I joined Facebook all the way back in 2007 as a fresh faced 24 year old as a way of sharing photos, posting boring status updates like "Im watching tv" and if I'm totally truthful meeting girls, oh how times have changed! Well maybe not the boring status updates (I hear some of you say!).
Facebook has gone onto change the way we live our lives and although some feel it disconnects us from society (to quote my parents "back in my day kids would be out playing with their friends, now all they do is spend time on their phones!") we have never been more connected! We are going through a cycle of human evolution in social media (the internet) that is only just getting started, you can either fight against it or hop on for the ride, one things for sure it won't be boring!
Facebook was created in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg in the dorm room of his college. I am sure he had visions of changing the world, as a 21 year old in 2004 I thought playing the game 'snake' on my phone was revolutionary! 3 years later when I signed up Facebook was a place for the younger generation, I remember a number of my older family members saying "what a waste of time" or "you won't catch me dead on Facebook". As time went by and 'generation y' started to have offspring they would often upload photos of their children to Facebook, in time the Nan's and Grandad's of the world decided it was time to get involved. We've all had the call from an older person within your family "Doris from number 57 has just poked me, what's a poke?" That was the beginning of a shift for Facebook. Unlike Myspace and others, Facebook innovated and understood its audience and moved with the times, buying Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, a price people balked at at the time but Facebook understood the market and it turned out to be one of the deals of the century! Keeping Facebook relevant by linking the two platforms and now in 2017 we are starting to see history repeat itself with Instagram, the younger generation are seeing their parents join and thinking 'I'm off'!
Facebook unsuccessfully attempted to purchase SnapChat (where the kids are at) back in 2013, they understood the value SnapChat brings and in 2016 they copied all their key features for Instagram, a cheeky move for sure but creating longevity for the platform. They also have virtual reality platform 'VR oculus', but that is for me to talk about in the 'future'.....
FACEBOOK ADVERTISING - The greatest marketing tool ever created.....
Facebook is a business that needs to keep its investors happy. Their moto is 'Facebook is free and always will be', revenue had to come from somewhere and why not give business' access to 1 billion people, their likes, habits, destinations and overall demographics!
Advertising on Facebook has taken a new dawn with the rise of mobile devices. People consuming Facebook content on a hand held device means you can no longer avoid these ads, remember the whole right side of Facebook used to be filled with ads on a desktop? Its said that a whole generation of people block out the right side of web pages when consuming content for this reason! Now we have to scroll past every ad Facebook want us to see, that makes Facebook advertising a must in my eyes at least for the time being, remember google ad words? This was a great advertising tool in its day, before it got so popular the price outweighed the conversion and yet people get romantic around what made them money, it worked in 2010 so I will just keep doing it....NO times change and as of now Facebook is where the sensible money is. To be able to target people down to, age, gender, income and things they 'like' is an incredible tool to be able to market your business with, having said that Facebook have slowly brought down their organic reach for business' now, for an ordinary post you are looking to hit around 2% of the people that like your page to push Facebook advertising arm, thats why content is king....Creative, fun, engaging content will always be put in front of people first, don't settle for less!
Gary Vaynerchuk is a very influential person to me when it come to social media. He has taught me a lot in regards to Facebook, he runs a multi million pound marketing agency that builds the brands of fortune 250 companies who often want to plough money into tv advertising. Vaynerchuk makes a great point of how people are being romantic about platforms that 'used' to work. Who watches a tv programme when it actually airs?? Not many I'm guessing apart from live sports, people record the programs they want to watch and view them in their own time and what happens when the ads come on? Yup thats right we fast forward all the way through, and if the controller happens to fall off the couch we then go straight to our phones! Simple story people don't consume tv advertising nearly as much as they used to and the cost far outweighs any return, what works then invariably doesn't work now and what works now......you get the gist. Check Gary Vaynerchuk out on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/GaryVaynerchuk Not everyones cup of team but speaks to my way of thinking!
I won't keep rambling on, I wanted to share my 5 cents on the state of Facebook and how I feel its evolved. I could have gone deeper into the inner workings but hopefully I've kept your attention!