As a business owner I love Facebook, it’s great for my brand and allows me to connect with my network. As some of you know, I do a Facebook Live every Friday but this week I took it a step further and visited Facebook Headquarters in Dublin to learn about how we can use Facebook more effectively. We thought we would put in in a blog and share our amazing experience with you!

 

How did we get invited?

Our invite to Facebook didn’t just happen out of the blue, it took a lot of hard work and determination to get there! So how did we get there? Last year we attended the Federation of Small Businesses roadshow and I shared the panel with an accounts manager from Facebook. Here I introduced who I am, what I do and expressed vivid interest in Facebook. Like any good sales trainer, I connected with the accounts manager across social media and followed-up. This helped me to build a relationship with her and stay in the loop.

In May, this year we were nominated for the Small Awards and funnily enough the Facebook representative was also there so I knew that I had to talk to her again. I started talking to her about how I would love to visit Facebook as I knew there would be so much to learn. She responded saying ‘we would love to have you over’ to which I replied ‘when’. This is what we call an assumptive close. An assumptive close is when you assume you have the sale, with Facebook I assumed I had the meeting. I didn’t give them a chance to object. I could have said ‘that’s great, I’ll email you’, nope not me, I took out my diary and started talking dates. This type of close is all about taking the risk to grab whatever opportunity is available and although it could appear as blunt and to the point, it is sometimes necessary – if you don’t ask, you won’t get!

The main motivation for wanting to go to Facebook was that we needed information on how to improve our Facebook Ads; we could have given up on Ads but we persevered as I knew that to help improve The Entrepreneur’s Godmother, I needed to help from Facebook. So, my advice here is to try every open door, you never know unless you try!

 

Our Facebook experience

Facebook goodie bag

The idea of going to Facebook was of course very exciting but at the same time we did have our doubts – was it going to be how we pictured it in our heads? Were the offices going to be creative and different? Was everyone be as friendly and cooperative as we expected? The answer to these questions is YES – it’s exactly like the movies!

During our experience, we witnessed the amazing company culture and team work of Facebook. Their company culture is very reflective of a small business (like ours) and they hold a brilliant attitude when it comes to internships. For example, they really take care of their employees and give them the room and resources needed for growth. We met one of their interns and hearing about his experiences was insightful. As an internship provider, I know the value they can offer but I have also heard the horror stories of large corporate’s who take advantage of interns seeing them as tea makers rather than valuable assets. The Facebook internship program is fantastic, they give them the freedom to choose their own projects, develop their learning and contribute to a bigger cause. They also offer great staff benefits such as free food, flexible hours, gym membership, health benefits, breakout rooms and even goodie bags – who doesn’t love a goodie bag!

 

What did we learn?

Our time at Facebook was invaluable as it taught us what we were doing wrong and gave us a formula for improving our ads to get better results. Although Facebook is a global icon and household name, their mentality and work ethic is like that of a small business, like The Entrepreneur’s Godmother. We also learnt that content really is key – without good content, no one is going to be interested in your products or services so make sure you do your research.

I think we often find it easy to forget how important market research is, they reminded us that you should always review your research when starting new projects as you will view it different ways. We’ve done the research into the motivators and barriers for our customers to buy our products and services, yet we weren’t taking it into account when setting up ads. Always go back to your research.

 

Future of Facebook

Facebook have offered us an amazing opportunity to improve our Facebook Ads by giving us the knowledge and support to do so which I’m sure will produce exciting results. Facebook and Instagram’s relationship is very important to consider as it means that ads used on Facebook can also be used on Instagram. Facebook also have an exciting future; they currently have over 2 billion members and they are moving their focus to become more community orientated and connecting individuals with groups, much like the Entrepreneurs Can Clan. They are also working on creating more metrics and analytics for tracking group activity.

Watch this space – big things are coming!

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