You’re scrolling through Instagram and come across the cutest summer dress– of course you want to buy it! But, how can you do that? Up until recently, you wouldn’t have been able to buy directly from an Instagram or Facebook post; thankfully, that’s all changed!
Both Instagram and Facebook now offer shopping platforms users can purchase items from. As a result, many of the tiny remaining friction points between discovering and buying products on social media platforms has been eliminated. 👏👏👏👏
At the end of May, Facebook announced it was rolling out Facebook Shops in an effort to “give people a place to experience the joy of shopping versus the chore of buying,” as well as help small businesses reach consumers that they may not have otherwise.
Facebook shops makes it easy for a business page to set up a single online store for customers to access not only on Facebook, but on Instagram as well. It’s free to use, and (fairly) simple to set up. Businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their stores or catalogs, and add them as items in the shop. Businesses can also customize the look and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colors that showcase their brand (consistent branding remember!). Essentially, any business or seller can bring their business online and connect with customers wherever and whenever it’s convenient for them. In fact, Shopify offers a superlative integration with Facebook for you to build your site, track and ship orders, and sell in person or through social media.
Facebook Shops can be found on a business’ Facebook page, or Instagram profile. Another benefit? Shops are also discoverable through stories and of course, ads. Customers can browse an entire catalog collection, save products they are interested in, and place orders. Order checkout can be done either on the businesses website, or there’s an option to enable checkout within the app itself. Additionally, if a customer needs help or has a question, there’s an option for them to message your business through Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct Messaging, and WhatsApp (remember- Facebook owns WhatsApp too!
Starting this summer here in the United States, Instagram Shops will allow users to browse products and explore collections directly through a dedicated Shopping tab found within Instagram Explore. This option will take users directly to a brand’s shop or shop-able posts. Eventually, Instagram users will be able to jump into a shopping experience from the app’s main navigation bar “in just one tap,” and be able to filter items that they are looking for (ex: “home” or “beauty”). Just like with Facebook Shops, once a customer is in a business Instagram Shop, customers can purchase products in-app (when checkout on Instagram is enabled) or be redirected to purchase through the business website.
Facebook is also testing a “Live” shopping option where sellers, brands and creators will be able to tag products from their Facebook Shop or catalog before going live and those products will be shown at the bottom of the video so people can easily tap to learn more and purchase. This allows those watching to shop for products in real-time.
Does your business have a loyalty program? Facebook is also exploring ways for customers to continue to earn rewards while shopping your business through Facebook. The rewards would be linked to the customer’s Facebook account where they can easily see and keep track of their points and reward milestones. Facebook is also exploring ways to help small businesses create and manage a loyalty program through Facebook Shop specifically.
How Can Marketers Use Shops?
These opportunities to shop via social media provide a unique opportunity to expose your business and its products to a larger target audience. As a marketer, use Shops to leverage social media-driven sales, but of course, you’ll need to make sure you have a concrete strategy in place instead of just posting one-off about the products you offer!
What’s the first thing you do when you see a video as you scroll through your Facebook feed? I’d guess that you first check the length of the video to decide whether or not it’s worth the time to watch it. Even if you do press play, how often do you actually watch the entire video?
Only 52% of viewers actually watch a video all the way till the end. If a video is under 60 seconds, that number jumps to 68%. These days, it’s hard for marketers to hold the attention of consumers- small bites of consumable information are what people seem to crave right now- as a result, marketers are tailoring content to consumers’ short attention spans.
While the long-standing “2 minute” rule is still a good guideline to go by in regards to your video length, it’s important to tailor each video length to the specific platform on which you are posting the video. Odds are, someone is more likely to watch a 4-minute long video on YouTube, but only last a minute if the same video is on Twitter.
How Long Should Your Videos Be?
In a nutshell, your video really should only be as long as it needs to be in order to convey the message you are intending. The video should be engaging all the way through – providing information that is valuable or that tells a compelling story without any “fluff.”
