Best Practices for Using Facebook LIVE for Your Business

Since it’s launch, Facebook Live is making it much easier for businesses to speak to consumers. It’s a great way for your business to interact with your audience in real-time. As with any other marketing initiative, there are some best practices you should follow.

Have a Clear Purpose

Just because live broadcasting is available, doesn’t mean you have to use it. You need to have a clearly defined purpose for using this feature in order for it to be effective. Whatever topic you choose to broadcast, make sure you stick with it.

Include Live as Part of Your Marketing Mix

Your marketing efforts are much more effective when they’re integrated. Some members of your audience may not have time to participate in a live broadcast so it’s important to make sure that all of your other marketing channels are included in your campaign.

Be Prepared

Preparing for a live broadcast includes setting the stage. Make sure that there’s little to no background noise that would keep your audience from hearing what you have to say. It’s crucial to make sure that you’re broadcasting in an environment that doesn’t compromise any confidential information or privacy.

Branch Out

Although your purpose for going live may be to promote your business, you should never just talk about that. Your audience will quickly lose interest and move on. Be sure to speak in general terms that the majority of your audience can relate to.

Be Positive

There’s already enough negativity in the world so focus on being positive during your broadcast. Do not use Live to rant; not only is it unprofessional, no one wants to hear it.

Be Consistent

If you’re thinking of creating a Live series, be sure that you go live consistently on the same day at the same time. Your audience will grow over time and each stream will attract past viewers.

If you follow these best practices for Facebook Live, you’ll ensure a much better experience for you and your audience. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact me today.

Cheers, Love and Success
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel

7 Steps to Increase Facebook Shares

 

While many businesses are moving their social media marketing to other platforms, Facebook is still the largest network. With over 1 billion active users, it’s the most used social media platform. In order to leverage your Facebook efforts, you need to increase your reach and engagement, and these 7 tips will help you do just that!

1. Choose the Right Post

It doesn’t matter how interesting your content is, it’s all about how it’s presented to your audience. If it doesn’t catch your audience’s eye, they’re going to scroll on by and not give you or your business a second thought. Here are some engaging type of posts that can help you increase your engagement:

Questions

These are designed to provoke thought from your audience. They work well to increase engagement and you get to learn more about your fans.

Images

People are drawn to visual content, so images work well for increasing engagement. Your audience is much more likely to share an eye-catching image than they are anything else.

Videos

A great way to add entertainment is by using video. Your fans are likely to share your videos, especially if they find it helpful.

Links

Sharing content from your blog or your website is a good way to share valuable content with your audience. Be sure to write a captivating comment with your link to increase the chances of it being shared.

2. Videos

Videos perform the best in terms of shares, which is what you want. If you’re looking to increase shares, video is your best bet. The average Facebook shares of video content have doubled, making videos the most popular shared content on Facebook.

3. More Visual Content

That’s right – your audience wants more visual content. This can be in video or image format. To increase your visual content, you can share infographics, create custom images and share video tutorials.

4. Timing

None of this matters if you’re posting at the least popular times. To find the times your audience is most active, take full advantage of the Insights section on your Facebook fan page. To give you a little help, the most shares occur on Saturday. Makes sense since most people have more time to spend on social media on the weekends. According to Facebook, there’s a spike in shares at noon (lunch break) and a slight increase after 7:00 pm.

5. Keep it Short

Your fans don’t want to read a book every time you post. There’s nothing wrong with sharing great content, just make sure you’re succinct. A recent study found that posts with fewer than 50 characters have the most engagement. And you thought 140 characters was short!

6. Use Emojis

If you think this is juvenile, think again. Emojis (emoticons) add a personal touch to your content and make you appear friendly. That’s a win-win! Using emojis can improve your share by 33% and increase your comments by 57%.

7. Contests

I know you’ve seen those like and share for a chance to win posts on Facebook. That’s because they work! People are drawn to winning freebies so play into it. Be sure you clearly define your rules, decide on a prize, and display the details so there’s no confusion.

If you’re not using any of these already, you need to start…NOW! Facebook is always making organic reach difficult to achieve so you need to work at it. Your numbers aren’t going to jump overnight but you will see progress. Remember, social media marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact me today.

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel

8 Reasons Engagement is Crucial

8 Reasons Engagement is CrucialSharing content on social media is only one aspect of social media marketing. In order for you to be successful, you need to be engaging with your fans and followers. What’s the point of sharing content if you’re not going to engage? Many people will actually stop following you because you’re not engaging with them. Here are 8 reasons engagement is crucial to your success.

1. Helps You Get More Social

If you don’t know, Facebook is constantly changing its algorithm, making it more and more difficult for your content to be seen, especially if you’re not posting regularly. Facebook isn’t the only social network doing this, however. Instagram also uses engagement metrics to determine what’s put in front of your followers. If you’re engaging with your audience, they’re much more likely to share your content, which helps to increase your audience through additional likes.

