Facebook’s total user base has declined for the first time in its 17 year history. So what? All businesses have setbacks from time to time. Then they usually bounce right back. But in this case, I am not betting on it, and here’s why.

Facebook committed one of the biggest marketing mistakes that can be made. They changed the name of the most successful social media in the world. What is surprising to me is how nobody seems to realize how this is contributing to the decline of the brand. Some of the main reasons given for this decline are:

  • aging of their user base
  • running out of new countries to launch in
  • competition like Tiktok

These are some of the reasons Facebook’s Founder, Mark Zuckerberg gave for the $230 billion one-day loss of Facebook’s market value. But almost all businesses deal with these issues. So why did Facebook incur the biggest one-day loss of value in the history of the stock market? I believe the name change had a lot to do with it.

It is a proven fact based on countless case histories that one name can only support one product or service. This is known in marketing as line extension. Studies have proven that when a product is successful, the name becomes inseparable from the product or service it represents. If you try to use the same name on a product or service that is fundamentally different than the original product or service the name will be tarnished.

It all comes down to the marketing technique called Positioning. Positioning refers to how a product or service is positioned in the mind of the consumer. In their book, Positioning the authors show you through historical case studies that once a product or service is successful, its name will always be associated with that product or service in the mind of the consumer. Therefore, the product or service that Facebook offers is and will always be positioned in the mind of consumers as the world’s largest social media site. So what happens when you take the name away? People become confused and unsure about what you offer.


This scenario has been played out many times throughout history. When Coke changed its name to New Coke, the business crashed. They immediately dropped New Coke and went back to Classic Coke. Radio Shack changed to The Shack and went out of business. Pizza Hut tried to change its name to The Hut. But sales dropped so fast that before they could change the signs on more than a few stores they dropped the new name.

If your business is dependent on Marketing with Facebook, now known as Meta, consider that their user base may continue shrinking as long as they continue to use Meta as their name. So if your customer base is in the cloud with big tech companies like Meta, Formerly Facebook you should be building your own email marketing list. With a good email list you can supplement your social media reach and have a backup way to reach your best customers digitally.