Facebook videos can technically be up to 240 minutes long, but let’s be honest, nobody wants to watch a 240 minute video on Facebook. On Facebook, videos organically get exposure on a news feed when they are at least 3 minutes long. That doesn’t mean that all of your videos need to be 3 minutes long – you want to focus on the message of the video rather than time limits. The video itself is what captures interests and sparks engagement, not the length of the video.
Some other things to keep in mind when creating a video for Facebook: use eye-catching imagery early on in the video as the first few seconds will automatically play as viewers scroll through a newsfeed. In these first few seconds, it is crucial to include only the information you need to get your point across.
Instagram essentially has three different options for posting videos: Instagram Feed, Instagram Story, and Instagram TV (IGTV).
Instagram Feed Videos posted in your Instagram feed can be up to 1 minute. That being said, Instagram is now set up so that if a video is posted to IGTV (more on IGTV below!), a 10-15 second preview will also show up in the regular feed. According to Hubspot research, videos that are, on average, 26 seconds receive the most comments on Instagram. Similar to Facebook, people are scrolling quickly through their Instagram feed and may not want to stop to watch a long video.
Instagram Story With Instagram Stories, each video uploaded directly to your story can be up to 15 seconds, but you can also post a longer video that will be broken up over multiple 15-second Instagram Story scenes. Statistics say that a story with 3 “parts” tends to be the most engaging.
Instagram TV (IGTV) IGTV was designed with long-form videos in mind, so like Facebook, your video should only be as long as it needs to be in order to get the point across. Previews of your IGTV video now show up in the Instagram feed, and users must then tap “Keep Watching” to watch the rest of the video.
Originally, Twitter had a 30 second limit for video uploads, but it has now been extended to as long as 2 minutes and 20 seconds. However, since Twitter users are used to short updates, it’s usually best to keep your videos on the shorter side. You could always consider creating short teaser videos and linking out to the full video on another social media platform like YouTube.
The audience for YouTube is different from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter because users turn to YouTube specifically for video content! As a result, viewers are prepared for longer videos as they are not aimlessly scrolling through a feed. Similar to Facebook, YouTube rewards videos that have more engagement (watch time) and will feature them more prominently in search results. 6 to 8 minutes is usually the ideal length of a video on YouTube, BUT if you can get the information across in less than 6 minutes, avoid stretching the video out with filler content.
While we do live in a fast-paced, ‘results NOW’ world, a benefit of longer videos is that they can build loyalty and create engagement with your brand on social media – as long as you make sure you are optimizing the videos for the correct social media platform to maximize your views and engagement. When a viewer spends more time watching your video, it typically means the content resonates with them personally, increasing their interest in your company. Video content can help your target audience get to know your brand, create that personal connection and establish that long-standing loyalty!
Here at SocialKNX, we know that different social media channels may require different strategies. Reach out to us today to see how we can help you break your content into byte-sized pieces that get shared across the social media universe!
Did you know that 47% of social media marketers report that the biggest challenge they face when it comes to social media marketing is coming up with strategies that support business goals? THIS is where the handy-dandy SWOT analysis comes in to save the day! SWOT stands for Strengths-Weakness-Opportunities-Threats, and completing one of these can help you understand how exactly to utilize social media and strengthen your strategy. The SWOT framework is traditionally used to analyze the internal and external factors that help or hurt a business’s success. A SWOT analysis can help you identify key areas within your social media strategies and campaigns that require improvement or tweaking in order to be successful.
As a business owner, I know there is a love-hate relationship we have with Facebook. We hate the time-suck that it is and that it seems no one is even listening or seeing anything we are doing there, and yet it is still the most heavily used social networking channel. We know we “should” have a presence there, just like having a website in 1999 was an important form of legitimacy.
There is no doubt that Facebook still attracts the attention of 7 out of every 10 people in the United States. (You know the other 3 people just lurk from their spouse’s account) and that many businesses have seen great success using Facebook, Instagram, and other social sites as tools in their marketing.