2. Helps You Build Trust and Loyalty

Adding testimonials to your website is great but there are always going to be people who question if those testimonials are legitimate. When you’re engaging with your audience, you’re building trust and loyalty from your fans/followers. People like to connect with people, not products or services. Be sure to show your audience who you are, what they can expect from you, and that they can trust you.

3. Helps to Inspire Emotions

Don’t be afraid to ask your audience questions to spark discussion. Eliciting emotions from your audience is a great way to increase engagement. Be sure to keep it friendly and take control of any unruly fans or followers.

4. Helps You Stay in Touch

Clearly, engaging with your audience helps you stay in touch with them, and you’ll learn more about them in the process. People like to be entertained and to feel like they’re connected. Don’t be shy!

5. Helps Increase Attention

Have you ever come across a post in your news feed with hundreds or thousands of comment and felt compelled to read it? Of course you have! This is a perfect example of how engagement increases attention. Not only on social media, but your website as well. Your audience will likely hop over to your website and subscribe to your newsletter or blog.

6. Helps Make You More Human and Personal

People don’t like communicating with robots – they want to connect with real people. Show yourself and your personality off to your audience through engagement. Let your audience get to know who you are, within reason, and why you do what you do. You never know just whom you may inspire.

7. Helps Make Your More Memorable

The more you interact with your audience, the more memorable you’re going to be. People are going to remember that you’re social and engaging and they’ll keep coming back.

8. Helps Your Audience

Statistics show that an engaged audience is more likely to be a buying audience. Once your audience knows that they can trust you, they’re more likely to make a purchase.

So, if you didn’t know how important engagement is before, now you do! Being engaging on social media is just like building relationships in person; you need to be consistent. If you would like more information or want to schedule a consultation, feel free to contact me today!

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel

5 Things You Need Before Starting Social Media Marketing

5 Things You Need Before Starting Social Media MarketingSocial media is wildly popular, whether you have a business or not. Many small businesses still discount the impact social media marketing can have on their marketing simply because they’re not aware of what needs to be done or how to keep up with it. I’ve listed 5 things you need before starting social media marketing so you’re ahead of the game!

Branding

You wouldn’t create a business card without a logo, would you? Your branding must be consistent across all marketing channels, online or offline. It’s how you build recognition and awareness for your business. If you haven’t solidified your branding, don’t get into social media marketing just yet. Take some time to devote to finalizing your brand and then get started.

Website

Your website needs to be in order before launching any marketing campaign because you’ll be driving traffic to it. Your website must tell the story of business, what customers can expect from you, be user-friendly and mobile optimized, and be consistent with your brand.

Message

If you don’t know what you’re going to talk about on social media, it’s best not to get involved right now. Your message needs to be consistent across all channels for a few reasons. Your fans or followers want to know that you’re consistent as a business, as a brand. Your message should be synonymous with your business values, vision, and mission. You need to define a clear message to convey to your target audience. Speaking of which, have you done that?

Defined Audience

You know the message you want to convey, but have you defined to whom you want to convey it? You need to have a clearly defined target audience for your marketing; otherwise you’re talking to yourself. You can start this process by asking yourself these questions:

1. Who do I want to serve?
2. What does my business do well?
3. What problem(s) can my business solve?

Once you’ve answered those questions, you’ll have a pretty good idea who your target audience is and you can begin to craft your message. But, no good marketing ever happens without a strategy.

Strategy

Once you’ve clearly defined all of the above elements, you need to determine the best social media marketing strategy for your business. This strategy must answer the following questions:

1. How often and when will I post?
2. Which social media networks work best for my business?
3. What type of content will my business share?
4. Will I need to hire a social media marketing manager or can I do this on my own?

The answers to those questions will help you build the foundation of your strategy. You may need some help along the way, which is where I come in. I’ll help you determine the best networks for your business and the proper posting times and frequency. I keep up with all of the latest changes in social media so you don’t have to! To learn more or to schedule your consultation, contact me today.

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel

New: SUPER COOL Feature on Facebook!

New and Improved sign letering.

Facebook just released a brand new feature.  It’s AWESOME!!!  Instead of just being able to reply you can now leave a private message to anyone that posts on your business page.

This is going to be great for gaining new sales and creating a deeper relationship with your fans. Take a look to see what I mean.

When you click message a box pops up like below. Then you can type your private message below.

Here are a few reminders…don’t engage in negative banter. Keep it professional and light. Be genuine and not too over the top salesy. Take your time to write a good message. Remember this could be a potential lead and you don’t want to blow them off with a quick note. Take your time and show them you care.  Okay, enjoy the new feature and be successful!!

