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Facebook Fundamentals: Being “Social” Where It Counts

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Far and away, Facebook is the most popular social media site on the planet. For healthcare marketing, that makes it a first class opportunity to communicate with patients and prospective patients.
The stats are growing constantly, but better than 70 percent of adult Internet users
(or nearfacebook logoly 60 percent of the entire adult population) are Facebook (FB) users. And with a ubiquitous presence like this, your social media plan can’t ignore the dominant reach and frequency.

  • Estimated active monthly users: 1.4 billion (worldwide)
  • Estimated active daily users: 936+ millio
  • Active daily FB users in the US and Canada: 157 million
  • Average time spent on FB per user, per day: 21 minutes

The size of the potential audience is important, but keep in mind that the real leverage for healthcare marketing is in connectivity and sharing. According to the Pew Research Center and Facebook, “more than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) are shared each month.”

  • The median number of Facebook friends is 155. (Among these, the median number of “actual friends” was 50)
  • 93 percent of Facebook users say they are Facebook friends with family members
  • 91 percent say they are Facebook friends with current friends
  • 87 percent say they are connected to friends from the past, such as former classmates
  • 58 percent say they are connected to work colleagues
  • 43 percent say they are friends with their children on Facebook
  • 39 percent say they are connected to people they have never met in person
  • 36 percent say they are Facebook friends with their neighbors
  • Average number of Facebook friends for US females: 250
  • Average number of items shared by Facebook users daily: 4.75 billion
  • Number of likes on Facebook every minute: 3,125,000
  • Number of friend requests made on Facebook every minute? 100,000
  • Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events
  • Average user creates 90 pieces of content each month
  • More than 250 million active users currently accessing Facebook via mobile devices
  • Mobile device users are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users

Finding your target audience by narrowing the big numbers narrow down to the select—highly specific—demographics of exactly who is interested in you and what you have to say. Look deeper into the profile. [Source: Wishpond; Facebook Facts & Figures and others]

  • Users are close to gender-neutral; primarily women (53 percent), ages 18-29
  • Most Common Age Demographic Overall: ages 25-34 (29 percent)
  • Median number of Facebook friends for Millennials: 250
  • Median number of Facebook friends for GenX: 200
  • Median number of Facebook friends for Younger Boomers: 98
  • Median number of Facebook friends for Older Boomers: 50
  • Percentage of all US senior citizens that use Facebook: 30 percent
  • Fastest growing age group: 45 to 54; up 46 percent
  • Peak traffic period: 1 PM to 3 PM, mid-week [bit.ly blog]

Deep Diving Into Facebook Demographics…

Not surprisingly, Facebook provides the means for marketing-smart users to learn about people in your audience who matter the most to your business. Appropriately named Audience Insights, this tool is available (free) on the Facebook site, and provides audience data including aggregate information about geography, demographics, purchase behavior and more.

For more assistance in getting started, building a FB page and reaching more people, take the time to get acquainted with the Facebook Help Pages. Notice in particular that Facebook Pages are similar to personal profiles, but Pages specifically geared to helping businesses and organizations connect audiences with topics of interest.

Advertising options: Facebook has several paid advertising solutions available—beginning with a business page—with targeting options that include focus by location, gender, age, likes and interests and other criteria.

Stewart Gandolf, MBA

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