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Was the AllFacebook Marketing Conference All That?

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Kicked off with a keynote from Vincent Siderof BBC Worldwide (BBCW), the AllFacebook Marketing Conference was an illuminating event with masses of statistics and speakers from a number of diverse agencies and companies. Regrettably with only three women 'speakers' and with them only appearing on panels, there seems to still be an imbalance in speaker selection here as with so many other conferences.

Vincent shared a large amount of data with the audience, disclosing information about the shows he manages such as the 26million likes they have across 18 shows, and their profitability for the site which they estimated at £950,000 (contribution to sales) based on 38% of traffic coming to the site from social media and ad sales of £2.5m With currently 87% of their effort being spent on Facebook, 10% on Google and 3% on Twitter, it is clear where BBCW spends it's time and effort but this is set to change as Facebook's EdgeRank has seriously changed the main reason for the use of that platform - driving traffic to their site. Facebook visits may have declined by ~28% but engagement has doubled to ~17% since the change.

The ROI on social for BBCW, and in fact most companies appearing, was not *in* Facebook but *with* Facebook. Facebook is being seen now not as a page/post platform but an app platform. The main message to the audience was to tie apps into Facebook with the app having the business model and Facebook providing support. This was also reinforced by King.com speaker Alex Dale who spoke about the need for a seamless experience across these platforms.

Matt Peters from Pandemic Labs spoke about the science of social and examining hundreds of millions of data points in order to understand trends. They found that in the US their brands saw spikes in the evening as people finished work on the west coast but had finished dinner for the evening on the east coast. Apparently the best time to post something for them was 3am GMT on a Sunday. Audiences are engaging most, in the case of the pages they monitor, in the evenings and especially on weekends.

Marketers in the UK can take away from the Pandemic data a need to look at their own page analytics and consider posting content at different times. A point a speaker from Path Interactive later reinforced as he explained why he switched the type of media he was posting and the time of day of those posts.

Matt from Pandemic Labs also left the audience with some key tips including how to select the ideal image (complimentary colours to Facebook's blue colour scheme so reds and yellows), how to optimise the likelihood for interaction (minimal attention required, minimal cognitive attention and high emotional value) and specifically to be aware of your own page engagement. Marketers why follow those rules will win on Facebook.

There were a number of other presentations and panels but they all boiled down to the same core elements: Facebook has changed since the adjustments to EdgeRank. Marketers can't just throw a bunch of things on their wall and hope something sticks anymore. Marketing managers need to be savvy, exporting data from their analytics into spreadsheets and analysing it, understanding engagement behaviour, checking what gets highest engagement (videos for Yorkshire tea but images for Carnival Cruises), and look at the publically accessible data for other pages to benchmark. Marketers need to use the insights in data they already have access to in order to structure a better strategy, timed right for their audience and delivered through mediums they engage with.

Facebook is just one of many platforms and with Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and others all getting significant mentions, the audience was left in no doubt that while important, Facebook is only a piece in a much larger, and more comprehensive puzzle.