The Content Imperative
The latest on content marketing strategy, insights and trends

Alex Barfield
Senior Planner

Alex is Senior Planner at Headstream. He ensures that all work takes a long-term view and is optimised based on business and client requirements. His work comprises research and insight, content strategy, data analytics and paid social.

Alex works across all Headstream clients on national and global accounts including BBC, GSK, National Trust, FatFace and Schuh.

Before joining, Alex worked at Universal Music.

Other posts by Alex

Image source: Dani Mettler

Is it time to quit Facebook?

| 11 September 2014

But could this be a bit of a distraction?

The question for agencies and brands isn’t whether we should join the conga line calling for the head of Mark Zuckerberg, but whether Facebook is useful and effective in helping us to achieve what we want to achieve.

With over 802 million daily active users and 1.28 billion monthly active users (source: MarketWatch), Facebook continues to offer a sizeable opportunity.

In the post IPO landscape organic reach has certainly been squeezed and ads brought to the fore. Questions also still remain over whether younger audiences are beating a path away from Facebook towards newer and more exciting social communities.

But can Facebook deliver results for your brand?

The only way to answer this question is by defining what it is that you’re looking to achieve and with which audiences. Loyal customers, light buyers, warm and new prospects, brand awareness and direct response – these considerations dictate your channel strategy.

From a planning perspective, some of the questions that are exciting and interesting to me include:

 - Are the 2% of your existing fanbase that you reach organically loyal, repeat customers?

- Are the wider 98% mostly light buyers?

- Are lookalike audiences an opportunity to target warm prospects and leads more effectively?

- Is Facebook’s scale when combined with the platform’s extensive demographic, interest and behavioural targeting capabilities, an opportunity for intelligent mass marketing?

Recently I was asked whether paying to reach people on Facebook undermines the organic, earned media that the platform has been so effective in fostering among online communities.

In the context of Facebook 1.0, perhaps. But things have changed.

And it’s not just Facebook - Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Snapchat are all working to develop, implement and improve the efficiency and value of paid advertising for both brands and users.

So is it time to quit Facebook? It really depends what's in it for you.