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8 Posts authored by: marismith

In a previous story, we discussed how to find your target audience on social media. Now, you need to entice your audience to visit your store and become paying customers.


Here are five key strategies for getting online shoppers to your brick-and-mortar store:



1. Offer exclusive store discounts


Create discounts that can only be redeemed in store. This shows that you value your online community and wish to reward them for their loyalty. At the same time, it encourages your community to visit your store offline. To add a sense of urgency, consider adding a time limit or create a mini-event offline to add to the experience.


2. Utilize Instagram shopping pins


If you qualify, use Instagram shopping pins. This will allow you to sell your offline items online. To learn more about this, you can read my post on How To Sell Your Products On Instagram.


3. Answer Q&As in your Facebook and Instagram Stories


When you answer every objection your customer has, you help them to reach a positive buying decision. By encouraging your online community to ask you questions and being transparent in your response, you help build trust, provide value and show people why you are a company in which they would want to invest their money.


4. Include clear calls to actions


When people are scrolling on social media, they aren’t in a ‘buyer’s mode’. Your audience isn’t going to take the desired action unless you ask them to. Be clear in inviting your online audience to come and check out your store with clear calls to actions on a consistent basis. Back this up with reasons to visit each time for the greatest impact.


For example, ‘Come and check out our Fall collection,’ or ‘Enjoy a warm cup of hot chocolate this rainy Sunday.’ It goes without saying that by setting aside a small budget for Facebook and Instagram ads, will enhance the results you can achieve with your direct promotions.


5. Promote offline


Just as you are trying to attract your online shoppers to your offline store, you are also trying to encourage your offline shoppers to interact with you online. If you can build an online audience out of your current customers, you can attract new people through social proof and the engagement they provide.


Your social media accounts should become an extension of your customer service. They should be part of your customer’s experience. If you can build a like-minded community of people and a culture around your brand, your customers become even more invested. Not only will they visit your store; they’ll bring their friends with them!



About Mari Smith



Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.


Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.


Web: Mari Smith  or Twitter: @MariSmith


Bank of America, N.A. engages with Mari Smith to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Mari Smith is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Mari Smith. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

As a small business store owner with a brick-and-mortar presence, you have three main digital priorities:


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    1. Reach your target audience online.
    2. Engage with your target audience.
    3. Entice your target audience to visit your store and become paying customers.


It’s a good bet much of your target audience spends a lot of time on social networking sites. There are currently 4.39 billion internet users, and 3.49 billion of those are active on social media, spending an average of 2.5 hours per day on the platforms of their choice.


Regardless of whether you are an online business or a brick and mortar store, social media is a fantastic way to accomplish your top business priorities in a time- and cost-efficient manner.


Reaching your target audience online comes down to answering the following three questions.


1. Who exactly is your target audience?


Social media is massive. It’s important that you hone in on who exactly you want to attract.

Here’s a tip: it’s not everyone. When you attempt to talk to everyone, your message becomes diluted and, as a result, it doesn’t resonate with your audience.


Instead, you want to focus on building a community around the type of people who buy from you. This way you can communicate in a way that captures your community’s attention and piques their interest to learn more. As a brick and mortar store, location will play a big factor here.


Consider demographics such as age, gender, occupation, income level and household set up. Think about the personality of your customers. What are their pain points? What do they value? What interests them? These can all be used to define your niche and the people you want to attract online.


2. On which platforms do your audience members spend most of their time?


On average, people have 5.54 social media accounts. It’s your job to choose the one or two platforms where the largest portion of your audience is engaged and focus your efforts there. For most brick and mortar stores, I recommend Facebook and Instagram. They are perfect for the visual aspects of retail.


If you try to be on every platform, you’ll likely run into resource issues related to the amount of time, staff and budget required to manage your social media accounts. It’s better to focus your efforts, stay consistent and make one or two platforms a success before adding more.


The easiest way to find out where your target audience is most active is to simply ask them. You can bring it up with current customers while in-store or ask them to fill out a survey. If your current customers are spending a significant amount of time on a certain platform, chances are, the rest of your potential audience is too.


3. Which similar accounts might they be following?


Most likely, your competitors are active on social media. They may have already built a community of your ideal audience, making it easy for you to find them. Similarly, there are likely to be a number of non-direct competitors who share a similar audience to you. They also have communities you can tap into.


You can easily search accounts on both Facebook and Instagram if you know your competitors’ names. On Instagram, you can search hashtags that your customers or competitors might be using. You can also search for your location on both platforms, which is a big advantage as a physical store.


Once you understand the locations, hashtags, and accounts that are performing well, take time to reach out and engage with your audience members.


Like posts, add thoughtful and relevant comments on posts, reply to Stories and show you are invested.


Connect with local business owners and learn from them. With the right ‘collaboration over competition’ mindset, you’ll discover opportunities to serve your customers by tapping into the community of others.


Now you’re ready to engage with your target audience


Once you’ve found your target audience, you need to earn their attention and their engagement with your brand. This is not always easy. It takes time and consistent effort but there are some best practices for you to follow.


1. Be consistent


Consistency will always have the greatest impact on your success. It’s important to post consistently and ensure you optimize your post for each platform. When it comes to Facebook and Instagram, a combination of photos and videos works well.


