Years ago, we might have all suspected that the bulk of users on Facebook are the backpack-wearing teeny boppers, however the fastest growing segments are constantly changing and the numbers appear to lead us in an entirely new direction. Statistics are constantly being released with a breakdown of the amount of new members and their associated demographics that at times can be surprising or even game changing. In order to conduct a successful Facebook ad campaign or even develop a new business venture, it is imperative to be current in social media trends and understand exactly who your target audience is and how to reach them.

Here’s what we’re finding are the biggest changes coming to social media to watch out for:

1. Age

The fastest growing demographic on social media surprisingly is the 65+-age bracket. The numbers are showing a projected growth from 14.6 million to 16.6 million from 2015 to 2016. A gain of 2 million “senior” users in one year’s time! This 0.8% growth rate is the fastest age bracket than any other on Facebook. In fact, more than half of all online adults 65 and older are using Facebook! Now that we have access to a much older demographic, it might be time to rethink product offerings or targeted ad campaigns in order to capitalize on this fast-growing segment.

2. Mobile

Of the Facebook conglomerate’s 1.44 billion “monthly active users” (MAU) as of this March (that is including users on Instagram, WhatsApp and other Facebook owned companies), 1.25 billion were categorized as mobile.  This equates to a 13% year-over-year increase, which is representative of a much larger trend where users are moving away from personal computers and towards smart phones and tablet devices. With the number of mobile users proving to be so high, it is definitely worth consideration of how content displays on mobile devices and imperative that sharing to social media from mobile be as straightforward as possible.

3. Optimal Time

Knowing when the user is most active on the social network can be key to optimizing your ad campaign or even simply getting shares on any organic posts. 86% of posts are published during the workweek, with engagement peaking (not surprisingly) between Thursday and Friday. In the afternoon, 1pm predicts the most shares and at 3pm the most clicks with a broader time suggestion of posting content between the hours of 9am and 7pm. Considering that the most activity takes place during working hours pairs well with Facebook’s newest venture called Facebook at Work, which legitimizes the inevitable use of the site during working hours. It is intended to stimulate social activity within the office however instead of sharing photos from the weekend, users will be sharing corporate projects or events. Although this site has yet to be released and the details regarding advertising have yet to be determined, this could be representative of an opportunity to tailor ad campaigns to a larger corporate audience. Utilizing Facebook’s existing ad campaign audience selection criterion, it could very well allow the user to specify based on industry and company size furthering the possibilities for direct marketing.

Staying current on Facebook trends involves research, analysis and time but it is the key to a successful ad campaign or new business venture. Understanding who your audience is and how they behave can be the difference between success and failure in this highly competitive business world.