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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

#AwesomeContent - Live Video is the Highest Engaging Content in Social Media

Want to know where it’s at in social media right now? Live video is all the rage. Last year there were several players on the live video scene, including some platforms that have already folded and closed their doors. However, this surge in popularity got the attention of social media goliath, Facebook, and their live video option has been a game changer. As it tends to work, the other social apps are getting into the action now that Facebook has succeeded with Instagram Live and Twitter incorporating live video into their offerings.

“Video on social media is being shared 12,000% more than posts without video.” Matt McAllister, Agency FIFTY3

How has it changed the way we interact on social media? Here is just a sampling of some stats from this article on live video statistics…

·       81% of Internet and mobile audiences watched more live video in 2016 than in 2015.
·       80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog.
·       82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts.
·       45% of live video viewers would pay for live, exclusive, on-demand vide from a favorite team, speaker or performer.
·       78% of online audiences are already watching video on Facebook Live.
·       92% of mobile video consumers share video with others.
·       By 2019, online video will be responsible for four-fifths of global Internet traffic.
·       Combining video with full page ads boosts engagement by 22%

“Most of the content 10 years ago was text, and then photos, and now it’s quickly becoming videos. I just think that we’re going to be in a world a few years from now where the vast majority of the content that people consume online will be video”
Mark Zuckerberg

Why is there such appeal for this type of content? Our multi-tasking tendencies and our brains are wired to digest visual content 60,000 times faster than plain text alone. A live video is more attractive and appealing to followers and, while you are live, engagement and interaction has a bigger ROI for those watching than engaging with a page alone does. This new experience is actually changing the way that people engage with one another online.

The audience not only wants to consume your content when you are live, but they want that real time connection with you. Really focus on engaging back with viewers as the content is streaming to get the highest returns on your effort. While Facebook live can be watched at a later date, your max return on engagement happens during streaming.

This is just some of the impact that live video has generated in the last year and a half. Anyone already incorporating this type of content into their marketing strategy is well ahead of the game since a multitude of brands haven’t entered the field yet. Why aren’t more companies utilizing the raw power of live video?

·       Lack of knowledge, equipment or experience.
·       Fear of public speaking or being on camera.
·       Budget for generating live video content.
·       Not sure how to get started.
·       Not aware of the power or impact that live video generates.

While it is certainly possible to hire a live video expert to get you started with your own content – and we know a great one! – It’s not necessary. One of the perks of live video is that it doesn’t require a ton of fancy equipment or a large budget; all you really need to get started is your smartphone.

As with any content, it pays to be prepared. Worried about being the primary focus of your video? Then deliver some stellar content and make that the star of the show! Join down some notes, an outline, or whatever will help you stay on track with your message and then pull out your phone and start recording. Do a trial run (or two) if you are really nervous before you go live. Don’t worry about being perfect. With live video, your audience isn’t seeking some big production. They just want to see the real, authentic you behind the brand and walk away with some information that will help them in their own journey or experiences.

Go out there and #BeAwesome with your social media and live content. I can’t wait to watch your videos and engage with them!

Be sure to Follow us and Let's Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

#AwesomeEngagement – Paying Attention to What You Share

There are several different elements that comprise a solid social media marketing strategy. Content creation, scheduling, peak posting times, platforms…. Engagement is just one piece of the puzzle. However, engagement is such an essential aspect that is frequently overlooked or avoided. It doesn’t matter what sort of quality content is posted if no one is engaging with your page. It’s extremely difficult for business page engagement to happen spontaneously or organically without activity from an admin. People want to engage with a person, not a static page full of posts – even if they are phenomenal posts.

As if all of that isn’t complicated enough, your company should really have an engagement strategy developed. Going in and commenting, liking and sharing other posts is important but, as with any marketing strategy, determining ahead of time what to engage with will increase your ROI and results.

