Marketing to Women: Is Facebook a Fad?

May 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Some 900 million people worldwide use Facebook.  Yet, according to a new Associated Press/CNBC poll, half of Americans think Facebook is a fad.  And as a corollary to the IPO, half also say the social network’s expected asking price is too high.  Currently, some 40% of all Americans go online on Facebook at least once a week, so what’s up here?  Why the skepticism?

Young adults are the heavy users here.  Surely they don’t think it is a fad.  They represent 56% of American users –  two-thirds of Gen Xers and  81 percent of people 18-35.   Half of baby boomers — the parents of the young adults — use Facebook. And even one in five Seniors have a Facebook account.

But why would young adults be so fickle as to think Facebook is a fad?  They are constantly connected with the social network, with 55% of them going on Facebook everyday, and one out of three going on several times a day.  Heck, Facebook was built for them and they have taken it from college on into adulthood.

Fading Appeal

Despite the intensity of their use, a narrow majority of young adults predict Facebook’s appeal will fade down the road (51 percent), fewer think it will stick around as a service (44 percent).

The public overall is similarly divided on the company’s future. Just under half of adults (46 percent) predict a short timeline for Facebook, while 43 percent say it has staying power.

What’s the Next New Thing?

In today’s constantly changing times, young adults are the early adopters of new social media.  Some of us remember when My Space and Friendster were the big thing.  And now, Pinterest has grown so fast, it is the third largest social network behind Facebook and Twitter.  Our quest for the next big thing in the social media has vaulted new networks to heights quickly.

So are we just tired of reconnecting with our old high school and college friends?  Are are there other issues lurking.  Privacy seems to be one of the lingering issues with Facebook.  Only 13 percent of the people polled said they trust Facebook “completely” or “a lot” to keep their personal information private. More than half (59 percent) said they have little or no faith in the company to protect their privacy. And almost a quarter said they don’t even use Facebook because of privacy concerns.

But Facebook is still clearly dominant now – and can’t be overlooked for marketing to moms.  Earlier in March, Nielsen recorded that almost three in four mothers who went online visited Facebook.  But here again, 55% of younger moms show some dissatisfaction with Facebook saying they have de-friended companies on Facebook, citing too many messages and ads as their main reason.

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