Learning what´s new at Google and Facebook

The entire River Online Team visits Google and Facebook Dublin

From Wednesday, 25 October until Saturday, 28 October, the whole River Online Denmark and Germany team paid a visit to Facebook and Google in Dublin. We have often been invited by both companies to send a couple of our people to attend seminars in Dublin. However, we have always had to decline as we felt it was important for the whole team to attend together.

Our team at River Online only consists of experienced and skilled employees. Our large team has been assembled by specialists with many years of experience, so how could we select some and not others? Therefore, we chose not to send just a couple of people, which is standard. We believe that if a company is to develop it is important that everyone in the company is on the front line.

We had an incredibly inspirational trip and would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to Louise from Facebook, and Daniel, Jonas and Ulrich from Google for some fantastic days. And, of course, a very big thank you to Nick, Jacob, Emil and Morten from River Online who volunteered to stay home to ‘mind the shop’ and look after our clients.

Never before has Google in Dublin

had the whole team visit all at once

After a long trip, we spent the whole of our first day visiting Google. Normally, they host half-day visits, but as we had brought the whole team along, they had put together a special day for us. One of the things we thought was cool was that we were the first Danish agency to send 26 employees all at once. This was quite a surprise for Google, and clearly demonstrated to them how closely we work together.

Our day at Google started with a tour of their European headquarters, which houses 5500 employees. It was fascinating not only to see how they work, but also to hear about their planned future developments, and see the various country teams and observe how they work together. And they do it so well ;-)

What we learned at Google

Throughout our visit, Google's top specialists fed us with knowledge customised to our own needs, which we can use when serving both current and new customers. We attended a workshop that focussed on display advertising in particular, and showed us how we can use big data from Google to reach the target groups which will provide the best results for your business.

The impact of display advertising versus search and how you can get the most out of display advertising proved to be a hot topic in our lively discussions and debates. It was particularly interesting to hear about the best cases Google has run all over the world in which display advertising has proven to be one of the most effective channels used. Armed with this new information, we now feel inspired to optimise and streamline our own customer advertising and supply new insights in our future analyses.



Facebook let us in on their new developments

We were blown away - and learned so much!

We also spent a whole day at Facebook, and enjoyed the welcome we were given when Louise met us at the entrance ready and waiting with her own security team, and a handshake #like. Because we had a very tight programme, we were given a slightly shorter version of the Facebook tour. The programme consisted of 4 sessions with some of the sharpest geeks at Facebook.

The biggest highlight for many of us was when we were given a glimpse into their development of new products. Since one of our major areas of focus is development in their API, this was an incredibly exciting topic. Just what will Facebook be able to offer us in the future?

We also explored in depth how to select target groups, and have learned some clever new tips that will really make a difference to our customers. One of the pointers from Facebook´s own specialists was to place greater focus on our ‘creativity’. Content that works and ads that look cool.

This poses some new requirements for businesses, as the new norms and best-practices demand a much higher level quality of graphics, videos or cinemagraphs. This is nothing new within the field of social media, but it does confirm what we have already discovered through experience.

What was particularly brilliant was being handed these brand new tools on a silver platter! Facebook has given us a glimpse into brand new initiatives that have either just been rolled out (a large number of updates arrived on Wednesday), or are new things we can expect to see within the coming months.

One of the areas we have been focussing on most strongly for our largest customers is Dynamic Product Ads (DPA), where Facebook told us about many new initiatives which our specialists will now go home and play around with. You might say we had one marathon Facebook session with Facebook on their home ground. ;-)

We did not finish at Facebook before 17:15, and then we wrapped up by taking some videos in front of their headquarters.



If a picture says a 1000 words,

then surely a video must be worth a billion or more

We took some fantastic photos at both Google and Facebook, and a few others elsewhere. We also filmed some sequences in conjunction with our collaborating partner, Bo, from who always comes along on our trips. Some of the films from Facebook are already available, but we have to ask you to be a little more patient about Google's as they need to be approved by them first. But luckily, Facebook is happy to get some shares. ;-)



Thank you to everyone for such an educational trip

And thanks for following us :-)


Yours sincerely
All the River Online team


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