So how can you successfully use this mega platform to actually convince people to leave their homes, where they can simply push a button and Amazon or Grubhub will deliver whatever they want, to come into your local business and spend money? Let’s take a look at some tips you can implement before the year comes to a close.
5 ways to use Facebook for your local business to build brand awareness and increase sales:
1. Get involved in local community Facebook Groups
Or better yet, start your own Facebook group for your city, town, or community interest. Facebook is more than Personal Profiles and Business Pages. It also has plenty of groups focused around specific interests, especially in the local community and neighborhoods. Most neighborhoods today have their own Facebook Group to share events, crime warnings, wildlife sitings, items for sale, recommendations, and more.
You can engage with your local community and let them know you’re more than a faceless business that wants to sell them things. You also get an idea of the issues concerning your local community, events you might want to attend or sponsor, and networking opportunities with other retail business owners in the area. Use the group to ask questions and share “BEST OF” lists– Best dog parks, best place to get dessert after 10pm, best picnic spots, and more. Throw out the question and have people comment with their answers and then offer to curate the list into a .pdf and share it back with the group.
What if you share the little league scores or high school sports scores weekly for the group? Who doesn’t want to be a part of a local group like that? The beauty of Facebook Groups is the members see every message, unlike a business page that usually has to work harder to get attention or use advertising and promoted posts.
2. Create PHOTO-WORTHY spots in your local business.
So perhaps you can’t get a giant blue bear sculpture outside your place of business, but fortunately, people will snap shareable photos with a lot less. It could be a great welcome mat that says “Great Shoes” and people will want to stand, snap and share. It could be something painted on the wall of your restrooms and people will snap and share there as well. Get creative and think of areas of your business that are brandable! Be sure to train your staff to spot groups snapping photos and go over to offer to take one of the whole party. That is great digital service.
3. Use targeted ad options on Facebook.
Facebook’s ad platform is pretty impressive, especially when it comes to the targeting capabilities you have for the audience. If you want to focus on Facebook users who live in a specific area, or who frequent businesses that are near your retail location, you can fine-tune who sees your promoted messages. Ads or sponsored posts appear in the newsfeed and look like a typical post, except that it’s marked as an advertisement. Make sure you monitor your ads that are running to respond to any comments or questions left on the ad post.
4. Run special promotions and events for your Facebook and social media fans.
Give your customers and potential customers a reason to pay attention to your page, and reward them for doing so. You don’t have to keep the promotions solely digital, especially if you want to increase foot-traffic on slow days.
Consider having deep discounts and flash sales that are in-store only but promote them online to get customers to come in. You can offer an in-demand product or other items discounted for the first 25 or 100 customers who come in on certain days. This sense of urgency encourages speed and enforces scarcity.
A trend that many are capitalizing on today is in-store experiences! Use Facebook and other social channels to let your community know you have a band playing or offer a tasting, a demo, or a yoga class or some other event for your fans. Experiences will draw those digital shoppers out and Facebook is a great place to talk about it.
5. Engage with your customers and prospects on your social media posts.
Many local businesses are still afraid of allowing comments on their social channels, fearing negative comments or reviews. People love social proof and if you allow comments on your pages you have the control that allows you to respond. If they comment on their own profiles or other pages, you can’t do anything about it. Invite reviews where you can participate.
People want to see that others like your brand as much as they do, so when you get a compliment in your place of business, ask if they would be willing to share that on your Facebook page or Google Review. Make it easy for people who are already happy, to share their feelings with the world. Today, “Word of MOUSE” is the new “Word of Mouth” when it comes to recommendations.
If someone is talking about your store, products or services, online, be sure to acknowledge them. Don’t leave comments, testimonials or questions on your Business Page unanswered. Let people know you hear them and appreciate every single comment left. [read: RESPONDING TO SOCIAL REVIEWS]
If there is someone being social with your brand on a regular basis, why not reward them with a special coupon or offer. Let them know you appreciate them sharing or engaging with you. Reward the behavior you want to be repeated.
