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Joanna Shields: ‘People are becoming your brand ambassadors’

10 September 2011
Joanna Shields: ‘People are becoming your brand ambassadors’

“We want to be your partner in unlocking 750m friends,” Facebook’s European head, Joanna Shields (pictured), told broadcasters attending IBC’s Friday keynote on social media. The vice-president and managing director EMEA of Facebook explained to media companies how the social network could improve their “word of mouth” marketing and make their content more profitable.

“People are becoming your brand ambassadors. The average Facebook user has over 130 friends. Connect and share your content to other people and your 130 connect to 17,000 which in turn connect to 2m. We can help you target campaigns to deliver your content or advertising to more people.”

Shields, who launched the award-winning online drama Kate Modern while at social network Bebo, also sought to reassure broadcasters that it was “not in the business of creating content”.

She gave several examples of how the marriage between TV and Social was enabling broadcasters to market and monetise content better. Many of these methods use Facebook credits – an i-Tunes-like virtual currency which allows users to buy gifts and virtual goods on the social network’s platform.

Recent deals have included a partnership with Miramax that enables users to rediscover classics from the film distributor’s archive and rent them using Facebook credits. Shields added that, so far, 1.3m users have engaged in its recent Doctor Who partnership with BBC World Wide since it launched in July. The partnership allows fans of the Time Lord to view a selection of nine Doctor Who stories through Facebook, with each story costing 15 Facebook credits (the equivalent of 93p).

Shields told The IBC Daily that partnerships with broadcasters were still in their early stages but revenue splits with partners have been set at 70/30 in favour of the partner – a model established by Apple.

Shields, who brought advertising to the social network bebo and oversaw its sale to AOL for $850m, admitted that when it came to revenue generation expectations were high. “The challenge is to come up with smarter ad formats in ways that we can deliver values and results. This is paramount to success in our business.”

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