The landscape of social media has shifted enormously over the last 5 years. In the UK, we spend almost two hours per day on our beloved platforms (and our screen time has doubled since the COVID-19 lockdown started).
Historically, the most popular platform has been Facebook. However, the service is now facing an inconvenient truth: its user base is declining. New apps like TikTok are taking over and there have been huge changes in demographics regarding active accounts. Younger people are shifting away from the platform while baby boomers are streaming in. It’s more than fair to ask the question – is Facebook still a relevant platform for business in 2021?
Spoiler: the simple answer is yes (if your target audience is on it, of course!). Facebook still has 2.5 billion active monthly users worldwide. However, its value has shifted considerably. Solely posting organically to a Facebook business page doesn’t cut it anymore. You have to diversify your Facebook strategy to reap the benefits.
Here are 5 reasons why Facebook remains relevant to businesses today:
Social Proof & Discoverability
Having a Facebook business page boosts your online discoverability significantly. Not only is it an extra method to be found online, but it also creates valuable backlinks to your website. This boosts your brand visibility. Your business presence on Facebook also allows you to tag your company in relevant conversations, fueling peer-to-peer recommendations. Facebook pages also act as social proof of concept for your business, especially through customer reviews and recommendations. This peer-to-peer functionality creates trust and credibility for your brand.
Facebook Ads are a highly specific and affordable way to target and reach your audience. Startup companies like Beauty Pie and Mindful Chef have launched themselves very successfully through social advertising. However, it’s important to remember that it does take a lot of time and careful planning to launch a successful Facebook ad campaign. The more targeted your ads are, and the more split-testing you do over a prolonged period of time, the greater success you will have.
On a monthly basis, more than 20 billion Facebook Messenger messages are exchanged between businesses and individuals. In fact, 64% of people across age groups say they’d rather message a business than make a call or send an email. Messenger is an amazing and efficient way to build an excellent customer service system. If you are available and open to conversation, you become more accessible as a brand. Providing a 1-2-1 contact point with individual customers is a very strong micro-marketing technique that builds trust and drives sales.
Video is priority content across all social media platforms, and Facebook is no exception. Facebook Live is the number one way to drive brand awareness on the platform. Not only do you get a real-time connection with your target audience, you also get 10x the amount of engagement on your content. After you’re done streaming, the live video resides as a replay on your business page forever, just like a regular post. It’s a win-win marketing tactic.
The best Facebook Lives are the ones that provide organic value to customers. So, ask yourself, what can you talk about or showcase that will add value and drive sales?
Every business should try to build community with Facebook, and this is particularly easy with Facebook Groups. The possibilities with groups are endless (online courses, business groups, fundraisers, fan groups, etc) but they all exist around one fundamental concept – community. In fact, groups are the unsung marketing hero. They can be a crucial tool for startup companies and solo entrepreneurs.
In essence, Facebook is like the patriarch of social media – hard to ignore, deeply ingrained in our culture, and yielding enormous amounts of power. New apps like TikTok also need to be explored for their business value and purpose. However, like with any social media platform, the most important question any business should be asking themselves is who their target audience is and where they are. If they are consumers older than 35, it’s highly probable they are on Facebook.