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Building Loyalty with a Focus Group of Millions

People have become the center of the internet .… The voice of your fan can be amplified to a chorus, and a focus group can be the size of a country.

A top Facebook executive says social media have the potential to become “the most powerful marketing medium ever created.”

Joanna Shields, Facebook’s VP for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said companies and brand managers of every description can engage their audiences via social media, many of whom are busily sharing details of the TV shows and brands they love.

Shields delivered the keynote address to an October 5 session at MIPCOM 2010 in Cannes.

With 70% of Facebook users living outside the United States, it and fellow social media powerhouses can provide amazingly easy access to global markets. Facebook users alone, she pointed out, spend 700 billion minutes a month sharing 30 billion pieces of content.

“That’s real people – it’s not about avatars or made-up names,” she said. “The most important word in the internet world today is not search: it’s share… I believe the people are the message …. The future is here, and the potential for the media industry is nothing short of phenomenal.”