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Happy Birthday, Facebook
Facebook is 10 years old today. Its growth has been nothing short of breath-taking. Ten years on, it still attracts new users. It has become the social networking choice for most and an online marketing choice for many. In fact, it could be described as a way of life…

Like or loathe it, you simply can’t deny the power of Facebook. With 1.23 billion users, it could be classed as the second biggest country of all – only China has a bigger population. eMarketer research shows that the biggest number of users are based in North America – unsurprisingly – however second and third places are Brazil and Indonesia. But – Experian statistics show that most active users are in Singapore.  It’s branching out in other ways too; it acquired Instagram in 2012.

The biggest use of Facebook?

Sharing photos. Globally, over 300 million images are uploaded to Facebook every day, encouraged by the huge increase in smart phone usage. 

One cause for concern for the Facebook empire; the loss of the teen market due to the lure of instant messaging. (See our blog post Is Facebook Finished?, May 2013). However reassurance comes in the form of recent Shareaholic research results: Facebook is head and shoulders above all the other networking sites in referral traffic.

The biggest referral site for the last quarter of 2013 was Facebook with a huge 13.8%. In second place was Pinterest with 4.3%. Yes – Pinterest. Not Twitter (third place, 1.12%) or YouTube (sixth position, 0.19%).  

But what does this mean for marketing? 

1.    Think outside the box… there is a lot of choice beyond Facebook!
2.    Choose a platform that your customers will interact with. Facebook isn’t the obvious choice for every market.
3.    Make sure that your tone and content are both right for your chosen audience.
4.    Think about results. ‘Likes’ are good, engagement is great; they must lead to action to make the time invested in social media – any platform – worthwhile.  
5.    Patience. Social media marketing isn’t a quick fix. Monitor carefully and have an exit strategy just in case.
6.    Think about how social media fits with the other elements of marketing; online and traditional 

Thank you, Facebook. Your success has created a massive opportunity for many businesses. Happy Birthday!