A while back, we published a piece detailing concerns over the longevity of social media as a marketing channel for small businesses. Today a new study by Yahoo Business Insider outlines how Facebook in particular is losing young subscriber by the millions, even after spending over 500 million on InstaGram. The InstaGram deal didn't make sense from the get go to many people and was seen at the time, as nothing short of a backstop against losing younger users to competing, simpler networks. Today a new report shows just that!
Facebook Is No Longer The Most Popular Social Network For Teens. So what are the implications for small businesses? The way we see it is that if you lose the teens you will also lose the opposite end of the spectrum, "the seniors". For a short while, seniors were flocking to FaceBook and Social Media by the millions. The reason, FaceBook offered a communication portal for many to communicate and keep track of grand children, nieces and nephews. While we can agree that many of us as small businesses have little to offer to teens, the fact is that because their grandparent, aunts and uncles where on FaceBook it made common sense in regards to advertising and participation or as it is commonly refer to "engage your audience".
While social media is still a cheap and effective way to communicate to a huge audience many people set aside their web presence; in fact, many small startups opted to go to FaceBook and Twitter rather then make an investment on a professional business website. If this trend is to continue, you can see where these businesses will be in the next year or so! Nothing will ever replace a professional business website. This is because while everything else is a variable, as fads come and go, your domain, your brand and your business name will always be a constant.
In other words even if today's study shows that twitter is the new favorite among teenagers; history shows us that it is only a matter of time before a new "jack in the box" comes around and takes over. Furthermore, while FaceBook was very successful attracting seniors, it's highly unlikely that twitter will be able to do the same, since it is primary a text base platform highly optimized for mobile devices.
At the end of the day, common sense should be exercised. If you are an existing small business or an individual looking to start one, consider hiring a professional web design and marketing firm. One that can help you set your name and brand on solid footage while participating in social media but never give-up your business identity to be part of something just because it is trending or hip!