Aim to post on a daily basis if you possibly can. To help with consistency, come up with a content plan and consider using a tool like AgoraPulse, Hootsuite or Buffer to plan and schedule your content in advance.


2. Create thumb-stopping content


Your content has to be thumb-stopping to capture the attention of your audience. Use high-quality photos and videos that are visually compelling.


Definitely allocate a budget for content creation, particularly if you have a visual brand. Consider hiring a photographer and setting up your store aesthetic so that you encourage customers to take photos in your store and publish them online, too.


Share your products online and in a setting in which your audience can relate. Showcase your store. Give your prospects a reason to visit you!


3. Be sure to include well-written captions


Your captions should speak to your audience rather than at them. Including a question and some fun emojis can be a great way to spark a conversation and boost engagement. In fact, emojis increase Instagram engagement by 48 percent.


For video posts, always add captions, as 85 percent of videois watched with the sound off. If you’re unfamiliar with how to do this, you can use a tool like Rev, Zubtitleor Temito create these captions for you. Or, Facebook has the caption tool built-in for most video lengths.


4. Use location tags and hashtags


When posting on Instagram, always add your location to each post and include hashtags relevant to your audience. You can use up to 30 hashtags in each Instagram post. Discover which hashtags are popular and relevant simply be searching within the Instagram app and filtering through ‘Tags.’


5. Use Stories daily


Use Stories on a daily basis to give your audience an insight into the offline experience they can expect when visiting your store. Share behind the scenes of what goes on in your business. Not only does this build trust through transparency, it helps to build real relationships with people online and generate excitement around visiting your store.


Stories have a number of fun, interactive features. Use quizzes, questions, polls, GIFs, and stickers to showcase your brand personality and encourage engagement. Invite your audience to be part of store decisions such as which items to put in your storefront, your next offline promotion, etc. It shows you genuinely care about providing the best experience possible and helps your audience to feel invested in your brand, again, giving them even more reason to visit.


You can also use Stories to share experiences posted from other customers who have visited your store. This will create a buzz and provide social proof to those who are yet to visit.


For more tips on Stories, check out How to Make Stories Work for your Small Business.


Bonus Tip: If you really want to generate excitement, create a small ‘Instagram Booth’ in your store to encourage current customers to take photos/videos and post online tagging your company. This way you are also growing your online word of mouth through your current customer base.



About Mari Smith



Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.


Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.


Web: Mari Smith  or Twitter: @MariSmith


Bank of America, N.A. engages with Mari Smith to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Mari Smith is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Mari Smith. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

Imagine if you could add a small but mighty group of marketing partners to your team.


These marketing partners are all experts in their niches, and have followers on social media that closely match your own target demographic. These potential partners would


happily endorse and promote your offers. They get to bring additional value to their audiences, the audience members get exposure to your products or services, and you get more sales. Everybody wins.


This is the essence of a brand ambassador program. Creating such a program for your small business can make a dramatic difference to your marketing results. The good news is it does not have to take much time or effort to launch, yet can yield tremendous growth and profits for your business.


Forward-thinking businesses understand that consumers want honesty and transparency. Working with brand ambassadors can be extremely effective and affordable as there is pre-existing trust and affinity between the influencer and their followers.


People definitely trust recommendations from peers more than they trust brand ads. In fact, studies show that 84 percent of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations the most.


Brand ambassador program formats


Brand ambassador programs can have a variety of formats; you get to choose what might work best for your business model.


For example, your program could be similar to an affiliate program or referral program, where anyone can sign up on your website to get a unique tracking link. Ambassadors then use their tracking link to promote your offer to their audience. And, you only pay ambassadors a commission on sales they make.


Many SaaS (software as a service) companies offer more open type of ambassador programs like this. Examples include marketing automation company HubSpot, social media management platform AgoraPulse, and online video creation tool


You could make your ambassador program by application only to make it more selective and ensure you get quality matches. For example, Podium is a customer feedback software company for local businesses and they have a compelling invitation to explore becoming a Podium partner on their website. I particularly appreciate the verbiage on their inquiry form, “Podium partners with some of the most respected marketing consultants, business service providers, and marketing agencies across the globe.”


Alternatively, what may be most effective for you is to identify and proactively reach out to potential ambassadors. They may be known as micro- or macro- influencers in their industry.


The popularity of influencer marketing has quickly given rise to what are referred to as “micro-influencers.” These are Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest users, for example, with small but very loyal audiences. Conversely, “macro-influencers” are power users and widely recognized trendsetters, many of which have followings in the hundreds of thousands or millions.


Now, we even have “nano-influencers” on the rise. These folks are normal everyday social media users with follower counts between 1,000 to 5,000.


How to compensate brand ambassadors


Brand ambassador terms could range from a one-time project where you pay a flat fee and/or a performance based bonus. Or, it could be you work with select ambassadors with an ongoing monthly retainer for services provided. Nano-influencers are most likely to be happy with some free product or modest compensation.


Ambassador packages could include a mix of the following:


  • Monthly retainer for specific brand awareness campaigns and lead generation deliverables
  • Flat fee for a specific marketing project
  • Performance based compensation with commissions payable for leads and/or sales
  • Free supplies of your product
  • Free access to your software, app, or other services
  • Any other creative ways you come up with that are win-win for your business and the ambassador


How to find prospective brand ambassadors


Search social networks such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for specific keywords and hashtags to see if you can identify good matches.


