Facebook Studio Edge is a bit of an enigma. Not sure whether that was the intention, but there it is. It’s a blend of being a showcase of the best work on there and educational pieces to get the most out of Facebook, and while these are good – it’s not the easiest to work out who it is actually aimed at.
The cynic in me says it’s a resource for Facebook sales staff to dip into and roll out in presentations to agencies and brands. But, the optimist can see how to an impartial user there is some good stuff to offer.
The Showcase is a series of case studies, often accompanied by small videos, which all seem to have impressive graphics, very samey Jose Gonzalez uplifting-but-melt-into-the-background music and all end some stunning uplift numbers.
Most don’t really contain that many Facebook centric campaigns or innovation. There are some excellent campaign ideas in there – but usually Facebook is only one of many social touchpoints that the campaign used, and not pivotal to the activity.
With the filers applied to the Facebook award winners, the best ones start to surface and there are some really entertaining campaign ideas, although with all measurement nearly all resolutely in increase in Like volumes.
A truer measure of campaign performance would be more insightful (although the skittles campaign wanting to turn arbitrary “Like” volumes into active users was a breath of fresh air).
As a digital specialist in a media agency, the secondary part of the Studio, the Education section, I felt was more closely directed towards me.
As the introductory Video sates: “Facebook Studio is designed to keep commercial Facebook users abreast of the latest options and Ad types and educate them through a series of Videos on how to go about using all these options.”
Jumping past the ‘Introducing the new pages’ Video (once again Jose Gonzalez type music but strangely nothing really on new pages) I looked at the educational courses on offer.
None of these were really for me, but it is a noble effort by Facebook to empower small brands to make the most out of the tools available.
After this I decided to jump past the basics and looking at the ‘Align Strategies to objectives’ mini course, this seemed to be a refreshingly well intended education piece.
It covers some basics marketing techniques, how to make them fit with your objectives and finally how to use Facebook as tool to complete these.
The course encourages you to be rational with amount of time/money you should commit. Through its level of conversation it quickly becomes apparent that it’s not directed at any Social Media/Digital Specialists, but rather small brands or businesses who are not socially savvy.
Naturally they shoe horn in paid for options to grow your user base but they do have a course called ‘Conversations to Engage and Retain’ that goes through techniques on how to communicate to your fan base. It’s a top line piece but it would certainly give smaller brands a guide to how execute their content strategy.
The ‘Platform for Marketers’ activity is much more advanced and covers subjects such as integrating social plug-ins into your site, and the functionality of apps but once again retains the tone of the previous courses.
All in all Facebook Studio is a bit of a split personality, case studies of big brand running large scale campaigns in conjunction with their media/social agency and education pieces for small businesses who will be running the activity themselves and without the support of a social agency. But saying that, it doesn’t mean it is unhelpful.
James Coulson, Digital Director, Havas Media