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Facebook’s New Advertisement Engagement Tools are Great for Small Businesses

As a small business, it can be challenging to get noticed in the sea of other businesses. How can you make yourself heard and seen by your target audience?

Facebook announced during Small Business Week 2019 three new key features for small businesses to gain traction.

Facebook has always been a great platform to advertise businesses because of the 2.4 billion active monthly users. And now it’s even easier to use.

Here are the brand-new features for small business to take off with!

Automated Advertisements

Instead of just making a regular ad, now you can automatically create multiple versions of an ad. Up to six different ads can run across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network.

How does it work?

Well, this new tool provides users with some questions regarding their business and the overall objective and goal of the ad. It uses this information and creates useful suggests for Call to Action (CTA) buttons, keyword text suggestions and other creative details specific to your company’s Facebook Page.

Automated ads will save people time and effort to change the advertisements for each platform.

Embedded Appointment Bookings

Across all Facebook owned platforms, you can now embed appointment booking software.

This feature allows for customers to automatically book your services without you personally having to talk to them!

It is completely customizable for your business’ services. You can display your availability and manage any and all appointments directly. This could even go hand-in-hand with the Facebook Messenger Bots. The bots can handle the bookings too!

It’s a free service already built into Facebook. This could be an excellent option for those who haven’t already invested in a third-party appointment booking service.

Video Editing Tool

Video is the biggest drivers of engagement by far for Facebook advertisements. These posts actually get about 59% more engagement than other types of posts.

Is it time to roll of the DSLR cameras and sound board? What if you don’t have these things?

Small businesses might not have the budget for a whole production team to shoot and edit advertisements. And that’s okay, Facebook now has you covered!

The new video editing tools released by Facebook now gives the opportunity to crop, trim and add overlays to videos. For each ad, it automatically crops and trims to the correct lengths for different platforms.

While the features don’t replace the flexibility of editing software, such as Adobe Premiere, it allows for small edits to be made quickly. Some text or logo overlay may just be all you need.

The Future of Facebook for Small Businesses

So why should we care about this new update from Facebook?

Facebook is really pushing for accessibility to the resources they offer. In 2019 alone, Facebook plans to run over 200 training events.

Their goal is to train as many small entrepreneurs’ digital skills needed for the business world today. There will be online and offline events hosted to educate the masses.

Combined with Facebook’s other tools, such as the Pixel, businesses with smaller audiences can get a farther reach. An example would be using the Custom Audience tool for retargeting viewers who have watched your videos. You can provide different ads to those who watched more than 50% of the video. It allows for a better conversion rate at a lower cost.

Facebook hopes that this update, as well as the additional Blueprint courses, will help those who lack the technological resources and the budgets to get off their feet.

3 ~Biggest~ Social Media Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

Social media is public. This means your brand is always on watch, and a small mistake can make a big impact.

Let’s get to it – here are the top social media mistakes and how to avoid them.

 

  1. Being Tone-Deaf

Being tone-deaf in the land of social media means being out-of-touch and unaware of top trending conversations. By ignoring social tones, you could engage (or in some cases, not engage) with sensitive content, and in the process, affect your brand image.

An example of this would be the United Airlines incident. A passenger that was dragged off a flight was caught on camera, and the video got posted online. It went viral on social media almost immediately.

At first, United refused to apologize. But once they began listening to various social dialogues, they came to the realization that they indeed needed to apologize – right away and with the right tone – to save their brand. But was it too late?

The incident happened on April 9, 2017, and the apology came two days later on April 11, 2017.

 

How to avoid this mistake: Social listening! Listen to what your customers are saying about you, and make sure you follow trends so you’re aware of noteworthy news. Check out the Explore pages on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and get to know what’s happening in the world by checking out Google Trends.

