Is Facebook worth it?

So you’ve taken the advice of the web gurus, and set up your company facebook page.  Maybe you’ve paid handsomely for consultants to do that for you and advise you on how to “leverage” social media.

Great – how are the results?  Customers kicking down the door now?  If you are struggling to see the tangible results of your efforts, you are not alone.

According to the Facebook website:

More than 800 million active users
More than 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day


Ok, let’s see.  The first keyword is “active” – it’s not defined, and it’s not clear what % of the total accounts are active.  For example, are there 2 billion accounts, and only 800 million are active?  Not sure.

The second misleading stat is the “50%” – gee I guess that means over the course of several days, 800 million unique users login to facebook….Ehh…not so.  Power users who login every day will skew the results here.  If facebook defines “active” as someone who logs in once a month, then you can see what happens.  Let’s say 200 million people are “power users” who login every day.  Right off the bat FB can say “25% of active users are logging in on any given day.”  Now, all you need is another 200 million of the remaining 600 to login per day, and you have 50%.  Of course, if an “inactive” account suddenly logs in, maybe FB declares him active and now he counts as well.  Plus new signups, etc.

What is my point in all this?  Simple – when you post your “status” updates – how many of your users see them?  Well, if you have a list of “power users” – maybe a lot of them.  But, if you have mostly “occasional users” – your views might be much lower.  Then consider this – Status updates “scroll down” as new posts come in – so unless your “friends” diligently scour their updates to make sure they see everything, they can miss your update.  The power users may do this, but my bet is that the occasional users do not.  Heck, I check FB every day, but I don’t take pains to make sure I see every update.

My conclusion is this – keep your social media expectations in order.  Email and e-newsletters are still far more effective at reaching your audience than social media.  People check email more often, AND handle each message – at least reading the subject before deleting it.

So don’t buy all the social media hype – it’s nice to do, and may someday be the primary mode for reaching your audience, but that’s just not the case today.

Category: Social Media Comment »

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