Facebook launches first European SME Bootcamp

This week TIW’s social team attended Facebook’s first SME Bootcamp in Europe, at The Brewery in London. The social media giant wants to become more “accessible” to its users, especially businesses who use Facebook advertising, and is set to roll out more events of this kind.

We learned that page likes aren’t as important as you may think, and that if you crack the ‘creative’ code you could well start raking in the cash. We found it particularly interesting that Facebook now views itself as a “newspaper”, and were impressed by the micro-targeting that is now available through Facebook ads. Here’s our round-up of the best bits from Monday morning’s Bootcamp…

Hosted by athletics icon Jonathan Edwards, the #fbSME morning session got off to a flying start with a welcome by Nicola Mendelsohn, vice president, Facebook EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa], who declared that “we’re seeing the true democratisation of marketing”.

Mind boggling facts about Facebook

  • 3.35 billion people access Facebook every month in the EMEA region…
  • 35 million of them are in the UK
  • Facebook created $227bn of revenue worldwide in 12 months, according to a new report by Deloitte on Facebook’s global economic impact
  • In that period 1.5 million jobs were created in EMEA as a result of Facebook

Next, Ciaran Quilty, SMB regional director, Facebook EMEA, spoke about us as a people being “addicted to our mobile phones”. He advised that when building your business you should “invest in micro-targeting – Facebook users love to connect to local businesses”. He spoke of the new mobile and news driven direction of Facebook: “We deliver personalised newspapers to people’s hands”. Ciaran also had some impressive stats for the crowd:

  • 27 million people in the UK access Facebook 14 times every day
  • There are 1 billion video views on Facebook every day
  • There are 30 million SME’s on Facebook…
  • 1.5 million of them are using Facebook Adverts

Facebook SME success stories

In the early-morning session Jonathan chaired a panel of SME’s that use Facebook to promote their business to local and worldwide audiences: Lost My Name, the company that produces personalised books for children; The Last Hurdle, a business consultancy; and Zaggora, the sportswear brand that puts the emphasis on getting the most out of your work out.

Asi and Depesh from Lost My Name, spoke of their trial & error experiments with Facebook advertising. Depesh said that Lost My Name now has a ‘blueprint’ for Facebook ads “that can be used in practically every country, and just work,” and described using Facebook Adverts as “printing money”.

Asi advised spending £50 a day on ads, and scaling up from there. Depesh thinks that Facebook ads have worked so well for them because sponsored posts “interrupt a user’s social stream” and plant the idea in the user’s head, even if they don’t click ‘like’ or go straight to the site to buy, “the user is now thinking about buying” and will come back.

The Last Hurdle founder Jules White, whose business consultancy focuses on local first, uses Facebook to promote herself as a profession-leading expert in her field and celebrates every ‘win’ with a snoopy dance: “people buy from people, people they trust.”

Malcolm Bell, the co-founder of Zaggora and owner of new app Mail Cloud, picked up on Depesh’s point about scaling, and said that when growth happened on Facebook, there was an uplift across all Zaggora platforms. He loved the personalisation of targeting that Facebook ads offered. He believes in using new creatives all the time and “testing, testing, testing”.

What lessons can be learned from the big brands?

In a celebration of ‘Great British Marketing’ Deborah Hale, business marketing director, Facebook EMEA (past producer of the London Olympic Torch Relay), and Steve Hatch, regional director, Facebook UK and Ireland (former chief executive of WPP’s MEC marketing agency), spoke about big brands and events that have made an impact through Facebook.

Deborah said that the London 2012 Olympics Games’ marketing was so successful because it made “the very big, very small” and was inclusive of real people, meaning that everyone felt involved and invested in the campaign.

Steve gave the example of Grant’s Whisky using Facebook to launch a campaign attracting a younger audience to the brand. Facebook was chosen as the platform for this project, so as not to put off loyal older customers, which might of happened through a traditional TV campaign.

Deborah and Steve’s top tips for brand success on Facebook: 

  • Consistent messaging
  • Authenticity
  • Celebrate success
  • Community is key
  • Make it personal
  • Think mobile
  • Use video
  • Remember ‘real-time’ marketing
  • Advocacy is valuable
  • Emotional story telling works
  • Have great creative


Creativity matters

Mid-morning the delegation broke out into workshops. Rob Newlan, regional director, Facebook Creative Shop EMEA, held a talk about how creative really works on Facebook.

Rob said that Mark Zuckerberg believes in “reductive creativity”, meaning that all creative work should be made on a mobile phone to simplify the message and the visuals to their most basic form, and “‘Zuc’ will only look at creative on a mobile phone”.

Perhaps surprisingly for a creative head, Rob believes in data: “People who win combine insights and creativity”. He also said that companies should stop chasing after Facebook Likes, and should instead focus on creating great campaigns for the target audience that leave a real impression.

Rob’s take-home quotes about the future of creative:

  • “Take issues that matter to people, and use them”
  • “Good design is good business”
  • “Video has more resonance, but a strong arresting image will do”
  • “Cookies are dead, long live people”

For more on Facebook read our blog post ‘What Facebook’s news feed does and doesn’t show you’

Written by

Holly is part of TIW's growing SEO team. A web content creator, she is also a magazine designer and event photographer. Not averse to a five star meal or premium beauty product, Holly is an avid blogger and social media enthusiast, she will be contributing to the TIW blog and looking after all things social. Contact: holly.pike@theinternetworks.co.uk

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