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HOW PEOPLE REALLY USE FACEBOOK

February 5, 2014

With millions of people making “Facebook Movies” to hype Facebook’s 10th anniversary, is Facebook a good business marketing tool for your business? How do the 1.2 billion users interact with the giant social media site? A new Pew Research study provides some insights.

57% of all adults and 73% of all those ages 12-17 use Facebook, but only 1 out of 10 users (10%) share details about their lives daily.  Facebook is primarily a one-way conversation driven by younger users who love sharing their lives with their friends or the public. Many users (36%) dislike it when people share “too much information about themselves.”

Facebook is about sharing and laughs, not learning about your company. Users say they appreciate photos and videos from friends (47% say that’s a major reason they use Facebook), the ability to share with many people at once (46% cite that as a major reason), updates from others (39% cite that), and humorous content (39%). Other aspects of Facebook—such as keeping up with news, or receiving support from the people in one’s network—are less appealing.

Only 4% update Facebook info more than once a day, about 15% of users comment on photos more than once a day. 25% of users share nothing at all on Facebook.  44% said they click on the “like” button on content posted by their friends.

The average adult on Facebook has 338 friends. As the Wall St Journal pointed out, “That number underscores a radical idea. A decade ago, the concept of being in constant touch with hundreds of friends would have seemed impossible, if not incredibly annoying. Now, it seems normal.”  The same could be said about you being in constant contact with your customers.

The study was based on telephone interviews in the fall of 2013 with 1,802 adults, all 18 or older. Engagement, the amount of time each user spends on Facebook, is a critical metric in Facebook marketing. Unfortunately, the Pew study didn’t provide much insight into this.  Here’s a link to some of the dataHere is a link to the actual survey.

Marketing assignment: Print out the survey and at your next marketing meeting compare key statistics to the profile of your best customer. If they match, do more Facebook marketing. If they don’t, spend more time and money marketing with other social media.

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