Facebook To Marketers: What You Need To Do To Succeed
Love it or hate it, Facebook is the 800 pound gorilla of social media.
Facebook is also a global platform. It’s a Top 10 social media entity across the world (Check out the social media behavior complete with charts and details.)
As such, Facebook’s 2014 annual earnings report spotlights important trends every business must understand and incorporate into their 2015 marketing plans. (BTW–Here’s the Ultimate 2015 Marketing Checklist to download.)
Facebook’s earnings reports are targeted at stock and investment analysts, not consumers or marketers. Their one goal is to make the case that Facebook is managing their business better than predicted. (As a point of comparison, here’s what Facebook said in 2014.)
2014 Facebook revenue was $12.5 billion, up 58%. Facebook created $225+ billion of global economic impact and $4.5 million worth of new jobs in 2014 according to a recent Deloitte report for Forrester.
2014 Facebook earnings facts marketers need
The nitty gritty Facebook facts every marketer needs to know include:
- 1.39 billion people use Facebook each month (MAU). Instagram, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp have 300 million, 500 million and 700 million MAU respectively.
- 890 million people use Facebook daily (DAU), 64% of the monthly visitors; up 18% from 2013.
- 745 million people use Facebook via mobile per month.
- Time spent per person per day across Facebook services grew over 10% in 4Q2014 compared to 4Q2013.
- 2+ billion photos are shared daily across Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
- 2+ billion Facebook interactions per week between public figures and their fans.
To put this in perspective, eMarketer projects 1.58 billion mobile phone social network users worldwide in 2015.
Here’s Facebook’s daily active users (DAU) breakout by region. Note that growth in the US and Europe is flat. You may be interested in 2014 Facebook research that predicted the site’s peak user base would decline by 2017 (by Princeton researcher.)
As Business Insider’s Henry Blogett has said before, most of the money is already online. The same holds true for Facebook.
- US users generate $6.03 average revenue per user, composing the lion’s share of Facebook’s $2.14 average revenue per user.
Facebook income can still increase as it introduces new ad products and becomes an ecommerce facilitator.
5 Key Facebook marketing trends for 2015
Marketers pay attention to how Facebook presents their business to investors. It reveals how you’ll need to modify your Facebook channel plans to maximize results.
1. Facebook mobile only usage is where the user growth is.
Mobile is where the Facebook action is. (For more information on mobile, here are 55 mobile facts.)
- 38% of Facebook’s MAUs are mobile only.
- 526 million Facebook MAU are mobile only. That’s over a half a billion people!
- Facebook Messenger reached 500 million monthly actives.
- WhatsApp reached 700 million monthly actives who sent 30+ billion messages per day by the beginning of January, 2015.
This movement is underscored by Apple’s earnings earlier this week that were fueled by iPhone sales growth. Marketers: This is an indicator that people are using their smartphones as their all in one connected device.
This eMarketer chart puts Facebook and its mobile growth in perspective.
BTW, Facebook desktop usage is down.
Actionable Marketing Tip:
- Create mobile first content marketing and communications. Don’t assume that content that’s not created for a mobile experience will work on such a device.
2. Facebook video is exploding.
3+ Billion video views per day on average on Facebook.
We’ve been saying that 2015 is the year of video. (Check out our predictions here, here and here.) To refresh your memory, here’s what the video data shows.
Understand the reason Facebook’s video views are higher than those of YouTube is partially attributable to the fact that Facebook measures views when the video starts playing. Therefore these numbers are somewhat inflated since a video can start playing without the viewer having any intention of watching it.
Actionable Marketing Tip:
- Become a video director to create marketing content. Go behind the video camera, even if it’s just to be a talking head.
- Offer video for the 5 basic content types customers seek. Don’t worry about promotions, provide the information your audience needs before they decide to buy.
3. Facebook is building out its search functionality.
In Mark Zuckerberg’s words via SeekingAlpha: “Search at Facebook is another important effort … In this quarter, we launched updates to Facebook search to make it easier to find content and posts on mobile and desktop.”
