Just How Big Is Facebook & Are Your Customers On it?

If you don’t want to read through all the stats, here’s a quick summary: “It’s very big and continuing to grow & yes your customers are using it and if you are not then you are likely leaving money on the table and if you’re not quick your competitors will happily pick it up!”

Now that Facebook is publicly listed (as at 24th April 2017 Facebook shares are at US$143, same time last year they were at US$108, it launched in 2012 at US$38), surprise surprise it’s advertising revenue has continued to grow and it’s really only just starting.  Facebook grew its digital ad revenue by 59% last year, so it’s not just big now, but it’s still very much in the growth phase.  In fact late last year Facebook revealed to Wallstreet that its mobile business alone was bigger than its entire business back in 2015 Q3.

65 Million  Facebook business pages have been created as of Feb 2017 which is an increase from 8 million in June 2012. (Source: Facebook). Facebook marketing has transformed how business is conducted, and its use by local businesses to extend their markets continues to absolutely explode.

So how many actual users are on Facebook, worldwide (as at April 2017) there are around 1.86 billion active monthly users (Source: Facebook as of 02/01/17) – a 17% increase on the same time last year!  With 5 new profiles created every second and the average time spent per Facebook visit is 20 minutes (Source: Infodocket). So to sum it up – it’s big (massive) and it’s not going away, in fact, it is growing rapidly.

So which businesses are using Facebook, well in the U.S. the percentage of businesses with 100+ employees who use Facebook is 84% (and these are old figures from 2015, so I’m sure they are higher now).  It’s always a great indication that if the big businesses are using this platform then it works and many smaller businesses are already on board but with the local targeting potential for local businesses, this number will only rise.

One of the fantastic benefits of Facebook is that unlike many of the other media and marketing platforms that big businesses use, such as major television campaigns and advertising in major magazines and newspapers, Facebook is available and affordable to all businesses (big and small).

And it’s no surprise that whilst big business is on Facebook most of them have fat chequebooks but no real idea of how to effectively market on this new platform, so there’s great potential here for smaller businesses to compete and win against their bigger competitors with some smart and cost efficient Facebook marketing.  And Facebook is the greatest marketing platform that the world has ever seen – that may sound like a fairly big call and it is but here’s why and it’s available to all businesses – big or small.

What other platform lets you:

  • Specifically target your exact audience (we go into the many ways that you can build Facebook audiences in another article) with a number of location, demographic, interest and behaviour based options as well as building your Facebook audience from your existing clients or website visitors.
  • Spend as little as just $5 per day advertising. You can, of course, spend as much as you like but this very low minimum lets even the small guys get in there and give it a go and see what works.
  • Just pay when people click on your ad or watch your video etc. Not like most forms of advertising that you just pay a flat fee and hope that all of their audience sees your ad but even if they do, all of their audience are unlikely all of your potential clients anyway – so much of your advertising spend is wasted on the wrong people.
  • Split test different campaigns, ads, audiences to measure what works best. You can change everything and do A/B tests, measure change etc.
  • Change your audience or ad copy images etc in real time. Not like say a radio, television or magazine ad where you produce it, pay for it, it goes out and then you just cross your fingers that it works.  If you think you can improve it then you can pay to change it for next time and maybe it will be better, maybe it will be worse, you’ll have to pay and wait and see!

Facebook is big now, it’s getting bigger, your audience is on there and now that Facebook is a public company (and want to earn lots of profit for their shareholders) they have a major focus on making Facebook even more relevant and usable for businesses (big and small) to be able to market on this platform.

If you are not using Facebook advertising (and I’m not talking about having a Facebook page, doing some posts and even boosting those posts).  I’m talking about Facebook ads that are going out to specific and multiple audiences (that you can create) with a range of messages (depending on your service/product offerings) then you are most definitely leaving money on the table  Facebook can be used for a range of general image marketing down to very specific direct marketing, particularly if you have a range of products/services serving different client types.  It can be used on its own or to compliment other marketing campaigns, but either way, if you are not using it, you are probably ignoring one of the most cost-effective ways to get more sales and this platform is not going away, it’s growing and growing.

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