The year is 2004. Mark Zuckerberg launches Facebook early in the year. This social network is to be made available exclusively to Harvard students; at the time, ‘Myspace’ was the universal social network to the rest of the universe. Facebook slowly expands to surrounding universities until eventually, 2006 brought the opportunity for anyone to register. Even then, Facebook is still only utilized by the younger generation. I say this with certainty because I made my profile in 2006 as a junior in high school. The only ‘friends’ you had were the ones from your school and maybe your friends from Myspace. At the time, it was essentially the same idea as Myspace, yet people ultimately chose to stay with Facebook. So many people use it, you are considered ‘off the grid’ without an account. I don’t even know when it happened, but Facebook has undeniably become this huge platform for advertising to an older crowd. Here is my take on why:
- Intro to Internet conversation. The older demographic never used Myspace. In fact, for a long time most considered internet conversation dangerous, lazy and actually making kids unsociable due to the lack of face to face communication. Ironically, much more conversation occurs. They realize this is a way to easily connect and keep the connection with those who they aren’t able to see very often and dig it. It is a breakthrough to their internet connections whereas younger folk already experienced that.
- It renews their youth. Again, they realize you can keep connected. Thus, reconnections. It is a high school reunion every day. Connecting with those from high school has the way of keeping you in high school.
- Time. They have it. The older generation is spending a large amount of time on Facebook because of the open schedule. Generally, anyone under age 35 is too busy. Between work, school and young children there is literally enough time to give a quick scroll through the feed and maybe post a picture of your kids.
Companies are realizing these points and because of this their ads and engagement on Facebook pays off now more than ever. Additionally, Facebook allows you to track these metrics for any business owner to see the return on this free to low-cost investment.