Social networking can’t be an afterthought if it is going to work, according to Facebook Australia and New Zealand boss, Paul Borrud.
Speaking at CeBIT 2011 in Sydney, Borrud said social networking needed to be fully integrated into marketing campaigns if it was going to be successful for a company.
“Social marketing can not be the salt, but it needs to be baked in,” he said.
Borrud concentrated on providing an insight into how the world’s largest social network is helping to shape a new marketing landscape, and shared some of the strategies organisations had taken to become ‘social media ready'.
With 10 million active users in Australia, Facebook is playing a major role in the way communication is done online, he said
Australia also holds the honour of being the global leader in the amount of time that is spent by users on Facebook and the fourth most engaging audience in the world
Borrud said that the Web is now being organised and rebuilt around people. This was evident in how borders are being replaced with connections via Facebook.
Facebook had invigorated entertainment with 80 million people playing Farmville on the site, as well as creating a new way of disseminating news, with 43 per cent of news sharing occurring through Facebook.
Not intent to rest on its laurels, Facebook continues to seek innovation through the Hackathon events that it hosts, as depicted in The Social Network film.
Software engineers take part in Hackathons to develop the next best Facebook product, with the “tagging” feature in the photo gallery the result of one such event.
Borrud also emphasised that businesses are developing around people and listening to the customers’ voice more than ever before.
While marketing campaigns are often paid, owned or earned, Facebook had concluded that a successful campaign will have a combination of all three.
As a result, marketers are now keen to create “fans” of products and services on Facebook so that they will pass on the recommendations to their friends.
Borrud said social networking was becoming the new word of mouth and was twice as effective.
He used as an example, Nike working with Facebook on the Write The Future campaign during football's 2010 World Cup. It generated so much attention that many people thought that Nike was the official sponsor of the event instead of Adidas.