We hope these 5 tips will inspire you to begin looking at Facebook with a fresh perspective when it comes to marketing your business. With a little creativity, you will have fans talking about you and more importantly…coming in to spend money! If you have more questions or want more ideas, be sure to join our DIY.social Group on Facebook, where entrepreneurs share ideas, tools, and resources to build their businesses!
If you are just getting that Facebook page set up we have created a guide that walks you through the steps to SET IT UP CORRECTLY and START GETTING FANS TO JOIN YOU! Download this free resource today!
You’ve been asked by your manager to set up a Facebook Page for the business and most of what you read says you have to do this from your personal profile. You don’t want this business page attached to YOUR personal profile. After all, what happens when you leave (hey, it can happen!) Perhaps it’s YOUR business, but you still don’t want to link it to a personal profile that you use for family connections and REAL friends.
FEAR NOT! You CAN do this. It may feel like you’ve been asked to turn over your personal diary for the world to read on your business page, but I assure you, your secrets are safe. Even though you are linking them for access, you are not linking them for the world to view.
So let’s understand something up front. When I create a business page, it is like creating a website for a business. I will need access to the backend of the site to load or change content, but nowhere on the site does it have to give my name or contact information, unless I want it to. It is the same with Facebook. Your PERSONAL profile is your access point or portal into Facebook but from there you can create and manage as many business pages as you’d like. You don’t need a special login and password for each page, and you don’t have to share passwords with anyone. (If your mother didn’t tell you this a long time ago, you should NEVER give your passwords to anyone. Whether they are your manager or not. There is no need for anyone to use YOUR password.) You log in and go to the pages you have admin access to. Your manager, or other team members, can log into their own personal profile and have the same access point if they are made an admin for the page.
If, and I hear this all the time, your manager or co-worker does not have a Facebook account of their own, so they ask to log into your account to check the business page, tell them you would like their login information to their bank account to check on your payroll first! They need to create their own account–it’s FREE and they don’t have to ever use it or share their horrifying vacation pics. If they need to log into a site, including Facebook, they need their own login credentials. There are just some things, like a glass of milk, a toothbrush or social media passwords, that should never be shared with other people.
When you are logged in from your personal profile and then jump over to your business page (easy to switch between the two from the dropdown arrow in the upper right) people on the outside do not know you are associated with the page. They cannot see any of your personal information and they are NOT automatically made FRIENDS of yours if they LIKE the business page.
With that out of the way, let’s get started! To begin, log into your own personal Facebook profile and THEN go to Facebook.com/pages and click CREATE PAGE in the upper right. You will be asked to name your page and select the category (not-for-profit, local business, etc. And don’t worry too much about the categories since they can be changed at any time. Your name is not so easy to change so choose wisely!).
Fill out the basic info and you are well on your way!
In the SETTINGS for your new page, look to the left and find PAGE ROLES. This is where you add an additional admin to the page, such as a team member or your manager (who will need to have a Facebook account). You can select different ROLES for people such as EDITOR (someone who cannot add or remove others but can post and comment AS THE PAGE.) You can select MODERATOR, ANALYST, even JOBS MANAGER to give specific rights without allowing people to add or remove others. If you leave the organization, you simply make sure there is an ADMIN assigned to the page and then remove yourself in this same area.
Now that we’ve covered how to set up your page, let’s move onto the REAL WORK…. creating and posting content every day!
That’s where things get scary! Happy posting!
No, No, Not Content Creation
Gina Schreck is the founder of SocialKNX. Their teams help organizations connect to their world and convert LIKES into DOLLARS! Be sure to find more geeky goodness on our own Facebook Page!
Many of us woke up this week to find business owners and marketers running through the streets screaming and gnashing their teeth as the news of Facebook’s algorithm changing again came out. What will happen? Business pages will no longer be seen by anyone…ever!
