6 Feb 2014

Lessons in Marketing - Happy Birthday Facebook

Do you remember your 10th birthday? Other than the presents it’s highly likely that the most exciting part was the party. A celebration involving your closest friends and family who were all focused on you. Yes, it was your birthday, your party and therefore only natural that you had the starring role, that you were the centre of attention. 

Facebook has just celebrated its 10th birthday. Refreshingly they understand that the majority of us are far more interested in what's happening in our own lives than what Mark Zuckerburg or his team in Silicon Valley are doing, so they made the smart decision to shine the spotlight on YOU.  Facebook users have the opportunity to visit this link and watch a video, created using their own posts and photographs on the network, to look back at their own life in the past 10 years. 

The 'A Look Back' video idea was a marketing dream as users clicked ‘share’ and liked, commented, laughed, had a wee tear in their eye and reminisced. I watched with interest as my close friends shared their video highlights and we all got a bit soppy. A few chose not to look back – mainly for broken hearted/ divorce reasons - but the majority were quite taken with the whole experience. (It reminded me of being a child, sitting crossed legged on the floor watching old cine films that my Uncle had made of family celebrations.)

I found it really interesting that amongst my hundred Facebook friends  that none were concerned about how much personal information they had shared online or that Facebook had access to such a personal record of their life history, from births, deaths and marriages to qualifications, career and  location information. We live in such a digital age that very few bat an eyelid any more. It has become the norm, Facebook has been part of our inner circle for a long time now.

I am frequently asked if Facebook is dead. The answer is No. I think Facebook still has a strong place in a marketers tool kit. It's important to remember that not all consumers are interested in the next big thing, using Vine or Instagram and not all consumers are digital whizz-kids. Yes, Facebook has changed and it is definitely more complicated now than it was even 5 years ago to get results from business pages, but with a little investment and creativity Facebook can still generate strong results. 

In my opinion Facebook's clever tenth birthday campaign has offered both marketers and businesses a valuable lesson. Focus on your customers, understand what THEY want from you and create content that is worth sharing.

Two tips;
1) A quick way to check what is publicly visible on your personal Facebook account is to sign in, go to your own Timeline and from the drop down box click on 'Activity Log' and 'View As'.

2) Take a few moments to watch this video about internet safety, and then check that your date of birth, home address or other important personal is not visible on your accounts. 

Feel free to comment, or if I can be of assistance with social media training, marketing strategy or reviews then get in touch via email; annie at annie boyd dot com.

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