Engagement Strategy
WHAT you engage with is one of the keys to drawing your ideal target audience to your page and motivating them to linger, follow and interact with your posts.
  • Does what your sharing strike a chord with your followers?
  • Does what your sharing inspire new visitors to hit the follow button on your page?
  • Your business might share common influencers with your readers – do your posts reflect that?
  • Do your posts have questions or interactive elements that your readers will want to respond to (quizzes, contests, etc.)?
  • Are you sharing content just to share it and remain consistent OR to stand out and be a different voice in your field?
  • Are you simply selling to your potential audience instead of inspiring them and giving them the tools to be better?

Don’t fall into the trap of being afraid to share quality content from other companies. Influencer marketing is a buzzword right now because it works. Make sure you are tagging, mentioning and sharing the work from your top clients, power partners and favorite influencers. This will expand your viewing pool to include the networks of those individuals.

Share As Your Page
While there is nothing wrong with promoting engagement using your personal profile, your business page needs the attention more than you do. The algorithms make it tough on business pages to get noticed and really benefit from organic reach. Make the time to engage with other people, companies and posts AS your business page.

Get Local
Most likely you operate your business, and network, locally – not on a national level. That’s too big of a pond and there are too many fish. Social media doesn’t always make it simple to discover and interact with people directly within your community. Spend some time seeking out local groups and finding ways to build a presence in those communities without coming off as only having an interest as a solicitor. Follow the local news outlets and organizations that already have a built-in audience of people nearby that might benefit from your work.

The algorithms are mapped to look for specific things. Engagement is a HUGE piece of this. Links to content not created by you are eagerly sought out by these formulas, as well as authentic links back to your work from other people. This is why guest posting is so popular. The more you engage, prove that you are a real, legitimate business and build a following – the better your organic reach will be. Your posts will have higher probability of being displayed to your audience. It’s a win/win/win – for you, for your readers and for the social platforms. Companies that try to “work the system” for better reach without investing time in making it a genuine and authentic experience for people may see some immediate results but will not generate the longer-term perks that actual engagement creates.

A positive, and often overlooked, benefit to spending time on engagement is that YOUR feed begins to fill up with exactly the type of content you like to see and share. A well-curated newsfeed will save you from hunting the gigantic World Wide Web for content that resonates with you. It will be right there every time you open up your social network. Learn how to unfollow individuals and companies that share content that is irrelevant to you or that you don’t want to see. Exercise your right to hide sources and block pages and people. Trust me, it will be worth it. There will no longer be a need to “take a break” from your social media because you are tired of seeing negative content AND you’ll have a better pool of posts to share from right at your fingertips.

Does your company have a social engagement strategy in place? How often do you go onto your social networks and participate in this practice? I’d encourage you to set aside a time, either daily or weekly depending on your schedule, dedicated to nothing but engagement.

Want to know more? The Social Media Advisor can show you how to #BeAwesome with your social media engagement and really become a powerhouse when it comes to your company’s social media experience.

Be sure to Follow us and Let's Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

#AwesomeEngagement - How to Engage Using Your Facebook Business Page

It’s no surprise that Facebook still holds the crown for most used social media app. The algorithm changes have made it challenging for businesses to gain any true organic reach on the platform. One of the ways to get more presence is to use the app as your business page, but this can be confusing for the average Facebook user. How do you develop #AwesomeEngagement with your readership and represent your business at the same time?

Who are you?
It starts with connection. They need to know who you are. Facebook tools are the best place to start. They make it easier than you think to connect.

Begin with the “about” section of your Facebook page. Your website link, hours of operation, etc. are imperative for business connections. If you have a brick and mortar shop and no hours of operation listed, a potential customer may keep scrolling by, and so does that potential sale. Fill out the short and long versions of the “about” section. Keep it to the point, but try to throw a little humor into the mix. Each social media platform is its own search engine, so capitalize on that by using keywords in this area.

Once you set up the “about” section, look to the link options. You have newsletters, sales, and several other sections you can fill out. This is the backbone of your Facebook generated leads. Before you start your awesome engagement, they need to have a way to follow up with a purchase or other call to action once they do reach your page.

Use your Facebook analytics to determine where your readers come from and when they are the most active on your page. Find the most active times, and make sure you’re there to connect.

