Digital strategy

From the serious to the sublime: 10 things I learned at Facebook HQ this week (and photos from inside FB HQ!)

For the past 3 months, I’ve known that I would have the opportunity to become one of only 8 Facebook accredited She Means Business trainers in the UK (and here I am with my certificate!)

Research suggests that 900,000 more businesses would be created if the UK achieved the same level of female entrepreneurship as in the US, resulting in an additional £23 billion gross value added to the UK economy. In England alone, 150,000 extra businesses would be created per annum if women started businesses at the same rate as men.

When women do better, economies do better. That’s why Facebook is celebrating women who have built and run businesses, and delivering resources to help those who might one day do so themselves.

The goal of Facebook’s She Means Business campaign is train 10,000 British women in digital skills via the 8 trainers including myself and via online events in 2017. And it’s rolling out around the world.

I’ve had to keep quiet about all of this until last week when She Means Business launched in the UK. And on Wednesday and Thursday, I flew Facebook HQ in Dublin to be trained by Facebook themselves in how to use Facebook and Instagram for business.

It was a wonderful two days and I’ve come away armed with training materials on Facebook and Instagram which I’ll be teaching at live events (register interest here). But first of all, in a brief recap, I thought I’d share my photos, and write about 10 things that I saw and learned.


  • The food is incredible (and there’s a DJ in the canteen)

Let’s start with the most important thing. Food!! OMG, the Facebook canteen. Can you even call it a canteen?! You literally would never need to eat anywhere else. It’s an all day foodie feast at FB HQ, shifting from breakfast to morning tea to lunch to afternoon tea to dinner. And it all changes every day with once a week an international day coming in. We were there on a normal day and a Chinese day.

My favourite thing: the panda cupcakes, the Kale crisps and the tomato salad. AND this pudding…..


  • It’s all about video

Video is the best way to drive engagement and reach on the platform. But you only have  3 second audience window. Video as made for TV doesn’t work. Put your brand and message at the end, and you’ll get nowhere. Brand at the front is the best key practise. If you are creative enough, there is no trade off between having your brand at the front and video watch time.



  • Facebook walks the talk & leads with inspiration

I’ve spent much of my time in mainstream media, which is a fraught, tense environment a lot of times. I’m sure Facebook is too. BUT the building itself leads with artwork, chill out zones, and there are inspirational posters everywhere. My favourites….





The top floor is a futuristic art installation of everything Facebook is doing around the world and new technology they are developing PLUS it has a pool table, sweet bar and ice cream stand, and huge decking area.


  • Build your videos for no sound.

Use captions and great visuals first. And fine, if the sound comes on, but make sure nothing is lost from having a video without sound.


  • The 3 key things to consider when making Facebook ads are reach, resonance and reaction.

The 3 ‘r’s of today! No more reading, writing and arithmetic. 


  • Facebook is always optimised for friend content first.

The user is prioritised above business reach or even paid business reach. That is what keeps people coming back and protects the user.


  • A few tricks for paid ads

Don’t encourage optimisation of ads for post engagement. There is no correlation between more likes and more sales. Optimising for lifetime budget of an ad campaign over daily budget normally has an advantage. Having a cap on your daily spend will mean others ads gets prioritised as they are willing to spend more and your ads will be cut off when the budget runs out. Lifetime spend optimisation runs in ups and downs but delivers a better average. A

lso include behaviour optimisation in your ad campaigns. A lot of people target others by interests. But interests are only what we declare to Facebook we are interested in. Behaviours are how we use Facebook. Behaviours don’t always show interests, but they change over time and are the most up to date info on which we can build audiences and target people.


  • There are some users on Facebook who are more ‘clicky’ than others and who click more things! 

Strange eh!


  • Young people are NOT leaving Facebook because their parents are on there.

This is an urban myth. Both Facebook and Instagram are growing across all age groups.


  •  Next month is Facebook’s 13th birthday. 

13 is the age you can join Facebook. Facebook is about to have a whole new raft of new members who have never known a world without Facebook.


To be the first to know about the She Means Business events hosted in conjunction with Facebook and Enterprise Nation, click and register here.

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