The No-Fluff Statistics of Facebook

You need to understand one important fact about social media, and Facebook in particular.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say social media will replace other forms of media, but it will certainly continue to usurp broad swaths of how people spend their time and relate to culture at large.

Just as radio didn’t replace newspapers, nor TV replace radio, or the internet replace TV – social media will marginalize, not replace, those other media.

If you don’t believe me, let’s just take a quick look at some of the cold hard truths about Facebook’s size today.

To state it bluntly, Facebook is ridiculously big – but it’s almost impossible to really conceptualize its size.

That’s because there aren’t many analogies we can use that really match the magnitude and scope of Facebook. There has never been a time when a single brand so dominated a single space.

According to statista.com, Facebook garners 56% of the social media space – but even this statistic is misleading. It counts YouTube as social media, but that’s not an apples to apples comparison.

Take out YouTube from the mix and Facebook’s dominance ratchets up to over 75%.

That 75% statistic doesn’t really mean anything until you consider the sheer numbers of people involved in daily social media interaction.

According to Facebook, they have over 864 million daily active users – and well over 1 billion monthly active users.

Again – these numbers are so big, that without some points of reference, they’re difficult to understand.

Some perspective

The problem with making meaningful comparisons is that social media is a new platform. As I wrote previously, for marketers it’s really just a new form of word of mouth. To make a business comparison, there’s really nothing to directly compare it to.

But just for the sake of argument, let’s take a look at a few other dominant brands in their respective business categories.

Until Facebook, the best brand domination in history was Ford’s 48% market-share in 1914 – and the car maker sold over 15 million Model Ts between 1913 and 1927.

Or consider Coca-Cola’s dominance in the soft drink space. Coca-Cola claims to sell over 1.7 billion servings of its products daily, and boasts a 42% share of the non-alcoholic carbonated beverage market.

But cars and cokes aren’t social media.

For newspapers, The Wall Street Journal has the best saturation by far with a weekday circulation of over 2 million. Not too impressive. According to the Newspaper Association of America, the high-water mark for total US newspaper circulation for the past 60 years was in 1985, when it reached 62 million.

Clearly, newspapers were the dominant media for many years, but it’s just not a fair or relevant comparison.

We know that TV and radio still have a strong user base, with most people watching and listening daily. But TV and radio aren’t interactive media.

Perhaps the best comparison to make is to pit Facebook against the internet itself. According to internetworldstats.com, roughly 3 billion people use the internet.

That means more than 1 in 3 internet users are on Facebook. For the United States, that statistic rises to more than 60% of internet users.

As a dental practice, it’s powerful to realize that 60% of the people you want to target, whether they’re patients or prospective patients, are already interacting on Facebook on a monthly basis.

You know where they are, you know they’re engaged and you can even tell if and when they interact with your Facebook page.

The biggest and most challenging rabbit hole of internet interaction (especially for dental practices and other small businesses) is being able to truly verify that someone has seen an ad or piece content in a meaningful way.

Further Reading:

ProSites just expanded its Social Media Management service – a way to have timely, engaging content posted to your practice’s Facebook page (and other social media platforms like Twitter and WordPress.)

Social Media Management also brands your social media presence to match your website’s look and feel. These improvements make a cohesive experience across all of your online points of contact.

Click here for more information.