Facebook calls its algorithm the “Audience Optimization Tool” and it is optimizing the newsfeed to correct its focus on paid news and more specifically, “Fake News” delivered in the past. It will be making a significant change to the way content will be shared in the newsfeed.
In a post on Facebook’s Facebook page, Mark Zuckerberg said business and media posts are crowding out more personal moments. They want to encourage more “meaningful and personal connections and to do this they will increase content from friends, family, and groups in the news feed; and limit content from companies, brands, thought leaders, authors, journalists, celebrities and more. They want to “put the social back in social media.” Ask yourself right now, has your business been more social or more promotional? Are you talking to your audience or are you just posting content?
So what does this mean for your business? Are you doomed? Should you go out and buy that CLOSED sign to hang on the door this weekend? Here’s the simple math equation that will help you solve the algorithm problem:
If a post goes out at 8am and reaches 300 people and you multiply it by 2 shares and divide by 13 likes and 2 laugh responses you will get a score of …. Oh come on …do you really think we can EVER figure out Facebook’s algorithm? Instead of trying to outsmart the Facebook brain, let’s talk about 3 actions you should be taking:
Shift Your Thinking Back to Email
Let’s all remember that no matter how many people see your posts, and regardless of the number of fans you have acquired, you are on rented land. You don’t own the platform and therefore having a million fans that see your content should never be the endgame. Your focus should be to pull people into your email list and nurture the relationships there as well. (Nurture being the keyword. Do more than COLLECT email addresses.) Social media is the tool, or driver, to get new people to your property…your email list. (Read: What is a lead magnet and why do I need them in my marketing)
Create a Different Kind of Content
Keep in mind the reason the algorithm is needed: There’s just too much content out there. We all have more “friends”, more pages we have liked, and more ads calling to us.This algorithm change is just another filter to bring the best (or most popular) content to the top. Soooo… quality content is going to be CRITICAL. It has always been important, but perhaps now before you hit publish, you ask yourself questions like:
Is this unique information? Look around and see if others are posting the same stuff.
Does this elicit a response from people? Am I asking questions or making a provocative statement that will get people talking? There is an art to asking great questions. If you ask waste-of-time questions like, “Who wants to make more money?” “Who wants greater health?” you will get crickets (or you should). Instead, get personal. Talk one-on-one. Ask people to share what they think or what they will do with the information.
Am I providing content that people will find actionable and helpful? Does it give people something to ponder or do that will impact their lives or business?
Is this piece of content just unnecessary? You know the pretty quote overlays and the funny gifs we post to get likes? Well, those may not serve you well on Facebook any longer. Sure we may get people to chuckle and click LIKE, but unless a comment or conversation is started over it, Facebook will probably bury it 6 feet under.
Get back to basics.
In the old days, when we still had phones hanging on our walls and televisions sat on our living room floors, we used to get out and greet others on social media. We joined forums and groups where we asked questions, shared answers and formed a community. We got to know people who were not on our business pages and some of these relationships turned into friendships or business collaborations. I call it “walking about” (Read: 4 Tips for Better Social Media Management) and it will benefit you to go back in time and get social again. Build relationships on social media platforms. Don’t just post your content and sit back and wait for the analytics to show you how many people read it. It may seem like a tedious or slow process, but you will build solid relationships that will spread and who knows…you just might find your next customer or business partner.
So let’s agree that instead of wasting our energy crying over Facebook ruining our businesses, let’s get refocused and make some needed changes to our social media content and habits. I’d love it if you would share your ideas for greater connections here in the comments or of course you can jump over to our DIY Social Facebook Group and share then with us–you may just meet some other fabulous people while you’re there.
We also put together a “DO’s and DON’Ts for Facebook’s New Algorithm Changes” resource for you with actual questions and comments to use instead of the old “engagement baiting” LIKE THIS or SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS. You can download it here:
@GinaSchreck is the CEO at SocialKNX and loves connecting on any social platform to share and learn together. Just don’t send creepy private messages that just say “Hi.”