In mid-September, London was calling. Hundreds of agency and industry professionals gathered at the Truman Brewery in East London to attend Facebook Studio Live, an interactive agency event featuring Facebook global leaders who shared our latest strategies for creating campaigns that are social by design. Here are some of the day’s key themes, and some useful links:
Hacker culture—it isn’t just for developers.
Agencies, take the culture of hacking back to your teams, keynote speaker Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, Director of Product Engineering and creator of News Feed, told the audience. He explained that hacking is a way of working that involves ruthlessly eliminating bad ideas, overcoming the usual constraints, and quickly coming to a working solution. Sometimes this means dropping efforts on something good in pursuit of something great. The Facebook adage “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” can apply to approaching client briefs as much as it can to building technology products.
Stories drive word of mouth at scale.
The broadcast model of marketing has fundamentally changed—the new model is recommendations between friends. That was the message from Brian Boland, Director of Product Marketing, who went on to explain how with Facebook, conversations that traditionally happened offline now happen online and at scale. Marketers have always known that word of mouth is one of the best kinds of marketing. Every day, billions of stories are shared on Facebook, many of them about brands and business. These organic stories drive word of mouth and are extremely effective at getting others to engage and take action. Agencies that help clients create and amplify stories about their brands will continue to come out ahead.
Facebook is a platform with infinite possibilities.
The Facebook platform is a set of technologies that enable people take their friends and the things they care about with them everywhere, said Christian Hernandez, Director of Platform Partnerships in EMEA. This enables people to have more social and personal experiences wherever they are—on the web, Facebook or on mobile. For agencies, this means you can build unique and rich experiences that transform consumer interactions with the brands you work with. In a similar vein, although the dominant media have changed, the core skills of the industry—storytelling, understanding the consumer and providing leadership for the client—remain the same, said Mark D’Arcy, Director of Global Creative Solutions, who stressed that in fact, these core skills are more critical than ever.
Studio Live hackers stay tuned—we’ll be announcing the winners of the challenge here on the Facebook Studio blog soon. Materials from the day are available at the links below, please share them with your teams, and don’t forget to submit your campaigns to Facebook Studio. You can find pictures from the day (we’ll be adding more soon) on the Facebook Studio page.
Thanks again to all who participated and happy hacking!
Join us for the latest Creatives Talk Live on Facebook Studio. Creatives Talk is a series designed to inspire creativity on Facebook. In this series, we will be welcoming creative thought-leaders from many fields, such as storytelling, fashion, TV, advertising, and more, to share how Facebook is influencing their creative processes.
Time: Tuesday, September 27th at 11am PST (2pm EST, 7pm GMT)
Location: Facebook Live tab on Facebook Studio
Ever wonder where creativity comes from or how to maximize your own creativity? Join us for Creatives Talk Live on Tuesday, September 27th at 11am PST (2pm EST, 7pm GMT) to find out. We will be joined by Dr. Robert Bilder, who is the Michael E. Tennenbaum Family Chair of Creativity Research at UCLA's Semel Institute.
Dr. Bilder leads a team of investigators at UCLA who are studying creative cognition and exceptional abilities that may be important keys to achievement in diverse artistic, scientific, and business domains. To see Dr. Bilder's recent TEDX Talk on Personal Brain Management, click here.
On Creatives Talk Live, Dr. Bilder will share how technology, and social technology in particular, can help spur creativity. He will also share some tips on how making your campaigns more social can create biological reactions that can make them more successful. Dr. Bilder's presentation will include a 15-20 minute talk, followed by a live Q&A with questions from our online audience. Please share this event with your friends and colleagues and post questions on the event page.
Dr. Robert Bilder Michael E. Tennenbaum Family Chair of Creativity Research, UCLA's Semel Institute.
To help fashion magazine Flair build brand affinity and reach a new, younger audience, Duval Guillaume Modem honed in on the insight that women look to each other for fashion inspiration. The agency developed the Flair Fashion Tag —a Facebook app that allows people to easily tag pieces of clothing in photos and share them with friends. All “fashion tags” are displayed on the Flair Facebook page. The best are also featured in the magazine, creating a constant interaction between Flair’s online and offline presence and building awareness of both. The campaign was one of the first published to the Facebook Studio Spotlight, and took home a Media Lion at Cannes earlier this year. We caught up with Mattijs Devroedt, strategic planner at Duval Guillaume Modem, to learn how his team created a strategy that is social by design by starting with an intuitive consumer insight.
What was the big idea behind the Fashion Tag campaign?
With the Fashion Tag campaign, we translated a real-life habit into a virtual habit. We started from the insight that when women are looking for fashion inspiration, they often look to their friends to see what they are wearing, what's hip, and where to shop. We then created an application that uses the familiar tagging mechanism from Facebook, only to allow users to tag clothes instead of people, and then to share the “fashion-tagged” items with their friends. All fashion tags are displayed in a gallery on Facebook, and the most interesting items are also featured in Flair magazine. So in addition to an engaging Facebook experience, the application also creates a cross-media flow of relevant content that incorporates what the Flair audience likes on Facebook into the magazine.
