For Sale: A Craigslist Story

I put an item up for sale on Craigslist. This is what happened.

 

+13477044073: is your [item] still for sale 11:29 AM
Me: Yes it is 11:30 AM
+13477044073: (1/3) I am pleased with the price.so I would love to pay you via PayPal,the PayPal charges is on me,If my offer is accepted, Get back to me 11:31 AM
+13477044073: (2/3) with your PayPal email and your name or send me an invoice [email protected] so i can pay you right away , i would arrange pick 11:31 AM
+13477044073: (3/3) up after payment is received. Confirm the sales to me by removing it from post. 11:31 AM

 

So many flags. Grammar. Punctuation. “invoice.” “pay you right away.” The email address led to some more clues and the name “Charles W. Marthenze.”

And then this happened.

 

+17856705185: [item] still available for sale? 1:22 PM
Me: Yes 1:23 PM

 

+17856705185: Are you the first owner? 6:18 AM
Me: Yes, since 2001 7:01 AM
+17856705185: I hope the condition is exactly as described? 7:03 AM
Me: Of course. You’re welcome to swing by and see it in person. 7:05 AM
+17856705185: Ok,get back to me with your paypal name and e-mail so that i can proceed with the payment. 7:08 AM
Me: No, you should really come by and see it first. What part of town do you live in? 7:09 AM

 

+17856705185(1/6) I am an honorable military woman and you will receive your money cash in hand before this is picked up. However,it easy and free to 7:10 AM
+17856705185: (2/6) open a paypal account. Just go to www.paypal.com & register an account.Paypal is the world leading payment master that protects both 7:10 AM
+17856705185: (3/6) buyer/seller. We are on a secured transaction with paypal. Above all, it’s like instant cash. As soon as you open an account, get 7:11 AM
+17856705185: (4/6) back to me with the name and email that you linked with your paypal account and I will have your money sent asap.I feel more 7:10 AM
+17856705185: (5/6) comfortable sending my funds via paypal due to their various security measures at ensuring safe and secured transaction between both 7:10 AM
+17856705185: (6/6) buyer/seller. 7:10 AM

 

Me: What branch do you serve in? 7:11 AM
Me: Answer my question and I’ll give you my name and Paypal email. 7:16 AM
Me: Hello? 7:35 AM
Me: Are you still interested? 7:35 AM
Me: I have my name and paypal email ready for you. 7:36 AM
Me: I respect you, honorable military woman! 7:36 AM
Me: You can be the second owner! 7:36 AM
Me: What is your name and Paypal email? 7:36 AM
Me: Can I just send you the money directly? 7:37 AM
Me: I guess it would be pretty far to drive from Topeka to see the table in person, huh? 7:38 AM
Me: What do you think about the condition? 7:38 AM
Me: Why are you suddenly so non-responsive? 7:40 AM

 

Me: I just signed up for a Paypal account and I need you to tell me what to do next. 7:42 AM
+17856705185: Get back to me with your paypal name and email to enable me make the transfer of funds. 7:44 AM
Me: ok 7:44 AM
+17856705185: What is the delay all about I am still waiting to have your paypal email and name so that I can make the payment. 7:48 AM
Me: are you ready to receive the requested information, my official paypal name and email in order to enable you to make the transfer of funds? 7:48 AM
Me: oh, I’m so excited to sell this to you!!! 7:49 AM

 

Me: Can I trust you? 8:27 AM
+17856705185: Why not? of course yes. 8:28 AM
Me: OK great. So you just need my name and paypal email then and you will transfer the $500? 8:29 AM
+17856705185: Yes. 8:34 AM
Me: Charles W. Marthenze, [email protected] 8:34 AM
Me: Let me know when you’ve made the transfer! You can also text me at my other phone number: 347-704-4073 8:35 AM

 

+17856705185: You must be a lunatic,go jump into an active volcano and DIE. 8:41 AM

 

Own the experience, own the future

A thrilling time is in your immediate future.

