Facebook still the future of social media


Becca Grober, Intern, Shank Public Relations Counselors

An interesting infographic created by OnlineCollegeCourses.com illustrates the changing trends in Facebook usage. Actual time spent on the site is decreasing among the younger population. The infographic attributes this break to users being too busy, a lack of interest and other reasons. I found the infographic and short article on prdaily.com.

When I read posts as this, I scroll to the bottom and checkout the comments. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has a strange obsession with this, and this time I noticed something interesting.

A new large trend: everyone commenting about Facebook touts it for personal use but not professional use. A few of the comments read like this:

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How do we enter back into professional usage with users like this?

Today, we need to think of different ways to reach our audiences. Facebook started as a way to get dates. It transitioned into a medium used to praise yourself, and maybe your friends if you were feeling generous. For a short time, it transitioned into a platform promoting events, products and companies. Now we’ve circled back and professional pages seem to only use the medium for praising their employees or themselves.

Yes, attention spans are diminishing, but as professionals we’ve always risen to the challenge. Twitter came along and we conquered it. Instagram gave us a little more wiggle room. And now with social media as Tout and Vine we’re even more pressed for time.

What’s next? Revitalizing the great equalizer — Facebook. Facebook connects nearly every medium we use. We need to go back to promotion, but integrate with true communication. At the root of social media is social. Once we begin responding again we’ll understand it’s true capabilities.

Where does this social media consumption take place most? According to a blog posted by Chad Smith on Social Media Revolver for every 72 minutes of verbal chat, people use their phone for 94 minutes a day on other things, such as search and social media. Phones are much smaller than a computer or tablet. We need to condense our information for smaller consumption. Facebook already provides us with those capabilities and it continues to add the newest outlets to it’s list of apps.

My view of the future is continued convergence. For some of us social media is our only tool of communication, but it must be done right. It’s getting to an age where literature is abundant. Research, and learn how to intelligently use your media so that you don’t fall into the “what I ate for lunch today” trap.

For more opinions on the future of social media read Business 2 Community’s article, “The Future of Social Media: 50+ Experts Share Their 2013 Predictions.” The medium could go in any direction, but we hope you can decide your organization’s social future.

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