So Facebook made the news again this week, this time by buying Whatsapp. A lot of people are now questioning whether we’re going to start seeing big changes on the platform and, of course, advertising across Whatsapp (and we all know how we don’t like change!)
From a marketer’s point of view Facebook advertising can produce some of the best return on investment compared to standard display advertising. The main reason for this is because Facebook is able to send highly targeted messages. As a company they know an awful lot about us, after all it’s the place we store the most information about ourselves – more than we probably even realise.
With Valentine’s Day two weeks ago, many of my friends have been posting about engagements, marriages or babies (I must be getting to ‘that age’ as they say) It made me think – what would happen if Facebook no longer existed or crashed? What would I really be missing out on?
- My Cloud Storage – I inadvertently use Facebook as cloud based storage for my photos and videos, lots of them aren’t backed up anywhere else – which is probably just bad planning on my part but it’s still an interesting point. How many other people store their memories on social media!?
- My Calendar – I would miss everyone’s birthdays without Facebook’s reminders. It is a very useful tool for us forgetful types. It allows for secret birthday parties, planning of holidays (with links to cheap flight pages and train times) and various reminders for events you may or may not want to be seen dead at.
- My preferred form of Communication – which includes stalking. Facebook is renowned for it and don’t pretend you haven’t done it at least once. Whether you’re checking what your old crush is up to now or sending a ‘we should meet up soon’ message to that person who you just never seem to have time to meet up with, it’s a great way to spend 5 minutes of your daily commute. It can be both productive and destructive but I think we’d all miss the feeling that you get after a good catch up with an old friend that Facebook allows us to do so easily.
- My Content – The latest news and gossip. Much as sites like www.thetimes.co.uk, www.dailymail.co.uk and www.bbc.co.uk are great for checking out the latest news, but sometimes the best articles are the ones shared by our friends. Stories that might be on page 35 of a newspaper won’t be on the home page of the sites, but may be most interesting to us because of the relevant content. I’m personally always sending links to my friends via Whatsapp or Facebook when I find something funny or relevant to that person. Social media is the easiest and simplest way of transferring this information so they can read it wherever, whenever they have the time.
So – given that I use Facebook for my cloud storage, my calendar, my communication and my content consumption without even realising – its little wonder that social media is so effective. In the film The Social Network, Sean Parker says “We lived on farms, then we lived in cities, and now we’re going to live on the internet”. I think we might already be there.