In the Web 1.0 days, the world was transformed by the introduction of online businesses. Although many of them ended up as spectacular flame outs, many business models have been reincarnated in the Web 2.0 world. Group buying from Mercata and Mobshop are now Groupon and LivingSocial. Online grocery shopping with Webvan didn’t work out, but today you can buy groceries online via Peapod. Scanning print ads for more information with the CueCat was short lived, but now print ads include QR codes with links to more information online. Some businesses like eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist thrived, while others like Napster pivoted their models in order to survive. The sector that drew the most media attention were the portals: AOL, Excite, Altavista, Lycos, Yahoo, Google, among others. Some referred to the dot-com boom as the “Information Revolution” or the “Digital Revolution” — but hindsight now shows us that 1996 – 2001 was only a small preview of what was possible and what was to come.

All of these 1.0 businesses had something in common: they did not create consumer products and were not end users; instead, they played a facilitation role to connect sellers to buyers, writers to readers, and producers to consumers. Their models were designed to reduce the friction of traditional commerce and monetize units of activity through direct and indirect participants, e.g. buyers and sellers or advertisers. The most successful companies inserted themselves as a welcome virtual wedge between two parties; welcome, because the new middlemen were faster and frictionless compared to the old ones.

As the Web 2.0 world has started to reach maturity, big data has exponentially expanded the opportunity available to digital middlemen. The social web shows us what’s available from a connected world, beyond simply accelerating sales processes of brick-and-mortar stores. Predictive analytics, semantic connections, and the internet of things enable emergent possibilities for improving individual lives and revealing new opportunities for commercial business models.

We are nearing the end of the early days of Web 2.0 and the Information Revolution is now truly upon us. And just as we saw a small group of leaders break away from the digital peloton at the end of Web 1.0, a small group is making a move to emerge on top of this current market. The key consideration this time around isn’t user eyeballs — it’s ownership of the user experience. Why does that matter? Users create content in many different forms: by recording and transmitting text, such as a tweet or product review; by engaging in online activities, such as clicking a like button or having a cookie from an advertising network store surfing behavior; or through physical activity that is digitally recorded, such as logging on to a computer or walking around with a GPS-enabled device.

“Owning” the user experience is easier said than done; these platforms require massive capital investment in platforms and brand building. Three early leaders exist in today’s race to own the experience ecosystem and its underlying big data assets: Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Each company has created pathways to offer hardware and software, the platforms of digital value creation. Competition is evolving around six key platforms: browsers, operating systems, peer-to-peer messaging, mobile devices, inquiry data, and personally identifiable information (PII). To see a graphic estimate of competitive positioning, see Figure 1. Big Arms Data Race

 

  • Microsoft has never received a lot of love from the Web 2.0 world. However, it has a huge installed base of users and its bases are covered with key offerings: Internet Explorer, Windows, MSN Messenger, Nokia/Windows Mobile (and the new Surface), and Bing. Microsoft doesn’t have a strong source of PII (Passport isn’t/wasn’t the answer) and could use help with mobile devices and its browser.
  • Google‘s broad range of experiments may be confusing to consumers, but there’s a method to the company’s madness. Chrome, Chrome OS, gChat, Android, Search, and Google+ complete a formidable offering. Emerging offerings like self-driving cars, Google Voice, and fiber optic networks hint at the totality of what Google has in mind when owning the Experience Ecosystem.
  • Apple operates Safari, OS X, iMessage, and iPhone/iPad. Although they have no search engine and Ping is a niche experience, the dominance of its existing components can’t be denied.
  • Two companies sit at the head of the pack that could easily join these three. Facebook may only have user PII, but they have over 900 million active users worth of it as well as a mountain of cash to get competitive quickly via acquisition, for example by buying or building a browser or search engine. Amazon faces an uphill battle with consumer devices and its OS, but it houses loads of user data from consumer transactions, the infrastructure of AWS/S3, and the A9 search engine still exists.
  • Yahoo!, RIM/Blackberry, HP, and AOL all had their chances at one point in time, but seem unlikely to join the breakaway pack.

