Harness the Power of Social Media

Sister of Facebook’s founder offers inside scoop on effective social networking strategies.

October 24, 2011
/ PRINT / ShareShare / Text Size +

Randi Zuckerberg, former head of marketing for Facebook and sister to its founder, recalls a defining moment in her family and professional life.

Soon after the launch of Facebook in 2004, the Zuckerberg siblings were all home for the Thanksgiving holiday. At one point, she says, “we literally sat around the dining room table texting each other.”

When their mother complained about it, the Zuckerberg kids replied, “But this is the future, Mom!”

Zuckerberg was interviewed by Ron Insana, CNBC senior analyst and commentator, at the BAI Retail Delivery Conference in Chicago.

“We never expected Facebook to be so big,” Zuckerberg admits, describing the beginning as like the Wild West. As Facebook spread across campuses, the military, and on to the general public, it became evident the social media company’s niche is to fulfill the basic human need for interaction as people grow apart geographically.

In the business world, social media is on the cusp of bigger and better applications, says Zuckerberg. Demand marketing and e-commerce are taking off, she says, adding “customer service is the No. 1 thing social media can do for you.

“Businesses are so scared of the negative comments on social media,” she continues. “But those people are only an inch away from loving you. Just respond to them and you can turn them into huge evangelists for your brand.”

The next stage of social media is looking increasingly mobile-dominated, says Zuckerberg. There are countries and continents that skipped over the personal computer and are adopting all aspects of mobile technology much faster than the U.S. “About a year ago, mobile banking was ‘the cool factor.’ Now I do 80% of my banking through mobile,” she says.

For financial institutions, mobile channels and social media present huge opportunities, she adds. Financial institutions can position themselves as experts on various topics. And with the right training and established policies, staff can interact with consumers and have the “teller” experience through social media.

Through “crowd sourcing,” organizations can engage consumers and garner buy-in for their brands, she adds. “But don’t wait until a crisis situation to build a fan base. Have a team ready, and a community of fans.”

Zuckerberg recently left Facebook to become founder and CEO of R to Z Media, to help media companies develop programming in “new and more social ways.”

She admits she misses the information technology help desk available at a large company, but adds, “I’ve always loved the scrappy feel of the start-up.”

Post a comment to this story


What's Popular

Popular Stories

Recent Discussion

Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Your Say: Who should be Credit Union Magazine's 2014 CU Hero of the Year?

View Results Poll Archive