This February the social media world celebrates a unique event - no not the annual onslaught of Valentine’s Day well wishes- but rather the 15 year anniversary of Facebook. In February 2004, Facebook, or as it was known in those days, The Facebook, was launched. Back then the budding social media platform was available to a select number of universities and their students. A “.edu” email address was the ticket onto the new platform.
In its early days, most skeptics didn’t appreciate the awesome potential of this new platform and how it would quickly become embedded in the very fabric of our culture. In fact, as many of us tend to forget, Facebook wasn’t actually the first social media platform, there had been quite a few others before it - does anyone recall MySpace or Friendster? Yet, despite not having the early advantage Facebook succeeded where others had failed and it quickly grew from strength to strength. As the platform grew in global popularity it became clear that Facebook would present a revolutionary platform for advertising. By 2007, Facebook opened up the platform to advertisers allowing businesses to strategically target potential customers based on a variety of interests and demographics. For us marketers - the landscape evolved overnight. With Facebook’s enormous community of users - users who openly shared information about themselves and their interests, marketers had the ability to reach customers in a focused way that they had never had before. The entire industry seemingly changed overnight.
Fast-forward to 2019 and Facebook is still a major force and over the last decade has become an essential marketing channel for businesses. After all, it's hard to deny approximately 1.5 billion daily users. For any business involved in e-commerce and aiming to connect with new customers, Facebook is a no-brainer. As a marketing agency, we have seen tremendous results for many of our clients on the platform, helping skyrocket growth in an incredibly short period of time. As brands look to make significant marketing improvements, Facebook often offers very low-hanging fruit that should be examined.
What are our key takeaways though at this anniversary? Well, simply stated, Facebook over the past 15 years has helped transform digital marketing efforts and does not appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. Even despite the major political and ethical speed bumps the company has hit in the last year, the company is still seen as a top 10 globally ranked brand. For e-commerce companies that are not currently advertising on the platform, you may be missing significant sales opportunities. For all of those that are currently advertising on Facebook, we would recommend viewing Facebook as one of many tools in your toolbox. Just as one may diversify their financial portfolio, marketers must also diversify their marketing channels. An omni-channel marketing approach that leverages Facebook as one of the many platforms will help deliver strong and sustainable performances for your organization while helping you better reach your potential customers.
- Henry Palmer