Ignoring Facebook in your marketing plan is likely to be a mistake, especially as the addiction is real!
I was never that keen on Facebook and my personal use of it is still relatively low, but for a content marketing tool it’s hard to beat.
I have used it frequently in the last few years to build audiences around events, podcasts and a radio station and have generally found it to work great; the caveat it that I have done so with paid Facebook advertising.
Two new studies this week have reaffirmed my faith in Facebook.
Facebook more than twice as popular as Twitter
A report from UK communications regulator Ofcom says that 72% of UK adults says they use (or at least have a profile) on Facebook, according to YouGov data.
That compares to just 35% for Twitter, 23% for Instagram, 21% for LinkedIn and less than 20% for other platforms asked about.
The data also reveals that 34% of users say they had checked Facebook within the last ten minutes, 26% of Twitter users had checked their feed in this time too!
If your target audience is older consumers, 69% of over 54s are using social media including 78% of 65-74s and 53% of over 75s – so they are out there!
Even seeing the Facebook logo can spark a response
Perhaps a more surprising study is the one conducted by researchers at Michigan State University and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Radboud University Nijmegen in The Netherlands.
They found that even brief exposure to a Facebook-related image (logo, screenshot) can cause a pleasurable response in frequent social media users, which in turn might trigger social media cravings.
That means that if a frequent social media user sees the Facebook logo on their smartphone screen or perhaps on an advertising billboard, they will feel better and want to check their own feed.
“People are learning this reward feeling when they get to Facebook. What we show with this study is that even with something as simple as the Facebook logo, seeing the Facebook wall of a friend or seeing anything associated with Facebook, is enough to bring that positive association back.” – Allison Eden, assistant professor in the Department of Communication, Michigan State.
While our addiction to Facebook may be a good thing for brands and marketers, it is a worrying part of modern life. This is highlighted in the study by the feelings of guilt that are felt by many users when they fail to regulated their usage.
While we may not be in a position to tackle that side of social media, as content providers we can at least ensure that that media we produce on our subject area is serving our audience with valuable and helpful information and resources.