$227 billion!

Yes, the figure stares straight on to you. A social network caused an economic impact of $227 billion on the world; almost equal to the GDP of Portugal. The figures came out as a part of research done by Deloitte LLP and has been funded by Facebook itself.

The independent economists have their own views about it, especially Stanford economist Roger Noll, who goes ahead to say, “The results are meaningless. Facebook is an effect, not a cause, of the growth of Internet access and use.”

While the economists argue on the basis of pure economic principles, Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg says, “We take our responsibility to be good corporate citizens really seriously and the study was conducted due to a genuine desire by us to understand the economic impact we’re having.”

Each side has its own reasons and theories, but the attribution of each ‘like’ and its economic effect on the globe was a bit over the top according to me.

Marketing on Facebook

Amidst all the talks, the point to note is; while the company always focuses on the effects of Facebook as a platform and the social connectivity it provides to the users worldwide; it is marketing which has the biggest impact economically, accounting for 148 out of the $227 billion.

As the pundits have always remarked – Facebook is not the product, it’s the company; we are the products who are sold to businesses as a target audience. The effectiveness of Facebook ads and the micro targeting possibilities it offers are simply amazing and they are the reason why marketing accounts for the major chunk of Facebook’s income.

The future of Marketing on Facebook

One thing can be established for certain now that Facebook is not a fad and it will be there for long. For both the marketers and the consumers, Facebook will be an integral part of how the new age marketing takes over. For now, we can safely predict a few things that I think and hope will happen with Facebook and marketing:

Audience insights would grow

Graph search already tells us about what people are talking about and the targeting has already been sliced down to a very micro level. As the time progresses, Facebook will have more content to churn and create more believable and dependable insights for marketers.

Organic reach will decrease even further

With the increase in audience and speakers, one thing increases for sure and that is – noise. With the increase in noise, a decrease in discoverability and organic reach is a logical thing to expect. With the intent of monetization underneath, Facebook would increase the paid reach a notch higher.

Micro targeting gets Micro-er

In my opinion, Facebook has already achieved tremendous feat in what it has to offer as a targeting mechanism for the paid ads. But we don’t see the audience of Facebook decreasing and with the marketing efforts becoming personal by the day, we expect a bunch of targeting parameters introduced which can focus on the contextual or emotional side of the consumer rather than just what he/she discloses.

What do you think is going to be the future of marketing on Facebook and the impact the social networking giant will have on the world? Feel free to share in the comments or reach out to me via any social channel you feel like.

Happy Marketing!