As competition between ecosystems grows more intense, the ability to normalize and compare data across increasingly closed platforms will present an integration challenge. Application providers will face the biggest challenge, needing to make their services interoperable across platforms. That’s why an innovative company like Facebook, now flush with cash, needs to get competitive quickly to compete in the new world order. Otherwise, it risks becoming beholden to one of the big three gatekeepers for long-term success.

The race to own the future is on. Open and closed are merely a matter of perspective and competitive positioning. Brands must choose carefully and hedge their bets by working across emerging ecosystems.

Credits to Rachel Meyerson for research support and Scott Matthews for graphic assistance.

Forward With Ford

I spent a couple of days last week with Ford in Dearborn as part of an event for the social press/media called Forward With Ford.

Ford

In hindsight, it’s difficult to imagine another company that could pull off what Ford did. For starters, the automotive industry occupies a spot within the American psyche. Ford products are a natural fit for a broad range of consumers – no need to force fit with slick advertising. And the company has a strong social media presence, providing a platform for effective engagement. Most importantly, the event wasn’t experimental in the sense that the topics were unrelated or new to the brand – you can see Ford’s communications consistency for example in this TED talk by Chairman Bill Ford.

Let me tell you about the people who were there. I met individuals representing interests including green living, mommy bloggers, Latino publishing, consumer electronics, and of course automotive enthusiasts. Key Ford representatives were Marisa Bradley, Lifestyle Marketing Manager who masterminded the event; Scott Monty, head of social media; Sheryl Connolly, head of Global Trends and Futuring; and Ford CEO Alan Mulally, who greeted the group at an opening dinner.

Ford hosted our broad cross-section of social media interests to learn about trends impacting the auto industry with overlap into the rest of our lives: emerging technologies, aging population, living green, safety and security, global design convergence, and engaging the senses. Accordingly, Malcolm Gladwell delivered a pre-dinner talk on macro trends drawing heavily from his October 2010 New Yorker article, The Talent Grab. The conference closed with Joel Garreau, bookending an action-packed two days of discussions and hands-on experiences.

On site, we were taken in-depth to see where Ford creates the future.

  • In the design center, I saw a massive HD screen where car designs are reviewed, at a size reminiscent of the massive Dallas Cowboys stadium jumbotron.
  • Ed Begley Jr. was on site to lead sessions on sustainability. I sat next to him at the opening dinner and we chatted about the Hydrogen Highway, windmills in Tehachapi, and personal solar power.
  • On a tour of the labs, we met employees who were eager to share about “noise vision”, horn tuning, seat comfort, the “human occupant package simulator“, and smell jury. Unlike the Zappos tour, we didn’t encounter any employees dancing with synchronized Shake Weights, but we did hear from engineers and scientists who clearly love their jobs.
  • At Ford’s test track, we were presented with eight experiences: off-roading in an Explorer to test all wheel drive responsiveness; skidding around with a professional driver on a wet track in a Mustang to demonstrate traction control; riding along in a demonstration of wi-fi enabled cars which can help prevent accidents; an eco-driving challenge to maximize fuel economy in a Fusion hybrid on the test track oval (mine was awful); drag racing F-150 trucks (I won); reviewing in-car technologies like voice, nav, and music; and driving a sensor-equipped Focus around an obstacle course for accuracy (me = perfect score).

I could go deep into how the FordTrends event is a manifestation of Social Business, but let me be brief and say that social business is business. Kudos to Ford for investing in an event to socialize the brand with an audience outside of the traditional gearhead set.

For more on the event, read CC Chapman’s take, view the official photos on Facebook, and browse #FordTrends on Twitter.



