Facebook has become so big and powerful that communicators and marketers should consider it as another category outside of the web. In other words, brands need an online strategy – and a Facebook strategy.
The population of the world is projected to be about 6.9 billion people at the end of 2011. Just over two billion of them are connected to the Internet. This is an internet usage penetration of about 30.2 percent, according to World Internet Usage statistics.
There are now 700 million people on Facebook. That means that 35 percent of the two billion internet users are using Facebook. In other words, one out of every three people in the world with an Internet connection has an account on Facebook. This also means that Facebook has a higher percentage of penetration into the worldwide Internet population than the internet has in penetrating the world population.
Think about that for a minute. That is a staggering statistic.
Facebook has truly become a sub-domain of the world wide web.
The platform also offers a versatility and a flexibility that has yet to be duplicated on any other social networks (or any other web platform for that matter). It offers commerce and contests to videos and gaming applications. There are literally dozens of ways to connect, communicate and interact on Facebook.
It is the connectivity of Facebook combined with its size that makes it the most powerful communications platform ever created. The average Facebook user has 130 friends. This means that every post that appears on her wall has a potential audience (a circulation, if you will) of 130 people.
This number scales quickly. A brand with just 1,000 likes on its brand page has a Facebook circulation of 130,000. A brand with 10,000 likes has the potential to reach 1.3 million people. A brand with 100,000 likes can reach 13 million people. The largest newspaper in the U.S. is the Wall Street Journal with a circulation of 2.1 million.
Brands publishing content on Facebook – good, compelling content – have the potential to reach tens of millions – even hundreds of millions of customers. Where else can you get those kinds of numbers?
More statistics to consider.
- Half of Facebook’s users – some 350 million people – log in daily.
- Users spend 700 billion minutes a month on the platform.
- There were 693 million unique visitors to Facebook in March, 2011, according to Comscore.
- For the week ending June 4, 2011, Facebook had more visitors than Google, according to Hitwise. 10.76 percent of Internet users went Facebook compared with 8.99 percent going to Google.
- 80 percent of social media users prefer Facebook for connecting with brands, according to a survey this month by Edison Research/Arbitron Internet. Twitter was in second place at a distant 6 percent.
- 67 percent of B2C and 41 percent of B2B companies say they have acquired customers on Facebook, according to Hubspot’s “The 2011 State of Inbound Marketing” report.
- 55 percent of people between the ages of 15 and 34 post comments on Facebook while watching TV. Thirty-five percent of people between 35 and 46 do as well (according to a survey by Magid Generational Strategies).
- 62 percent of small businesses in the U.S. check Facebook at least once a day with 42 percent of them checking the site repeatedly throughout the day (according to a survey by Constant Contact).
- 93 percent of U.S. mothers with Internet access have a Facebook account (according to a survey by Lucid Marketing).
It should be clear at this point that Facebook should not be an afterthought or a bolt-on for marketers and communicators. It should be at the center of any and every communications and marketing campaign or program. It needs its own strategy and its own tactical plan because it has become that important.
What are you doing on Facebook?