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640,000 people have quit Facebook: so what?


Since 2010, Newcom’s social media study has been providing insight into social media use in the Netherlands. For the communication and marketing industry, this study offers a great overview of new figures and insights into the use of these various channels. It tells us, for instance, that many Dutch have left Facebook this year. Although this development was not unexpected, it warrants the conclusion that this is indeed a substantial number of users to turn their backs on a single channel. Then again, it doesn’t really matter: no one was reaching them there anyway.

Blog social media onderzoek

After all, social media marketing is all about knowing which channels to activate to find your target group. About your product, idea or service reaching the right people and about getting your message across. About drawing attention and generating traffic to your website. Those sleeping accounts that have now been deleted will not affect the success of your social media strategy in any way.

Daily use

No doubt, Facebook has had a bad year. There was fierce criticism of its violation of privacy legislation, with many people losing confidence in the company. The various instances of fake news have not helped to improve credibility either. Surely, these bad spells must have influenced the drop in users, but to what extent?, I wonder. In the heat of the battle, only 2,000 people responded to Dutch TV presenter Arjan Lubach’s call to leave Facebook using the hashtag #byebyefacebook. Disappointing numbers.

Also note that the decline in use had started before, and it is no secret that young people are hardly using Facebook at all. The figures support this trend: the decline in daily use is mainly attributable to users under 40. However, despite this decline, 6.8 million people still scroll through their timelines loyally every day. Just for the sake of comparison: Instagram attracts 2.7 million people per day, and it has shown an increase of 550,000 daily users in 2019; so, you guess where these young people under 40 have disappeared to…

Everyone is active somewhere

The Newcome study is a good instrument to check the status of the various social media channels. Which channel is becoming more popular, which age categories can be found where? These are the insights that help you locate your target group and decide how and where to be active on social media.

Yet, age or the number of users alone is insufficient to create a solid social media strategy: user counts may lead you to believe, for example, that you need to be active on Facebook because many people are. For a company that solely focuses on the B2B market, however, LinkedIn would probably be a more interesting alternative. And even though the number of Twitter users has been decreasing for years, it might still be very smart for businesses to be accessible via this social medium.

Moreover, one doesn’t exclude the other: a company that is active in the senior citizens’ market can profile itself commercially on LinkedIn, for example, while at the same time approaching these senior citizens and their relatives in an informal way on Facebook and sharing photos of its products via Instagram. It doesn’t matter how you profile yourself on social media, as long as you are active where your target group is. If that’s on Facebook, make sure that they can find you there; if your aim is to reach out to the old Facebook users who are now on Instagram, target them there.