The key insight that that women look to each other for fashion inspiration—did that come from consumer research, or was it more intuitive?
It was an intuitive insight, but it is also something that we picked up from observing behavior on Facebook. I noticed several of my friends using Facebook to compliment their friends’ fashion choices by posting comments on their pictures. When we looked more broadly, the team noticed that commenting on fashion and specific items was also happening on the Flair Facebook page and in other places. So there was no research done in a formal sense, but we knew we were creating a relevant tool for Flair readers because we were translating something they already do in the real world to the virtual world.
Once you had the Fashion Tag idea, how did you execute it?
We partnered with The Parking Lot and S2Media to help us build the application. Our planners and creatives were very involved throughout the production process. We knew that if we really wanted to engage Flair readers, we needed to create something that was elegantly designed, easy to use and relevant. One of the great things about working on Facebook is that it is already part of people’s lives—part of that is because in addition to being interesting and engaging, using Facebook doesn’t require a significant effort. To create a constant flow of interaction with the Fashion Tag app, we knew we had to create a product someone would immediately want to use again. The close collaboration with the production agencies was key to making that happen.
What was reception like when you launched the Fashion Tag app? What results have you seen?
We were very pleased to see thousands of fashion tags created within the first weeks after launching the app. We wanted to make sure we created an experience that would deliver Flair’s goals of empowering and inspiring women, increasing engagement with the Flair Facebook page and increasing the size of the Flair fan community; we have done very well on all three accounts. The concept is one that gains traction over time as the magazine raises awareness of the Fashion Tag app and vice versa. Engagement has continued to grow as more people see themselves and their friends being tagged on the Facebook page and featured in the magazine.
What do you think contributed most to Fashion Tag’s success?
One of the biggest factors in Fashion Tag’s success is that sharing is inherent to the concept. It's not an experience you have once and then it’s over—sharing with friends is embedded in the idea, and we made sure that the app was easy for people to share when they wanted to. I think it's important for marketers to see the opportunity that Facebook offers brands to play a more meaningful role in the lives of consumers—and to do that all year long. We are always thinking of ways to depart from the campaign philosophy, which I think leads to better social ideas. One of the big advantages of Facebook is that you can be there when the consumer wants to interact with you, and that you can have a sustained, meaningful impact on their lives. Having that kind of impact requires a 365-day approach, instead of thinking in terms of finite campaigns.
Mattijs Devroedt is a strategic planner at Duval Guillaume Modem. Make sure to check out the Fashion Tag campaign in the Facebook Studio Spotlight.
We are excited to announce our latest Creatives Talk Live on Facebook Studio. Creatives Talk is a series designed to inspire creativity on Facebook.
In this series, we will be welcoming creative thought-leaders from many
fields, such as storytelling, fashion, TV, advertising, and more, to
share how Facebook is influencing their creative processes.
Time: Wednesday, September 7th at 11:00am PST (2:00pm EST, 7:00pm GMT)
Location: Facebook Live tab on the Facebook Studio Page
Want to see how social is impacting creativity in television programming and marketing? Lori H. Schwartz and Geoff Katz, co-governors for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Interactive Media Peer Group, will be joining us to talk about social and other interactive TV trends and this year's Primetime Emmy nominees for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media.
On September 7th at 11am PST (2pm EST, 7pm GMT), tune in to get an exclusive sneak peak at some of the nominees on Facebook before the award winners are announced just three days later. Lori is currently the Chief Technology Catalyst for McCann Worldgroup, North America and Geoff is currently Vice President, Executive Producer at Related Content Database, Inc. (RCDb). Both Lori and Geoff have extensive experience bringing brands to life across platforms.
Lori H. Schwartz and Geoff Katz's presentation will include a 15-20 minute talk which will be followed by a live Q&A with questions from our online audience. Please share this event and post questions in advance on the event Page.
Editor’s note: This post is part of our ongoing developer series, created to help you learn more about how developers using Facebook APIs can help agencies and marketers scale their Facebook presence. You can find a full list of API developers on the Facebook Studio Page. Also check out the Preferred Developer Consultants directory to find PDCs who specialize in building applications and integrations that create custom social experiences on brand websites and Facebook Pages. GraphEffect is a Facebook advertising platform that offers a range of proprietary services, including advertising optimization, customized reporting and “lookalike modeling.” We sat down with co-founder and CEO James Borow to talk about how GraphEffect can help agencies and marketers reach the right people by focusing on engagement.
What is GraphEffect’s approach to marketing on Facebook?
