You surely by now have heard about the Initial Public Offering (IPO) by Facebook on May 18th. The topic has been dominating headlines on news website, social sharing sites, and blogs for weeks. Much has been said about the valuation and the behind-the-scenes activity surrounding the launch and the sudden price drop of the stock.
What we do know is that the price has dropped from it’s open of 38 per share to the current price of 26, a more than 31% drop in less than three weeks.
To compound the problem, there’s been a slew of negative press around the Facebook brand since. There has been speculation that CEO Mark Zuckerberg unloaded a large amount of stock prior to the IPO, which has resulted in a class-action lawsuit. In addition, some reports have shown that Facebook engagement is down over 30% and one analyst has already predicted the end for the social powerhouse.
All in all, a bad couple weeks for Facebook.
What does it matter to your business though?
How IPO Affects Facebook Brand Pages (Timeline)
Now that Facebook is a public company (and has to report revenue), expect some major changes in how they manage and promote their brand as a money-maker for businesses.
What changes should you expect from Facebook that could have impact on your brand page(s)?
- Facebook Ads
- Expect an even greater push by Facebook Advertising. Currently, Facebook’s revenue is primarily generated through advertising. Facebook reported revenues of US$3.7 billion in 2011, 87% of which was generated through advertising. However, expect greater visibility encouraging brands to use Facebook as an advertising platform, and potentially an overhaul to how the Facebook Ads systems works in whole.
- You might have noticed this already. Facebook has introduced the ability to ensure people in your network see the content you post on your page. (You might not have known that only roughly 10% see any given status update you post.) You can do this by paying a certain amount to ensure better visibility to your fans. The more you pay, the greater % of fans that see the content. This could be very useful in big product promotions or updates you need your network to see.
- Now facing the struggles of meeting market demand and keeping revenue high for the public stock, Facebook is going to amp up the effort in to their products and platforms. Check out some of the new opportunity in the Mobile space already being announced.
- Products like HootSuite and TweetDeck have been doing this for years, but Facebook has finally announced the launch of a feature allowing brand pages to use the scheduling feature through Facebook’s own Web platform. This is likely in response to the IPO , as it’s increasingly important Facebook drive users to the website to manage their posts rather than third-party platforms. (Because Facebook needs its users to see and click on Ads more than ever)
While some of the news recently about Facebook might be disconcerting, it doesn’t mean that a large portion of your consumers aren’t using it every day for social and business purposes.
There’s still plenty of optimism out there about the future of Facebook (even from an investment stance), and it’s still just as important to keep up with what changes are happening in the social space.
What other ways do you think the Facebook IPO could affect your brand page?