Facebook Live Events

[This post was originally written by Lauren Picarello, Joe Pinaire, and Allison Squires of Dachis Group Austin]

Zuckerberg Suits up for Obama: How Brands Can Suit up for Customers Using Facebook Live

The Facebook Live Townhall with President Barack Obama and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg prompted a lively discussion in our Austin office. Not only about Zuckerberg’s shirt and tie, but our social business take on how the live event went down.

It made us think: If we were going to host a Facebook Live event for a client, how would we do it? Our goal: optimize the Facebook platform to make the most of this opportunity.

First off, here’s what we liked about yesterday’s event:

  • Real-time engagement. Real-time engagement allowed for participation from multiple audiences: in-person, Facebook and select online destinations like whitehouse.gov. All audiences could watch and simultaneously interact with the event by commenting (806 Facebook comments), replying to others or “liking” posts (1,113 Facebook likes).

  • Viewer-reported metrics. The channel allowed for engaged viewers to ask the President questions from a predetermined subset of topics. Although the President fielded an underwhelming number of questions from the Facebook Live virtual audience, Facebook and perhaps the President captured valuable viewer-reported data (i.e. city, state and age) via the question functionality (See below: Figure 2). Applying this demographic data to the question topic chosen will yield valuable insight into policy matter and sentiment. From a strategist standpoint, the data set collected would ideally be used to inform the President’s strategy — as it could a brand’s — social or otherwise.

  • Sharing buttons. The event offered multiple ways for viewers to share their experience: Facebook, Twitter, email and embedding in the actual channel. In allowing viewers to spread the word, the program’s reach was extended. By now, most brands understand that including sharing buttons is among the bare essentials for improving amplification of any social experience.
  • Employee involvement. As the event host, it was a nice touch to not only see Facebook employees in the audience but to hear from them directly during the Q&A. For us, it helped humanize the “big Facebook machine.” How often do we get to hear from those behind-the-scenes at Facebook’s headquarters? Thinking about our clients, customers may not need to get to know your corporate employees, but there’s always something more a brand might reveal to get closer to its audience.

Opportunities moving forward:

  • Provide direction without constraining the content. The content during the live event was limited. During the Obama town hall, viewers were provided five buckets to choose from when submitting a question during the event: The Economy, Fiscal Responsibility, Innovation, Women in Technology and Startup America (See below: Figure 3). Although there was also an “Other” category provided, the buckets make the agenda fairly clear. If viewers had a question about the War in Afghanistan, they definitely were not encouraged to ask it. It’s important to leave question fields open-ended in order to maximize activity, yield real data and mitigate potential backlash.

  • Aggregate unused questions and respond publicly. Unused questions should be aggregated for experts to respond to after the town hall. If questions go unanswered, it has negative implications for the brand. Public, timely and informed responses by people on the brand side whether it be via Facebook, blog posts or video messages, heighten an organization’s image and leave event participants with positive sentiment toward the brand.
  • Set your brand up for success: customize and position. Facebook and Livestream did not take full advantage of viewership. To most effectively communicate the brand’s message, organizations should work with Facebook to add layers of specificity to the event constructs. In yesterday’s case, let’s look at the automated Twitter message made available on the event page (See below: Figure 4). The pre-populated tweet for Livestream viewers to share via the Facebook event page was, “watching FacebookGuests,” rather than a more specific and inclusive message such as “watching President Obama during his first-ever Facebook Live town hall event.”

President Obama’s Facebook Live Townhall illustrates the simplicity, yet often overlooked nature of many social tactics. Facebook and Livestream have done a good job optimizing the platform, but brands should never forgo doing their own due diligence in such engagements. As such, it will be interesting to see how future events are customized to fit not only a brand’s needs, but more importantly the needs of their audience. For brands thinking about optimizing the Facebook platform, Obama’s event should serve as a reminder to remember the details and to deploy unique tactics that make the most sense for the audience within the event’s context.

