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Does Facebook's rate of growth matter? What will happen after Facebook becomes a publicly traded company?


I have heard many automotive marketers question whether or not Facebook will continue to grow, and when Facebook's viability as a marketing medium might start to wane, or be usurped by other sites.

 

Facebook’s Growth is not Slowing... It is on Track to Break a Billion Members in 2012!


The chart and graph shown below is from a recent Facebook SEC filing related to their upcoming IPO. From an automotive marketing perspective, and as their membership chart indicates, Facebook's growth continues on a steady pace. Australian marketer Jeff Bullas recently pointed out, "...with over 7 billion people on the planet it (Facebook) still has a lot of  headroom for future growth."

Keep in mind that some of the countries where Facebook should be growing the most, are not part of this growth pattern... Facebook has been in China for quite awhile and several English speaking countries, including the USA are delivering little to no growth in Facebook membership.


Facebook's mission statement reads; “To make the world more open and connected


Judging by the continued growth of Facebook membership around the globe, the Facebook mission statement obviously has appeal on a global basis...

 

In a recent newsletter from Jeff Bullas he points out several of Facebook's latest statistics which are worth noting by automotive marketers.

Several Facts and Figures from Facebook

  1. Monthly active users now total 901 million (up from 680 million a year ago)
  2. One in 7.7 people in the world have a Facebook account.
  3. Daily active users are up to 526 million (up from 372 million last year)
  4. Monthly mobile users now total 488 million
  5. Eighty-three million monthly active users accessed Facebook solely from mobile in the month ending March 31, 2012
  6. 300 million photos are uploaded to the site each day
  7. 3.2 billion Likes and Comments are posted daily
  8. Hosts 125 billion friendships
  9. Revenue for the first quarter of 2012 was $1.058 billion, up from $731 million last year
  10. Facebook expects to raise $5 billion in its IPO
  11. Facebook’s estimated value will be close to $100 billion after the IPO
  12. Facebook paid Instagram the equivalent of $1.01 billion for its business
  13. Facebook will pay Instagram a $200 million termination fee if government authorities prevent the acquisition from being completed
  14. If Facebook increased its current revenue rate it will make from $4.69 to $4.81 on each of its 901 million users each year
  15. Facebook hosts 42 million “Pages” with 10 or more likes
  16. There are currently 9 million Facebook “apps”
  17. Facebook owns 774 of its own US patents
  18. Facebook bought an additional 650 patents from Microsoft for $550 million
  19. Zygna the online games company (which includes Farmville) contributes 15% of Facebook revenue
  20. Facebook currently has 3,539 full-time employees

Shown in photo below is an example of what one of those 3,539 employees drew on the wall at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, CA

Information Source: www.JeffBullas.com

Photo Credits: Ralph Paglia


What are your thoughts about this topic... Is Facebook becoming more relevant to automotive marketing professionals, or less? Is it staying the same? Are other options within the Social Web presenting viable alternatives to Facebook for automotive and social media marketers?

Tags: Facebook, Social Media, automotive social, growth, marketing, reputation management

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Replies to This ADM Discussion

Looking at the $100 Billion valuation of Facebook, and dividing that number by the 3,539 total employee headcount may result in Facebook being the single most valuable company in the world on a "per employee" basis...

You are right Ralph... Its capital is found in its users!

Sure, growth will continue, at a slower rate.

Revenue growth will matter the most once they go public - and that's where I think Facebook has the ability to show some some staggering numbers. 

We haven't even experienced their mobile monetization plans yet. That'll be interesting to see considering half of their users are on mobile devices.

Good stuff Ralph.

The revenue realization potential for Facebook will be staggering... On a very, very small level we are already seeing Facebook's self-serve advertising models, especially the "Sponsored Stories" out-perform Google Adwords, which means the flow of money into these advertising tools will continue at a growth rate greater than Facebook's membership growth.

Eric, one more thing... regarding Facebook Mobile, they need to fix their GROSSLY dysfunctional iPhone app, but I am very taken with Facebook's SMS services... Being able to accept Friend Requests by texting back "add" is easy and convenient.

