Late last year, Facebook sponsored a study by Forrester Consulting. The results showed that while marketers believe social media is important, not as many are implementing it. As such, the social networking giant has launched a series of white papers it's calling "Social Business Blueprints" to share best practices. You can download the two documents directly: "Building Brands For The Connected World" (17-page PDF and "Organize For Success In The Connected World" (16-page PDF).
As for the study, 76 percent of marketing professionals surveyed agreed that social media is important for brand building and 72 percent agreed that it is important for customer loyalty. Furthermore, 59 percent believed that companies that don't fully embrace social media will not survive in the future. While 71 percent of marketing leaders surveyed believe companies can gain a competitive advantage through social media, only 33 percent currently have a long-term strategy for becoming a social business. The study was conducted via an online survey of 101 VP- and C-level marketing professionals and by interviewing 12 CEOs, CMOs, and VPs of marketing.
Facebook also outlined these fundamental concepts to help define social:
- Social influence: Building a strategy that enables your fans to influence their friends. In a world of exponentially increasing information, people turn to their friends for advice on how to spend their time, energy, and money.
- Social media: Using social networking as a channel to distribute brand messages and motivate people to engage with and share them.
- Social marketing: Incorporating social media and technology into the heart of planning your marketing strategy and delivering the brand experience.
- Social business: A company that uses social media and social technology to improve core businesses processes like product development, market research, customer service, retail and merchandising.
"Evolving a business for the connected world can be challenging," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "Many marketers have told us that they know social is important, but they don’t know how it affects the way they run their business and build brands. To help businesses start building their long-term social strategy, the brand blueprint walks through six steps to build a connected brand and the organization blueprint highlights examples for how social can impact every customer-facing part of your organization and the leadership it will require to execute across your organization."
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