Almost everyone in social media can agree on one thing: Facebook is the king of social. There are a lot of reasons for this, of course. For example, when you think of the term “social network,” this platform is the first one to come to mind. At the same time, unless you consider YouTube to be a social network, Facebook is by far the largest site of this type. From its humble beginnings in a college dormitory to its current status as one of society’s most influential tech companies with many thousands of employees, Facebook has come a long way. These Facebook statistics will serve to prove that point and remind us of the importance of Facebook marketing even when shiny new objects come and some proclaim that TikTok is the next big thing in social media marketing.
As marketers, we have to think of Facebook features differently than most people. For the average consumer, Facebook is a place to keep track of people we’ve met and people we’d like to meet. At the same time, these social connections give us marketers the opportunity to spread the word about our company’s or client’s products and services. Whether that’s a simple business page with the occasional announcement post, or an elaborate multimedia advertising campaign, Facebook is something we simply can’t ignore any longer. Let’s look at the most recent Facebook statistics, and think about the current potential of this versatile platform.
It’s safe to say that Facebook is everywhere. Just about any website you see will have a button for sharing its contents on the popular network. Even small nonprofits are looking for their little bit of free promotion in this manner.
So, how ubiquitous is this social network, anyway?
That figure was as of the end of 2018, and with new signups it is fair to assume that the percentage is even higher now. Facebook tracks its users from the age of 12, which is the minimum age they will accept as a member. Just think about it: over half of the Internet-connected market pays some level of attention to this powerful platform. That’s a lot of potential customers.
Unfortunately, it looks like the people at Facebook aren’t giving us separate membership numbers anymore. With that said, many of the people who use Facebook also are active on Instagram. And while it isn’t clear whether or not the same people are counted twice (or more), given other statistics available Zuckerberg seems to be counting only once for a combined total. Either way, Facebook is still the largest social network out there by a large margin.
By far, that’s the majority of active Facebook product users. Why is this significant? Because the network has become a significant part of 2.1 billion lives on planet Earth. It would be interesting to know what percentage of the overall global population is. In other words, what’s the total number of internet-connected people? Logically, it should be around 4.5 billion or so based on these statistics. But no matter the exact numbers, it has become increasingly clear that Facebook is a very important part of everyday modern life for much of the population.
Lastly, for our American friends it’s worth noting that:
Considering that Americans are so busy, that’s a staggering number. It’s also interesting, given that the statistic only includes adults, instead of everyone who’s old enough to have their own account. And, this includes senior citizens, rather than just younger people that tend to be the bulk of members for most networks. In my experience, parents and older adults use Facebook to keep track of their relatives of all ages. It makes connectivity between social groups easier, both due to “friends” lists and pages dedicated to clubs, religious groups, and even the promotion of political causes.
Although a huge proportion of the population is on Facebook, there are some variations in population saturation. In other words, there are sections of society where larger or smaller proportions of the population are members. As marketers, we can use this more in-depth knowledge to inform our advertising choices.
This age group is the one that’s just graduated from college and, if applicable, graduate school. They’re just starting to get married and have children, but the kids aren’t old enough to have their own accounts. From a marketing perspective, they probably don’t have a lot of money to spend on luxury items, but everyday product choices are fair game. You also have a great opportunity with this group, if you’re hoping to obtain new customers who can grow with you.
Although this is much lower than the twenty-something group, it’s pretty high for a social network. Many of those old enough to retire won’t even get on LinkedIn, because there is no longer a need for professional networking. By contrast, Facebook is awesome for grandparents looking to keep track of those grandkids. Of course, they’re also a great “all purpose” marketing customer, because they buy stuff for their grandkids and often have plenty of money to do it.
And perhaps the most interesting demographic figure of all:
From the same source, we know that this number is actually declining. This percentage was over 70% five years ago. It’s easy to wonder about the reasons for this trend. I, for one, think that cyber bullying has a lot to do with it. After all, even within the last couple years we’ve seen stories in the news about classmates bullying each other on Facebook. For sure, some of the losses have been from kids turning twenty and “aging out” of the demographic, but the younger ones aren’t signing up. It’s easy to see parents, in the wave of bullying horror stories, saying “no” to their child’s involvement in Facebook.
