Shhhh… Don’t tell anyone… There’s a conspiracy afoot at Google to kill Facebook!
Conspiracy theories aside. Try this little experiment.
Go to google.com. Now start typing in the search “dele”. Take a look at the suggested search terms:
Isn’t that interesting?
It’s kind of funny. Earlier this week, I wrote a post about Facebook losing users in the US and I proposed that the rumors of Facebook’s demise are greatly exaggerated. Perhaps Google is trying to give Facebook a little nudge along?
No, actually, I think this may actually be a growing, natural trend. People are more actively searching for how to delete their facebook account.
Why are People Deleting Their Facebook Accounts?
I remember way back when Myspace was popular and people were starting to connect online with internet messaging. Social Media was a new phenomenon.
After a while, I think people felt saturated with Myspace and instant messaging. They realized that they wanted to connect with people in real life. As they got older, life became more pressing.
In a sense, we outgrew Myspace.
Then came Facebook. It was new and more exclusive.
One of the attractive factors of Facebook in the beginning was it’s exclusivity. Starting with hubs of college campuses gave a sense of real life interconnection with the users. They were people you knew and connected to offline.
Many felt that Facebook’s popularity was due to less spam from unknown users and the simplicity of it’s interface.
Perhaps Facebook’s popularity was really due to building on a foundation of real life connections. Perhaps it was due to building on connections that weren’t based on the internet at all.
Now that Facebook is growing and adding more and more features to connect people online, rather than building on and improving a real life connection, it is pulling people out of their real life connections. With the popularity of Facebook, people are sensing that they are once again becoming more connected with their friends and family through a computer screen than in real life.
Some people are taking back control of their relationships and actively working on getting offline again.
This phenomenon of Facebook fatigue was recently discussed in this article on cnn.
One line in that article, stood out to me and summed up this feeling of losing interconnectedness with people on Facebook.
“My mom quit Facebook because she wanted us to call her on the phone and see her in person more…” (from People Shunning Facebook)
Not to say that people are quitting Facebook en mass. In fact, Facebook is still growing world wide. However, there is a sense for some people that they want to re-capture their offline relationships.
How Does this Affect Social Media Marketing?
In the grand scheme of things, the maturity of Facebook really doesn’t have a negative affect on social media marketing. However, it helps to understand better how people are connected.
Recently, there’s this growing trend to try and tap into people’s online relationships.
Actually, I don’t think ultimately this is the best strategy. People are smart. They are realizing that their online relationships simply aren’t as strong as their offline relationships.
Also, all this online marketing pushes against our individual identities. Social Marketing builds on marketing to online relationships. As such, they tend to encourage the hive mind and discourage individuality. People don’t want to turn into social media zombies!
But that’s ok!
Did you know that 82% of word of mouth conversations still happens face to face?
Take a look at the infographic from this article:
Recent research shows that in the U.S there are 2.4 billion conversations involving brands happening everyday. However, the vast majority of these conversations (roughly 82%) are happening in face to face conversations. While only a very small percentage of these conversations are happening online.
What does this mean?
In this day and age where social media marketing is trending upwards. In some statistics, it appears to even be on pace to surpass search engine marketing (SEO). It appears that social media marketing is still not the main source of brand sharing.
In actuality, even though it is a growing venue of marketing, it’s actually only a small slice of the pie.
Perhaps, online social media marketing is not as powerful in swaying people’s opinions as we thought.
Of course, being a blogger or running an internet business requires that you can’t simply forego the internet. The internet is still your medium of connecting with people.
The key is really to connect in a way online that will make people talk about you offline.
And now we come full circle.
Anyone that has been employing social media marketing techniques such as twitter and facebook can already tell you that the conversion rates using only those techniques are fairly low.
The main use for those tools is to build up connections.
When you build up those connections they can lead people back to your content.
If you create great content and give people something to talk about, that’s where you will find success.
In the end, content, not social media, is still king.