At a very high level, GraphEffect is a marketing platform built on top of the Facebook Ads API. It’s designed to help agencies and marketers identify target audiences and drive engagement with their products or brands. The idea behind it is that Facebook is about people, and if we can help them identify the types of people that they want to bring into their community, it will make the ability to engage these people much easier. At the end of the day, we’re focused on getting your message in front of the right people, and then helping you find more of those people.
How can you help agencies that are already experienced with building a presence on Facebook?
We help our clients determine what audience segments to advertise to next. By finding ways to continually engage the type of people who care about your message, we help clients scale their campaigns.
You recently launched a service called “lookalike modeling”—what do you mean by that?
You can think of lookalike modeling as a targeting recommendation engine for Facebook advertising—it allows us to continually put ads in front of the right groups of users. For example, if you know that people who like a certain publication tend to convert well, you also know that there are a lot of other people out there who probably like the publication but have not added it to their Facebook profile.
By analyzing our previous results that we've seen from campaign targeting, we're able to make an educated guess about how to target people who have similar interests. Facebook is a platform that is built on people and if you can find people in aggregate who act in a similar way, it can become very effective for scaling your campaigns.
As a result, a lot of clients are using us not only for media optimization, but as also for customer research. Because the system is finding targeting strategies that aren’t completely obvious, lookalike modeling becomes a tool for discovering more people who may engage with your content. We have had some clients who have altered their contact strategy based on the results.
How does GraphEffect typically work with agencies?
Most campaigns are very collaborative. The lead agency will come with a vision, and we provide insight into how to make it fit the Facebook platform better. We help to amplify the message out to a wider audience: When you build up communities of millions of fans who actually care about what it is you're doing, it creates a phenomenal distribution channel for the content you’re creating. In many cases, we see significant organic growth in new fans and in engagement from friends of fans, even when we’re focused exclusively on engaging a brand’s current fan base. We’re really focused on scaling that word-of-mouth activity.
Do you have any advice for agencies interested in working with GraphEffect? What is the process like?
We like to be involved as early in the process as possible. First, we like to sit down and establish the overarching goals of the campaign. If possible, it’s great to get everyone in a room, including the client’s Facebook rep so we can make sure everyone is on the same page. Depending on the campaign objectives, Premium inventory (which we don’t have access to via the Ads API) may be a better solution than Marketplace inventory. We make a recommendation after we understand the long-term goals.
We also want to make sure everyone involved in the campaign understands that Facebook is a different type of inventory. The “stories economy” is something we really believe in. Marketing on Facebook is not purely transaction-based—it’s about building connections and then having a plan for how to leverage them after you acquire them.
We also make recommendations about how to allocate resources. For example, we may say based on your goals, put 40 percent towards helping you build up fans, and dedicate the other 60 percent towards engaging this fan base and learning from there. It’s about getting to the point where we're using Facebook with a multi-pronged approach: The first step is to build the fan base; the second is to figure out the best way to leverage it and keep fans engaged.
What makes Facebook different from other channels? Why did you choose to build your business on the platform?
I look at Facebook as actually more in line with television than display or search. I think there's opportunity to do bigger, bolder, and more effective things than we've seen with other channels. There's also nowhere else that marketers can get a message in front of someone who wants their message based on things they like. I think that that in itself is incredibly rare and helpful for advertisers.
Any tips or best practices you can share with the Facebook Studio audience?
We’ve seen a lot of success with Sponsored Stories in particular—they are a huge resource for almost all of our clients. I would encourage readers to explore the different types of Sponsored Stories. Another tip is to look at the platform holistically and think about how you can leverage things like Open Graph integrations and apps with your media buys.
The whole concept of build, engage, amplify makes a lot of sense. Marketing on Facebook is really about having a conversation. If you can wrap your head around the fact that this is not search and it's not traditional display, but it's really a communication platform, then that’s when you really see the opportunity.
James Borow co-founder and CEO of GraphEffect.
We are excited to announce our inaugural Creatives Talk Live on Facebook Studio. Creatives Talk is a series designed to inspire creativity on Facebook. In this series, we will be welcoming creative thought-leaders from many fields, such as storytelling, fashion, TV, advertising, and more, to share how Facebook is influencing their creative processes.
Time: Wednesday, August 17th at 11:00am PST (2:00pm EST, 7:00pm GMT)
In our first talk, Brian Seth Hurst will be discussing "Marketing Opportunities in a Multi-platform Story World." Hurst is a leader in the storytelling movement and the CEO of The Opportunity Management Company, a strategic consultancy driving the next generation of entertainment. He is referred to as “the father of cross platform” after coining the term in 1998 as MD of Convergent Media at Pittard Sullivan, where he launched TV Guide as the first ever cross-platform brand. Hurst's credo “go to where your audience lives” continues to
transform the relationship of audiences to brands and programming.
