In mid-September, over 400 agency and industry professionals assembled in London for Facebook Studio Live, an interactive agency event hosted by members of Facebook’s senior management team who shared how they want to work with agencies, their latest strategies for creating social campaigns, how people are currently interacting with the site and Facebook’s growth trajectory.
Below is a summary of a few of the key messages from the day:
- The only thing that will be constant with Facebook is change – it is always evolving.
- Facebook view themselves as complimenting traditional advertising rather than replacing it.
- Facebook adverts are not effective display advertising, nor are they supposed to be. Rather, they’ve been designed with the intention of driving traffic to Facebook pages. Facebook ads should thus be understood not as experiences in and of themselves, but as invites to an experience.
- Brands should focus as much on using the social graph to push Facebook into their website as they do on pulling their website into Facebook, giving users a more contextual experience.
- The most effective Facebook campaigns are “social by design” (i.e. designed to be social right from the start, rather than adapted to social media later)
Perhaps the most important message of the day was this: Brands should not make the mistake of focusing only on their fans – they should also be thinking about the friends of their fans. For example, the Volkswagen UK Facebook page has over 47,000 fans, but those fans have nearly 9 million friends. As any marketer will tell you, word of mouth is one of the best kinds of marketing. Today however, conversations that used to happen offline now happen online. Billions of stories are shared on Facebook every day, many of which are about brands and businesses. These drive word of mouth and are extremely effective in engaging other potential customers. The most successful social media professionals will be those that help their clients create and amplify stories about their business / brand, through use of sponsored stories for example.