There is no doubt that Facebook has changed our communication landscape.  I keep up with friends and colleagues through facebook on a daily basis.  (Thank heavens for the Birthday alerts.)  The ongoing question for me though is around its use in a BtoC marketing format.  I appreciate the retargeting ads that they deliver to me because they are extraordinarily accurate based on my interests and associations, however, I rarely interact with them.  When I go to facebook, I go to relax.  How does my behavior compare to yours?

I like the targeted ads, because the products and services are usually stuff I am interested in... But, keep in mind I routinely boot the ads for stuff I have no interest in and occasionally interact with the ads and pages for the stuff I am interested in. The Facebook targeting algorithms seem to reward me with coupons and discount offer apps that i use to buy all manner of stuff including dentistry, groceries, restaurants, sushi and dry cleaning... Keep in mind that i know every car dealer in my area and have certain owners I prefer to buy my vehicles from, so I am not a fair case study for automotive... Although i used my Facebook generated Gilbert Dogs Daycare discount coupon!

Great post and for the over 50% of dealerships not using Facebook, you do this at your own demise.  One of the great quotes about Facebook is that you don't sell your product on Facebook, you strive to demonstrate why your dealership is better than the competition by building an active community whose needs you attend.  Facebook doesn't have all the bells and whistles of your top CRM tools, however, it has the majority of your customers already interacting with it, telling you what they want and need and giving you the chance to show how well you respond.   

You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, Facebook.  (forgive me Rod Serling) 

Last Saturday evening we all were enjoying an evening by the river, 4 or 5 couples, and someone mentioned Facebook and how little they used it. That began a long conversation about the subject of this post.

Only one of the six seated did not use Facebook. The other five, including myself, were active on Facebook. All of us that did could not see any real value personally to using it except to share photos, etc.

Four of the five left agreed that Facebook is just a waste of time for them. Lots of nonsense except when communicating with closest friends and family. Biggest complaint from those who had lots of friends was that 90% of the posts were UNRELATED to them and a general PIA. Another was the fact that befriending business leads to the biz being able to monitor, "spy" on you.

To each his own...Just my 2 cents.

Randy, I have had what sounds like similar discussions with family and friends... But, I have also noticed a difference between how men and women typically use Facebook.  For many of the women I talk to, they are very selective about who they friend and how they set up their privacy settings.  They seem to use Facebook as a sort of social calendar, sharing with others where they are going, photos from family gatherings, updates on who is sick, who is pregnant, who is getting married, etc.  Almost as if Facebook were a "Social" network... Fortunately, many of us men know better and continue to try to convert Facebook into a "Marketing" network!  At the end of the decade, what will matter is how Facebook leadership balances their soon to be amplified need to grow revenue with the "Social" features and functionality which has actually grown Facebook into the behemoth it is today.

Ok, Ralph.  Not sure if you intended to spark a conversation or to spark a fire, but...while I do agree that men and women use facebook differently for personal reasons, I do not agree that only men seek business solutions from it.  Far from it.  As a representative of the fairer sex,  I do believe that businesses can use facebook productively as PR tool to inform and engage their followers.  And, there is no doubt in my mind that facebook and other relevant social tools offer some of the best brand building available today.  However, the monetization of facebook for most businesses is elusive.  I am in it for the long haul and believe that it will be a brand builder and sleeper lead generation tool.  Again, as I mentioned above, the remarketing opportunities are incredible if you take advantage of them.

Now, for the social side of things, facebook allows people who think an awful lot of themselves to share an awful lot of unnecessary information.  TMI is SOP.  

Jennifer - The problem with Short Response Comments (SRC?) is that all too often we post an exaggeration, or at least a summary that does not do justice to the position meant to be portrayed... I not only know many women engaged in Social Media Marketing, but also had the great pleasure of hiring, training and supervising a team of 18 Social Media Marketers for a three year stint while creating the ADP Social Media Team, of which 5 (counting Coventry and field) were of the male persuasion... For a variety of reasons, I believe that women are more naturally equipped to be social marketers, although plenty of men do an excellent job of it.  As you pointed out, men and women do have different TENDENCIES with social media, although there are plenty of crossover examples from either sex.

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