What PR pros and marketers need to know about the Facebook IPO

Facebook is expected to file its initial public offering (IPO) this week, and it will affect brands in this social media space.

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Sites like Groupon, Zynga, and LinkedIn famously preceded Facebook as social media companies that have gone public. They’ve seen varied results. Facebook will no doubt learn from their successes and failures in recent months.

At first glance, it may not seem like the IPO will have a great impact on the way marketers and public relations professionals use Facebook. As a manager of four brand Facebook pages, I’ll post content after the company goes public using the same functionality I used when it was private. But the IPO marks a macro shift in the way marketers will use Facebook to connect with their audience.

What’s been largely experimental and trial-and-error based will now have to become more strategic as competition to get people’s attention within the platform inevitably increases.

Here are some of the ways marketers and PR pros should expect Facebook’s IPO to change how they approach the platform:

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When a company goes public, there’s automatically additional pressure that didn’t previously exist. Where CEO Mark Zuckerberg once had the luxury of solely focusing on creating an amazing user experience, he now has to deal with increased scrutiny from the media, shareholders, bankers, and individual investors—all while having to make users happy.

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