NEW YORK: WPP is to tie-in with Facebook management system Buddy Media in a bid to simplify and step-up advertiser presence on the global social networking site.

WPP's $5 million (€3.57m; £3.10m) investment in its new partner firm will involve integration of the Buddy Media platform with its own suite of technology products and services.

The result could be incorporation of Facebook advertising campaigns into clients' overall marketing strategy and significant cost savings inherent in a more seamless approach.

Many brands have made their official Facebook presence a key part of their overall marketing strategy, using the pages to publicise promotional offers, launch ads and respond to fan feedback.

Starbucks is one of the most visible, with over 14 million Facebook members currently saying they "like" the brand.

"As Facebook has surpassed the half-billion-users milestone ... it is no longer a matter of 'if' brands should have a presence on Facebook, but 'how' they can be successful," said Mark Read, ceo of WPP Digital.

"In the same way that brands have software for managing websites, it is also now appropriate that we have software that will help manage the fastest-growing communication medium of all time."

Michael Lazerow, chairman and ceo of Buddy Media, added: "It's clear that Facebook relationships work best when they're an extension of an authentic relationship, which in the case of brands includes a wide range of communication channels and experiences."

Other key elements of the deal include training of WPP agencies on Buddy Media within the first year of the partnership and co-development of new products and social applications exclusively for WPP clients.

Data sourced from WPP; additional content by Warc staff