With that said, Facebook seems to be losing its “cool” factor. Other platforms, like Instagram and Snapchat, are more popular with teenagers. Kids love to enjoy the latest thing, and Facebook is no longer the latest thing.
That’s by far the largest percentage of high-earners than any other social network except YouTube. And remember, YouTube may be important for us as marketers, but there’s a real question whether or not it’s really a social network. No matter what your position is on that subject, this usage statistic shows that Facebook is an important advertising choice for any brand hoping to reach customers with money. That could be luxury goods, high-end real estate, or gourmet food. Of course, this demographic purchases everyday products, too.
This isn’t unusual for social networks. After all, the older set is used to growing their personal networks with in-person interactions. They write letters, make phone calls, and attend networking events. For sure, young professionals do these things as well, but they also enjoy the online interaction while checking in with social contacts. Besides which, they can play games with their friends, too. What’s not to love?
Originally, Facebook was a decidedly un-commercial place to hang out in cyberspace. Friends and social contacts posted on the “wall” of the person they wanted to connect with, sent friend requests, and issued the once-ubiquitous “pokes.” It wasn’t long after Facebook became open to all, however, that advertising started to appear. Here are some statistics to show how marketers have taken advantage of this platform lately.
That’s a lot of positive engagement with brands, and it covers all sorts of businesses. In fact, most of the time Facebook users can learn a lot about someone else by seeing what they have liked or followed on their profile. Granted, there are some people who don’t like to show their interests on Facebook, but these are few and far between. For the rest of the population, seeing someone else likes something you’re interested in can help influence purchases.
That’s a lot of chances at making a positive impression, and not all of them are going to be through actual advertising. I, for one, have discovered new products by seeing my friends post about them. I’ve also talked about product recommendations, and even found out which yard services are the best in an area. For all those organic impressions from happy (or even dissatisfied) customers, imagine what formal advertising efforts are capable of.
To me, this seems like common sense. The best place to share things with your potential audience is where they check in everyday. Once upon a time this was the TV, newspaper, or radio. But these older forms of media, although still in use, have lost their luster with many of the younger generation. Also, if a potential customer is following your business, they’ll see that video in their feed.
This definitely isn’t Instagram or Pinterest, but still not insignificant. After all, Pinterest was pretty much designed for shopping, while Facebook is where people go to socialize. But with socializing comes “I like your shoes, where’d you get them?” or maybe, “what am I going to wear at the party I just RSVP’d to?” These moments are golden opportunities for us as marketers. And we’d be foolish not to cash in.
What does this mean? In total, we’re talking about 19 interactions with posts that others can see. This doesn’t count the click-throughs on ads or to other websites, but it still is almost one for two days out of three. Perhaps the biggest takeaway, however, is that in order to earn these interactions your content has to be unique. Or, it can be something that speaks directly to the interests of your audience. In other words, bland content won’t cut it.
Being the dominant player in any market has its privileges. For Facebook, these privileges include the ability to charge top dollar for advertising. With this large of a potential audience and the chance for promotional content to go viral, it isn’t surprising. Let’s look at the figures.
When that many marketers are using something, you know it works. And this isn’t a surprise, given the huge number of Facebook users worldwide. Make a heartfelt post about something you believe in strongly, and you’re likely to find kindred spirits who will share the post. And if that post shares a product or service that changed someone’s life, you can only imagine how many likes and shares it can get.
Obviously, this isn’t cheap. But then, it isn’t outrageous either. Especially when you consider that if someone clicks through an advert, they’re usually interested in buying your products. Of course, it doesn’t always work out as well as we’d like.
Given that people spend so much of their time and energy on this social network, it’s not surprising that advertising here is so effective. Sometimes, the effect of an advert goes beyond just what you say, and results in discussions with friends about what they think. Maybe a shoe brand is throwing a huge sale, but so is everyone else. Messaging friends can help someone decide which sales to take advantage of, and which ones to avoid. Or, they might share an advert that doesn’t benefit them, but a friend might need to see. Either way, you win.
I hope this discussion of Facebook statistics has been helpful. If you’re ready to revise your Facebook marketing strategy, check out our advice here:
Learn more about how Facebook has grown leaps and bounds throughout the years, in this great infographic from UK Web Host Review.