Facebook’s Sandberg Brands Can Be Social Too

Facebook’s Sandberg Brands Can Be Social Too

The world now knows a little more about Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s charismatic Chief Operating Officer.

She runs in Nike shoes, wears Covergirl mascara and her kids eat Cheerios.

Sandberg delivered a personal glimpse into her own association with brands and communities as she delivered a keynote address to Nielsen’s Consumer 360 conference today.

Sandberg told the audience of media and consumer packaged goods leaders, that social networks had changed the way businesses related to consumers.

By using the web of human relationships formed on Facebook, Sandberg said marketers could build brands, acquire new customers and deepen relationships with consumers. Perhaps most importantly, Facebook enabled marketers to bring customers into the process and receive real-time feedback on products, leading to new insights that otherwise would be delayed or missed altogether, she said.

In a presentation peppered with glimpses into her own experiences on Facebook, Sandberg said the social networking site of 400 million global users, delivered an opportunity to connect in ways that enabled people to live lives in very different ways than generations pre-Facebook.

For many users, she said, Facebook has become the primary means of communicating, even replacing e-mail. “If you want to know what you’ll be doing tomorrow, look at what teens are doing today,” said Sandberg, noting that only 11% of teens used e-mail, preferring texts/SMS and social networks.

Keeping it Real

What drove Facebook’s effectiveness was its authenticity, said Sandberg. People joined the network with their real identities and entrust the site with their personal information. The fact that Facebook users “like” products or services has real credibility with their friends. A recent study found that people who saw ads for products recommended by their friends had 68% greater product recognition, 200% better memory of brand messaging and were 400% more likely to buy that product, according to Sandberg.

In addition to its authenticity, Sandberg said Facebook stood apart from other social networks because its content is completely member-driven. In fact, Sandberg noted that the foreign language versions of the site were created by more than 300,000 volunteers who used a translation dashboard provided by the company.

She said more than two-thirds (70%) of Facebook’s members lived outside the U.S. and more than 100 million users access the site via mobile devices.