Through his posts, Mark seems like a pretty down-to-earth guy who is fairly relatable. He’s invited the world in and shows that he shares in the same struggles everyone else does—including realizing he’ll change thousands of Max’s diapers until she’s potty trained.
And then tonight, Mark posted this update:
As a digital marketer, I understand that social media isn’t (and shouldn’t) be sales and marketing in nature—it’s about providing relevant content that consumers relate to and through which they come to trust you.
But Mark’s update is pretty eye opening nonetheless. It’s because the stats are about the community and the people, not the business and the ad revenue. It’s about the power of connectivity and how we choose to share information.
The power of social media started with the people and will stay with them. The foundation of social is to connect with the people around us—to invite people into our lives and to get a window into theirs.
As marketers, that’s something we have to constantly be reminding ourselves of. Sure, as a public company, Facebook now needs to bring in money and report to its shareholders. So far, I think Mark’s done an incredible job making sure the needs of the consumer come before the needs of the business, as hard as that might be, or that the needs of the consumer match up with the needs of the business.
Let’s take the thing we all love to hate on: Facebook Zero. We could argue that Facebook changed its algorithm so brands would start to pay to promote their content. In part, I’m sure that’s true.
But let’s look at what we as marketers did leading up to that: we were churning out somewhat crappy content that wasn’t relevant and was full of click bait. The Facebook community hated it. In the end, the consumers won (and, to be fair, so did the shareholders).
To be successful in social media, we have to play by the community’s rules—and that’s not a bad thing. Consumers are inundated with advertising everywhere these days. Social media shouldn’t be another place to blast marketing messages.
Consumers use social media to feel connected and share stories and moments that matter to them. Brands that have figured out how their messaging fits into one of those buckets and in a manner that seems natural to the platform are the ones who are making a real impact on themselves and the causes they care about.
Here’s what I’m getting at: look at those numbers again. There’s no denying Facebook’s products are how many people primarily communicate with the people in their lives and what they’re sharing about themselves. As marketers, it’s our duty to find ways to fit ourselves into the content in a way that feels natural and is completely relevant.
The Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / (insert social network) community can include brands if we do it correctly. Let’s stay the course.