Brian Seth Hurst's presentation will include a 15-20 minute talk which will be followed by a live Q&A with questions from our online audience. Please share this event and post questions in advance on the event Page.
We recently invited a group of third-party developers experienced with building applications for marketers to discuss ways to help generate, amplify and measure word of mouth using Facebook.
Following a short brief from Mark Wexler, executive director and co-founder, the teams got to work developing strategies that would help Not For Sale amplify its message with Facebook.
The teams came back with seven great ideas: “Each team produced great concepts and we will likely incorporate ideas from each group into future work that we do,” said Nathan Beeghly, head of social media for Not For Sale. A panel including members of Not For Sale and Facebook then reviewed the submissions for comprehensiveness, feasibility, and potential impact and we’re happy to announce the winning team below.
Congratulations to the Brand Report Card team and thanks to all who participated!
“Brand Report Card”
The “Brand Report Card” idea centers on a Facebook app designed to work across all of Not For Sale’s properties, including their Facebook Pages, website and mobile app. The app displays a leaderboard of brands and their Free2Work grades, which assess the brand’s social responsibility related to labor issues. People have the opportunity to submit their stories about graded brands and share these stories with friends, and also to submit and vote via the Like button for brands that have not yet been graded. Stories resulting from these interactions are amplified using App Share and Domain Sponsored Stories.
Members of the winning team include:
Cheryl Contee, Fission Strategy
Andy Craven, Brighter Option
Ian Hopkins, Syncapse
Deji Jimoh, Blueye
Tiffany Lin, Marin Software
Dorothy Mattison, Organic Spread Media
Roland Smart, Involver
Jon Wood, XA.net
We’ve partnered with the Big Ad Gig to give young creatives another way to show off their talent and break into the industry.
During Advertising Week in October, eight creatives will compete to win one of five 30-day paid freelance positions at Atmosphere Proximity, Facebook, Crispin, Porter & Bogusky, Ogilvy and The Martin Agency. To enter, contestants need to submit a resumé, online portfolio and a video reenactment of a moment in advertising history. The call for entries ends August 28, 2011. Visit thebigadgig.com to enter today.
Make sure to include HTTPS URLs for custom Facebook Page tabs. Adding a secure tab URL will ensure that people browsing Facebook over a secure connection will be able to see content on the tab. This applies for all custom tabs, and is especially important for clients directing their Facebook Ads to custom tabs. Check out this guide
for step-by-step instructions.
App developers will be required to serve their apps through an HTTPS connection starting on October 1. Read more about changes related to secure browsing on the Facebook Developer Blog
We sat down with Ambar Pansari, product manager for brand advertiser and agency products at Facebook, to talk about how his team approaches product development for advertisers. He recently launched Account Groups, a new, easier way for agencies to manage their ad strategies on Facebook.
As the product manager for large advertiser and agency products, what are you most excited about?
We’ve always believed that agencies and advertisers carry the mantel of innovation in marketing. Many of the unique means of reaching customers in the past hundred years were driven by brand advertisers and their agencies trying something bold.
I’m excited about Sponsored Stories and am most interested to see how marketers and agencies use Sponsored Stories as a way of connecting directly to customers. Because Sponsored Stories are organic content from your friends, they are a new way scaling word-of-mouth recommendations. Fundamentally, if our advertisers can set up, report, and optimize Sponsored Stories in a truly efficient way, I’m confident they will see great business results, and people on Facebook will see even more relevant content. Everyone wins.
How do you prioritize what products to build?
We always have 10x or 100x the number of product requests relative to what our team can accomplish. We tend to prioritize projects by asking if the project will benefit the user, help an advertiser achieve their business goals, and if the project will fully solve a problem quickly and correctly from the get-go.
Account Groups is a great example of a product that agencies asked for, that we built. Agencies needed a more effective way to manage multiple ads accounts. Before Account Groups, advertisers had to access/manage each ad account separately. Each account admin had to manually invite each user individually to each account. With this new solution, accounts can now easily be grouped together, and admins can invite multiple users to be full administrators of a group of accounts, or even assign other admin permission levels for those who can access the group. This will save agencies time, improve account security and simplify the process for managing their Facebook ads experience.
How do you see Facebook’s products for agencies evolving in the next couple of years?
There are a few areas where we will evolve from where we are today. First and foremost, our optimization tools are going to develop quickly. Setting up and optimizing ads at scale will be much easier than it is today. Secondly and fundamentally, we’re in the reports business – more timely information allows better decisions. You’ll see more metrics, and it will be easier to create the reports you and your clients need. There will also be more self-service tools so our agencies and advertisers can directly access the same tools that we use internally. It’s worth noting that most of our tools are now built on the same Ads API that we give external developers access to – so the API ecosystem will develop further, as well.
Ambar Pansari is a product manager for brand advertiser and agency products at Facebook.