This supports recent data that showed social media is surpassing search as the way people find information online. (To put this in context for your content marketing as well as social media, check this article.)
Marketers must start to consider how to optimize their Facebook content to be found when prospects are in search mode. Remember Facebook’s apps are a key entry point for mobile users.
Actionable Marketing Tip:
- Optimize your content for visibility in Facebook search. This may not be at the top of your search resources’ agenda but it should be on the list.
4. Facebook is growing their advertising offering.
- 4Q2014 was Facebook’s first quarter with $3+ billion in ad revenue, 53% quarterly ad revenue increase over 4Q2013.
- Of this, mobile Facebook ad revenue accounted for $2+ bilon or 69% of total ad revenue. eMarketer projected that Facebook accounted for 7.75% of global digital ad revenues in 2014.
Facebook’s 3 advertising goals are to:
- Capitalize on the mobile shift.
- Increase the number of marketers using Facebook ads.
- Make Facebook ad offering more relevant.
Sheryl Sandberg emphasized that advertising budgets don’t follow customer media usage. Specifically, mobile attracts 25% of US consumer media time, but merely 10% of ad budgets. This translates to:
- $1.00 of marketing spend for every consumer hour spent on print
- $0.07 of marketing spend for every consumer hour spent on mobile.
No newsflash here. We’ve discussed this before. The marketing challenges are:
- Learning curve associated with moving media budgets to digital platforms. Historically, marketers don’t believe that they need the same level of investment and digital media yields lower results.
- Digital media tends to be more fragmented than offline media. As a result, it’s more difficult to aggregate a similar level of mass market.
Critical Facebook advertising take-aways:
- Facebook expects businesses to adjust their paid advertising, marketing and promotion to reflect where their audience spends their time. This will happen faster as marketers experience lower visibility in the organic Facebook feed.
- Marketers should maximize organic Facebook reach before paying for ads.
Marketers should maximize organic Facebook reach before paying for ads.
Facebook advertising offers custom audiences, an essential tool to segment current and potential customers, and conversion tracking to measure the impact of Facebook campaigns online. This is important because it allows marketers to track results back to Facebook advertising.
Facebook advertising case study:
- Thomas Cook used Facebook ads to reach a broad audience in Belgium. Through custom audiences, they sent targeted messages to existing customers based on places that they expressed interest in visiting.
- Thomas Cook’s Facebook ads reached 30% of the Belgium population in 1 day, 3.85 times ROI.
Actionable Marketing Tip:
- Get up to speed on Facebook advertising. This means start testing what you need and where your audience is. (Need help? Check out Jon Loomer— he’s the Facebook Advertising Guy.)
5. Facebook didn’t breakout their audience by age.
Ask your favorite high school student how they feel about Facebook, they’ll probably tell you that it’s kid stuff.
Facebook’s earnings were so good that no one asked about their demographics. But Pew Research found that Facebook’s audience is graying, its biggest growing demographic is grandparents and boomers. (Here’s the full analysis of Pew’s Research.)
Actionable Marketing Tip:
- Ask your audience how they use Facebook. This is key to creating an optimal marketing persona and social media persona. If you’re using Facebook for your marketing efforts, you want to ensure that your efforts are effective.
What does this mean for your 2015 Marketing Plans?
You must be on Facebook due to sheer reach. It’s social media’s mass market platform.
To this end, you must craft a targeted Facebook Marketing strategy including the following elements.
- Build your Facebook business presence.
- Extend your Facebook reach by empowering your employees to actively share your content and participate on your page.
- Leverage the power of video on Facebook (as well as other social and owned platforms.)
- Supplement your Facebook content and engagement with targeted advertising. Take advantage of custom audiences to tailor your message. Don’t just boost your posts.
- Optimize your Facebook content so that it’s findable within the Facebook ecosystem.
What else would you add to this list of Facebook Marketing and what is your rationale for doing so?
BTW, you may be interested in how to drive measurable social media results.
Sources of Facebook information:
- Seeking Alpha (please note I found the user experience poor.)
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