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Facebook keynote opens Marketing Land’s Social Pro conference
Wei Kuan Lum, Facebook's Head of SMB Business Marketing, to talk about where the company is headed and what it'll mean and offer for marketers.
Good morning from beautiful Seattle! We’re at the Bell Harbor Convention Center today, overlooking Elliott Bay, for the start of Marketing Land’s Social Pro conference.
Two days of intense and informative social media marketing training begins shortly with a keynote from Wei Kuan Lum, Facebook’s Head of SMB Business Marketing. We’re expecting her to talk about where Facebook is headed and what it’ll mean for small business owners, social media marketers, digital agencies and more. It’ll be a presentation first, followed by Q&A with Marketing Land’s Lauren Donovan. The keynote is due to begin at 9:00 a.m. PT, so come back then and follow along as we live blog the opening keynote.
Okay, it’s just after 9:00 a.m., and we’re about to get started. More to come shortly…
And we’re off!
Lum begins by telling a story about a previous job she had where she was tasked with taking a new mobile app and making sure it was “tops on the App Store.” This was in the days of incentivized mobile networks. One co-worker suggested she try Facebook ads. A budget of $300 produced results, so the budget ratcheted up over time into the millions — and the project was a success. At that point, Lum says, she was sold on the Facebook platform.
She’s now talking about Facebook’s transition from being text-based into a much more immersive platform. Says Facebook is “an incredibly mission-driven company.” On many walls around headquarters, you’ll see a sign that says “Feedback is a gift.” She talks about the company’s mission of giving people the ability to share and make the world more connected.
People use Facebook to share and communicate with the friends. Businesses use Facebook to reach their audience. “Facebook is personalized marketing at scale,” Lum says. Everyone has stories to tell, both individuals and businesses.
Facebook is driven by the growth in global connectivity, Lum says. She shows the famous global image mapping Facebook connections. Most of the world is still on slower connections, she points out.
Lum shows a slide describing Facebook’s 10-year roadmap. She says Facebook’s interests begin as technologies, then evolve into products and then into full-fledged ecosystems. Facebook itself is the only thing they consider to be a full ecosystem right now. Products include Instagram, Messenger, Video and so on. Technologies include drones and satellites for connectivity, language and vision (artificial intelligence) and virtual reality/augmented reality.
Lum says people are the core of Facebook services. The company didn’t set out to be the world’s largest photo album, but that’s how people used Facebook. This is how FB’s “safety check” tool was created — people started using the service for checking in with family and friends during emergencies.
Product development: First question is, How do we build for people? Better consumer experiences equal better marketing. We test. We fail. We test. We fail. We learn. That’s how Facebook develops features people will like, she says.
She’s talking about Facebook’s hackathon approach to product development. The “like” button, reactions, chat and many other features came from hackathons.
Facebook ecosystem: usage stats
Lum shares Facebook current usage stats:
- 1.65 billion people on Facebook each month; 1+ billion on daily
- 1 billion people on WhatsApp each month
- 1 billion people on Groups each month
- 900 million on Messenger each month
- 400 million on Instagram each month
- 100 million hours of video viewed daily
- 25+ million people online thanks to internet.org
- 45+ million small/medium businesses using Pages
Lum is now talking about how people share. Began with text, but photo and videos are now the predominant way people share on Facebook. Smartphones and better connectivity are making photos and videos more popular. “All of this happened much faster than we anticipated,” she says. Video sharing is up 100 percent year over year, while text-based sharing “is declining quite a bit.”
Video, virtual reality and messaging
Lum talks about growth of 360 video, but says costs are a barrier. Now talking about Facebook Live — says monetization ideas “are still in the works.” Says you can imagine sponsorships for national companies and small businesses. Lum says she thinks product reveals are potentially a strong way for businesses to use Facebook Live.
What’s next? From 360 video and Live Video, it leads into virtual and augmented reality. Talking about Oculus and Rift. Lum says initial focus will be on the developer ecosystem. She says it’s a long-term focus for the company. VR can offer powerful opportunities related to gaming and travel. Lum says a new computing platform comes along every 10 to 15 years, and Facebook believes VR and AR are part of the next phase. She shows a demo video of Oculus Touch, a multiperson interactive VR experience that Facebook is launching later this year.
Lum says six of the top 10 most-used apps around the world are messaging apps, and this is a key focus area for Facebook. She talks about the one-to-one chat features for Pages, as well as the scaled chat opportunity via Messenger chatbots. Says Facebook is working to bring actions/conversions into its chat tools.
Lum talks about the various Facebook ad products and their focus on business goals ranging from awareness to demand generation to customer acquisition and transactions. The company wants to bring full-funnel ad solutions to all Facebook products.
And with that, Lum’s presentation is over and Lauren Donovan has taken the stage to do the Q&A session.
First question is about tips for SMBs to use video to reach customers. In addition to traditional video, Lum suggests slideshow videos combined with ads.
Question about how SMBs can leverage Messenger. Lum says it’s a personal way to connect with customers. She says the chatbots are an opportunity to answer frequently asked customer service questions — keep the canned responses short and sweet, with a personality.
Question about News Feed and SMBs. Lum talks about a couple of experiments she ran at previous jobs — using Ad Manager for core targeting. Target by interest or by seasonality. After targeting, she says SMBs need to be smart about setting ad budgets and ad structure. She recommends advertisers launch only two ads at a time because Facebook chooses a best ad within seconds.
And with that, the Q&A session is over, and that wraps up our opening keynote. Stay tuned all week for more coverage from both Social Pro and SMX Advanced, and follow @SocialProConf on Twitter and the #SocialPro Hashtag.