Tag Archives: facebook

Facebook users decline in 14 of top 20 markets over last 3 months

Facebook has been in the news a lot this week, Facebook home is certainly an interesting development but that’s not what I want to write about today, its this:

Social bakers

That data is taken from Social Bakers for Q1 2013, it shows that Facebook users have declined in a whole load of markets. Europe and the USA are most numerous in the list of markets but the biggest % declines are in Indonesia and Malaysia.

This is a concern for Facebook, when combined with other recent surveys about Facebook losing their younger user base this could become a real problem.

Now the real question is does this mean that Facebook only continues to show paper growth as older users and lagards get into it and due to a few developing markets (Brazil etc.) but it’s not as important as it was 12-24 months ago as sites like Tumblr, Twitter etc. grow?

What do you think?

There won’t be a Facebook killer…

When Mark Zukerberg first started thinking big about Facebook he wasn’t thinking about the company as “cool” or about how to maximise revenue (he actively opposed advertising on the site) he was thinking about how to create a utility, something that became part of the collective routine of the internet generation. Not an easy thing to do, but now Facebook sits alongside Google as a true internet utility, it is THE social network.

And that’s the thing, the ubiquity of the site, particularly in the sub 30 demographics, have led to investment among its users, by that I mean investments of time… People have invested a lot of time learning Facebook, adding friends, uploading photos, building networks and it has entered our lexicon, “Facebook me” or “I facebooked them” is universally recognised.

So when you think about “the next facebook” or “a facebook killer” you are thinking in the wrong way, the development cycle in social networking has gone beyond that now, just as the search engine wars ended and are now dominated by Google the social networking wars are now ending with Facebook and twitter dominating the mainstream. That does not mean there is not room for innovation and new ideas, sites like Pinterest show that all too clearly, but these sites need to think about how they work with the big boys, not how they usurp them.

Let me put it really simply: Who wants to spend a load of time setting up and maintaining ANOTHER site like Facebook. The next big innovation will integrate it, not replace it!

Using the right social tools

“Erm so how do we do customer service on Twitter? I hear Dell do it and so do Comcast and BT so now I want in!”
“OK but we have looked into it and very few of your customers actually use twitter, they are mostly found on Facebook and in fact they are already actively complaining on your fan page, maybe you should talk to them there?”
“But we want our fan page to be about our campaigns and competitions and stuff, not a customer service channel, we want twitter to do that, can’t we signpost them to twitter?”
“What if they don’t use twitter?”
“Well can’t they sign up?”
“doesn’t this seem mildly absurd? Why not engage with the community where it exists already?”
“because in our social media strategy it says twitter is for customer service!”

The above is fictional but I have had real conversations with real people like this in the past. Really there are 2 key points: 1) Your customers don’t care about your social strategy, they go where they want and use the channels and tools how they want to! 2) Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Foursquare, YouTube etc. Are all just tools. They are things that help us to connect with others around us more easily. The tools will change with time and by brand, twitter won’t work for some brands like Facebook won’t work for others.

So don’t focus on the tools focus on your customers, go where they go and engage them on their terms not yours, and wherever you go and talk make sure you make it a great customer experience, or they won’t bother talking to you or listening to you again, but you can bet they will tell all their friends how much you suck.

Aside

Following my last post about the evolution of television I am going to look to tackle the wider issue of ownership in an increasingly open and digitized world, this is not going to be a long diatribe on the ownership … Continue reading