Nano-influencers may be the easiest to reach and team up with, versus a major celebrity or certain macro-influencers.


Instead of doing your own organic searches, you might enlist the help of a service that specializes in finding you ideal influencers/brand ambassadors with which to work. For example, take a look at Influencer Marketing Hub.


Also, Facebook recently launched a tool to help brands and potential ambassadors partner up. The feature is called Brand Collabs Manager. You can visit my own portfolio by way of example.


Plus, your top customers could even become some of your first brand ambassadors! Review your list of best customers and reach out to them with an invitation.


What deliverables do brand ambassadors create?


Tap into what comes naturally to the ambassador and also what their audience most resonates with. For example, I love to do educational webinars and Facebook Live video broadcasts with educational content, and my audiences love this, too. The list of companies I’ve done this for include Hootsuite,, Podium, Telestream Wirecast, IMPACT Branding & Design and more. For Adobe, I hosted a Facebook live from their annual MAX Creativity Conference, with live demos of new products.


Deliverables endorsing your product or service can include any of the following on the ambassador’s channels:


  • Publishing content on any of the major social networks – in link, image or video format
  • Hosting live video broadcasts on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc.
  • Using your product or service and doing how-to videos
  • Leading educational webinars
  • Writing and publishing a blog post
  • Sending out a dedicated email broadcast to subscribers, or a mention in an email newsletter
  • Showcasing a case study of yours in a keynote speech if the ambassador is a speaker, for example
  • Hosting a live event


There’s no limit to what creative arrangements you might come up with for your brand ambassadors. For instance, I recently hosted a 30-day video-a-day challenge for I ran the challenge inside a special pop-up Facebook group where I gathered over 1,700 participants, 90 percent of which were new leads for


How to track your brand ambassadors’ results


There are myriad ways to structure agreements when it comes to results. It all depends on your business objectives.


Perhaps you’re simply looking for brand awareness and more visits to your website and/or foot traffic to your store.


Or, your focus may be on qualified leads that sign up on your website with their email address and phone number.


Ultimately, you do want to tie all brand ambassador results to the bottom line and quantify with actual sales so you can measure a solid ROI.


Finding brand ambassadors that match your brand promise and that have an audience of your ideal demographic are the keys to success.



Are you interested in hosting a Facebook Live event like I do? 


Learn from Carol Roth



About Mari Smith



Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.


Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.

Web: Mari Smith  or Twitter: @MariSmith

You can read more articles from Mari Smith by clicking here


Bank of America, N.A. engages with Mari Smith to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Mari Smith is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Mari Smith. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

Is Facebook still the king of social media? Although it’s been a difficult year for the platform, small businesses shouldn’t doubt the power of Facebook marketing. Find out why Facebook is the right place for small business owners and entrepreneurs.




Mari Smith:     Hello there, friends. It's Mari Smith here with you back again, coming to you from live sunny San Diego, and today we are going to be talking all about, is Facebook still the king of social media, and what makes Facebook the right place for small businesses to market, to grow their business, and entrepreneurs? So we have a packed session here for you today. I've prepared a lovely slide deck. I absolutely love to do educational sessions for my friends out there, and the small business world, as well as I work with major brands and a lot of different companies in different industries. We're going to talk about, is Facebook still the king of social media? Spoiler alert, it is, and I'm going to show you why, and we'll give you some great examples as well. So got any questions? Do let me know.


Mari Smith:     What makes Facebook the right place for small business owners and entrepreneurs? I know that right now, in fact, 2018, you'll see in a moment when I get into my slides, this has probably been one of the most challenging years for the Facebook team. You'll see what ... some of the things that they're doing to really support businesses. And then this session, I will tell you that it's brought to you and sponsored by the Bank of America Small Business Community, and I'll show you where you can get some terrific resources, literally thousands of articles written specifically to help small business owners and entrepreneurs, and I am one of the contributing authors to Bank of America Small Business Community. So thank you so much to be here ... for being here, my friends. Always a joy to have you with us.


Mari Smith:     So let's get on with it. I'm going to show my slide deck, and we're going to show ... Yes, I'm going live twice today. I know it was confusing for you guys, but it's all good. We've got some great content lined up for you, so let's dive in. This is a session brought to you, as I say, by Bank of America Small Business Community. Is Facebook still the king of social media, and why Facebook is the right place for small business owners and entrepreneurs?


Mari Smith:     Feel free to pop your questions in the chat as we go along. I will definitely take your questions, and anything that you have found that's working for you, in fact. I love to see examples. What's working for you in your small business, medium size business, as an entrepreneur or business owner? What's working for you, and also what challenges are you finding? Okay? So those two things. Tell me what's working for you, and also kind of what's not working. What challenges are you facing when it comes to Facebook marketing, and including organic or paid, anything you're doing with your Facebook marketing? Pop your questions in here. I'll be happy to take them for you.


Mari Smith:     Quick bio if you haven't seen me speak before. I'm sure many of you have. I know I've got our fabulous audience here today. I'm known as the premier Facebook marketing expert, hired by Facebook and Fortune 500 companies, top-rated keynote speaker around many, many major events around the country and the world, frequently top influencer and premium brand ambassador. I work with numerous brands, and always delighted to represent the companies that I work with.


