What generation wants to party with their parents? No generation. Millennials are no exception, as illustrated by their declining use of perennial social media juggernaut Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEOEven the President of the United States can tell you that. Tuesday, at a lunch meeting talking to 18-34 year olds about the Affordable Care Act, President Obama was overheard by Atlantic writer Robinson Meyer to say, “It seems like they don’t use Facebook anymore.

And the President is mostly right about this one.

Facebook’s Social Ads Platform, the go-to point for paid ad aficionados, tells an interesting story. Between 2010 and 2011, the growth percentage for the 18-24 year olds was a staggering 74%. Compare 2011 and 2014, and that same demographic shows a 7.5% decline. Negative growth is our new favorite oxymoron.

Negative growth looks equally impressive when you consider that Facebook users in 13-17 year demographic, from 2010 to 2011, grew a substantial 22.8%. But, again, comparing 2011 to 2014 reveals a growth of -25.3%. That’s negative twenty five point three percent. Did not grow. Shrunk. In fact, there were almost 13.1 million users in this demo in 2011, and there are 9.3 million users today. While some of those might have ascended into the 18-24 year demographic and still be using Facebook, the takeaway from the 13-17 decline in numbers is this: Millennials are not onboarding Facebook for their social lives.

What this means for marketers is simple. If your product or service targets millennials, reaching 9.3 million of them on Facebook might, at first, look like a great bang for a hundred thousand bucks. But if millennials are actually leaving Facebook, or they are not signing up to use Facebook in the first place, then attempts to connect with them on Facebook are going to look a little bit like that one kid’s parents, trying to be cool. Never ends well.

Smart is cool. And smart marketers create trends or ride trends upwards, not downwards.




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