The End of a Facebook-First Era

There was a time when a brand really wasn’t considered to be doing social media marketing unless Facebook was part of the mix (or at least that seemed to be the general consensus). Facebook’s an obvious choice. It’s the default. It’s the gateway drug to social media marketing. There usually isn’t a question as to whether or not a brand should or will have a Facebook presence. Instead, that’s where a brand starts to establish a social foothold and then expand from there.

That’s the way it has been and for good (mostly) reason. It’s where people are, and it’s where brands can create a presence fairly easily. Facebook isn’t getting weaker, but other platforms are getting stronger, giving reason for marketers to look beyond the default, the status quo, the Facebook.

Facebook Isn’t a Magic Bullet

Without question, Facebook will continue to dominate in terms of user numbers, advertiser usage and ad revenue for the foreseeable future, but other social platforms have become more diverse and better at offering unique opportunities for marketers.

The more options that are available to people, the more diverse their social behavior will be. People will continue to log on to Facebook, but other options including Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat attract different audiences and promote different mindsets for their users. For example, people are more likely to engage with brand on Instagram than on Facebook  and Pinterest users are naturally in a mindset that is more aligned with purchase intent.

These diverse platforms allow marketers to tell their stories on the platforms that make the most sense for the audience and the desired outcome marketers want to elicit. They choose the platform that fits the message, instead of making the message fit the platform. Facebook is always an option, but it isn’t always the best option.

A Brand’s Social Footprint Should Reflect Its Audience’s

People, particularly teens and millennials, have diversified their social footprints. It’s important to constantly look at where people’s attention is being focused and why. Where are they spending their time and why are they focusing where they are? Then it’s on the job of marketers to create content specific to the platform and the need people are hoping to fulfill there.

Facebook used to be the ‘easy’ button for social media marketing. It was certainly treated that way, but users have changed their behaviors. Facebook has changed how it works, and new options have become available to marketers.

Facebook will continue to remain a powerhouse and important piece for marketing, but it won’t be the cornerstone or ultimate solution. Instead, it becomes one part of a complete ecosystem with a specific role, not an all-encompassing one.