One of my first professional interactions with Facebook was in 2006. At the time Facebook had about 7 million registered users. I was briefed on their news of a funding round ($25 million), the progress of their initial mobile rollout, and enhanced "flyer" capabilities – which was how users advertised on site at the time (not many brands were around or interested). But the big news on the call was the rollout of Facebook Alumni, in recognition that users were graduating and inviting others who didn't have .edu addresses – meaning that the site would open up to the world at large.
Fast forward to 2011. Facebook has over 500 million active users with a speculated public valuation of $100 billion. More than 250 million active users use mobile and 2011 advertising revenue may hit $3.5 billion.
Strategy happens at many levels: corporate, business unit, department. Yes, you need brand and customer relationship strategies. But it's dangerous to assume your potential opportunity on Facebook can be fully realized by tactics alone. Where do you start – with which of the six types of ads? How about pages, tabs, and applications? Should you use games, sweepstakes, customer service? What about Open Graph integration and Like buttons, Connect, and APIs? How about insights and analytics?
Brands need a plan to tie Facebook into plans within digital marketing, brand management, and social business strategy. You need a Facebook strategy to create and capture value from a community of over 500 million active users. Failing fast or leaving it up to your summer intern won't cut it.
After building 300+ brand experiences on Facebook, our team consisting of three original Preferred Developer Consultancies has seen what works and what doesn't with strategy and tactics. And new opportunities emerge regularly. You can see our work here, here, and here.
For the rest of this week, I'll be posting Facebook planning insights from our team.