Jordan Banks, Facebook’s country manager for Canada, has been tapped to lead up a new global strategy division targeting vertical markets out of Toronto, the Globe and Mail reports.
Holding the lead Canadian role at Facebook since 2010, Banks will also be keeping his position as country manager in addition to his new role. The division’s mandate will be to develop strategies targeting sectors including financial, automotive, consumer products, technology and telecommunications, e-commerce, gaming and travel. Banks was previously a managing director with eBay before joining Facebook.
Since opening up a Toronto office for the most popular social network in Canada, Banks has focused his energies on a couple of tasks – acquiring new mobile users and convincing businesses that it’s worth their while to spend time on a social network more often associated with keeping in touch with friends and family.
Those efforts mirror the strategy that Facebook has used to get its financial house in order since going public with an initial public offering in May 2012. In its last financial report, it surprised Wall Street by showing its strong revenue growth from mobile, a tough nut to crack for many Internet firms. Facebook has worked with smartphone makers to embed its service deeply within operating system functions, often making it a default sharing option for photos and other files. Facebook even launched its own quasi-mobile OS with Facebook Home, essentially an Android modification available to install on many devices. While that particular move hasn’t been met with success, it indicates how important Facebook sees being at the centre of its users’ mobile life.
As Banks liked to explain, mobile users of Facebook are the most frequent users of Facebook. Someone that uses only the desktop version may login once a day, but someone that’s downloaded the iOS or Android app will check their feed multiple times a day. Plus, advertisers are hungry trying to solve the problem of how to capture attention on a platform that offers less screen real estate for banners.
Reaching out to businesses has also been a large part of recent efforts by Facebook. After all, users of its “Pages” feature are also customers that are buying pay-per-click ads on the social network to draw in visitors to those pages. Recently, Facebook has started offering sponsored posts that show up in the main timeline among user-generated posts in a bid to boost click-through rates. It’s also trying to bring more businesses on board by offering more online resources educating about how to effectively use a Facebook Page to drive business.