 

  1. Not Posting Often Enough

Social media was invented to prevent people from being forgotten. It allows your brand to be top of mind, as your updates consistently remind users that your company is active and in the know. You can do this by sharing updates, posting photos, and staying in touch with people who you might not know personally, but are still crucial to your market. If your brand has a social media page, take advantage of this open opportunity.

Here’s how often you should post:

  • LinkedIn: 5 times a week (Monday – Friday). Avoid weekends, as they are proven to be a slow time for this primarily business-based platform.
  • Twitter: 2-3 times a day. The average lifespan of a tweet is only 18 minutes, so post at various times to make sure your users are seeing your content. Feel free to post the same content again and again throughout the week – this will allow you to gain insight on when your users are most engaged.
  • Facebook: 1-2 times a day. As Facebook’s algorithm changes, the reach of your posts may not be consistent. It takes about two hours for it to reach its capacity, so make sure you are posting on a regular schedule.
  • Instagram: 4-5 times a week. You want to build a consistent feed, but not overwhelm your followers. Over-posting can drop your engagement, and 4-5 times a week hits the sweet spot.

Not posting often means missing the opportunity to connect with your biggest fans and keep them updated on your latest product launches, brand announcements, and job opportunities.

How to avoid this mistake: If you can do it in-house, spend at least 2-3 hours a day curating and creating content you think your followers will love. Create engaging posts that follow your brand voice, and highlight your business’s best benefits.

If you’ve hired an agency, have them spend the time getting to know your brand and provide you with a content calendar laying out how often a post will be published.

 (Ps. Looking for a little help? Check out What We Do.)

  1. Untimely Humour

 Everyone has a voice on social media. Your goal should be to start conversations and engage your users without hurting your brand image. Sometimes, the easiest way of doing this is by participating in hashtag trends to “humanize” your brand. But be careful – not everything is an opportunity for humour.

In 2014, the hashtag #WhyIStayed was trending. Without context, it seemed straight forward. But with context, the hashtag was actually a discussion about domestic violence. Unfortunately for DiGiorno Pizza, they didn’t do their research:

How to avoid this mistake: Do your research! And if you’re unsure about a post, run it by at least two other people before pressing publish. This will give you insight into whether your post is appropriate or out-of-touch.

 

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5 Reasons You Should Use An Agency For Your Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool, particularly when it comes to marketing your business. Social media marketing provides new and excellent opportunities to increase brand recognition, boosts your search engine rankings, alleviates some marketing costs, enriches the customer experience, and personalizes your brand, among many other benefits.

Why Should You Use An Agency For Your Social Media?

The major challenge for quite a few companies is to develop an effective social media strategy and work to implement it. There is, however, the option of hiring a social media marketing agency. Why should you do something like this?

On The Pulse

One of the top reasons to hire the services of an agency for your social media needs is the fact that agencies house social media experts who always have their fingers on the pulse of new trends and other developments in the realm of social media. Social media platforms are always changing and adding new features. In order to remain competitive, companies must also change with the times. An agency consumes all news related to social media, from small shifts to major changes and new trends.

Expert Knowledge

One of the biggest results of always having their finger on the pulse is the expert social media knowledge an agency possesses. This allows us to curate ideal content from around the Internet, effectively schedule this content to the optimum times, maximize audience engagement, and twist any tool or trend from social media to work best for you. This knowledge stems from years of experience and ability to adapt at the flip of a coin. Social media is an agency’s wheelhouse.

Dedication And Focus

Running a business requires you to perform a wide variety of different tasks. These tasks include dealing with finances, processing transactions, developing new products and services, training new employees, and more. Adding in-house social media can be just another item on an ever expanding to do list. The only thing an agency would have to worry about in relation to your business is your social media. This allows an agency to focus and go deeper into social media strategy and dedicate specialized resources—something that may not be possible with in-house social media, what with all the other responsibilities floating around.

