Don’t Unfriend Facebook ... Yet

Pick the wrong social media venue and you risk alienating your target market and diluting your message.


It’s time to face a hard truth about marketing through’s not the best solution for everyone.

The company has seen unprecedented growth to over 600 million members in roughly 190 counties (that’s 1 in 10 people alive) and gained substantial buy in from companies, organizations, and political groups the world around.

World Map of Social Networks

Infographic Per

But before achieving global domination, was first organized to connect a small, exclusive pool of college students. Ask those first users, or even any 20 something on the street, what they think of Facebook today and you may get the shocking reply “I’m over it.”

Yes it’s where we store all our pictures, yes it’s a (in some cases sole) connection to distant friends and associates. But between rapid expansions in membership, numerous violations of privacy boundaries, and an inundation of trivial games and niche features, Facebook has isolated some of what was once its key demographic.

It makes sense. If your neighbors, the kid who ate bugs in kindergarten, your mom, and Coca-Cola are all on Facebook, the chances of finding a custom and tailored online experience that speaks to you is diluted.

And while Facebook is still experiencing booming growth internationally, it has seen some waning support in the U.S. and Canada. 6 million individuals logged off for a final time in May, a drop of 4% that also included the first decline in U.S. members in 12 months.

For marketers, the question remains: With so many users and a shifting membership base, is Facebook always the best option to reach the several hundred or so individuals who can actually understand and respond to my message?

Exclusivity yields focus, and there are more exclusive options than Facebook. When it comes to social media, credit unions should realize smaller targets can actually be easier to hit in terms of matching goals and expectations. If you missed it earlier in the article, this chart from is extremely helpful to find the proper social media outlet for your specific needs.

Consider how much activity one Facebook business page (out of an estimated 1.5 million total) will see from individuals in your potential field of membership, compared to a targeted Twitter campaign, local events organized through sites like, a Yelp campaign, or a shout out on a local radio show (the original social media).

The idea of social media isn’t going anywhere, but the canvas will change over time. Credit unions can’t follow every budding trend and shift in preference, but if they stay aware of the options that best match their audience, they can ensure return equal to their efforts.


June 16, 2011


  • Thank you. Our credit union decided not to join Facebook but thanks for opening our eyes to other options rather than just totally nixing the idea of social media all together.