Mari Smith:     So let's start out by saying some Facebook facts and stats. Many of you know this already, but let's just kind of lay the groundwork in case for some reason you've missed the boat here. 2.23 billion active users. Facebook is still the number one, and has been for 10 whole years. Ten years Facebook has been the number one social network. And don't forget, because this is where I love to help people to kind of expand their minds, all the audiences that I speak to from small, medium, large size businesses, entrepreneurs, I speak to a lot of small businesses and entrepreneurs. In fact, when Facebook hired me a few years ago to go on tour with the company, all the audiences, thousands of small business owners and entrepreneurs around the U.S., that's who came to these Boost your Business events.


Mari Smith:     I want to make sure that everybody knows, when we say Facebook, we're not just talking Facebook. There's an entire family of apps. And most people know this, but just a reminder, there's Facebook the main app, of course. Then there's Messenger. Messenger really is a standalone app. I just got finished leading a Messenger Chatbot summit, opening keynote for the summit that's going on today. Instagram, of course, and I've said for a year and a half now that Instagram is Facebook's next Facebook. There's now officially a billion active users, and we'll talk a little bit about Stories today, too. Stories is growing at 15 times the content in the Stories feed ... Excuse me, the content and Stories format is growing 15 times faster than the content in Newsfeed. So Instagram.


Mari Smith:     WhatsApp, of course, is the number one messaging app, outside of the U.S. Then there's the Oculus with the goggles, the virtual reality. I put Audience Network in there as well. Facebook sometimes calls ... There's not a separate app, but it's part of their family. Workplace, some of you might use Workplace. It's kind of like Slack, or it was like a project management, in house, communication platform. It's Facebook for private, internal, enterprise use, and then there's And then they even have ... I didn't even put it on the slide, but don't forget they have what's called Secret Building 8, if you've ever seen or heard of that. Facebook actually has this building, they've called it Secret Building 8 for some time, and they are working on some pretty advanced technology. At some point, they're going to be coming out with an in-home video chat device with facial recognition, and you will be able to do shopping and all kinds of things.


Mari Smith:     It got delayed. It was going to get launched this year, but for obvious reasons over all the challenges Facebook's faced, they actually had to delay the launch of that, but that's going to be competing with the likes of Google's in-home device, and of course, Amazon's in-home device. So conversational commerce is a very, very rapidly growing arena with activated by voice, and if you keep an eye on any of the Amazon stats out there, like you've got Amazon buyers and then Amazon Prime members, how they spend quite a bit more, and then even higher above that is Amazon Echo owners, being able to order things just by voice. That's a whole future arena, and Facebook has billions and billions of dollars, and so they are investing in that. They're at the forefront of many of these developmental technologies.


Mari Smith:     So when I talk Facebook, I'd just really like everybody to think expansive, and thinking about the wider range of everything that Facebook's doing. They also have 30,000 employees. I don't know if you knew that, and they've got offices in major, major cities all over the world.


Mari Smith:     So they also have this 10 year roadmap, and they've been ... They actually brought this out about five years ago, and they've been updating it. So here's Zuckerberg on stage, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, on stage at the annual F8 Developer Conference earlier this year. And you see now, they're at kind of the three year mark, focusing on Facebook and Instagram, and they're kind of in here between the three and the five year mark, where they're focusing on ... Notice the order they've got. Video first. Search was an interesting, because I've often found search to be very challenging on Facebook. Anytime I'm looking for anything on Facebook I just Google it. It's gotten a lot better over the years. Groups, massive emphasis on groups. See where my cursor is there.


Mari Smith:     Of course they've got WhatsApp, Messenger, Workplace, Marketplace. So these whole ... This array here, what's that? Seven different focus points, and we're right there. But of course, with an eye on the horizon to the future and the 10 year vision is connectivity, artificial intelligence, and virtual and augmented reality. So just kind of keeping our eye on, where is Facebook taking that vision in terms of small businesses? How can we be early adopters and integrate and maximize and optimize everything that Facebook offers? And I'll tell you, that's what today's presentation is all about. In several areas is definitely Messenger and Messenger Chatbots, and Instagram and doing Instagram Stories and Instagram Stories ads. Okey-dokey? So we'll go into that a little bit more.


Mari Smith:     So how does Facebook help small business owners? Well, these are some of the ways. To build a loyal following. Groups. If you don't have a Facebook group yet, and you're confused and not sure and kind of wondering if it's for you, well, it depends of course on what industry you're in and what resources you have, but I actually strongly recommend creating. You could create an open public group, so it could be open but you approve membership, or it could just be open, but I would recommend approving membership, and then that would be a free open group, so just really as a way to build out a different way of communicating with your audience.


Mari Smith:     I see a lot of tools that I work with, for example, Wave is a great video tool. I'm going to talk about that today, Or MobileMonkey, they're a chatbot company. They have, for instance, groups that are for users and support, and so often what happens is that you'll get a lot of peer-support, and so those are some great things to do as well. Also just even like a think tank or brainstorming, or you could have people who are early access to different products or features, and they're testers for you. So that was one way with a group, but obviously you can have your loyal following and the public on your page. Creating communities, also, in a group.


