A few days ago I was talking to a friend about the nature and level of importance some brands have in society. Brands such as Coca-Cola, Youtube and Google. I told him that whenever I wanted to measure if and how relevant a brand is for theworld, I'd ask myself : "What if the owner/s suddenly decided to shut down the company? What would people do? Would it affect society somehow?" The truth is that the bigger the dependence, the bigger its impact, the bigger its absence... Could you picture a world without Coca-Cola? Or without Google? Now think about this- could we imagine a world without Facebook? The answer is a big, fat resounding "NO".
There are several reasons why social networks are so vital for us today: they are a great place for us to expose our brands, engage people, widen our potential client base, help build trust, and most importantly- foster interaction with our customers. The one-way type of communication is now a thing of the past. Companies can now listen to customers on a day-to-day basis. As David Meerman Scott writes on his book, "The New Rules of Marketing & PR": "The web has changed the business-book model. Now, great PR includes programs to reach buyers directly. Effective web marketing that delivers compelling content to buyers gets them to take action." Instead of just advertising to people, build a relationship with them. It's the best way to create a bond that can withstand almost anything.
What is astonishing about Facebook is the impact it has made on our communication strategies in just a matter of 7 years. It has completely shifted the way we interact with one another. Interestingly enough, it's hard to remember what it was like before it...
"The Social Network" - the story about the founder/s of Facebook - hit the screens on October of last year. The movie, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Rooney Mara, Justin Timberlake and directed by David Fincher, received widespread critical acclaim and grossed more than $200 million worldwide. The film did nothing more than further instigate interest and fascination for the brand. Mashable founder Pete Cashmore said: "If the Facebook founder [Zuckerberg] is concerned about being represented as anything but a genius with an industrious work ethic, he can breathe a sigh of relief." Forget the ugly lawsuits that went on between him and his former "friends"... we completely forgive him. It also helped prove something I always talk about. There is nothing that helps a brand more than a "face". Look at Steve Jobs for Apple and Walt Disney for, well, Disney... The minute you associate someone with a product, the second you give that brand a heart. They stand as the visionaries that drive the company foward.
For those who have not yet seen the film, here's a glimpse:
The film picked up four Golden Globe awards last week, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Original Score. Talk about the best product placement in the history of cinema. But I do wonder however, do we call it product placement when the entire movie is about you?
Facebook is a terrific example of the possibilities and power of the Internet. It's the story of beeting the odds and the endless quest to perfection. A true testament of entrepreneurship and creativity. Because when it comes to innovation, there is no age or boundaries.
I leave you with this amazing infographic on Facebook, made by the folks of SocialHype and OnlineSchools.org.