New Feature

feature-Facebook -2

#soarwithamanda

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda
Amanda Brazel, Social Media Marketing

 

7 Common Mistakes Businesses Make On Social Media…Plus Solid Solutions!

7mistakesWhile this article points out some mistakes, the purpose is not to make you feel inadequate, but rather to help you avoid these very common mistakes so that you can improve your social marketing strategies and generate MORE SUCCESS!

Mistake #1: You have linked several of your social media profiles together. So for example, when you post to Facebook it also posts to Twitter or vice versa.  The honest truth is that every social network is COMPLETELY different and they should be treated that way. Linking your profiles together is like mixing wine, vodka and really good beer all together and then drinking it. YUCK! So, seriously…please STOP doing this. You really aren’t saving yourself any time. You are actually hurting your progress.

Solution: Create a plan or strategy for each network you are 462333211on, preferably with an expert that can help you craft a solid plan.  You will want to have a schedule of what gets posted, the bests times for each type of post, and you MUST plan this in advance. Your strategy should include a variety of content for your audiences. Photos, questions, links, promotions, candid photos of you and your staff and so on. If you are overwhelmed by all the various networks just start with one or two in the beginning. You are better off mastering one or two then mastering none.

Mistake #2: You do not understand how to use hashtags properly or at all.  Here are several common mistakes folks make with hashtags: You don’t know your top 5-10 hashtags for your niche, you are not using them properly, you are using too many each time you post, or you are not using hashtags at all.  ***Okay newbies, here is what a hashtag is and what it does for you: hashtags are like little links that take you to a thread of folks talking about that specific topic.  For example, let’s say the hashtag is #skincare. Well after you click on the #skincare (hashtag) link you will see all sorts of conversations and information about skin care.  Using hashtags appropriately allows you to expand your audience, connect with your peers, potential clients/patients, attract more people to your website or blog, and draw more people in to find you and follow you. They are very valuable to your social success. P.S. Don’t use Hashtags on networks that don’t have Hashtags, i.e. LinkedIn.

Solution: First learn what your top 5-10 hashtags are for your specific niche. Follow the other social media experts and watch and learn. You can always reach out to us for a consultation and we can help you quickly understand what your top hashtags are as well as how to use them appropriately.

186673747Mistake #3: You do not thank folks that give you a raving review on your Facebook business page or other profiles.  I have to say this kind of drives me a little nuts. If you were face to face with one of your clients and they genuinely thanked you for your work or services, would you just give them a thumbs up and then walk away? Or even worse, would you completely ignore them and turn your back to them?  Hell no you wouldn’t!  You would smile and you would graciously say “thank you so much and I appreciate your feedback.”  Social Media is no different. Think about it. Just because you are not necessarily interacting with your fan, client or patient in real time you are still interacting with them, and smart business owners understand those interactions need to be positive experiences.

Solution: Check your profiles regularly for comments, questions, messages and reviews. Immediately answer them and respond.  This is so crucial. Again, if you don’t have the time either assign this task to a trusted assistant in your office or hire a social media agency to do it for you. We manage all of our clients profiles in one software program and everyday (multiple times per day) our team is staying current with their fans. And, if there is something we just can’t answer we ping you a message with a direct link to that message so you and your staff can respond. Engagement and connection is a huge part of social success.

Mistake #4: You’ve hired a young college student to manage your social media because you think they are young and hip therefore they must ‘get it’ because you are old and crotchety and don’t know how to operate all of this technology :-).  Yes, in most cases younger people get how to USE social media and they know how to maneuver the various platforms.  However that does NOT mean they understand how to market your business effectively on social media.  It also doesn’t mean they understand business either. In order for your social media and digital marketing to be successful you need someone that understands business, marketing, and better yet social media marketing. Social Media Marketing is very different compared to other forms of marketing. This is a new business world we are in and there will be a learning curve for many.  So, rethink this strategy if you want success.

Solution: Make sure your social media marketing assistant has access to education and training from top professionals in social and digital marketing industries or hire a reputable agency that has proven results to manage this all for you.

Mistake #5: You only market, sell or post links to your website trying to sell your products/services. HUGE MISTAKE!!!  And, if you are doing this I guarantee you are one of those business owners saying “Facebook hasn’t done a thing for my business.” Well, I hate to break it to you, but it’s not Facebook…it’s YOUR APPROACH. People DO NOT want to be sold to all day long. They want a RELATIONSHIP with you! They want to CONNECT with you!  They want to LEARN about what you offer. They WANT to see behind the scenes in your business and they want a VARIETY of information from you. So, please STOP just posting or pimping your products all day long.  This really makes you look bad.

Solution: The solution here is the exact same as for mistake #1. Create a plan or strategy for each network you are on, preferably with an expert that can help you craft a solid plan.  You will want to have a schedule of what gets posted when and you will want to plan in advance. Your strategy should include a variety of content for your audiences. Photos, questions, links, promotions, candid photos of you and your staff and so on. If you are overwhelmed by all the various networks just start with one or two in the beginning. You are better off mastering one or two then mastering none.