Mari Smith:     Selling products. Facebook has the shop. If you have retail, you can integrate a Facebook shop. Perhaps you use Shopify. Shopify is a great eCommerce tool that you might be integrating with likes of Instagram, with the Instagram shop tab, and then Instagram is bringing out a separate standalone shopping app. So if you have a retail store, if you're a small local business and you also want to kind of shift into selling products online, maybe you already do but you want to get more into that, keep an eye on what Instagram is doing with their new shopping app. Of course, you've got the ability to already sell products through Facebook shop, Instagram shop tabs.


Mari Smith:     Building influencer relationships. This is really, really a great, great way to elevate your reach and your results, is looking to align yourself with an influencer. They could be micro influencers. They don't have to have tens of millions of fans, or even hundreds of thousands of fans or followers. A micro influencer could be a person who has a very loyal, devoted fan base that's not competing with what you're offering, but could be a fantastic overlap and add value, whatever it is, to your product or service, and you could approach this influencer or micro influencer and start to build those relationships with them. And how it works is you compensate them. You compensate them for promoting your product or service or company.


Mari Smith:     You staying on top of trends for sure, you know, subscribing to different chatbots and/or joining different Facebook groups that really helps you to be on top of trends. Of course, a big sidebar there. I do have to say, obviously when it comes to Facebook, we've got to be extremely discerning and know that there is fake news out there. Unfortunately, the fake news is actually getting more refined. Christopher, my partner and I, we often talk behind the scenes about all the different kinds of crazy AI that's happening, and how easy it's going to be for being able to perpetuate news. Not even just news, just like videos of people that looks like it's that person, so we always have to go and check the source. Use your due diligence. Be Smart, be clever before you just hit that share button. There's all kinds of crazy memes that will happen out there, and we want to make sure we always protect our own reputation.


Mari Smith:     Be a person that can be extremely trusted. Be a person that has an impeccable reputation of always checking the source of content that you share out there on Facebook, and really all these different platforms, but primarily Facebook, right? Because then you'll be leading the way with your business, your brand, the company that you run, that people just know they can come to trust what it is that you're sharing, and that comes with sometimes a little bit of research. You have all your different sources too, and Facebook's gotten a little bit better about that. They put the little information link and you can see, and sometimes they'll even pop up a little warning and it will say, "Oh, this has been flagged as incorrect," or maybe you want to check Snopes or something like that.


Mari Smith:     So increasing SEO, for sure. On your Facebook page, you want to make sure that your about section has plenty of narrative, that you've got lots of keywords in there, you've filled it all out, lots of description and key phrases and keywords, because all of that is findable on Google. It's all findable on your searches. Now then, if I go into ... Yeah. If I go over here, and you've probably ... Every page has this little section here, it's called about. You can put an additional picture in there, and then people can pop this up. Whether anybody ever reads that or not, but this in here, this is great information. You can fill out as long or as short as you want, and you can format the text, and all of that in there is a for SEO, as well as all the information in your about tab. You want to fill this out as much as you can because all of that's really, really helpful for your SEO.


Mari Smith:      And then communicate with customers, no question. Obviously, through groups, through commenting publicly, but most definitely a very, very growing trend, a growing arena is the Messenger Chatbots. You can find out more about that actually on my page. I just recently led a Chatbot presentation with MobileMonkey.


Mari Smith:     So let's take a look now, kind of stand back for a moment. After having said all of this, we already know. We've drunk the koolaid, in a good way. We know that Facebook can help small business owners to grow, and that's important. It has all these great features, and it's been a challenging year, like I said at the beginning, and we have to talk about the elephant in the room. It's definitely been a challenging year for Facebook, so how do we rise above the noise or rise above anything that's inaccurate or that's been challenging and make the best of what Facebook really does offer us, and really take the high path?


Mari Smith:     Now this is Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress earlier this year. That was a very grueling time for him, but I thought he handled himself incredibly well, and we're actually now nine months on from when Zuckerberg, he first changed the algorithm. That was in early January. Remember he was favoring meaningful social interaction and posts by friends and family, so that was kind of the biggest ding, if you will, to Facebook page owners. You're a small business owner, entrepreneur, you have your business page, maybe you've been getting some reach, and then all of a sudden maybe your reach shifted up, and Facebook definitely does want us to spend money on ads, but at the same time, Facebook wants us to make sure that the content we're creating is adding value, it is sparking what they call meaningful social interaction, which is more than just a reaction. It's definitely more than passive consumption, especially when it comes to video.


Mari Smith:     Facebook has a mission statement just for video, and it's ... I can't remember it off the top of my head, but it's specifically ... I don't have it right in front of me, but it's specifically around generating community belonging and sparking discussion. Their video mission isn't just about getting more people to watch video. It's about creating that community, and that's why, for instance, they launched features like the Watch Party inside of groups. Watch party inside of groups is super cool. In a way, I wish they'd given it a different name because you've got the Watch platform, which is totally separate and different, but then you got a Watch Party, which is also a very different feature that is in groups, and you can create kind of like a mock up of a live, that you can go into a group, an admin or a moderator can create like a playlist, even. You can get your popcorn, sit down, watch some videos with your group members, maybe for education, maybe for entertainment, but it's all about creating that engagement.


Mari Smith:     It's also been a year of major challenges, obviously with the data breach scandal earlier this year, congressional testimony with Zuck and friends here, election interference, privacy concerns, huge stock losses. So as a small business owner, if you've been paying attention to the mainstream headlines for most of this year, you could definitely be forgiven for thinking, "Oh, I don't know if Facebook's for me. I've kind of tried. I don't know. I'm not sure if I'm getting the results I want." You could definitely be forgiven for thinking those thoughts, and however, that's the main purpose of my session here today is to help you to see the different perspective, and all that Facebook still offers, and all of the business and the growth and the sales and the customers that you can still access, and that you might be missing out on if you're not doing certain things when it comes to your Facebook marketing. Okay? So that's why I'm going to be going ahead and showing some more things.


Mari Smith:     Yeah. This is belive, I am a busy lady today, yes, and I will definitely share my slides with you and I'll get to your questions as well, my friends. Okay, perfect. So Chris Cox, who is the chief product officer. I thought this was really interesting. Earlier this year he posted that they had just announced they hired Antonio J. Lucio to be their new CMO, chief marketing officer, and he posted this real great picture. He used to be at HP, Hewlett Packard. Before that he was a CMO at Visa and PepsiCo. So he brings ... Look at this. He says an extraordinary reputation in the industry as a leader, a marketer, an operator, wise and gracious.


Mari Smith:     Now I pulled this part, it's further down in the update that Chris put, and I thought this really summarized where we're at right now with that previous slide in the Facebook landscape. Facebook's story is at an inflection point, right? This is Chris Cox posting on August 23rd this year. We've never faced bigger challenges, and we've never had more opportunities to have a positive impact on the world ... Yay, speaking my language ... in our families, our friendships, our communities, and our democracy by improving our products at their core, and then by telling the story outside that we all know to be true inside.


Mari Smith:     So kudos to Chris. I thought that was a really great statement, and you know, I've been evangelist for Facebook since early 2007, so 11 and a half years now, and my passion and enthusiasm has never wavered during that time. I've definitely had some challenging times, just like all of us here, when my ads get disproved and I don't know why, and that doesn't happen too often, but you know, I get frustrated sometimes, but it's at the core, at the core, I just absolutely believe in Facebook and all it can do for people, for consumers, and for businesses of all sizes.


Mari Smith:     So let me give you this slide on, what is working now? Having kind of just, as I say, addressed all the elephants in the room, what is working now? Well, organic posts. I'm going to share with you some of the latest research that there still is a traction that you can get with your organic posts. Definitely heavy emphasis on video, and Facebook is favoring creators. I'll show you some different resources of where you can tap in to get more involved in the creator community on Facebook. Stories for sure. I mentioned how fast that's growing on Instagram. Not so much Facebook, but it's still growing, and Facebook's bringing out ads to Stories as well, and then you've got Messenger with the Chatbots, and I'll talk about ads a little bit too.


Mari Smith:     So these components, if you do your organic posts combined with predominantly video. If it's appropriate, creator is not for everybody, I'll show you where to get your creator community and involved with that, sign up for that. Stories is something you can just start doing right away, Messenger Chatbots, and then refining your ads, and even just reducing your span. I found with me, sometimes I used to put a much higher dollar amount on my ads, and I'm experimenting right now with just a smaller amount, but doing more. More often, more promotions, but with smaller amounts, so always testing, always experimenting.


Mari Smith:     So with the organic content, let's talk about that first, and this is our good friends Buffer and BuzzSumo. They teamed up and they analyzed 43 million Facebook posts from the top 20,000 brand. Now, that was just recently, and I actually posted about it on my page, and we can get you the link of where you can go and read their study and all the stats and whatnot. I've pulled just a couple of them out here.


Mari Smith:     This is actually signals that effect the Newsfeed content rankings. Most of you know this, but just in case you don't, the average time spent on content, and Facebook knows that. I was leading a training the other day, and we were talking about this. So whether you interact with content or not in terms of reacting, commenting, or sharing, or actually hitting the play button if it hasn't auto played, Facebook knows on desktop, on mobile, if you have hovered, if you've paused, you've paused long enough to maybe gaze at a picture, or maybe it is an auto play video, and then obviously you're logged as a video view, but you might spend a while just looking at a post. And so that's a component. Overall engagement, the time it's posted, the type of content it is, how informative it is. All of these different factors go into whether a piece of content shows up in the Newsfeed for that audience or not.


Mari Smith:     One of the major factors by far is engagement, as we mentioned earlier, that Facebook's favoring meaningful social interaction, right? So you want to get your audience to comment as best you can, comment, ideally as a full sentence, maybe three, four, five, six words or more. Not just one word, not just like ... You can [inaudible 00:21:38]. I see a lot of people when they're doing a Facebook live or a broadcast, they'll say, "Tell us where you're from," and people will put the city in, and that's fine. That's a great way to kind of jumpstart the algorithm, if you will. Or you could have people ... Maybe you're running a contest and they comment to enter, and they have to answer a question. What's your number one question about our latest dresses we're carrying or what ... I don't know, whatever kind of store you are, or business.


Mari Smith:     I don't know, whatever kind of store you are or business you are. So encouraging longer comments, for sure. And I've also seen some experts in some schools of thought out there that say if you don't get much engagement on a post, delete it. I'm not a fan of that because I just always think if someone's commented, they've interacted and maybe they want to come back and read it, or maybe even they've saved it. And then all of a sudden, you delete it, but I don't know. Some people just really like to do that and if they're really kind of trying to boost the algorithm.


Mari Smith:     Instead, I would just try adding a few dollars to get a bit more reach and more engagement, or maybe try editing the narrative a bit if it's not as enticing for engagement. But even a few dollars can make a big, big difference to your organic reach. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but as you are spending money on ads and boosting posts, even a few dollars, what happens is the algorithm will automatically kick up your organic reach. So that's a good thing.


Mari Smith:     Here's your recommended Facebook strategy. You want to focus on the ROI, the return on investment of each post. Now, I've actually been been advocating this for years, is I recommend that you never put content out there, really on any social channel, that you're not willing to put some money behind. I mean, occasionally, sure. Stories is different because really, you're just telling a story, you're narrating, and of course you're being strategic and interspersing some business content. But generally speaking, we're talking right here with your primary Facebook page posts. Don't just publish filler content.


Mari Smith:     Of course, if you're a media outlet, if you're doing news, you wanting just posting a lot, maybe you tend to post memes or inspirational motivational quotes and they get good response. That's great. But I'm going to show you an example here of what I'm talking about. The ROI of each post, so instead of just broadcasting your message saying, "Oh, we got a new post up, go check this link out." And some people I see it's just very automated, right? And they're not getting much reach. Some pages I look at, they just got no engagement, no reach, and and they're basically just putting link posts.


Mari Smith:     But instead, if you focus on increasing your engagement and interacting with your audience, I will show you an example in a moment, and then if you're creating highly shareable content and optimizing for mobile consumption. So I'm going to go into these three components a little bit more here in my upcoming slides and if you've got any questions, of course, pop them in. I will come right to your questions as soon as possible.


Mari Smith:     Let's look at HubSpot, my friends over at HubSpot. So they have a relatively new Facebook marketing strategy. They're doing exactly that with the focusing on the ROI of each post. They pretty much stopped posting link posts and they're creating viral videos and images and not doing things that don't work, such as posting links to their websites. Now these are just screenshots of some fun videos. I'm going to go actually over to their page. Let's just pull this up and you'll go HubSpot, fill it right. Fingers are not working today.


Mari Smith:     1.8 million fans based out of Cambridge and Boston. I was just in Boston a couple of weeks ago. I was speaking at HubSpot's annual conference, Inbound. I love, love, love that cover video. It's really pretty. It says, "Grow better." So pretty. It's really nicely done. I love that movement. I love when there's just a bit of movement, but it's not too like in your face. It's not too intense. It's subtle. It's almost like an animated GIF. It's really pretty. So just calling that out in terms of video.


Mari Smith:     So for example, here's one that's from two hours ago. It's already got almost 600 views, and you'll just see the style of what HubSpot has adopted now. Actually, many pages are doing. It's just more educational. You see how this one's got the lower thirds. You want to design your video content that can be consumed with sound off. You can watch the entire video without turning your sound on if you want. So you want the text overlay and/or captions. In this case, this one has captions. There's Elon Musk, our friend.


Mari Smith:     That was yesterday, almost 4,000 views. Get some good views and as I scroll on down here to some more videos, you'll see there's about hacking Instagram ads. Same thing with the captions. Nicely done. And you'll see they alternate between a landscape format and the square format. Square tends to work really well for mobile. So that's a great tip for doing optimizing for mobile is square. Of course, you can always do portrait format as well. Okie dokie.


Mari Smith:     So this is just a great example. Now then, let me just show you one more. I know that there was one in here in terms of a link because often what HubSpot will do is a put a link in or they'll put a link in as the comments. You can totally do that. So the short, short narrative tends to work well. Short narrative, video post, and you can always put a link in the comment, first comment. You can also put a link right here as well next to the narrative. So that works really nicely.


Mari Smith:     So that's just an interesting strategy you'll see. So focusing on the ROI of each post, maybe doing one video a day, if you can. One video a day would be great. If you can't do that, do maybe two or three times a week making a video post and not a link post. Oh, I just have to give a little toot of my own horn. I mentioned Inbound, that's HubSpot's annual marketing conference. They just had this in Boston two weeks ago with 24,000 attendees all over the world, marketers, and celebrities, and personalities, and agencies.


Mari Smith:     And guess who was the number one influencer? 124 million impacts with my tweets. OMG. Two and a half times more than Deepak Chopra. OMG. He was the opening keynote on the first night. So just tooting my own horn. I don't do that often, but I really like HubSpot and I liked that conference. If you get a chance to go to Inbound, they hold it every year in September in Boston, lovely city, really like Boston. There's my friend Larry too. He's in Boston, founder of MobileMonkey. And then they're great. They always have great celebrity keynotes. Great. Great. And then Shonda Rhimes was there too. She was one of the keynotes. That's great.


Mari Smith:     So anyway, switching gears again, I'm going to give you some homework, my friends. So recommended exercise in terms of focusing on the ROI of each post, organic and paid, but organic in particular, of your main Facebook page. Go through your last 20, 30, 40, 50 if you can, Facebook posts and examine each one from a consumer perspective. And ask yourself, even if you're a B2B, just consumption. It doesn't have to be a consumer. If you're B2B or B2C. I always say P2P anyway, people to people. Just look at your posts from the perspective of a person in your target market. Looking at that post and say, "If I were to see this in my newsfeed, would I feel compelled to interact with the content?"


