facebook

Is Facebook dead – or just getting started?

Let’s take a moment to stroll down memory lane to visit the days when Facebook’s organic reach flourished and brands rejoiced.

It was beautiful. Large and small businesses alike could reach potential customers with ease. They could push out messages to the masses with little to no effort. And it was free.

Then, things started to change. Facebook’s organic reach started to plummet. Fans became harder and harder to reach. Marketers moaned and small business owners balked. Slowly, reach dropped, eventually reaching less than 1%, meaning less than 1% of your fans were seeing your content. Meaning all of that free marketing that we had become so accustomed to came at a new cost.

Facebook is a business. Businesses grow by making money and have a fiscal responsibility to their shareholders to do so. Unaffectionately dubbed “reachocalypse,” marketers quickly understood that Facebook was becoming a pay-to-play platform to appease this business model.

Suddenly what we used to get for free, we now had to pay for. On top of that, most of what we paid for was shoved into a barely visible 1×1 inch ad in the right-hand column. And, after earning all of those fans that we worked so hard to get, we were told we had to pay to talk to them, too.

This lead to a near-collective grumble about the death of Facebook, and how it would soon be replaced by the next big thing. Some claiming that its demise will happen as early as 2017.

This is dead wrong.

In fact, 10 percent of the order volume for one of our online client retailers was delivered by Facebook — eight times more order volume than the next best display partner running the same set of offers. Pair Facebook ads with a complex set of creative and be prepared to see impressive results.

Another point to consider is that nearly 71% of Internet users are logging onto this platform daily. Its user base is in the billions, and recently hit a milestone mark of one billion users in a single day.

Most importantly, Facebook is beginning to play nice with marketers by giving them new tools to put in their tool belt, including ones that allow us to dabble in “consumer-centric” marketing.

Remember in Minority Report when advertising started marketing to people by name? Well, that was science fiction, but we are on the heels of that type of real-time advertising. And Facebook is on the cutting edge of this technology. Facebook relaunched the ad server Atlas back in 2014 after acquiring it for $100 million the year prior. This astute acquisition put the social network in a position to glean consumer data through Facebook user IDs rather than through the increasingly obsolete cookie, making it possible for cross-device and cross-platform measurement.

Then, at Cannes back in June, Chris Cox, Facebook’s Chief Product Officer, announced a new mobile ad format for marketers who want to create a more “immersive” ad experience for users. The format would allow brands to create ads that not only have images, videos, and information, but a new level of interactivity for users that allows them to grab, move, and zoom in on a product with their finger on a mobile device.

Following closely behind the immersive ads announcement, Facebook revealed in July tests to create a live experience in real-time for users akin to Snapchat stories and the live-streaming apps Meerkat and Periscope for Twitter.

Their first experiment with Lollapalooza in Chicago this summer gave users the ability to see images and live-streaming video from their friends at the festival — all while being remotely located. Facebook’s Place Tips was created to bring events like this to users in real-time, opening up a new level of content marketing for advertisers to explore.

So maybe the question isn’t whether or not Facebook is dead, but rather whether we are ready to take advantage of the new and exciting opportunities within its space?

Do you think Facebook is dead? What opportunities do you think that these Facebook’s innovations will offer to marketers in the near future?