Blogging the Facebook Marketing Conference: Keynote

We’re at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City covering the Facebook Marketing Conference. The social network launched Timeline for pages this morning. Now Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, VP of Product Chris Cox, Director of Global Business Marketing Mike Hoefflinger and VP of Business & Marketing Partnerships David Fischer will lead a keynote for about 1,500 marketers.

Tune in to the livestream of the event here, and watch this space for updates.

10:10 a.m. Sheryl Sandberg takes the stage and begins to share emotional stories about how Facebook has enabled individuals connect and help each other. These stories “reflect a really fundamental change in society,” she says. “Technology is empowering us.”

10:15 a.m. Sandberg talks about real identity and the power of personalization and connection through Facebook. “Everyone can have a voice.” She notes, “The power of individual voice is not new,” but “the difference now is that so many people can have voice at scale.”

“What it means to be social is if you want to talk to me, you have to listen to me as well.”

10:18 a.m. “People think technology brings us apart. We think it brings people together.”

10:19 a.m. Sandberg shares stories about NATO and “Imagine if politicians all over the world used Facebook to be that transparent.”

10:20 a.m. Sandberg tells how Victor Cruz shared Spotify playlist before Super Bowl.

10:21 a.m. Sandberg says much of what’s happening on the web is taking things from offline and putting them online. TV commercials become online videos. Billboards become Facebook posts. We believe that will no longer work. People want to be a full part of the conversation. This is a really pivotal time for all of us. We’re going to find our voice, learn how to use it, listen and adapt. This is going to happen in small and powerful ways everyday.

10:22 a.m. “Your customers are listening, so engage them.” We want to make the entire world more open and connected. We know that if we want to take everything and make it social, we can’t do it alone. We are a partnership company. As our business grows, others will too. We provide technology that enables others.

“If we’re going to make marketing truly social, it won’t be us. It will be you. It will be the people in this room today.”

10:25 a.m. “We’re at the very beginning of what’s possible, if we put people at the center of everything we do.”

10:27 a.m. Chris Cox takes the stage and tells his story about interviewing at Facebook years ago. Co-founder Dustin Moskowitz told Cox not to think about Facebook as just a site for profiles. He told him to think about “The Graph.” The connections between people.

First Facebook profile was designed to be a directory for people around you. It was designed to be the first five minutes of a conversation.

10:29 a.m. Timeline for profiles is meant to be the next several minutes or hours of a conversation.

10:30 a.m. Cox talks more about what Moscowitz told him the future of Facebook would be. He talked about News Feed becoming personalized newspapers for people.

10:33 a.m. News Feed has moved beyond college gossip to include more links, photos and other stories.

10:34 a.m. Now we’re starting to see brands and artists sharing interactive, rich content.

10:35 a.m. Facebook is meant to be a social platform with tools that can be applied to any device.¬†The current model for most software is that people are anonymous interacting with a interface. Cox talks about people’s relationship with television. He suggests a future of turning on a TV and seeing what friends have watched, clips that people are talking about, shows like others you like.

1:37 a.m.¬†Director of Global Business Marketing Mike Hoefflinger takes the stage. He starts talking about razors. He says decades ago, people bought products based on relationships with the people who made them. Then when companies had to operate at scale, they had to rely on advertising. Now with Facebook, relationships are back. He says stories are replacing ads.¬†“Ads are good. Stories are better.”

1:41 a.m. “Pages are mission control for your business, your stories.”

1:56 a.m. “Pages will be mission control for premium on Facebook.¬†It’s time to introduce something a little more.¬†As a part of Premium on Facebook we say those stories are eligible for News Feed, me mean desktop and mobile.”

Introduced Reach Generator, a new way to scale distribution, engagement and results. 

Premium on Facebook is the most impactful way to distribute your content. Over the last few years we’ve tested the efficacy of premium ads. We can achieve 3x return on investment and sometimes more.

Starting today when you are telling stories, when you are communicating with people you are connected to and running premium ads, your stories are eligible to show in News Feed. Beta tests showed 5-10x CTR over the rest of Facebook.

“When we say stories are eligible for News Feed, we mean desktop and we mean mobile starting today.”

1:58 p.m. We’re introducing a fourth optional placement to show ads during the logout experience coming in April.¬†Shows content to users when they log out of Facebook.

“One story — we take care of distribution to other areas.”

“Premium on Facebook is the best way to get your stories in front of an audience.”

2:03 p.m. VP of Business & Marketing Partnerships David Fischer takes the stage to lead a panel with Walmart EVP and CMO Stephen Quinn, CEO of Aegis Media North America Nigel Morris, and President of Chris McCann. They talked about how the industry has changed in recent years and how social media is affecting their businesses.