Kin Lane

Words of Wisdom on a Successful Facebook Business Profile

I was reading a post on BernaiseSource called Putting a Face on Social Networks: Corporate Facebook Pages. It is another chapter in the ongoing discussion of whether to build your own social network or participate in existing social networks where your users already exist.This post focuses primarily on deploying of a business social network profile on Facebook. There are 3 company success stories I found interesting and sum of potentially successful strategies.Blockbuster - Karen Raskopf, senior vice president of corporate communications at Blockbuster, wrote:

We view this alliance with Facebook as an innovative way to cultivate relationships with millions of Facebook users by enabling them to interact with Blockbuster in convenient, relevant and entertaining ways. This is beyond advertising. This is about Blockbuster participating in the community of the consumer so that, in return, consumers feel motivated to share the benefits of our brand with their friends.

As one of the most-trafficked websites in the United States, we believe this alliance gives us a valuable opportunity to engage in an on-going dialogue with a tech-savvy audience, increase our brand relevance, form long-lasting consumer relationships, establish digital relationships with millions of media entertainment fans, and importantly grow our membership base, both in-store and online.
Verizon Wireless - Brenda.Raney a Verizon Wireless spokesperson wrote:

The decision to create a corporate presence on Facebook was driven primarily because our customers were using Facebook. It is important for us to talk to our customers where they work and play so Facebook is one more avenue to reach our customers. One of our strategic goals is to create more interactivity for Verizon Wireless customers who are also Facebook users.

Currently, Verizon's Facebook page has two applications: Text to friends is the primary one. A recent one allows customers to go to the Verizon Wireless profile page, download a Keith Urban video and send it to friends. Friends who want the song, can hold their Verizon Wireless phones up to the computer and use SongID on their Verizon Wireless phones to purchase the song directly on their phones.
Sprite - Petro Kacur, senior manager, marketing communications at Coca-Cola describe:Sprite has successfully used Facebook to reach its 18-24 year old target demographic that also happens to be the sweet spot for Facebook users.

"We're always looking for innovative ways to reach core Sprite drinkers that are relevant to them. Our Facebook app allows them to stay active online and remain connected with friends. Launched last November, Sprite's Facebook Sips application has a natural viral component. Users can create a character and interact with friends.

It's a natural fit for socializing. It inspires interaction and is also tied to product purchase decisions. Under each 20 oz Sprite cap is a code for a specialized feature that can be added to enhance a user's Sips character. Sprite has some experience with social networking. Its Facebook page is part of an evolution that includes MySpace, Second Life and mobile applications that let users stay connected via mobile phones.

It's still too early to determine if Sprite's Facebook foray is a success.

We are still testing, learning, and seeing what catches on, what doesn't, and how they are using our Facebook app. What's important is to determine if the Sips application remains relevant by giving users a reason to go online and stay engaged. It can't just be trendy. We can't force a fit. It must fit in what we know about the target user and be true to the Sprite brand.
Some great insight on how to focus your approach to deploying a presence on existing social networks. My personal stance is to focus heavily on where your users exist and are engaged in their conversation currently, while also developing and maintaining your own site and / or social network if applies.