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Facebook’s Social Business Blueprints

Following the success of their fMC event earlier this month, Facebook released two white papers (commissioned by Forrester Research) to empower marketers to approach social more strategically, and which highlight how paid media fuels social momentum.

Facebook introduces the white papers by underscoring that 95% of VP and C-level marketers believe we live in a connected world, “where people are connected to the things they care about through social media.” The implications of this for businesses? Traditional, one-way, push marketing is replaced by two-way dialogue (which can be initiated by consumers) and offers the opportunity for brands to connect more authentically with potential and current customers. Perhaps more consequential, it means the veil and tinted glass covering how your company engages in business has been lifted.

Much of this change is conceptualized in McKinsey’s Consumer Decision Journey (CDJ). Highlighted before in our presentation to Cornell MBA students, social transforms the traditional marketing funnel (from awareness, through consideration to ultimate purchase) into a loop – where loyalty and engagement are constantly influencing both the purchase decision and loyalty. Measuring the engagement across your owned and earned media is now key to informing paid ad spend.

How do you compel people to share your brand’s messages with their friends? How does this engagement influence purchase affinity? Can paid media best be used to amplify this behavior at scale? These are just a few of the questions marketers have, and these white papers help answer.

Building Brands for the Connected World

The first Facebook white paper, Building Brands for the Connected World, offers marketers six steps to incorporating social marketing. Positing a similar framework to the CDJ with the traditional marketing funnel as the analog, Facebook visualizes the “connected world” as a continuous loop where consumers learn, investigate, purchase and interact. It then breaks down each stage of this customer journey with specific social marketing tactics, offering examples from Ford’s social campaign that led to a 104% increase in online shopping activity for the Explorer to Bud Light’s use of Sponsored Stories to fuel a 200% increase in brand engagement. Some of our favorite takeaways from the white paper:

  • 80% of consumers are more likely to try new things based on friends suggestions and Facebook users are 50% more likely to recall an ad when their friends are featured in it, highlighting how social context in paid media is critical to building social momentum.
  • Retailers enjoyed a 45% lift in orders from social referrals during 2010’s Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber Monday.
  • 51% of consumers are more likely to buy a product or brand after Liking them on Facebook.

Organize for Success in the Connected World

The second Facebook white paper, Organize for Success in the Connected World, is more aimed at CMOs and executives than the step-by-step blueprint offered in the former report for practitioners. It provides context and hard numbers behind how social is “not a trend, or a technology or a tool” – instead, marketing executives should consider it an entirely new way of doing business. Here, Facebook makes the case that social is “bigger than marketing.” This means businesses must transform organizationally to truly reap rewards from the connected world. Some of our favorite takeaways from the white paper:

  • 59% of marketing executives believe companies that do not fully embrace social as a fundamental part of how they do business will not survive in the future.
  • While 71% of marketing executives believe they can gain a competitive advantage with social, 70% have yet to integrate social into their long-term business strategy.
  • 41% of marketing executives have integrated social media throughout the company, and an additional 40% plan to do so.

Looking to make the case for social marketing in your company? Need resources to help you create a game plan? Look no further than these two white papers, packed full of information and a plethora of examples on how leading brands have successfully taken advantage of the social business opportunity.

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