What Does Facebook’s Waning Popularity Mean for Marketing?

In Featured on App, Marketing and Sales, Social media by Vaughn Highfield

What Does Facebook's Waning Popularity Mean for Marketing?

Social media is big business when done right, startups have managed to carve a name out for themselves in this sector with Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and the behemoth Facebook all emerging from the depths of the unknown.

But has Facebook gotten a little too big, and a little too old, to be playing the social media game still?

As a new report has shown from Pew Research Centre (PDF), teens – the key demographic of social media users – have begun to distance themselves from Facebook.

Indeed, this trend was noticed earlier this year and late last as teen shopping habits seemed to reflect a similar tone of disinterest with that blue and white social media outlet.

Since 2011, Facebook registrations have remained the same within the teen demographic – a steady 94 per cent, showing a level of stagnation.

It doesn't seem to be a problem with social media itself though as Twitter has grown substantially in the same amount of time. In 2011, just 12 per cent of teens asked had an account, now that figure lies at 26 per cent.

It's also worth noting that only 14 per cent of Facebook profiles are public channels, whereas Twitter has 64 per cent of its accounts in the public sphere. I shouldn't need to point out just how useful this is to marketers everywhere.

Numbers have also increased on platforms such as Tumblr and Instagram, with users loving the idea of blogging from multiple streams as well as taking photos of themselves and the food they eat – which is clearly all Instagram is meant for right?

Tumblr's growth lead to its acquisition by Yahoo last month and, as Facebook owns Instagram, the photo sharing social network's growth is only compensating for the drop off in Facebook accounts.

It would seem that Facebook could be in quite the jam as its rather impressive Facebook Phone – more the snazzy HTC hardware than the Facebook Home OS – utterly flopped at market.

Amanda Lenhart from PRC stated that while teens "still have their Facebook profiles, they spend less time on them and move to places like Twitter and Tumblr."

While we're sure that Facebook will quite happily remain the dominant social media platform for a while, it does go to show the more fickle nature of the platform as a marketing tool.

Moving forward a marketing effort will have to be spread over various social channels equally, rather than just focusing mostly on one – namely Facebook.

Perhaps the Google Glass will help the rise of Google+?

What do you think will happen with Facebook and their slowly lagging teenage user base?

To learn the best in social media and how to engage with an audience in new and exciting ways, head on down to Loyalty World Europe this September where marketing gurus will be on hand for you to pick their brains.


[Image: pshab – Flickr]

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