Mistake #6: You don’t understand social media, so you just decide that your business doesn’t need it. Oh dear, oh 167083000dear, oh dear….yes I hear this too.  Maybe you’ve heard rumors that it doesn’t work, or it is a fad. Please listen in closely, the world wide web is becoming the world wide social web.  Social Media is not going way.  Human beings LOVE connection and that is what social media does in a big way. It connects us to new people, friends, family, brands, businesses, information and more.

Now with that said, I will be the first person to tell you that you do not need to be on every social network and not all businesses should be on Facebook either. However, I can almost GUARANTEE there is a social network out there that you most definitely should be active on and you should be active on the ones where your clients and potential clients are active.  That makes perfectly good sense, right? All networks are different and all cater to different people with different needs. So, figure out which ones those are and get on board fast.

Solution: Learn or hire a consultant. Sit down with a consultant and ask them to talk about the various network differences, ask them what networks they recommend you market on or if you can’t afford to hire a consultant then hop on Google and start asking Google for answers.  I guarantee Google will hook you up with some good answers.

Mistake #7: You are a procrastinator.  You wait and wait and wait.  It’s too overwhelming, I don’t have the time, I am not sure where to start and on and on it goes. STOP!  If you wait, your competition is getting a HUGE leg up here. So, don’t shoot yourself in the foot and get going.

Solution: Jump in. You will start learning faster by getting in, learning your way around and yes even making some mistakes. You can sign up for online classes and learn as quickly as you can or if you don’t have the time for that the other option is to hire a reputable agency that can do it for you.

Do you have specific questions or need help with your social media? Feel free to ask in the comment below or hop over to my Facebook page and ask a question there.  I am always happy to help you GROW!

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda

Grow Momentum on your Facebook Page!

 

Concerned with your Facebook Page not reaching enough fans?

One key way to combat that is to create a reason for them to come and interact with your company Page on Facebook.  By running a simple contest or giveaway in the news feed that involves interaction, your Page can become a buzzing hive of “Likes” and “comments”.  Plus, by getting those fans to interact, this sends a message to Facebook that those fans really enjoy your page and Facebook can show them more of your posts in the future!

 

Here’s 5 Facebook Contests Ideas for your Page:

5 Facebook Contest Ideas You Can Run on Your Timeline

Youtility Book1. Like to Win

If your business is looking to run a quick Facebook contest to reward fans, the “Like to Win” giveaway is a simple way for fans to participate.

As the name suggest, fans only need to Like a certain post to enter the contest & stand a chance of winning. Photos, status posts, links & videos can all be used to run this contest.

2. Comment to Enter

A closely related option to the “Like to Win”, the difference here is that fans must “comment” to enter. Announce the contest and simply instruct visitors to make a comment on the post to be entered.  Tools like the TabSite Timeline Contest App let Pages download all the comments and generate a winner randomly from those entered.

A benefit of “comment contests” is that by commenting their is greater reach to friends of that commenter than a simple “Like” offers.

3. Trivia! Answer Correctly to Win

 Yes, consider a quick and easy trivia question.  Your post would outline the question and possible answers, entrants have to comment and answer correctly to have a chance to win.  This brings in a bit of game fun to the contest.  See examples below for example ideas.  TabSite’s Timeline Contest App at Platinum level allows you to filter a post comments by a keyword (your correct answer)!  So, once again, it’s easy to pick a winner.

Youtility Book4. Like and Comment

A combo option of #1 and #2 above is to run a timeline contest where the fan can like for one entry and comment for an additional entry, thus giving them two entries and a greater chance to win.  TabSite’s Timeline winner tool allows for (a) keeping each entry separate or (b) merging them so the winner is someone who has Liked or Commented.  Lots of options!

5. Photo Comment Contest

Another creative timeline contest option is to create a post and ask fans to enter by submitting a photo comment.  Since Facebook allows photos as a comment, this works well!  A Page could have fans load a fun image for the Page to (a) judge the winner, or (b) randomly pic a winner from submitted photos.  Ideas could include to have a contest of photos submitted with fans using your product, or why they need your product, or some variation of these.

So those are some of the possibilities for using a Timeline contest!  Want a complete guide? Click below to go get the free eBook with more details and information.

Have questions?  Post them here and we’ll respond!

Accessing a Free ebook

About the Author:

Mike Gingerich is a Digital and Social Media Marketer, Speaker, Consultant, and TabSite Co-Founder. Part geek, part marketer, and total social media junkie, Mike has over 10 years of experience in integrated Digital and Social Media consulting. You can Follow him on Twitter, at @mike_gingerich.

Amanda Brazel | Digital Media Marketing Done For You
clientcare@amandabrazel.com