Facebook Brand Apps

[This post was originally written by Charles Hull of Archrival | Dachis Group]

In 2007, Facebook launched Facebook Platform so third party developers could create applications that leveraged the Facebook social graph. Platform immediately became a hot property, with thousands of small developers jumping in the game, each eager to launch the next great application on Facebook, each trying to crack the code that would generate the holy grail of Facebook applications, lots and lots of monthly active users.

In the beginning, a few brands made the leap as well – with some notable successes and a few total failures. It quickly became clear that if brands were to be successful on Platform, they needed to provide value with their applications, not simply use it as another medium to push traditional advertising messaging. Over the last three years, some brands have tried, failed and moved on, and some have been successful and have built on that success to establish a strong presence on Facebook. Many brands are still testing the waters and making that first leap. For those brands, here are a few recommendations that will increase their chances of developing and launching a successful Facebook Application.

Keep It Simple

Applications should focus on one simple idea and execute it well. Don’t try to pack every campaign asset you’ve created into the Application canvas page, and don’t try to link together multiple interactive/content hooks, no matter how clever it sounds back in the boardroom.

Build On the Familiar

To lessen the learning curve, build off social ideas and concepts that people already know and are already familiar with. If you introduce an entirely new idea, it has to be easily understood to be successful at any significant level.

Provide Value

Think about ways your brand can add value to a Facebook users Facebook experience – provide utility, entertainment or convenience. If you are a greeting card company, you might want to think about developing an app that tracks friend’s birthdays first, before you build an app that features digital versions of your cards that people can send to friends.

Make it social. Obvious…you would think…

Don’t build an app whose only function is to try and push content or ads at people or get them to sign up for some service and expect people to add or share it or even use it. Will not work, period. Make sure that your app is focused on adding value to the user’s Facebook experience. Empower your users to use the Stream to share things they want to share about things they’ve made/created using your app, not just your canned brand message. On the flip side, Facebook is a part of many users’ daily lives/activities. Don’t clutter or annoy users with excessive notifications, messages, and invitations.

Do Your Homework

Dig around in the Facebook directory and see what apps are popular and most successful and understand why. Look for apps that are based on ideas that relate to your brand, and use that as a jumping off point. For example, if you are an alcohol brand, you might want to consider developing an app that allows friends to send a drink to a friend. This has been done repeatedly on Facebook, so the basic idea works…however, don’t directly copy it. The key is putting your on spin on it to tie it to your brand, and make it different enough to be interesting and fresh. Another alternative is simply sponsoring an existing app that already has a significant user base.

Budget Is Your Advantage

Most of the apps on Facebook are created by independent developers or small shops on shoestring budgets with little resources. As a result, most of the apps are poorly designed, buggy, not very sophisticated, and not premium. If a brand understands what makes for a successful app and adheres to these principles, users will appreciate the production value of a well-designed and developed application that has been built by pros, and that will reflect positively on your brand.

Package The App

Be sure and leverage all the available tools at your disposal on Facebook. Before launching an Application, for example, put resources towards developing a Facebook Page for your brand. This is a good place to house content and assets from other parts of the campaign or from brand archives, as well as provide custom content sections that drive traffic to your Applications. The goal of the page is build a fan base that can be engaged again and again with fresh content long after the life span of a specific application or content piece.

Promote It

With several hundred thousand apps now available on Facebook, you need to allocate dollars to bring it to the attention of Facebook users once you launch it. Contact Facebook and let them know you are interested in developing an application and get them on board in the beginning. They will help you determine the best way to launch your app and cut through the clutter.

Work With Someone Who’s Done It Before And Knows Facebook

Your agency of record is not likely going to have a clue how to build a Facebook application, even if they have an interactive department. Find and work directly with a shop that has experience building Facebook Applications and listen to their ideas and recommendations, or make sure your agency outsources the Application development to an experienced developer.

