Facebook Isn’t The Sky, Everyone Can Relax

I find the recent hysteria about the declining Facebook use of kids and teens to be pretty silly. What did everyone expect? That ONE social network would be cool for more than a single generation?

The reason this all seems funny to me is that I don’t view this as a problem, and advertisers shouldn’t either.

Facebook currently has somewhere around 1 billion users. Those users are made up of basically everyone you have ever met or could possibly meet. Change is hard for anyone, but the less-than-super technologically savvy take a while (if ever) to move from one social network to another. More to the point, most adults have no reason to leave Facebook. They’ve already learned how to use it, and a lot of their old friends and family members are on it.

So why should this be comforting to advertisers?

Before not too long it will be clear which new social network kids are moving to. Then advertisers can add those sites into their repertoire. Aside from the hyper-aware/overprotective parents, most aren’t going to hop on the bandwagon for whatever 12-16-year-olds think is cool. Advertise on both. Market to everyone. That’s the way the game has always worked and always will. Maybe it will be for the better. Maybe advertisers will figure out a better way to target their marketing towards adults on Facebook, and then find more creative ways to market towards kids elsewhere.

The secret to marketing is having a cool product with a compelling story- that people actually want and need. So maybe we should be focusing more time on making things that people actually want, and less time trying to sell people things that they don’t.

PS. Check out Cliff Watson’s awesome post, “Teens aren’t abandoning ‘social’. They’re just using the word correctly.”

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