It starts out by getting requests from people, at first a few, then more. You give in and build your Facebook page, or recruit the kid down the street to help you do it. Then you start looking at other people’s profiles and see people you know. Next thing you know you are connecting to people you haven’t talked to for years and it all snowballs from there.
It’s no wonder that Facebook attracted 25 million new users in the last month alone.
Facebook, a phenomenon that started with the under 35 set, is maturing in both demographics and uses. Facebook was born in a Harvard dorm room in 2004 and originally only for college students. A year later, high school students were allowed in. In 2006, Facebook got rid of its gatekeepers and began letting anyone in.
Over the next year, it grew from 12 million to 50 million users. Then it launched versions in Spanish, French and German. Today about 175 million people are on Facebook.
While most Facebook users are younger than 35, so many older people are now using it that the portion of the college-age users has dropped to 41 percent. Robert Scoble, a blogging and social media technology expert, says eventually Facebook’s popularity will slow — but not any time soon. And it remains hip with the college crowd.
“Having older people there doesn’t affect your experience,” Scoble said. “It’s segregated. You have your friends and your whole experience there is based on who your friends are.”
Of course some overlap occurs. Parents are finding that Facebook is a good way to keep in touch with their college age children who previously forgot to email or call. Of course some young people in college may be a little wary of their parents keeping tabs on them that way, however most just remove a few pictures that the parents might not appreciate.
The older crowd is here to stay on Facebook, in fact UC Davis is examining the “effectiveness of social media used by the higher education sector to communicate philanthropic news”. In other words, UC Davis thinks there might be enough people on Facebook with enough cash to help fund higher education. Since Barack Obama’s successful presidential campaign, which heavily leveraged social media, it has become acceptable to run social media fundraising campaigns. Entrepreneurs are following suit and are using it to reinforce and create new business connections.
Think about the essence of a marketing campaign. You decide on your messaging and branding and with certain key activities you build momentum and buzz towards your event. This translates well to Facebook. Your Info tab .. or even better your business page, informs everyone about and even brands you and your business and your Facebook activity builds momentum towards the event you are marketing. It’s a natural fit.
Whether you plan to use the internet purely for personal reasons or you are looking for professional networking, Facebook will open doors you didn’t even know were there.
Kathy Alice Brown is a traffic and conversion expert specializing in SEO, Copywriting and Facebook Ad Campaigns. In her spare time she loves to get outside.