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The Marketing Catchphrase of 2011: Relayed by Facebook COO to Phoenix Web Design & Ad Pros

Social by DesignIn October, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told the crowd at the Association of National Advertisers convention in Phoenix to do something many of us struggle to resist doing anyway: to make Facebook a part of everything they do.

Her core message, actually, was that Facebook shouldn’t be the only thing marketers do online. It should just be part of everything they do, period. Labeling the concept “social by design,” Sandberg relayed to the attendees a term that seems to be the marketing catch phrase of 2011.

What does “social by design” mean? It describes a strategy in which the glue that holds together marketing plan is designing all elements to amplify or be amplified by social media. Of course, as a Facebook executive, Sandberg likely didn’t actually mean that marketers should be “social by design” so much as that they should utilize “Facebook by design.”

Her assertion: “If you look at the numbers for almost any brand, but certainly any brand that’s invested any time or effort on Facebook, the number of people who are your Facebook friends massively dwarfs the number of people who visit your website,” Ms. Sandberg said. “So I think one of the questions this industry needs to ask itself is why? Why continue to build as many microsites as we do when we know it’s so much easier to reach people where they already are?”

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl SandbergAdditionally, she said, Facebook allows brands to reach out and engage with an audience far more effectively than a website – even the most thoroughly developed website. “We are big supporters of everything you do online and think you should be doing more not less,” she said. But, noted, operating within Facebook means that “for the first time, real identity, real relationships, real personalization, marketing can really fulfill its promise.”

As a social media agency that services California and Arizona web design clients with a full range of online marketing services, we’re only beginning to realize the benefits of embracing the idea behind the “social by design” philosophy. Our clients have experienced increased website traffic, increased brand awareness and a more prominent online presence because of Facebook – and who can argue with that?

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