“I’m bored with it”.

Teenagers; a demographic that has truly mastered of the art of being bored. This time, it’s Facebook that has fallen from their favour.

The rapid growth of the social network and its mass market adoption has left younger users with the feeling that the platform is more like an embarrassing uncle than a cool new friend. A recent report finds teens complaining that their parents are now on Facebook, and that there is too much “spam”, “advertising” and “drama”.

Where once it looked like Facebook was set to become the Coca-Cola of social platforms, it’s now clear that it’s more like a pair of Reebok trainers. Those over a certain age will remember it being ‘hip’, but now you’re mum’s got a pair. The network has lost its cool.

This has taught us that social networks are prone to the same life cycle as other products of popular culture. A curve that climbs and declines steeply due to the same What’s Next Factor that controls the music and fashion industries.

So how can brands keep on top of these changing trends? Should marketers be putting plans in place to move resource from managing Facebook to Twitter to Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, Cinemagram or whatever the next big thing is set to be? Is Facebook “dead”?

As with most cases, it’s wise advice to avoid jumping on every bandwagon, spreading yourself too thinly and generally becoming exhausted by trying to do too much, and none of it particularly well.

The platforms that you chose to focus on should clearly still be those that best represent the target market. Facebook is still great for reaching the masses in a targeted way, and even most teenagers admit that, for the time being, they still use the platform on a daily basis.

Rather than panic signing up to each new platform as soon as someone on Twitter announces that it’s to be the next big thing, brands will derive more value from following the 3 golden rules of social media strategy:

  • Focus on engaging your audience
  • Maintain a consistent TOV and cohesive messaging across your platforms
  • Keep your eye on the data: if the platform is still delivering measurable results, it’s not “dead” yet.