The Digital Collide: The Latest from Facebook: The Top 5 with Alfredo Tan

Posted on August 01, 2014 | Karen Moores | 0 Comments

Tips, Trends and What Lies Ahead for Facebook role in Marketing Strategy

Our series of up close profiles with industry leaders begins this month! We’re fortunate to have Alfredo Tan, Group Director, Global Marketing Solutions of Facebook Canada share the latest tips and trends from Facebook’s global operations. (Our content and commerce folks love his quick case study of Frank and Oak – the digital conversion is increasingly powerful for sales.) 

What does Facebook Canada have in store for 2014 and early 2015 for business users? 

 In 2014, we saw rapid growth from our mobile business.  In fact, we recently announced that Facebook now has 30 million active small business pages worldwide with nearly two-thirds of business owners actively managing their pages via mobile. Moving forward, we predict mobile will continue to provide new ways for business owners to reach Canadians on Facebook. People carry their phones with them all the time, so it should come as no surprise that there are currently 11 million Canadians accessing Facebook daily via mobile. Mobile is an inherently social medium and particularly promising as an area of innovation where we continue to develop products that will help business owners achieve their marketing objectives.

Frank & Oak, a Montreal-based online clothing retailer, found that people who have the Frank & Oak app on their smartphone are 20 per cent more likely to make a regular purchase. With this knowledge in hand the brand ran targeted campaigns on Facebook driving people to download the Frank & Oak app using mobile app install ads. As a result Frank & Oak saw a double-digit increase in downloads.

If a company is new to using Facebook ads, do you have any tips for growing market share or getting the most for your spend?

Testing out different types of ad units on Facebook is the easiest way to understand what format will have the most impact on your business. Facebook Page Insights show Page administrators the who, what, where and why of traffic driven through your Facebook Page. The information provided through Insights gives you a better idea of the audiences engaging on your Facebook Page and how you should tailor content for their interests and preferences.

For example, the people engaging on your Page might not be the people you see come into your store. In this case, you need to design separate content for fans of your brand, who are already engaging with your Page, and for new audiences with the objective of driving them in-store.

A good jumping off point for businesses that are new to Facebook Ads is turning an organic post into a Promoted Post by putting paid ad dollars behind pre-existing content. The post will be promoted to the audience you select through Facebook’s targeting capabilities and will give your business exposure to the people that matter to you most.

What is your take on Facebook ad value versus the ad value of competitors? Why Facebook?

Facebook is built on real identity. Because of this, we are uniquely positioned to allow marketers to layer the information they already have onto our targeting tools to create ads that are more interesting and relevant to people and perform better for marketers.

We combine real identity, massive scale and the most accurate targeting available. No other platform can provide personalized marketing on the same scale. For example, Artisans du Passage, a jewelry store in the small city of Lévis, Quebec, recently used Facebook to target ads for its customized wedding rings to newly engaged couples across the province. By leveraging Facebook to tap into a new pool of potential customers, the local business was able to increase sales by 500% in just one year, reaching more than 1.5 million Quebecers. Artisans du Passage is an example of a Canadian business that leveraged the power of News Feed as a discovery engine.


Facebook organic reach is reported to have declined. Do you feel this is accurate and how can businesses ensure they are getting optimal reach for posts?

News Feed is about people first. We want people to always have a good experience with the content that is shared in News Feed and we work hard to make this happen. In the long run, it’s also a great place for marketers as more people engage with paid content within News Feed.

News Feed’s popularity with advertisers is making it a more competitive environment, which is a good thing for users because we have more great content than ever to share. However, because of this competition, organic reach for Pages is going down on average. Since we only expect this trend to continue, this is something we have been talking to businesses about for a few months now.

Our advice to businesses looking to get consistent reach is to promote your posts. Just like other forms of media – TV, print, radio – advertising gives you the ability to determine how many people your content will reach, and allows you to target the audience that matters most to your business.


Your brand helps teams tell their own brand story. What additional tips do you have with respect to content, tone/voice and overall imaging to make Facebook an integral part of daily marketing team use for the long term? 

The key insight for any business when it comes to content strategy is that if you know how to use Facebook as a person, you can use Facebook as a business.  The same things you want to see when you read Facebook to discover content from your friends is the same business content that does well on Facebook. Therefore, it’s important to keep content relevant and your voice authentic to your brand.

For example, Sport Chek found that placing a single item or product price in a person’s News Feed wasn’t getting a response from their audience on Facebook. Instead when the brand shared the right content, displayed in the right way with beautiful imagery and relevant lifestyle content, people were more responsive and engaged with their ads in News Feed.

Additional resources and tips to help businesses in their marketing efforts on Facebook can be found on our Facebook for Business Page.

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