Facebook first on RIMC stage

Rick Kelley is today’s first speaker. Rick is Facebook’s Head of Mid Market Sales EMEA and has started his keynote speech by explaining the massive changes that have taken place since the very first banner ad appeared on the internet in 1994.

It is not just the internet that has changed since then either: physical brands like Crest toothpaste are tapping in to the web in a way that was not even possible in the pre-Facebook age.

Social media has revolutionised the internet by personalising it. People these days display their real names, their real hobbies and interact with their real friends. They are also interacting with their favourite companies too.

The three decades of the internet have been characterised by the development from browsing, to searching, and now to discovering. The difference being that web surfing in the 90s was a passive stroll through cyberspace; while the search revolution that Google brought in the 2000s saw a targeted approach and the social media of the 2010s is bringing discovery; whereby people are discovering the music, news, videos etc that their friends and family find interesting.

Rick is now explaining some of the benefits for businesses which not only use social media, but actually listen to the feedback. Companies like Vitamin Water and Threadless are using public-power to dictate the products they make.

If we take Oreo cookies as an example, they have 16 million ‘likes’ on Facebook and they actively engage their fans on a daily basis without even trying to market to them — just to be a presence in their lives. This compares to a mere 150,000 who actively choose to visit oreo.com. A Massive difference and a boon for Oreo and Facebook.

During last year’s Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland, KLM actually used their Facebook wall to re-book people’s flights. By simply adding their booking number to the wall; the airline would process and help customers without the need for telephones. In fact Delta Airlines now allows you to book a flight with them without even leaving Facebook.

Facebook is also a great raw marketing tool — for example Toyota’s Facebook plea for videos about why the Carolla is a good car drew thousands of responses. The best ended up on television.

Next, Rick goes on to talk about the three types of media: owned, paid and earned. To earn the media exposure is obviously the hardest — but also the most successful. One amazing way of doing this is when people like or recommend something on Facebook. If it spreads to friends of friends on their news feed, your company potentially stands to reach millions of people. Similarly, when friends recommend products and services, we are much more likely to take notice.

The targeted nature of Facebook advertisements is a real draw because of the way it is tailored to individuals. For example, if your profile says you like skiing, it is very easy for a small ski resort to cheaply advertise to you in the knowledge that you are a likely potential customer.

The new ‘sponsored story’ feature on Facebook allows sponsored ‘likes’ to be put on the right of the page because items fall off people’s fast-moving news feeds very quickly.

Rick closed his speech with a short recap and then opened the floor to questions.

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