More than 250 people representing South Florida businesses and non-profit organisations attended a Hilton West Palm Beach ballroom Wednesday for having a look at a leading social media platform — Facebook.
The event was held by the Palm Beach Post and featured Ty Schlegel from Facebook’s partner management division. Schlegel told the audience that the key to success on social media was in their pockets and purses — their smartphone or tablet.
Schlegel pointed out there are more mobile devices in use today — 1.71 billion — than there were people on the planet 100 years ago. He added, vast numbers of consumers, especially those highly-desired millennials, use a mobile device for commerce.
“Take these things seriously,” he said, holding up his iPhone and noting how many companies from Uber to Airbnb to Amazon have grown their commerce largely with mobile devices and apps.
Schlegel, formerly with Google, told the crowd about various tools Facebook offers to help businesses connect with customers. He said that the goal of these tools was effective targeting, meaning connecting with Facebook followers likely to be most interested in your product, service or mission.
“Yes, you fish where the fish are,” he said.
“But what makes Facebook powerful is we know what bait the fish like.”
He also spoke about sponsored ads and ways to lower the cost of generating leads.
Schlegel cautioned that Facebook and social media tools work best with powerful mobile presentations, including eye-catching images and headlines.
Schlegel said, “Ask the same question we ask: What will make the thumbs stop to look at your content?”
Post Publisher Tim Burke said the newspaper, founded in 1916, has seen many changes in the community in the past century. But he said the Post remains committed to bolstering area businesses and civic organizations, especially in the digital space through partnerships with the likes of Facebook and solutions offered by the Post’s in-house agency, Ideabar. “What has not changed is we are here to help you grow your business,” he said.
Those in the audience said they want help on social media marketing and promotion.
Elizabeth Howell from Temple Beth Am in Jupiter said, “We want to be able to tell more about what we do, our mission, without sounding like we’re product marketing”.
Theodore Watts from Miami-Dade College said he came to learn about using Facebook live streams. One takeaway: Videos blog on what life is like for MDC students, which could appeal to potential students and boost enrolment.
“Ideas feed off ideas,” Watts said. “I’m not looking for inspiration, but instead, some guidance. This was very helpful.”
Tiffany Faublas from the West Palm Beach Development Authority said Schlegel’s talk offered validation, as well.
She said, “We’ve been looking to really improve on the photos and text to better leverage what we have on social media”.
“This reinforced the conversations we were having.”