THURSDAY 10 FEB 2011 1:17 PM


A new best practice guide for companies seeking to get the most out of their Facebook presence has been released this month by the publishing and training group Econsultancy.

Many brands and organisations have struggled to build Facebook pages that reach the full potential of the social networking site. Econsultancy has responded to requests from its marketing community for guidance in using the platform to build brands and awareness.

How To Create Amazing Facebook Pages is a 90+ page report that deals with key areas of organisational use of Facebook, from the internal business case for investment in Facebook presence, to creating relevant, appropriate content, and external moderation.

The report includes examples of over 60 organisations whom Econsultancy have benchmarked as examples of best practice. Chris Lake, director of innovation, says that Facebook reminds him of the early days of commerical internet: "Some brands jumped in and launched transactional e-commerce sites while others dragged their heels. They then spent years - and small fortunes - catching up. Make no mistake: as far as Facebook goes, the time is now."

Beth Carroll of Threepipe has some reservations about the guide. "Social media strategy should very much depend on the individual client's objectives - so our models for Facebook etc. are based on identifying what a client would like to achieve and then building a programme. However, you have to be realistic, and this could be useful for smaller brands in particular who can't necessarily afford to work with agencies on tailored strategies. In general, raising the level of best practice in social media is a great thing, but I feel this guide is a starting point rather than a model for long-term solutions."

Over 80% of marketers expect social media spending to increase over the next year, with Facebook at the forefront of social media strategies, according to Econsultancy's recent research. With over half a billion active users, Facebook's claims as a channel for audience engagement are undeniable.