Weighing The Cost

Doing social media in-house comes with a number of different costs, including base salary, employee benefits, turnover costs, and training expenses. With a social media agency, the price is simply the negotiated contract cost, based on the level of work you want them to perform as well as your desired budget. There are no hidden or indirect costs associated with working with a social media marketing agency, as there is with handling your company’s social media presence in-house.

Customer Service

Not only will you receive excellent service from a social media agency, but you will also be able to provide your customers with excellent customer service. In today’s society, the vast majority of people look for a company through social media networks like Facebook and Twitter for their questions, comments, and complaints. By having a dedicated agency—consider all the reasons previously discussed—you can be assured that the service response time will be fast as well as of a high quality. An agency will do everything necessary to ensure each individual interacting with your company receives the best service and response possible.

To wrap it up, using an agency for your social media requirement brings experts who have their finger on the pulse, are dedicated and focused, enhance the potential of customer service, and bring expert knowledge and specialized resources to the table—all for an affordable cost. Bring your social media presence to the next level today.

Why Getting Verified on Twitter and Facebook Matters (and How to Do It)

That nifty little checkmark may seem like a status symbol reserved for the likes of celebrities and politicians, but did you know that your business can get verified too? There are lots of benefits to getting verified on Twitter and Facebook aside from the little ego boost.

Verification lets people visiting your page for the first time that know you’re serious about what you do and a legitimate contender in your industry. It gives your current customers confidence in your brand, and with Facebook, it helps your page rank higher in searches.

Something so great must be difficult and exclusive to obtain, right? On the contrary! Just follow a few easy steps and you’ll be on your way to verification.

Getting Verified Facebook:Twitter

For Facebook:

  1. Log in to your page and choose Settings
  2. In General, scroll until you reach Page Verification
  3. Select Edit
  4. Now you have the choice to Verify by Phone or Documentation
  • For Verify by Phone:
  1. Enter your business phone number, your location, and your language preference
  2. Choose Call Me Now. Shortly, you’ll be contacted on the number you provided with a verification code
  3. Once you have the 4-digit code, enter it when prompted and Continue
  4. Enjoy your grey checkmark and congratulations on being verified!
  • For Documentation:
  1. You’ll need either: Business utility or phone bill, business license, business tax file, certification of formation or articles of incorporation
  2. Upload your chosen document so that the name and address of your business is visible
  3. Once Facebook verifies your documents, you’ll receive either a notification or an email about your status within a few days

For Twitter:

  1. You’ll have to fill out a form while logged in to the account you’d like to have verified
  2. Twitter will request the following information on the form:
  • A verified phone number
  • A confirmed email address
    Note: If the account is a company or organization account, the email address associated with the account should be a company or organization email address.
  • A bio
  • A profile photo
  • A header photo
  • A birthday (for accounts that are not company, brand, or organization accounts)
  • A website
  • Tweets set as public in Tweet privacy settings
  1. There are some best practices to bear in mind when seeking Twitter verification. Make sure the name of the account/profile and/or header all reflect the name of your company, that the bio lets people know your company’s expertise or what services/product you offer, and that the account is active (Tweets, Re-Tweets, DMs)
  2. To help them decide whether to fulfill your request, Twitter will ask why they should verify the account. This is a good opportunity to let them know about your company’s core mission, relevance in the field and newsworthiness.
  3. Don’t fret if you get a Direct Message denying verification. Twitter will either ask for edits on your request form, or let you try again in 30 days.

Image: prykhodov

Should Your Brand Go Live on Facebook? YES!

Without a doubt, Facebook is the most widely used social media platform. People are on Facebook one in every six minutes online, and one in every five minutes on mobile. Users have access to an average of 1,500 posts per day. That is a massive audience.

Should Your Brand Go Live on Facebook?

There are many tips and tricks to maximize Facebook when running a business page, but one of the newest (and most exciting) features is Facebook LIVE. Right from your phone you can live stream video content for up to 90 minutes. Rich media like video is guaranteed to get more engagement from your audience, and the commenting and reaction features create an unprecedented amount of interaction.

