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5 Mind-Blowing Facebook Stats

Here’s a fun fact that will make you feel really old:

THE Facebook’s original profile page in 2004

As of February 2013, Facebook’s been around for nine years.

Were you one of the first to join back in 2004 when it was exclusively for college kids?

I’m semi-proud to say I’ve been a Facebook user since late 2004, when my school (Florida State) was added to the elite list of colleges and universities allowed to participate in Mark Zuckerberg’s grand experiment.

In those days, we whispered about THE Facebook in class — daring to ask the cute boy in microeconomics if he was on the site so we could  run home, get on the computer and send him a friend request (because there was no such thing as a smartphone unless playing snake in black-and-white on an old Nokia was somehow considered smart).

Now everybody and their mom (literally…and in my case, my Nana too) uses Facebook to connect with friends and family all over the world.

But what can it do for us authors?

A lot of authors I’ve run into don’t feel like it’s worth the effort to create a fan page on Facebook in the hopes of connecting with readers. They have their reasons, many of them valid, but I have to disagree.

Facebook is totally worth your time.

And I have 5 facts to back me up:

1. Facebook has 1.06 billion monthly active users

To put that in context, absolutely no other social media network has hit or come close to hitting the billion mark when it comes to active users. YouTube has about 800 million, Google + has 343 million and Twitter has about 200 million (keep in mind this is active users, not jut registered accounts).

That is A LOT of people.

No matter what your target market is, I would be willing to bet that there are a few of them in that 1.06 billion.

2. An average 618 million users log-in to Facebook each day

Do you check Facebook every day?

I do. I update my status, check in with friends and family, send Happy Birthday messages, comment on posts from pages I like, and check-in at certain events and restaurants.

And apparently another 617,999,999 people do, too.

That’s a lot of daily activity, and most of it is not a quick in-and-out check either…

3. The average user spends 20 minutes a day on Facebook

Unlike Twitter where users tend to pop in, tweet, and pop out, people linger on Facebook.

Twenty minutes might not seem like a lot time, but in today’s world where we all have attention spans shorter than the average Hollywood relationship, 20 minutes might as well be a lifetime.

That means people are taking the time to really read and interact with all the messages in their newsfeed, not just giving them a passing glance.

4. Facebook has over 50 million pages

(And it’s growing every day.)

The naysayers might feel that’s a reason *not* to use Facebook — because there are already too many pages out there.

But I say that’s only a reason to make sure your page is the *best* author page out there.

I’ve been doing a lot of research on authors who use Facebook for one of the workshops we’re putting together right now and I can tell you, the vast majority of them (and I’m talking trad published peeps, not just us indies) suck at using Facebook to promote themselves.

There’s nothing exciting or engaging about their pages, they don’t post regular updates (or only post updates about themselves), and they don’t use their page to actually interact with fans — which is the whole point!

I know you can use Facebook better than those people, which is why you can be in the elite crowd of those 50 million pages.

5. There are over 10 million apps on Facebook

Yes, probably half of those are some kind of Farmville knock-off, but there are apps for fan pages, too.

Lots of apps that enhance the features you can offer through Facebook — you can hold contests for your fans, livestream events, spotlight a fan of the week, feature a newsletter sign-up form, share custom content for fans-only, and so much more.

And as the number of apps rapidly rises, we’re going to be able to do even more to turn our Facebook fan pages into mini-websites that bring us new readers with very little maintenance required.

So what do you think — is Facebook worth it?

Have I convinced you to look at Facebook fan pages for your promotion?

If you already have a fan page, do you find it’s helped you meet new readers? Do you follow any other authors’ Facebook fan pages?

I’m really curious to know what you guys think of the world’s most popular social media network!

  • Prudence MacLeod

    Hi Guys, this one looks like something I need to hear. You guys rock!

  • Sylvie Fox

    Fellow authors I know with Pages (as opposed to profiles only) complain about how few people see anything they post – given the ever changing algorithm Some of the most popular authors I follow, with thousands of likes, complain of this themselves. I never see their posts and as reader I don’t want to have to constantly engage to keep up with them.

    • Hey Sylvie, there has definitely be a difference in activity since Facebook changed their algorithm, but I still think it’s worth it. Their promotions aren’t that expensive, so when you have a really exciting announcement it’s worth the $5 or $10 to promote the post and you will get your update out there to your fans.

      Also, another benefit I’ve found with Facebook is that your page gets a good Google search ranking, sometimes higher even than your website, so just having it out there can be a good breadcrumb on the internet that will lead readers to you and your books. :-)

  • Linda K

    I try to like Facebook, but I just don’t. It annoys me. I like to follow other authors, but frankly most of the time most authors publish stuff that is just plain boring. I have such a hangup now that I rarely post anything because I suspect that I too am boring somebody. I guess mysenses feel under assault from information overload.

    • There are definitely a lot of authors out there who are not using Facebook well for promotions purposes, but that just leaves more room for those of us who can figure out how to do it better, right? I know it can be frustrating, but I think a lot of that comes from not knowing how to make the most of it. That being said, it’s not for everybody so if you really hate it, you can be an expert on another social media network and still do very well!

  • Hi Shannon and Toni. I have tuned out of FB for a couple of reasons but maybe it is time to check out the Apps you mention and do a revamp of my page, etc. So it is prob time to give it another go. Thanks for the info.

  • RainbowEU

    My circle of friends is not yet computer savvy, so they either love FB or hate it extremely!. For me I believe that FB is as everything else on the Net. Its a virtual world that helps you work around the real world. Those who despise social network sites are either ignorant – expressing their fears (until they get hooked) or generally look down on things out of their comfort zone.

    For me, after getting past the mind-numbing games (wow what a time) I decided that facebook is the perfect example for the saying: “If you can’t beat them – join them”. In my line of work, I need to get the word out to a fairly large number of students at the university where I work. Since the majority are more often than not logged in, it serves my purpose.

    On a more personal level though, I don’t like to interact with “friends” but I love to find people who are interested in the same things I am. And it’s a sure way to send a message to people you know don’t read their emails but read their messages.

  • Pardon my ignorance. How do I start a fan page?

  • I check FB everyday and love seeing friends and readers out there! It’s definitely helped grow my book sales 😉

  • Well then, I invite you all to Like my Fan page – http://facebook.com/KMNow

  • AJ Sikes

    I just ditched Facebook after finding it completely useless for promoting my writing. It’s a socializing form of media, not a form of social media. Facebook uses you, not the other way around.

    It’s algorithms work to do one thing and one thing only: keep your eyeballs in front of Facebook. That means your links to YOUR website don’t get ranked as highly as links that will keep people on Facebook. Links to Amazon, where people can buy your books, same deal.

    Paying to promote yourself on Facebook? Have fun with that. Your money is doing nothing for you it and everything to make Facebook’s stock price stay at a level that keeps the shareholders happy.