Now, let’s move on to the content. Every social media app has their unique selling points geared towards their audience. Facebook gives you a chance to share, like (love, cry, or be angry, as well) posts, comment, and move on quickly to the next thing.

You want your content to be interesting. It needs to make them stop and pay attention. There are several ways to do that. There is no point in investing in an engagement strategy when you haven't given viewers something to engage with.

Using Facebook as Your Business Page
In May of 2016, Facebook changed the feature that allowed admins to swap easily and quickly between their personal and business pages. The Social Media Examiner goes into this change into more detail in this article. However, they didn't take the option away, merely changed the way it is used. Basically, you are now given drop down options so that you can like and comment on your pages as your company page instead of as yourself. This allows you to engage, and develop a public presence, as your company on the site. While you can engage with other people and pages as you... that doesn't always make an obvious connection with your work. Spending time regularly to connect with others as your company is a great a way to boost engagement for your Facebook page.

Sharing Content
Share what interests you and also what gets others interested. Facebook users will share things that make them feel good, angry, or that they can agree with on a humorous level. Whatever content you share, make sure it aligns with your brand in a way that won’t destroy a new potential client or customer’s trust in your company.

If you simply share links to articles without giving at least a one sentence summary of why you liked it, your audience will keep scrolling by. Your content needs to be engaging, eye-catching, and timely in order to gain audience participation.

The real key is to share the content of other Facebook pages that have a similar targeted audience as your own. Make sure to tag them as you share them. This is the foundation of influencer marketing. Putting your Facebook business page out there for people to see and check out takes an investment of time but is a free way to build your organic reach.

Talk to them!
You have comments on your Facebook page. While some may be spam, most of the engagement through comments belong to curious people and current (or past) customers and clients. If you find negative reviews here, don’t delete them! Engage with them. Don’t argue, or try to prove your point, as that will look like you are attacking them. Instead, thank them for their comment (if it was constructive), and then let them know how you can help. Do you want them to contact your customer service department? Or return the item? Or, better yet, can you help them right there? If so, that unhappy customer can turn into a raving fan of your company.

When a Facebook Page fan (a person who has liked your page) leaves a comment on one of your posts, their friends (and followers, whether it’s a personal or business account) will be more likely to see that post. Did you know that? Get your current fans engaged and you’ll build more connections.

Surveys and quizzes are great ways to get them to interact with you. You can set them up on the page or through a secondary service, but whatever you do, proofread everything before you release it.

Thank your audience often and with sincerity. People want to feel appreciated, and that’s hard in this high-paced mobile world. A simple thank you is enough to get people to slow down for just a minute. If you use images or video to do this, even better!

Create calls to action. Social Media Examiner had a wonderful roundup of the different types of calls to action:

CTA to encourage engagement—“Please take a moment to leave your comments or thoughts below.”
CTA to drive the reader to other content—“For an in-depth look, sign-up to download our white paper.”
CTA to increase signups or lead capture—“To get regular updates, sign up for our weekly newsletter.”
CTA to nurture leads—“Watch this video for a more in-depth look at how this product can help improve your business.”
CTA for sales—“To get immediate access to this training and all the bonuses, click here.”
Schedule your posts

Catch their eye
It was mentioned earlier, but it bears repeating. Images, emoji use in your posts, and video creation are amazing tools that catch the viewer’s attention. Remember that most users won’t go to your Facebook page until something catches their eye (even if they’re your fans). You need to post regularly, at peak hours, and use engaging images, quality videos, and solid emoji usage in posts to slow them down enough to click on your Facebook page link and see more. Tag other people and pages that will help build your reach. Make sure your are doing all of this as your business page!

Engaging with your audience is easier than you think. Don’t pitch yourself in every post, and at the same time, don’t ignore your chance to gain sales either. It’s a balance that comes from some quick analysis and a steady schedule. Build that bridge of trust with your current clients and customers and you’ll find more connection than ever before. While you can do this with your personal profile, building your brand will require that you spend time engaging as your business as well.

Be sure to Follow us and Let's Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.