Facebook Has a Billion Users. Now What?
On October 4, Facebook announced that it had reached more than one billion monthly active users. In short and sweet blog post, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself wrote:
This morning, there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month.
If you're reading this: thank you for giving me and my little team the honor of serving you.
Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life.
I am committed to working every day to make Facebook better for you, and hopefully together one day we will be able to connect the rest of the world too.
The blog post also included a link to a fact sheet that breaks down other key metrics about how people are using Facebook. Here are some of the most interesting facts in the document:
Since the social network’s launch it saw:
- Over 1.13 trillion likes since launch in February 2009
- 140.3 billion friend connections
- 219 billion photos uploaded
- 17 billion location-tagged posts, including check-ins
- 62.9 million songs have been played 22 billion times – that’s about 210,000 years of music
Characteristics of users joining the week Facebook hit 1B
- The media age of the user is about 22
- The top five countries where people connected from at the time we reached this milestone were Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and the United States (NOTE: in alphabetical order)
- Facebook now has 600 million mobile users
Now, the above-mentioned numbers are indeed very staggering, and the thought that a seventh of the world’s population is now on the site is fascinating. However, as great as these numbers are, there are more significant questions to ask right now. For instance, how can companies on Facebook make the most out its colossal user base? How many out of those 1 billion people can be your customers? And more importantly, how can you engage with them?
Facebook’s Algorithmic Change
Unfortunately, reaching your fans on Facebook is now more difficult, thanks to a recent change that the social network applied to its algorithm. According to a blog post at social@Ogilvy, Facebook announced that “it would alter the algorithm that decides what a user sees on their newsfeed. The crux of the change is centered strictly on organic brand page posts, in an effort to de-clutter the amount of posts served up to mobile and tablet users by brands.”
The above-motioned post also furthered that this Edge Rank update could be Facebook’s way of gaining more paid advertising and promoted posts. After all, when businesses find that their fan reach has decreased, they might be more inclined to pay for exposure.
Many brand Pages have reported seeing drops in their reach. If your Facebook Page has seen the same fate, here are a few things that you can do increase your reach on Facebook:
Encourage fans to interact with your posts – It’s been said before, but it’s worth saying again: The more fans interact with your posts, the better chances they’ll have of seeing your updates in their news feeds. With that said, encourage your fans to like, share, and comment on your posts. Tell them that if they want to see more updates from you, they need to interact with your posts more often.
Spell it out for them, if you have to. Include phrases such as “like this post if you agree” or “comment below with your thoughts” in order to stir up conversations. You may want to try asking questions in your updates to get people to respond.
Try out Facebook Offers – Think of Facebook Offers as the social network’s contribution to the online deal space. If you’re a merchant with more than 400 likes on the site, you can now offer deals for your products and services.
According to Reuters, “Facebook will require merchants to pay at least $5 on related ads to promote each Facebook Offer to a targeted audience of fans and friends of fans. The cost will vary based on the size of a company's Facebook pages.”
What’s interesting about Facebook Offers is that whenever a fan claims an Offer, the story will be displayed on their friends’ news feeds. This means that running an offer can help put your Page out there, if your fans decide to buy it.
Switch up your cover image from time to time – Changing your cover image may seem like a small change, but it actually has a lot of potential. A story gets published on your fans’ news feeds whenever you change your cover image, which means doing so helps get your brand out there. It may not seem like much, but it could really open up opportunities for fans to click on your Page. For best results, make your cover image vibrant and strong to really grab the attention of users.
Experiment with posting schedule and frequency – There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how often you should post and what time. Since each Page’s fan base is different, it’s not a good idea to simply copy the schedule and frequency of others.
For best results, experiment with how often and what time you post updates. Check your insights and analytics and monitor engagement levels.
Experiment with targeted posts – A few weeks ago, Facebook rolled out a targeting feature for brands. Pages with more than 5000 likes will have the option to target their posts by language, location, gender, relationship status, and education.
Now narrowing your target audience and choosing to post updates for fewer people may seem counterintuitive, but the fact is, if you use targeted posts wisely, you could actually end up with higher levels of engagement. When using Facebook’s targeting feature, let that particular group know that you’re speaking specifically to them. People will like the fact that you’re singling them out and will increase the chances of them responding. Additionally, when you’re targeting your posts, be sure to speak the language of the people that you targeting in order to really grab their attention and get them to respond.
Image credit: FindYourSearch on Flickr