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11 Years On: How Facebook changed the way we talk to each other

4 February, 2015

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Over 1 billion regular users log on to Facebook worldwide: a staggering statistic, for a social network which at one point was only a twinkle in the eye of Mark Zukerberg in his Harvard dorm room. Today is Facebook’s 11th birthday and with over a decade under its digital belt, it’s become the most popular and successful social media platform to date. By understanding the way in which Facebook changed the way we talk to each other we can understand what makes a successful Facebook business strategy.

Facebook kept us in touch

Old school friends, people you met on holiday or a night out, family and extended family, and work colleagues: we can stay connected to them all on Facebook. In the past, we may have had a close circle of friends that we share our lives with. But now more than ever, people open up their daily experiences to everyone on their Facebook accounts. No one is lost, no friendships are ever unbroken, no one moves away and you never lose contact. You constantly surround yourself by people via Facebook every day, making communication with people all over the world easy and accessible just by picking up a smartphone or tablet. Facebook has made the world much smaller.

We share everything

Facebook gave us the ability to share as much or as little of our lives as we like. In the past, message boards and other early forms of social media gave people the ability to share only the parts of their lives they chose to, under cover of an avatar or pseudonym. But Facebook gave everyone a personal profile. A place all about them, where they could share every part of our lives in statuses, photos and videos. It’s no surprise that the rise of the selfie in the last few years has arrived when Facebook passed its 1 billion users mark: it gave people a way to show the world who they are.

Privacy became a thing of the past

We took the rough with the smooth, and gave up our rights to privacy when we signed up to Facebook. We all use its services for free and we know that in exchange data about us is banked and sold to third parties. Facebook knows our names, where we live, our favourite films, books, TV shows, our political and religious choices and much, much more. And despite Facebook’s ever-changing privacy settings and policies, users (especially over 35s) are still keeping their accounts open, even if they may have the occasional grumble. However, teens are experimenting with other social platforms.

People engaged with businesses online

With Facebook the age of social media campaigns started and corporate Facebook strategy was born. Companies have readily taken to Facebook to offer competitions, engage with feedback and improve relations with customers. If people are unhappy with your product or service nowadays, you’re more likely to receive a post on your company’s Facebook wall than a phone call to your customer service team. The easy accessibility of companies through social media has played a big role in how consumers use and rate the services they receive.

facebook like

Facebook for business: what now?

With all of these things in mind, creating engaging content is key to online success. Understanding the way that consumers connect with Facebook is vital for businesses that want to develop an active and engaged online community. Through careful monitoring, you can develop an understanding of your community’s preferences – what to post and when to post it.

But be aware – Facebook has been updating its algorithms to prioritise paid advertisers and sponsored posts – so page followers now only see around 5-8% of organic posts.

If you’d like to employ my Facebook consultancy services, please get in touch. I can tailor make a Facebook marketing strategy for your business to ensure your company’s tone of voice is pitch perfect and is heard by all. I will guide you through all aspects of Facebook pages, from set up, terms of use, workflows and moderation and I also offer complete Facebook advertising training.

For weekly tips on social media sign up to my blog and I will deliver it to your inbox every Wednesday.

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  • Facebook has changed the face of social networking. It has made so many things much easier especially connecting with friends and family in other parts of the world. Facebook is still the benchmark of how a social networking site would be. Whatever negatives are there, it’s because of the users.

    • Jonny Ross says:

      I’d have to agree with you Brian! Thanks for taking time to pop over! Are we thinking instragram is going to be bigger than FB and Twitter one day?

      • To be honest, we will never know. I have seen a ton of interest from users with regards to instagram and alot of push from some big named celebrities as well.At the end of the day, I don’t see the average internet users getting to excited over a site the revolves around the idea of sharing images.

        • Jonny Ross says:

          Yes that is a fair point, although if you look at 10-15 year olds they are all over it…. that is their “facebook” isnt it? Just like we group up with FB being THE social network, for them I think it’s instagram?

          • I’m not sure about the 10 – 15 year old, but I do know one thing,. at that age, they shouldn’t even be allowed on social media, way to influential at that age. I’m even sure if you read the TOS they have to be 16 or maybe even 18. I know for my social network of bloggers, you have to be 18…. however enforcing that is rather impossible… Back to your point, you are right, the youth will drive the future and if that’s the sites they are using, it’s very possible it’s going to replace Facebook. If we learned anything in today’s economy things can change overnight, no reason ti’s any different online.

    1. Facebook has changed the face of social networking. It has made so many things much easier especially connecting with friends and family in other parts of the world. Facebook is still the benchmark of how a social networking site would be. Whatever negatives are there, it’s because of the users.

      1. Jonny Ross says:

        I’d have to agree with you Brian! Thanks for taking time to pop over! Are we thinking instragram is going to be bigger than FB and Twitter one day?

        1. To be honest, we will never know. I have seen a ton of interest from users with regards to instagram and alot of push from some big named celebrities as well.At the end of the day, I don’t see the average internet users getting to excited over a site the revolves around the idea of sharing images.

          1. Jonny Ross says:

            Yes that is a fair point, although if you look at 10-15 year olds they are all over it…. that is their “facebook” isnt it? Just like we group up with FB being THE social network, for them I think it’s instagram?

            1. I’m not sure about the 10 – 15 year old, but I do know one thing,. at that age, they shouldn’t even be allowed on social media, way to influential at that age. I’m even sure if you read the TOS they have to be 16 or maybe even 18. I know for my social network of bloggers, you have to be 18…. however enforcing that is rather impossible… Back to your point, you are right, the youth will drive the future and if that’s the sites they are using, it’s very possible it’s going to replace Facebook. If we learned anything in today’s economy things can change overnight, no reason ti’s any different online.

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