It's no surprise that Facebook's usage has gone down since its arrival in 2004. Back then, it offered up an entire network of connections which seemed infinite, joining up every computer screen in the world. Now, TikTok exists. Instagram exists. And, slowly but surely, its users jumped onto the new trends and apps which promised more by every passing year.
It seems as though Facebook has remained static in the social media world, a sturdy pillar by which all apps were created, not developing and growing with the times. But just how right is this perception? Let's delve into the changes Facebook have made throughout the years, and how these have impacted its use in social media marketing campaigns.
The evolution of Facebook
By 2005, Facebook had already instated the wall and news feed, meaning users could see a collection of recent updates from their friends all in one long stream. But by the end of the year, over 100,000 business pages also existed on the site, alongside Facebook ads and the like button. Of course, these developments had a direct impact on brands, as they were given a site to announce new products, services and updates which would be seen by millions. Engagement could also be tracked by monitoring the likes of the posts, meaning potential customers were made known to the brand, as well as what content reached and influenced the most people.
By 2010, Facebook's 500 million users resulted in the app becoming the third biggest online company. And the year after that brought with it Facebook's installation of messenger, which would allow users to directly message these companies with queries or sales requests. Not only that, but by 2015 a companies response rate was visible, meaning companies could track its engagement with clients to decrease the time they are kept waiting. Then came the introduction of the high response rate badge on a businesses page, only adding to the usefulness of Facebook when gaining customers.
Although these features existed up until now, it didn't stop the law suits being filed against them which worked to drive customers away in fear of misinformation and scamming. In 2016, it became ever-apparent that Facebook was spreading fake news and, although attempts were made to counter it, the effect remained the same on the public; can we no longer trust Facebook?
To further the unrest, as like buttons became a thing of the past in introducing emoji responses, and hate speech and trolling on the rise, Facebook no longer felt like a safe space to go. That, and the 2018 data breech of over 87 million users, resulted in companies moving to other social media sites to spread their news, products and services. Now, over 72% of users don't trust the app to protect their privacy, and who'd want to connect with a company via an untrustworthy platform?
Facebook's place in 2022
After all its history, Facebook still remains a solid pillar in the social media world. Although people have placed their trust in other apps such as TikTok and Instagram, with less of a history of fake news and abuse, reports have shown that users are logging onto Facebook for only 33 minute stints. Now as a site which promises disloyalty, fake news and plenty of potential for hate, it acts as a bridge between the older and younger community, younger people logging on to check in for updates rather than anything else, making it a less popular site for brands to post on, but necessary to check on every once in a while.
How Facebook fits into social media marketing campaigns today
Despite these findings, it is undoubtable that Facebook remains popular, just not in the way that it initially intended. 35-44 year olds place it as their most favoured social media app, and 79% of these are active on a daily basis. It also seems that Facebook is still being used in marketing strategies today, as the average organic reach of a Facebook post is 5.2%. Although, this figure has decreased with each passing year. More promising is the rise in cost per click rates in ads, up an astonishing 13% since 2020.
Ultimately, there is a space for Facebook in marketing campaigns. Brands still include it in their posting schedules, and it is continuing to prove that it can engage and hold the trust of a few customers. Whether Facebook is on the rise again or not, no matter what other apps emerge, Facebook will always remain, it seems, a constant in the social media marketing world.
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