Facebook’s Creative Shop collaborates with marketers and agencies to create advertising campaigns on Facebook and Instagram. They are a team of adventurers, dreamers, and idealists who are always hungry to craft new ideas with new technology.
What motivated a strategic planner from a brand agency to join the Creative Shop as a creative strategist? For Sosuke K., there were many convincing factors he couldn’t ignore.
White glove service with custom solutions
Sosuke was particularly attracted to the Creative Shop’s white glove service level. The team works closely with clients directly and with advertising, branding, or communications agencies to understand their clients’ marketing challenges and build custom solutions. He saw huge potential in using comprehensive media insights to build innovative and data-driven creative work.
“The insights that we can use at Facebook allow me to turbo boost my planning capability, which in turn helps our clients,” says Sosuke. “I have to ‘go granular’ to digest and understand what’s happening to put the best solutions together.”
“Take a gaming client, for example,” he continues. “While I can analyze data such as what hashtags or influencers are trending on our platform, I still need to understand how influencers in the gaming community are communicating with their fans. So I will go out and interview some of the top influencers. I will also play games from the client’s competitors, interview the community, then put together a report to understand how these gamers actually become influencers and how they use different platforms to communicate with their fans. We do all this research just so we can get an understanding of what’s happening, which we then use to help our clients when we build a solution.”
This approach closely follows what Sosuke used to do as a strategic planner back in his agency days. “What I was doing in my previous role is very similar. Here at the Creative Shop, I work with clients to help identify a marketing challenge, design solutions to address it, make the process of communicating as seamless as possible, and strategize on building the brand so the customers come back,” he explains.
Boost with Facebook
In addition to his core work, Sosuke is a passionate community builder. His interest led him to participate in several community building projects that are driven by the Creative Shop.
“Companies that are connected together can be worth more than the sum of their parts,” he shares. “And that’s a core concept of the Boost with Facebook
program. This global program helps small and medium-sized enterprises get together, build powerful connections, swap ideas, and develop the digital skills that are vital to business growth.”
This style of community-boosting projects not only mirrors Facebook’s mission of giving people the power to build community and bring the world closer together but also echoes Sosuke’s personal work style. For one memorable project, Sosuke’s team helped to create an inbound tourism program for a ramen shop to capitalize on foreign travellers visiting Japan. The challenge? No one at the ramen shop, including the owner, spoke English.
“We had to help the owner identify the business challenges of getting international travellers to the restaurant and making them feel welcome despite the language barrier,” says Sosuke. “We focused on making the process of communicating as seamless as possible, and our solution was a visual menu that non-Japanese travellers could just point to on an Instagram profile
Experimenting with new ideas
The Creative Shop’s draw for Sosuke didn’t stop there. “The experiences I’ve had here I wouldn't have had anywhere else,” he explains. “What excites me further is that we get to really experiment with new ideas, which makes work easy and fun. There is a real value in bringing new ideas that you can only run on Facebook and Instagram such as hashtags, GIF stickers, chatbots and augmented reality (AR) camera filters.”
To inspire ideas and encourage experimentation, the Facebook Tokyo office has a creative studio—a space that Creative Shop members use to design storyboards and create mockups for videos and ad campaigns.
“If I can understand through experimenting, then I’m learning through my own personal experience,” says Sosuke.
Creating a successful career at Facebook
What advice would Sosuke offer to anyone interested in joining Facebook’s Creative Shop?
1.) “You can’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Facebook is not a place where you are just managing or directing people. Regardless of your position, you have to do everything from strategizing to testing and implementation, seeing whether or not your idea or strategy will work. Some people are used to having a whole team to work with. I had about 20 to 30 people in my department in my previous roles. But here, I can learn from clients directly and learn through failures. You have to be hands on to succeed here.“
2.) “You have to be constantly curious. Because our platform and ad products change for the better all the time, you have to keep learning. You need to have your ears to the ground to absorb as much as possible and to produce exceptionally creative ideas and solutions that deliver impact to the clients’ businesses.”
3.) “You have to be open to feedback but strike a balance between taking in feedback and having an opinion. At Facebook, we have an environment where we openly exchange ideas, give feedback to, and receive feedback from our colleagues. People who succeed here are great listeners who take the effort to understand diverse perspectives to improve on their own opinion. I learned that it’s important to use feedback efficiently.”