Be Prepared To Maintain Your Application

Facebook is constantly changing to meet the needs of its users. This means their API – the tools that Facebook provides developers to integrate apps with Facebook – are constantly changing too. One change to the APIcould dramatically affect the way your application works. Make sure you choose a partner that is able to keep on top of these changes, and be prepared to listen to, budget for, and follow their recommendations in an ever changing environment.

Facebook Groups For Brands

[This post was originally written by Brian Stratton of Dachis Group Portland]

Late last year, Facebook announced three major changes to the Facebook platform: more transparency about the user data that apps use, the ability to download profile information and a complete reworking of Facebook Groups. All three are likely to  improve the Facebook experience for all users, which ultimately is a big win for the brands who want to continue to be able to reach them there. But it’s the potential of the new Groups functionality that we’re most excited about, both for users and brands alike.

Previously, Facebook Groups was a poorly understood feature with functionality that overlapped with Pages, to the point where some brands were confused as to whether their Facebook presence should be a Page or a Group. Now, Groups are a quick and easy way to bring a specific group of Facebook friends together around a particular topic or interest. And while the new Groups feature is aimed at bringing context to a user’s Facebook experience, socially savvy brands will find ways to capitalize on them as well.

Bite-Sized Bits of Info

First of all, it’s important to keep in mind that a Group is designed to facilitate conversation around a specific topic of interest to a relatively small group. So, for instance, a resort could set up a Group where fans who have scheduled upcoming visits could virtually meet up prior to arrival.

Come Together

A brand could also use a Group to encourage collaboration on a specific cause marketing initiative or crowdsource fan coverage of an event, similar to the way Twitter #hashtags are used. Creating meaningful Facebook Groups could encourage fans to form stronger social ties with each other, with the brand at the center of those ties.

And while it might pose a bit of a slippery slope for brands that don’t have a disciplined social media strategy in place, a Group could be the ideal place for brand representatives to interact directly with fans, using their own Facebook profiles.

Customer Service

If a specific customer service issue arises, a brand could try to move the discussion of it off of their Page and into a Group established to help their fans with the issue. It’s a far more effective way to discuss a single issue than trudging through 300 comments on a Wall post. It also empowers fans to help each other out and separates a negative conversation thread slightly from the brand’s primary Facebook presence.

For 5% of Fans

Groups could also be used to encourage discussion around any aspect of a brand that has a small but extremely devoted following that might not be of interest to the larger fan base. If certain posts generate a great deal of feedback on the Wall but also coincide with a bump in the number of fans unsubscribing from updates or un-Liking the Page, moving those conversations to a Group might be the solution.

A Persistent Presence for Content

Given the transient nature of Facebook Wall posts, setting up a Group could be a good way to give a persistent presence to something that the brand wants to feature but doesn’t want to post about repeatedly, because of its limited appeal to the larger fan base.

But Wait, There’s More

Active Groups could also pay secondary dividends for the brands that administer them. The brand’s Page admin might use content from their Groups and curate it for the Page. And if Facebook Ad targeting remains unchanged, a brand can include Groups in their media targeting and potentially pull in new fans who have joined a Group but not the main brand Page.

Finally, since Groups will have its own APIs, developers will be able to create applications that leverage Groups in ways that we can’t predict. But it’s a safe bet that their versatility will only increase over time.

Let the Brand Beware

Now, with all of this said, there some significant caveats. In a Group, the most recently commented-on post moves to the top of the page, which makes it difficult to push a specific brand message or bury unpleasant content “below the fold.” Administrators have to use personal Facebook profiles when posting to the Group; they cannot comment or post as the brand itself. And if a brand gets too Group-happy, there’s a danger of fragmenting the fan base and diluting the social messaging strategy.

Groups will never replace Pages, and brands should never use them interchangeably. Also, not all users have access to the new Groups yet, and as with everything else about the Facebook platform, aspects of it are subject to change without notice. But for creative, informed and engaged brands, Facebook Groups could be a powerful and versatile new tool for connecting to and activating fans, and we look forward to discovering new ways to do just that.

