Is Facebook Fading Away? Why Continually Monitoring All Communication Options is Important

Once upon a time, many, many years ago, advertising on network television was all the rage. That’s where the big brands connected with consumers and drove sales. And then the landscape became fractured. Cable networking emerged, offering a wide range of new opportunities for advertisers to reach more narrowly segmented markets. The same thing was happening in the print environment. And then, of course, the Internet emerged and the rest is history.

But what’s happening today in the communication world will also, ultimately, be history. And recent reportsanecdotal and research-based–suggest that even a tool that has been as popular and productive as Facebook may be losing its appeal. I’m not entirely surprised.

I research and use social media regularly for myself and my clients and, particularly in the space where I tend to work (B2B), I have long questioned the value of Facebook, compared to other options. While I have clients who are currently using Facebook we just don’t see the traction here that we do with other tools (most notably Twitter and LinkedIn). I suspect this is for a couple of reasons:

  • Facebook is a very *social* social media tool. Marketing via Facebook, in my opinion, could be likened to successfully promoting trauma services during the SuperBowl, or selling long-term care insurance in a playbill for Wicked! – they’re just not the right venues to connect with people at a place and point in time when they’re amenable to these messages.
  • Too many businesses communicate as businesses, vs. individuals. Consumers (and even other businesses) are less likely to want to friend, follow or fan a business–they want to friend, follow or fan PEOPLE!
  • Too much clutter. There is simply too much going on on Facebook – between the posts/images of those you’re connected to, the ads the games, etc., it is very difficult to stand out effectively and–importantly–to stand out in a way that is going to cause someone to click on your ad or engage with you in some meaningful way.

As noted earlier, the transition away from Facebook (or any other currently popular communication tool) to another is predictable–it will happen with any communication channel over time. It may happen faster in today’s technology-driven world. What that means for businesses of any kind–whether B2B or B2C–is that they must continually research and evaluate existing tools and be alert to emerging new tools that may impact their markets.

That part about impacting their markets is important. With this Facebook example, for instance, if your market isn’t teenagers who seem to be abandoning the site, but women age 18-29, it may still be right for you.

The key: monitoring the environment and making decisions based on data not perception, or what the competition is doing (they may not be looking at the data!). Don’t follow the pack–lead it!

Recommended reading:

Integrated Marketing Communication

Strategic Communications Planning for Effective Public Relations and Marketing

 

Related blog posts:

Everything New is Old Again: In Communication, Basic Rules Still Apply

What Social Media Tool Should You Use? No Easy Answers

 

 

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