Gathering to prepare for tomorrow

The Last Hurdle

1st March 2018


The Last Hurdle

By Jules White

The Last Hurdle

IN January I attended Facebook Gather - an event held in Brussels at the stunning, aptly named Cube. With prestigious speakers like the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, who spoke about Facebook's drive to reduce Fake News and terrorist activities; EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, who spoke about Digital Single Market Opportunities for SMEs in Europe; and, perhaps my favourite as I found him exceptionally motivating, Peter Hinssen from Nexxworks whose talk was entitled the Day After Tomorrow (if you ever get the chance to listen to this chap I highly recommend it - but be warned, it is fast paced from the off and will leave you reeling!).

We also learned how GDPR is being tackled at Facebook, which I know has been a concern for a number of my clients. I will go into a number of these topics in more detail via my blog over the next few weeks, as you can imagine there was a lot of content to digest and in some cases translate.

There were plenty of workshops and masterclasses and even a little time for fun, for those who know me it will be no surprise the first thing I did during the open networking meeting on that first morning was to try out Oculus Rift... the virtual reality is so good I am currently trying to make a business case for purchasing some headsets and a machine that has the relevant spec graphics card.

Over the course of two days I drank in the wealth of best practices, tips, advice and Facebook news. As always Facebook gave generously, not just in the provisions for us delegates but in the insights and knowledge imparted, it is impossible to convey two days of non-stop learning in an article, but I will try to be succinct and have collated a few of the best nuggets below:

* Marketing posts need to get their point across fast. Whether with a visual hook, or a benefit exposed in the first second or two of a video or with compelling wording - you have a mere second or two to stop the scroll.

* Design marketing campaigns for mobile. Mobile shouldn't be treated as a route to market, it is a channel and it is fast becoming the channel used most to access the internet, this is mainly due to the reduction in data fees and faster smart devices.

* Deliver your complete message in three seconds. Years ago, it was said when cold calling you had three seconds to impress, this is indictive of how fast the world has become - you now have three seconds to get your entire message across.

* Mobile users are much more engaged! Mobile users consume content 41 per cent faster than desktop users with users checking their mobiles up 80 times a day.

* Build a community for your customers, especially if you do not have a well-recognised brand! Utilise groups to build and grow a loyal following.

* Use video. In the UK people gaze five times longer at video than static posts. Video doesn't need to be big budget, there are funky purpose built apps like Ripl and Boomerang that will give you great moving content with little or no budget.

* 64 per cent of consumers would choose to message businesses rather than call or email them. You may have already spotted the likes of Sky utilising Messenger as a form of communications. I used this service recently and was blown away by the simplicity and ease of which an issue was resolved. Think about it, we know people online are impatient, we want answers quickly with the minimum amount of rigmarole. Have you seen Whatsapp for business? Definitely worth a look!

* Messenger ads are here and there are two main ways to utilise them. Direct message and in the Messenger feed. It's early days but the potential for these methods of communicating are just as highly targetable as the rest of the FB ads. Imagine the possibilities of sending your existing client base a personalised offer or targeting a new market via messenger... definitely one to explore.

* My final nugget is about a subtle shift in behaviour, 1.14 shoppers surveyed said they choose how they buy based on convenience rather than price - make sure you are convenient!

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