Facebook: There’s Life in the Old Dog Yet

With all these social platforms competing for your attention, has Facebook lost its appeal to users and consequently, value to advertisers?

There are now more social media platforms than you can shake your selfie stick at with many coming and going as fast as you can type ‘#yolo’. Relative to the average life-span of social networks, Facebook is a golden oldie having enjoyed years of being the channel of choice for sharing that must-see photo of tonight’s epic dinner. But there are new kids on the block – bigger, cooler kids – and they’re quickly moving in on Facebook’s patch. So with all these social platforms competing for your attention, has Facebook lost its appeal to users and consequently, value to advertisers?

Well, the answer is no. According to the latest figures, Facebook is still top dog when it comes to social media usage and while other channels are getting in on some of the action, it remains the ‘go to’ social site. Admittedly, its growth has slowed but the audience remains huge with1.35 billion active monthly users – that’s a lot of eyeballs for advertisers’ ads. More importantly, Facebook’s audience remains engaged with users interacting more than they do on alternative social media sites, so not only do you have lots of eyeballs but they’re more likely to be taking note.

But it’s important to note that Facebook’s audience is changing – it’s getting older. In 2014, the 25-34 age group increased by 33% while the 35-54 age group grew by 41%. The biggest growth though was in the 55+ group which increased by a whopping 80% and nowadays it’s not out of the question that your granny has more Facebook friends than you do. It’s therefore no wonder that teenagers are avoiding this social space - after all, serious cool points are going to be lost if god forbid your mum comments on your status or keeps liking your photos. Instead, teenagers are sharing highlights of the best party ever via Snapchat and messaging friends on Kik.

It’s apparent then that Facebook isn’t as down with the kids as it used to be and if you want to get their attention then an alternative social channel may be more effective. However, it’s certainly down with the 20+ and remains a flexible, not to mention cost effective way of reaching them and big brands from finance to retail, travel to public services are joining the Facebook party.

At Equator, Facebook has become a staple part of our display campaigns. With extensive targeting capabilities including demo, location, keyword and lookalike to name a few and the ability to test and optimise various creative and messaging, we’ve achieved great results in terms of awareness, engagement and conversions, all while keeping CPAs at some of the lowest we’ve ever seen. Our Facebook ads have also generated social interactions such as likes, comments and shares as well as increasing overall brand page likes producing a larger organic growth which can be utilised in social strategy. Not that we’re blowing our own trumpet or anything...

So even though it’s been about for a while, the opportunity to engage your audience in an informal setting using Facebook is still very much present – there’s life left in it yet.

By Emma Burnett Blair, Digital Media & Affiliates Coordinator.