“Facebook Exodus” Is There Cause for Concern?

2 09 2009

There was an interesting article in the New York Times yesterday, in fact, it was the #2 most emailed article when a friend brought it to my attention late in the afternoon.  The drift of the article was about how people were becoming disillusioned with Facebook and were dropping their participation and profiles.  It was purely anecdotal information but interesting reading.

So, does this mean that Facebook is finished as a social marketing took, particularly for B2B marketing?  It might be a little bit soon to draw that conclusion.  The fact remains that Facebook is growing at a rapid pace from 150 million in January 2009 to over 250 million active users as of August 2009.

Even more interestingly for those interested in B2B, the fastest growth is in the 35 to 54 year old demographic, which experienced a 276% gain year/year in 2009.

Conclusions

  • Applications (like Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) will come and go.  This year’s market leader can be next year’s dog meat.
  • Also, check out LinkedIn if you have not already.  It is more business-focused, is also growing rapidly (46 million as of 8/25/09), and has recently added company profiles as well as personal profiles.
  • Social networking is not going away.  It will probably evolve rapidly for the next few years, but it is not going away any time soon.  Social Media fills a fundamental human need.
  • The important thing is to watch the technology space, not the individual applications.
  • In the B2B world, the evidence is overwhelming that the most trusted source of information on products and services is industry peers and friends.  Social media enables these people to connect and exchange ideas.

Action Plan

  • Watch the social media space closely.  It will evolve rapidly for the next few years.
  • Ask your customers and target customers what sources of information and networking they use and target your efforts there:
    • What blogs do they read?
    • Where do they go to do business networking?
    • How do they do their research on a product decision?
    • How do they like to get their information: articles, videos, audio podcasts, etc.
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2 responses

4 09 2009
Josh

Good thoughts. I think you are right. It seems like everyone evacuated MySpace like sinking ship a couple years ago. You have to assume a finite lifespan for Facebook, too, along with the rest of them.
Now, I just have to update my LinkedIn info…..

17 09 2009
rbnolan

Yep. Facebook is clearly looking over its shoulder at Twitter these days.

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