Facebook and Social Business Design

[This post was originally written by Gunter Pfau of Stuzo | Dachis Group]

By now practically everyone agrees that Facebook is indispensable as a marketing channel. The marketing department has lead the adoption of Facebook within the org since the early days when Facebook Pages were first launched back in 2008. However, with Facebook burgeoning to over 600 million users, it’s time to think hard about a 360º presence for the organization rather than just marketing.

Facebook and Social Business Design | Stuzo

An organization’s Facebook community consists not only of potential customers, but also vendors, investors, potential investors, employees, potential employees, current customers, etc. In order to win, large organizations need to first focus on organizing as a social business – breaking down the walls between departments, appointing and empowering leadership to drive social initiatives, and developing processes and procedures that enable the flow of content and information freely between all stakeholders. Only after this foundation has been laid can a Facebook presence be designed through the social business lens to encompass the development of social experiences that enable connections with all constituents.

When looking at the practical Facebook Fan Page architecture problem, one can imagine the type of Tabs and experiences required for an organization to have a true 360º presence on Facebook:

  • Introduction/Welcome: While the native Info tab on Facebook provides a great place to set community guidelines and expectations, it’s not an interactive experience that constituents can interact with. As such, organizations should build out an experience that welcomes the community and provides community members with an introduction and pathway to the different experiences throughout the Page.
  • Marketing/Promotions: Marketing will continue to take center-stage within Facebook and each key marketing initiative deserves its own tab experience. To that end, it’s common and recommended for an organization to simultaneously run both an evergreen engagement program as well as periodic campaign based programs to drive ongoing consumer engagement.
  • HR/Careers: Facebook with it’s vastly educated and varied global audience presents a tremendous opportunity for human resource departments. Every large organization should have a tab on their Page dedicated to talent acquisition.
  • Customer Service/Support: Every organization that has customer service ingrained in their general business processes should have a customer service experience on Facebook. Whether there is a brand prescribed process for consumers to follow or not, social channels are fast becoming the first places where customers go to to complain when something goes sour with a transaction or product/service interaction. Without an internal process and social experience specifically developed to address, these complaints end up and get amplified on the Facebook Page Wall.
  • Investor Relations: Very few organizations are thinking of incorporating an Investor Relations experience within their Facebook presence. While not of primary focus and a completely interactive experience, Investor Relations does have a place within an organization’s Facebook presence. Constituents should at the least be able to find the latest stock price, shareholder statements, and any other pertinent news directly within the Facebook experience.

The above are only some of the key constituents and areas within a large organization that deserve to be represented and have relationships cultivated within Facebook. As a quick homework assignment, go ahead and take a holistic view of your org, segment all of its constituents, and then evaluate if your Facebook presence mirrors your entire business. And for those not sold yet that your organization should have a 360º presence on Facebook, endeavor to find out how many of your employees, shareholders, customers, and vendors are actually on Facebook. I’ll start you off with a bit of anecdotal fodder to fuel the fire, consider the number of large organizations banning the use of Facebook within the workplace because so many of their employees are on Facebook. Once you know the real makeup of your Facebook community, let the data speak. If the data proves the above assertions to be correct, then design your organization and Facebook Page through the social business lens.

Why you need a Facebook strategy

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.

Facebook

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. 

Social CRM = Consumer Engagement

Customer relationship management has been a difficult and expensive concept for many businesses to operationalize into reality, primarily because CRM implementation focused heavily on technology rather than process and culture. Social media creates new intelligence sources while requiring new processes and tools to manage unstructured information flow.

In essence, sCRM theory stands synonymous with consumer engagement in supporting the larger concept of social business. (The other keys are workforce engagement and business partner optimization.)

2010 | Defining Social CRM

View more presentations from Dachis Group

I've adapted the slides above from my colleague Dion Hinchcliffe, who has a gift for making complex enterprise architecture simple. You can read his explanation of social CRM in these two articles: