I have done a couple of articles on Facebook Live. I wanted to re-visit this topic again. If your business engages in social media at all, you know video is almost everywhere. If your business is not making use of this very powerful medium then you are more than likely missing out on sales, customer engagement, and brand building opportunities. One app that you can quickly start using that is a sure-fire brand builder is Facebook Live. if you really want to take your business to the next level, consider Facebook Live. It is just not for teens or young adults talking about where they are or what they are doing. It is a gold mine for business marketing as well.
So Why Should My Business Use FBL?
One of the things people appreciate about Facebook Live its sense of authenticity. There are no editing tricks or slick production values for most live video – and that's what people love. It harks back to the days of live television where people had to be good at what they were doing, or funny when they messed up. This makes your company real and accessible to your client or customer base. It shows you are human as an owner or manager. Now to get started…
All you need to begin immediately broadcasting are a smartphone, decent lighting, a relatively quiet space and a good internet connection. Even the smallest company can afford to go outside and talk into their phone for a few minutes. By doing this consistently and talking to your audience while you broadcast it is possible to increase engagement with your posts, This will help as Facebook will use it’s data to track and build your base. (followers to your page.) The gift of Facebook Live doesn't end with your broadcast. As soon as you stop filming, Facebook converts the video from live to a recorded video that your followers can watch at any time.
Unlike many other forms of content, it can be difficult for companies to generate compelling ideas for live video. If you get in front of the camera and do not have a goal in mind and a general idea of what you will say, it is unlikely your followers will continue watching, which can hurt the statistics of the video and may cause Facebook to not promote it as heavily. Here are some cool ideas that are proven to work. The bottom line however though is you must get comfortable being in front of that little smartphone camera and be good at ad-libbing your way through a live broadcast. Even with notes.
· Behind The Scenes At Work – No matter what kind of business you have, your customers want to know more about what it takes to make it work. Whether this means a behind the scenes look at a day in the office or a walk down the production line, there are ample opportunities to capture unique footage.
· Q & A Time – Regardless of your industry, you receive regular questions. Use your Facebook Live session as a way to answer some of the most commonly asked questions first. Then send out a request to your email list or online community for questions they'd like answered and address a few at a time across the span of several Facebook Live sessions.
· Promotions – If you have an upcoming event, special or launch, Facebook Live is an excellent way to build interest. Show people a little of what is to come or give them an excited verbal preview.
While Facebook engagement is good, it is not enough to simply have people watch your video if it isn't somehow benefiting your business. Use the attention you gain from the Facebook Live to move people into a funnel. There are several things you can do to accomplish this:
· Offer to explain about a topic in more detail on a blog post and provide a link to the post in the comments and description of the video.
· Provide a coupon code for a product or service that is good for a limited time. Be sure to link to the sales page to make it easy for them to utilize the code.
· Mention if they would like more free content like this they can sign up for your email list. Again, provide a link so they can do so easily.
· Create a free printable that goes with the topic of the Facebook Live and at the end describe it and provide a link. Be sure to use this as an email list builder.
Embracing technology for many is a hard thing to do. Being a host or “M.C.” is even harder on a live broadcast but remember. It makes your business and you accessible to your audience and customers. It makes you real. Finally, it will increase your brand and your market share over time. It is cheap, it is easy to do and Facebook provides all the analytics to help boost your engagements.
Tags: #facebooklive #marketing #facebook #socialmedia #marketing
We all love networking events. Finger food, drinks, and lots of people to meet. But networking can either be productive or you can sit in the corner with your friends and enjoy the atmosphere which is your comfort zone but you accomplish nothing. Networking can be both fun and productive.
Here are some tips I found that may help you get the most out of your next networking event.
How do you spend your time?
Many people are working at jobs that didn’t exist five or ten years ago. For you this can be a eye opener or an embarrassment if you are not up to speed in the latest work force job opportunities. The question ‘what you do’ may not always work at networking events. Instead, asking someone how they spend their time gives them runway to explain in fact how they spend their time and what they’re excited about in that moment. It’s an easy question to answer and will give you a better picture of the person you’re talking to than ‘what you do?’
How can I be of service to you?
It’s easy to get caught up in what your business needs are. But what can you offer other people? How can you be a part of lifting up other small business owners or if your talking to the owner(s), How can your business help their business? There’s two main reasons you should feel comfortable saying this to other business owners. It’s a kind thing to do. Being kind and helpful is always the right thing to do, as well as make the world a better place. Secondly, in the small business world, we survive by the help that we get from others. You want to extend the help you have to others so that they’ll be willing to extend help to you. This can create not only good will but excellent word of mouth to other penitential customers about how you act and how well your business actually is.
What’s the biggest challenge in your line of work?
Asking this question opens up a lot of options for the conversation. People like to talk about their challenges, so it gives your conversation partner a chance to blow off some steam. It’s also a learning opportunity for you. Knowing what challenges other business owners face can mean many things to you: a new opportunity to collaborate or expand, or a chance to hear about how another person faces their tough work days. Either way, this question is likely to lead to a truly engaging conversation.
Networking What’can be hard but make it easier for yourself by asking these kinds of networking questions. Don’t get trapped in the same old, same old. Mix things up and you will leave the event with a better understanding of who you just met. Oh, one last thing. Don’t throw your business card at everyone you meet. If they ask for it, give it to them. If they don’t, they probably did not want it in the first place. Being too forward and hard sale in your approach can do more harm than good.
Tags: #networking, #b2b #marketing #customers
Running a business requires you to be as productive as possible so overhead is lower and profits are higher. This is an obvious and basic fact of doing business.
However, not all business owners utilize the tools they could be to make that happen. One relatively new tool that is gaining in popularity, but not yet used by all businesses, is chatbots. Love em or hate em chatbots can help your bottom line. The dissatisfaction of these little guys however is that many people, especially our baby boomer population hate anything automated and feel disenfranchised from your business and want real people with real answers.
A chatbot is basically a computer program that can interact with humans over the internet. Their simulation of human language and behavior provides several benefits that can be used in your business.
1. Save Time
One of the great benefits of using chatbots in your business is that they save time. For instance, when used on your website they can provide fast, automated answers to most questions. Their use prevents customers from waiting a day or longer to receive responses as they would have in the past. This allows your business to serve greater numbers of people while increasing productivity and decreasing costs.
2. Save Money
Chatbot use can be cheaper than hiring more workers. Costs to have a chatbot built can range from 2K to 10K or more depending on the complexity needed.
While that may sound like a lot, once created you’ll probably save in the long run. One reason for this is that you don’t have to pay it vacation time, sick days, or contribute to its 401K. It won’t become injured on the job and require medical treatment either.
3. Provide Greater Customer Satisfaction
Another benefit of using chatbots in your business is that they give greater customer satisfaction. Chatbots don’t work 8-hour days and don’t need sleep which means they are always available.
Customers who pull up your website in the evening can ask questions and get answers right away. If they have product questions they may get the answers they need to complete sales. This can further increase your business profits.
Frustrated customers who don’t get quick answers, on the other hand, may leave your website and never return. Chatbots can eliminate that possible loss with higher customer retention rates.
4. Increase Your Customers To Increase Your Bottom Line
There is another benefit of using chatbots in your business. They may help you reach more people which can increase your customer base.
Since chatbots can be deployed in many styles of platforms, you can take advantage of that to help your business grow. Chatbots can answer multiple questions at the same time as well.
5. Cut Down on Errors
Unfortunately, humans handling customer service questions and other issues can make errors. They can forget things, transpose numbers, and make other types of mistakes.
Not so with chatbots. Based on the questions asked they will always give the right answers. This makes them a huge asset when used in your business.
6. Program Them To Lift Your Customer’s Spirits
An additional benefit of using chatbots in your business is that they add good humor. You never have to worry about a chatbot being in a bad mood. They will never turn away customers with an angry response, attitude, or glance.
They can be programmed to have a bit of humor which can make them seem more human like. This puts customers at ease and makes their experience with your business more satisfying.
It’s important to make your business the best it can be to generate greater success and profits. As you can see, there are benefits of using chatbots in your business that can help that happen.
The downside of chatbots is that there are many customers who hat anything automated and will always demand a real person who can answer real questions. They don’t like call centers with those automated screening calls and they don’t like robot chat bots either. I get it. Hopefully however, certain bots will work for your business.
Tags: #business #chatbots #customer relations #Marketing #customer service
Using Instagram for your business branding and marketing? You should and here are some quick tips that might help you kick into high gear using the popular app!
1. Be Real, Be Now, Be In The Moment
Be in the moment by posting content during cultural events and social media holidays. Whether it's the upcoming 4th of July or Bring Your Pet Day, share content that's relevant to your business and don't forget to use specific hashtags for the occasion such as #weloveourpets
2. Involve Your Fans
Whether you have 500 or 50,000 followers, involve your fans. Their opinions matter and are vital to the growth of your business. By involving them in your decision-making process, you can get more insight on where to take your business, while also strengthening the relationship you have with not only your customers but with the community you do business in.
3. Share your content and cross social platforms
Bring new exposure to your business in an organic way by collaborating and cross-promoting with other businesses or influencers that align with your brand. For instance, if you’re in the clothing business, collaborate with a fashion influencer that shares the same style and create cross content to share on both your and their social accounts.
4. Give Back
Show appreciation to your community by giving back through a contest or giveaway. Remember to always be creative and not over sell your business or yourself. For example, if you’re a automotive dealership trying to get new customers, create a short video asking your past customers to post their car purchase on your page and challenge them to get others to do the same. Run the contest say two weeks. The one with the most shares or likes wins a 6 month free oil change and their picture with you, the owner, on your Facebook or Instagram account you created and a maybe congrat sign on your outside sign or their picture in your showroom.
Hashtags: #instagram #social media #marketing #apps #digital media
Video platforms like YouTube and to some extent, Facebook are easily the world’s greatest time-wasters. We’ve all been guilty of losing track of time on YouTube at least once, because videos are easily consumable, very addicting, and highly entertaining. Especially watching off your smartphone.
As a matter of fact, studies show that a whopping 78% of us watch videos online every week and 55% watch videos online every day. (Does not include those of you watching content at work...Just saying)
Which is why Youtube is also the world’s viral hit-maker. If you’re on the production-side of a video and you’ve come up with a clever idea, you might just have a viral hit on your hands.
Video holds a lot of potential for interaction, engagement, and shares for creative businesses. And for that reason, it’s one of the best visual marketing tools you can use.
But it producing videos can be a little overwhelming, can’t it? Even with helpful video tools out there, many of us struggle to come up with simple ideas for video content that would appeal to our audience.
I’ve highlighted 10 easy, engaging video content ideas to help get your head thinking about creating something out of the box. My hope is that you’ll find a few ideas to implement and as a result, bring your business more exposure. So with that, take a look at some of these video tips.
1 Share a big announcement
Do you have exciting news to share with your audience? Instead of sharing it in a tweet or graphic, announce it in a short video and share it on social media.
2 Produce a parody
If you can come up with a clever spin-off of a popular music video or movie clip, you’re set. People love creative twists on new, relevant topics, so use that to your business’s advantage. If you do go this route, be sure to act quickly and strike while the trend is still hot.
3 Tape a customer testimonial
Shooting a quick interview gets your customer's nice comments off the digital screen and onto the video. Not only is this much more engaging, but a firsthand testimonial is also much more personable and repeatable.
4 Walk through a how-to
Actions speak louder than words. Use a video to show your audience how to do something in a video rather than telling them how to do something.
5 Host a Q+A
Have your audience ask you questions and answer them in a video. This works especially well on live-streaming platforms like Periscope or in webinars.
6 Provide a behind-the-scenes look
There’s something in all of us that loves getting the inside scoop. Whether you have a new product in the works or you’re in the middle of a new product, invite your audience behind-the-scenes for an exclusive look.
7 Share the making of your product
Create a video to show the making of your product over time and all the steps that went into it. If you offer a service, you might show clips of your process and share the final result.
8 Create a stop-motion video
People usually think of incredibly involved, over-the-top ideas when they think of stop-motion videos, but they don’t have to be all that complicated. Take quick photos of something in action and compile them together in a video creator like Animoto to achieve that same stop-motion effect.
9 Demonstrate unique product uses (or how not to use your product)
Instead of sharing a typical product demo or how-to, consider making your video a little more entertaining by showing people what not to do.
10 Introduce your employees
Do you work with a team of people? Humanize your business and make it more personable by introducing your audience to the people behind it. Have them answer some fun questions or tell a story.
Hopefully, some of these tips will help you with your next fun and exciting video strategy for marketing your business!
Tags: #video #marketing #digital video #social media #branding