To see the global reach of Facebook takes both a little statistical research and a cursory look at your own growing network. It has been projected, for instance, that by the end of 2012, more than a billion people will be using Facebook worldwide as usage extends in population-dense countries such as India and Brazil. If you're looking toward more sociological statistics, consider that between 2008 and 2010, the median age of the Facebook user increased from 33 to 38. Most Facebook users have seen the proof firsthand as more and more of our older family members and relatives start popping up in our Friend Requests (at this rate, they could really be classified as Third Cousin Twice Removed Requests). Over the years, some have lamented this change as Facebook skews older and older but social media marketing professionals have embraced it with open arms. Here are a few reasons why:
Diverse Users Mean More Advertisers
Narrow down the pool of user demographics and you also inherently narrow down the pool of brands and services who are willing to shell out for advertising space. The more advertisers willing to use Facebook means that Facebook can continue as a free service.
Older Audiences (Hopefully) Ensure Smart, Intuitive Upgrades
Facebook has a rocky relationship with platform-wide updates and "service improvements." Hopefully, as the age demographic for users goes up, so will Facebook's intentions to keep the user interface one that is smart, intuitive, and basic enough to ensure enjoyment across the spectrum of their users.
Broader Networks Serve Many Masters
Social media marketing professionals want you to be using Facebook forever, for obvious reasons (as in, we want to keep our jobs). For one Facebook user to experience the platform amongst a broad, diverse network means they'll be using the service in several different ways that increase their time on the site and, as such, increase their exposure to marketing and advertising.
So if you're a fellow social media marketing professional, go ahead and write your parents and grandparents and great uncles a note, thanking them for their continual participation in the world's fastest growing network.