Back at fMC in late February, Facebook announced that “Social Media Blueprints”(whitepapers) were being created in conjunction with Forrester Consulting. They can now be found on the official Blueprints page. While the information contained in these reports is helpful, it wouldn’t be considered groundbreaking. In all likelihood, these Blueprints were released to support the upcoming Facebook IPO by providing detailed information and strategies for the largest of companies.
Currently two blueprints exist:
Building Brands For The Connected World
The first Blueprint “Building Brands For The Connected World” (PDF) investigates connected brands and the ability to grow a brand/business with social media. 101 VP & C-level professionals were interviewed for the survey, 76% of who thought that “social media is important to brand building.”
A good deal of the survey studies consumer habits around social media and the buying process. Some of the key elements from this whitepaper include:
- Social Media Affects All Customer Aspects: From learning about brands to investigating them, customers utilize social media every step of the way. 80% of consumers reported that they would be more likely to try new products based on a social media recommendation from a friend.
- Consumers Expect That Brands Will Engage With Them: The back-and-forth conversation between a brand and a consumer is slowly being seen as a bonus as it is becoming the norm. 72% of consumers expect companies to respond to positive comments in social media and 57% expect a response to a negative comment.
- Articulating A Social Identity Is Key In order to have a successful brand in social media proper brand positioning and brand identity is needed. Creating a social voice for a brand can help to keep the messaging the same for users throughout all steps in the purchasing process.
- Involving Consumers In Campaigns Works The participation of consumers is crucial for successful social media campaigns. Consumer participation helps to reinforce brand behavior while garnering more of a response. In addition, the more relevant the content, the more likely a campaign will be shared.
Organize For Success In The Connected World
The next blueprint moves away from execution and over to the organization itself. Organize For Success In The Connected World (PDF) is a whitepaper that analyzes the proper way to set up successful social media teams within and organization.
This report is not for the small business as the key theme is to gather full company corporation to become a “socially empowered agency.” Some of the main points include:
- Social Media Breeds Success: 60% of those surveyed believe that social media helps businesses become more successful while 67% believe it allows companies to build better relationships.
- Social Needs A Clear Owner: To keep messaging unified a social champion must emerge to keep things from becoming disjointed. Partial social ownership is rampant. Currently most of the departments that are “owning” social media are: Marketing, Corporate Communications, Sales, a PR agency and the CEO. In order to keep the message from becoming scattered, a clear owner must prevail.
- Company-wide Social “Buy-In” Is Required: Organizations need to look at social media as a form of doing business and accept (and support) it universally. Stability and consistency are crucial in the social message. This message must also be sent across all aspects of the business and part of everyone’s job.
- Common Strategies And Guidelines Are Crucial: The social champion must create and distribute resources that define and explain the social process. The end goals for all departments should be the same, even though specific tactics might not be. also, when distributing these processes – education is key. Equipping employees with the knowledge to use social media is essential to them following through on social guidelines.
For more information see the Facebook Blueprints page for all whitepapers.