Facebook is a “must have” to keep tabs on, as its 800 million plus users means it is the defacto social network platform of choice for nearly one in two of the world’s web users.
What are four trends to watch and potential impacts to consider with Facebook in 2012?
- Its ecosystem with easy to install “apps” and burgeoning commerce and marketing power continue to attract business and marketers. Essentially you market on facebook first and then consider other platforms.
- The new emerging eCommerce paradigm of taking your shop “to the network” rather than driving visitors to your portal will reshape global business. “Omni Commerce” has truly arrived.
- Its new “Timeline” feature redesign with larger images and banner space offers a compelling visual anchor that raises its addiction powers to new levels.
- Facebook is evolving into a more mature extension of your website design, function and content.
The evolution of Facebook continues to be met by grass roots protest that rails against any change that rumbles people’s comfort zones. Despite this Facebook has no choice but to add and modify its features and functions to keep pace with Google+ and savvy upstarts which are a new generation social networks with no legacy baggage.
It is not time for Facebook to rest on its very large laurels or take its users for granted.
Social media is no longer a stop-and-go investment, but rather a long term strategic channel that, when integrated with other marketing efforts, allows brands to connect with users over time.
Results of a recent survey we conducted find social media efforts valuable in their ability to grow brand awareness and increase dialogue with customers. In addition to spending more time thinking about how to engage audiences, marketers will soon begin to measure social media’s impact on the business through a more traditional ROI definition: attributable sales and costs.
Google decided in 2009 that it could no longer ignore the social web as it watched Facebook warp the web into a global community of 800 million plus. On June 28, 2011 Google Plus launched and became the fastest growing social network in history reaching 25 million users in less than 30 days. It continues to grow at over 600,000 users a day and is projected to reach 400 million users by the end of 2012 according to estimates by Paul Allen.
It is now both a personal and business social network after launching Google+ brand “pages” on November 7, 2011. Google plus enhanced the visual aspect of social networks by making its images significantly larger than the photos on Facebook. Facebook has since responded with a revamp of its design that allows for much larger images in its new “Timeline” for personal profiles.
Facebook now commands more than 800 million active users, adding more than 200 million of those in the last year alone. Twitter now boasts 100 million active users, about a fifth of whom are in the USA. LinkedIn has 64 million users in North America alone, and used this tally to launch a successful IPOback in May.