Why Facebook has become the impossible break-up banner
Perspective | 02.11.2016

Why Facebook has become the impossible break-up

Facebook may not be attracting younger users in the same way it hooked in their parents, but Dan Monheit argues those people who are on it are now so reliant it's hard to leave.

Yesterday, Facebook showed me six memories ‘from this day’. It also reminded me about three birthdays and two upcoming events.

Dan Monheit - director of strategy at Hardhat DigitalAll helpful. All not so subtle reminders of why I can never leave.

Sure, we hear rumblings about Facebook’s numbers dwindling and new platforms coming and going, but none of it really matters. Not when I, like the 15 million other monthly active users (11 million daily), am consistently, passively (aggressively) reminded, that breaking up with Facebook is near on impossible.

We know that Facebook has long filled a void in our lives formerly known as ‘boredom’. We also know it’s become the highly addictive, personalised, 24/7 news source for millions of us.facebook-your-memories-post

But what’s less obvious, is how many important, almost invisible things, we’ve actually outsourced to the platform.

Our paper diary, filled with handwritten notes for birthdays, anniversaries and milestones. Our personal Rolodex, with addresses and contact details for those near and far. Our calendar, peppered with upcoming parties, concerts and shows.

Our memory box, stuffed with trinkets and mementos to help us remember who we were with, what we did, and how we felt all those weeks, months and years ago.

Most of us have already outsourced so much to Facebook, that the cost of breaking up is debilitatingly high.

How would we keep in touch with people? How would we know what was going on? Could we seriously remember all of those birthdays? Would somebody call to personally invite us to their party? What about an event? And what would happen to all those funny photos, quotes, connections and conversations that defined the past 10 years?

That’s right, the perceived cost of leaving is already sky high, and it grows with every day that we stay.

As marketers, the implication is as obvious as it is imperative: Lean in harder.friends-tv-show

A quick perspective check: At the dizzy heights of 90’s TV, a weekly show like Friends could pull almost 3 million viewers (none of whom even had mobile phones to play with during the ads).

Today, Facebook gives us unbridled access to almost four times that audience, every day of the year – in a way that’s segmentable, actionable, measurable – and going nowhere anytime soon.

Yes, continue tipping your budgets into digital and social, but more importantly, invest your time and attention into understanding – and I mean really understanding – how it all works. After all, your audience is here, and despite what some misguided, sensationalist ‘expert/professors’ say, they will be for the foreseeable future.

Rather than glossing over the details, educate yourself about the different formats your ads and content can take, as well as the ways they can interact with one another to drive revenue.

Learn about using retargeting pools and Custom Audiences to achieve reach and frequency that’s blindingly efficient. Study up on why videos shot in a 1:1 aspect ratio, with the punchline at the start and an irrelevant audio track will perform the pants off a standard piece of video content uploaded to the platform.Facebook video ads in news feed

The impossible break-up means these details are more than just ‘minutiae’ that you can leave to the whiz kids at the agency.

They’re the new plays in the new playbook, and like it or not, the playbook is here to stay. They’re quick to learn, easy to understand, and you’ve still got years over which you can amortise your (very small) initial learning investment.

As you’d expect, the Ads Guide section of the Facebook website is a good starting starting point, and any agency on your roster worth their salt should be able to get you up to speed in a couple of hours.

Ignore the playbook at your peril. Embrace it for your best chance at getting the most out of your agencies, and the once in a generation opportunity that ‘the impossible breakup’ presents.

This article originally appeared on Mumbrella. 

Article details Author: Dan Monheit
Director of Strategy
Published: 02.11.2016

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