Social Media is a Requirement


Overheard at the gym.

SCENE: A middle-aged man talking to a woman about a recent job interview.

GUY: He asked me if I had a Facebook page.

WOMAN: Do you?

GUY:  No, of course not.  Who has a Facebook page?  I mean besides kids?


I’m going to hazard a wild guess that our middle-aged job seeker will NOT be getting a callback with a job offer.

It is amazing that there is still a segment of people who believe that Facebook is a toy for children.  Yet there are – not only individuals, but businesses – who still don’t understand the sea change taking place.

At the gym, I wanted to gently, but firmly pull this guy aside and explain to him in very simple terms:

Not having a Facebook page in 2012 is like not having email.   It is the equivalent of asking people to fax you information or to contact you through your pager.

I wanted to tell our job seeker that Facebook is an online communications platform that has 850 million users and will likely roll over to the one billion mark before the end of the year.

Here are some other eye-opening statistics about Facebook:

  • 1 of every 13 people in the world has a Facebook page.
  • 9% of all web traffic happens on Facebook.
  • One out of every 5 page views on the web occurs on Facebook.
  • The average Facebook user spends 20 minutes on the platform each time they log in.
  • 50% of the population of North America (United States, Canada and Mexico) is a member of Facebook.
  • The age 35 and up demographic represents 30% of Facebook’s users.
  • 48% of young people in U.S. said first hear about a breaking piece of  news on Facebook.
  • 2.5 million website are integrated with Facebook and 80% of the top 100 websites are integrated with Facebook.
  • 48% of 18-34 year-old users on Facebook check the site first thing each morning.
  • Facebook had revenue of more than $1 billion in 2011.

The list could go on and on.

What our job seeker is missing is that social media adoption isn’t really an option anymore.  It is a requirement, especially if you are looking for a job.  Companies are looking for forward-thinking, innovative people who understand the new communications and marketing landscape – even if your duties aren’t necessarily communications and marketing.

I also wanted to tell our job seeker that Facebook isn’t just a communications platform for individuals, but an important marketing, communications and sales channel for businesses.  There is a reason why global brands like Starbucks, Pepsi, Oreo, McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Pixar, Nokia, Intel, Samsung, American Express, UPS, JetBlue, American Airlines have invested heavily into Facebook.

That’s because digital and social communications are changing business as whole.

Businesses are using digital channels to market and communicate.  But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  They are crowdsourcing ideas, products and services.  They are engaged in customer service.  They are experimenting with a new ways to touch and understand their customers’ needs.  They are changing the way they communicate by infusing it with multimedia storytelling.

Facebook isn’t for children.

It never really was.


AllFacebook’s “10 Things You Need to Know about Facebook” “Facebook User Statistics 2012”

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