But how is Live different than posting a normal video?

There are a few reasons why Facebook Live is a more powerful way for you to connect with your audience than a typical status update, photo or link.

First of all, Live is a unique content form so it gets peoples attention. It is a new form of content that is privy to experimentation and in-the-moment comedy. People are likely to spend up to three times more time watching a live video than a normal video. The rawness and lack of editing creates a new form that creates an air of authenticity and is just simply exiting to watch.

The Livestream is an opportunity to show a variety of sides of your company. Whether you do a behind the scenes stream, a demo, interview with an expert or a question and answer, customers can get a peak into the details of what you do. You can tell your story, your way!

Facebook Live provides an immediate and direct avenue to connect with your audience. In real time you can see and respond to comments and questions. Viewers can react to your stream, letting you know what kind of content they like or dislike. You are able to see how your viewers are enjoying your stream as they either like, dislike, love, hate, are wowed or humored by your stream!

Live creates a bond with your viewers that is much stronger than anything possible in a status or photo. You can respond to questions from commenters and shift your focus if needed as the stream unfolds. By hearing what is on the mind of your viewers and responding to that, you create a relationship that is informative for both sides. This immediate and direct interaction with your audience is rare and should be cherished.

Another great thing about Live, is that it gives your audience a chance to know your company on a more personal level. Seeing a face to the brand they interact with online humanizes the interaction and creates a personal connection. Viewers are able to get a better feeling of who you are!

Beyond the buzz around Live at a user level, Facebook itself also rewards pages for going live. Live videos are most likely to appear high in newsfeeds and unlike any other type of post on Facebook, Live sends a notification to all followers that the stream is starting. Followers of your page will be notified of the title of your Livestream and be called to watch it! This is a great way to engage more passive followers as there is a sense of urgency in the need to watch what is happening live.

Live is a great place to generate ideas for new content. When you get to talk to your followers you get a chance to hear their needs and desires, shaping your creative content moving forward. The more you know about your audience, the better you are able to create material that appeals and adds value to them, increasing engagement in return.

Finally, Livestream also lasts beyond when it is streaming. The video will be saved to your page and is a great form of quality content that can be re-shared and repurposed on blogs or other platforms.

Here are a few best practices to keep in mind to optimize your FB live stream.

  • Announce your upcoming Livestream on your social networks so viewers can be prepared to watch. They will get a notification when it begins, but if they know the stream is coming they will be more likely to make time to watch.
  • Go live when you have a strong internet connection. It is best to go live with Wi-Fi, but if not have at least a 4G connection. If the video is of poor quality, people are not likely to continue watching.
  • Write a captivating description of your video. The title of the video is what will show up on the notification that people receive on Facebook when when you go live. The more interesting the title, the more likely people will come and check it out.
  • Broadcast for a longer time. The longer the stream, the more likely you are to gather an audience and be discovered. We recommend streaming for a minimum of 10 minutes and a stream can last up to 90.
  • Go live often to keep your audience engaged and excited to see your content. Be creative and try out different types of streams and see how your audience reacts.
  • Thank your viewers for watching. They put their time into watching your stream, so thanking them make them feel seen and a part of the experience.
  • Have a focus to your stream. Though the point of the live stream is to be in the moment, it is important be organized with what you want to talk about.
  • If you can, have a few people involved in the stream. Comments and reactions come quickly and it can be overwhelming to the person talking. If you have someone monitoring questions and another filming it makes for a smoother stream.

The goal of a live stream is to provide value for your followers. It is as close as you can get to a real time conversation besides being in a room with them. Call out the viewers by name and truly engage with their reactions. Fans will keep up and new followers will discover you too as your post is boosted to the top of their feed. Facebook Live is a great feature that should be utilized by any company looking to create a faithful audience.

Copyright: aradaphotography / 123RF Stock Photo