley ever find his fly fishing manual by the way?)

I’m sure back then business owners thought it was a good thing to be listed in the Yellow Pages and worried that if they weren’t, they may well be missing out.

Well that’s exactly how things are right now with Facebook – except you don’t even have to pay for your basic listing (your Facebook page).

The scale, potential and impact however is totally different.

So take that Yellow Pages and grab the levers labelled ‘dynamism’, ‘excitement’ and ‘interaction’ and crank them right up, make it a place where people hang out for fun (noone ever hung out in the Yellow Pages for fun did they?) and also go and visit up to 30 times a day, in fact some people rarely leave……. and that that’s what we have now.

I know I talk about this a lot but times are a changing! Has there ever before been a time in the history of this planet when 2 billion people are connected via an app on their phone? NO! 

Facebook started as service to connects friends, families and groups with a mission statement “to make the world more open and connected.” Now, Zuckerberg has revised his mission “to bring the world closer together.” It may be that in 5 years time Facebook has ‘had it’s time’ and isn’t as powerful as it is right now, or it may be (and I think this is more likely) that in 5 years or even 3 years there are 3 billion, 4 billion people connected on it. 

Because if you think about it in the way I do, what we do on Facebook is actually our natural behaviour. 

I often hear people saying things like ‘I don’t want to see your holiday photos or photos of your babies’ (well they are not saying this about MY babies of course!!!). But seriously, who are they kidding?! 

I think we are forgetting that showing and sharing is one of our fundamental human behaviours that we do to build relationships and bond.

As a teenager, anytime a friend came back from holiday, I would go around to their house (or vice versa) with the specific goal to see their holiday photos, even though back then it was 5 dog eared packets from Snappy Snaps, and hear their holiday stories. I would sit for hours happily getting the story of every single photograph. 

When I go to someone’s house and see their family photos or kids growing up on mantlepieces, I am drawn to them to looking at them. In fact, I enjoy seeing them. Don’t you!?  

Nowadays, kids want to watch YouTube or surf the net when they eat their breakfast. Obviously as a parent I think this is very bad and would never ever let my kids do such a thing…..

But then I think, how is that so different from me eating breakfast as a child reading every single word on the packet of Rice Krispies or filling out the quizzes on the back of the Weetabix. Our minds want to be active. Thank God for today’s kids that there’s a bit more variety on the world than just what Kelloggs print on the back of cereal boxes.

What about if all of this isn’t so new but just an evolution of how we have always been? Is it so weird, modern and strange, or is it just behaviour that we love to do as humans? 

So on one hand, it’s incredible that Facebook has reached 2 billion users. On the other, there are still so many more to join! It’s still early days! For those who think ‘oh it’s too late for me to learn this‘ – no it’s not! Just get on with it. 

Back to other bit of good Facebook news.

Finally, we can use Instagram followers and interactions and behaviour as custom audiences for ads. It’s always baffled me how Facebook is so clever but had this one gaping hole in functionality. I guess they were trying to connect up the two systems properly.

Anyway, the job is done.

This is great news, especially for those who are love Insta more and have grown followings there. Not much to say on this apart from hooray!