We held a great panel discussion at our Ogilvy event in NYC last week with Mashable, Facebook, Unilever and Buddy Media. The topic was 'How Facebook Changes the Game for Brands." Great session.
Three things that came out of it:
1. Facebook warrants a strategy: while our own team often argues for brands to start with strategy before jumping to platforms, Facebook has reached such a critical mass and there is so much pressure to be there that brands - especially B2C - need to developa strategy to use it and use it well.
2. Don't count Twitter or FourSquare out: Adam Ostrow from Mashable made it clear that these platforms had their strengths and marketers shoudl not assume that Facebook would eat their lunch. Some discussion went back and forth about how imminent it may be for Facebook to release game-like qualities to Facebook Places to rival FourSquare more clearly (Adam from Facebook remained silent on this). Adam O.'s point was that these platforms not only have compelling qualities but that they are getting sharper about providing useful advertising solutions like promoted tweets. ,
3. Brand marketers use The Five Social Media Platform Brand Strategy: While Facebook is important, many brands are executing programs across multiple social platforms. These may all change depending on the business and the market ( e.g. Coke (cl) includes MySpace in their strategy; brands in Brazil include Orkut). Even though the exact platforms may vary, brands are often using Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Flickr (or, again, some variation on these) in tandem. They see the value in each. They understand they need to be where their customers are and balance that with content publishing and search optimization goals (e.g. its important to be in YouTube, the #2 search engine, so let's post our video there and embed in our other properties even our Facebook page). This drives brands to adopt a conversation and content management strategy that plans which content to distribute where and how to drive the best engagement on each platform.
While most of the social CMS systems are focused on a few platforms, most will adopt extra capabilities to publish across the "Five Social Media Platforms" of choice for a brand and do so across language markets.