Facebook has been a favored platform for most marketers with its rich advertising tools and marketer-friendly algorithms. But like all things, Facebook won’t last forever – will it?
While the thought of Facebook era ending seems ridiculous, let’s stop and consider the question. Facebook may be mighty now but not forever.
In a January 2017 report by Emarketer, Facebook maintains a foothold on millennials and Gen Xers as the preferred social network but it has also been losing some of its younger audiences to newer networks like Instagram. According to a report by iStrategyLabs, from January 2011 to January 2014, Facebook lost more than 11 million users from the 13-17 and 18-24 demographic.
Facebook’s impressive user base and reach (the platform boasts of over 1.9 billion users) has forced more businesses, big and small, to flock to Facebook and just recently, Facebook announced that the social network has more than 5 million active advertisers. Facebook CFO Sheryl Sandberg attributes this success not only to the platform’s reach but also its ability to turn casual users into successful marketers.
Despite this achievement, since reports show that Facebook is slowly losing its luster, what if the time comes that it loses its shine altogether? Where would that leave us, both users and marketers?
First off, it’s a common mistake to equate social media marketing with digital marketing as a whole. Social media marketing, or even Facebook marketing is just one slice of that whole. Digital marketing includes many different activities such as social media, SEO, email marketing, online PR, content marketing, and so much more.
Social media marketing on the other hand includes promoting content products service or events through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn. If social media marketing is one part of digital marketing, Facebook marketing falls under social media marketing.
So back to the question. What would happen if Facebook went under? Where would advertisers channel their ad budget?
The long and short answer is this: if Facebook disappeared tomorrow, like flock looking for sustenance, we’ll graze elsewhere. Another social media platform will surely rise to the occasion (my bet is on Instagram which is still under Facebook so Zuckerberg still wins). Facebook isn’t the only avenue to reach target audiences and marketers will surely adjust.
There’s still search advertising through Google (more intent based and location based), YouTube advertising (for video promotions), email advertising (to get and convert leads), Instagram ads, and even Snapchat ads. Today’s digital user jumps between multiple platforms, giving marketers a huge space to explore if ever Facebook exits the social media scene.
As for the other stuff, dog pictures and memes still abound in Instagram and we will definitely see more of Mocha Uson; she still has a blog and Twitter account after all. ###