Mari Smith:     Now then, sidebar, interacting with content obviously means reacting, liking, commenting, sharing, doing the meaningful social interaction is definitely doing the more commenting as I mentioned earlier, more in depth commenting. However, there's a whole other school of thought out there, and there's actually some studies. I don't have it right in front of me this second, but the thing is that sometimes your best customers are not necessarily your highest engagers.


Mari Smith:     So they may, especially in B2B, they might see your content, it's top of mind. They've seen your ad, they saw your Facebook live, they saw your story, they saw your ad in a story. They keep seeing you in different places. They might see you in other social platforms, maybe they're on your email list. Now they're in your Messenger chat bot, they're following you on Twitter, or whatever it might be. They see you, but they might not ever interact.


Mari Smith:      And then all of a sudden, because it takes seven to 17 touches nowadays, and then all of those things I just mentioned are touches or they're interacting, they're seeing your brand, your business, your message, and all of a sudden they're like, oh my gosh, you know what? I'm in the need for what you're offering. And then they come in, they sign up, and they've never engaged.


Mari Smith:     So I put that out there because I want to be careful that we don't get too hung up on, oh my God, I've put this post out there. I absolutely have to get 100 comments or having succeeded. Comments are good, reactions, all of that, the meaningful social interaction, that's great. We're now kind of playing by Facebook's rules of getting that engagement and getting more reach, which is a good thing. And ultimately, what we want is more business. We want more leads, we want more traffic to our website, we want more email sign ups, and we want more sales.


Mari Smith:     So always keep those points in mind and don't get too carried away on like it's only about the interaction. So nonetheless, I do want you to go and look at your past posts and just seeing how compelling they are. See if there's something you need to shift up. Speaking of sharing, my friends over there at a Marketo, Brian Carter and Marketo put together this really great PDF and like I say, I'll get you these slides, but this is just in a why people share FB, whoopsies. My links gone one over like that, but you can just click on the link and it goes, it will take you directly to the PDF. I think it's a 35-page PDF.


Mari Smith:     It's an amazing document here, and I've excerpted out seven components of it, of what people share on Facebook and why they share it. So seven functions of highly shared posts. This is just one element of that fabulous PDF that Brian Carter and Marketo put together. Marketo is also a marketing automation platform.


Mari Smith:     Give. So this is why people share. In your post, if you give offers or discounts or deals or contests, I love contests. I do contests maybe about once a month or so and that always gets some terrific engagement, great comments. The advising. Tips, especially about problems, and this is a good one because you want to look at what are some of the frequently asked questions? It's one thing for sure for FAQs, but frequently talked about issues and problems and challenges that people might have in your industry that you could speak to.


Mari Smith:     I work with a lot of companies in the financial arena, for example, insurance companies, mortgage, et cetera. And we will talk about, well, what are some of the related areas? It could be a new tax law, or it could be about tax returns, tax time. It could be about interest rates. It could be all kinds of different areas that are around the finance industry, for example. Warnings, warnings about dangers that can affect anyone. This is all the components. Seven components of why people feel compelled to hit that share button on Facebook.


Mari Smith:     Amuse, everybody knows that one, right? Funny pictures, quotes. Inspire, inspirational quotes. Amazing, amazing pictures or facts. And then unite. This is a post to act as a flag to carry or a way to brag to others about your membership and group. I can hear my birds outside. They're rather loud today.


Mari Smith:     All right, so then you also want to optimize for mobile consumption. I mentioned earlier about how square videos tend to be good for mobile, but also you've got now what's really growing trend is vertical video. More than 95 percent of Facebook users access on their mobile device and a big factor that's actually driving that is vertical video. And I know even if you're one of the old school folks, I say old school tongue in cheek, that prefers to watch video ... Oops, I just hit stop sharing. I did not mean to do that. Not to worry. Bring it back up.


Mari Smith:     Put that up there and there it goes. My apologies. Now this is going to be ... Here it comes. There it goes. If you're one of the folks that tends to watch your, you prefer to see a video, for example, like right now I'm broadcasting in landscape. So if you prefer to watch full screen on your phone, you're going to tip it, right? So you tip your phone and watch it landscape.


Mari Smith:     But what's really been growing in popularity is this whole vertical video, which is the stories format, right? Nine by 16. And so that is really, it's definitely ... You're seeing it more on Instagram. You're seeing it on Facebook. Facebook has these funded news shows that are like Anderson Cooper, you know, ABC on location, Bloomberg has one. I did a whole Facebook live recently talking about that, about vertical video. And so Facebook is paying these media organizations to produce vertical videos. YouTube has now a whole vertical video thing.


Mari Smith:     79 percent of vertical video consumers agree that the format is more engaging. That was a Facebook study. 65 percent of respondents said brands using vertical video for their advertising, are "more innovative." Very interesting. Yes? So create videos between 30 and 120 seconds, right? Two minutes max for this purpose, for optimizing for mobile consumption. There's different types of videos for different purposes.


Mari Smith:     So for example, stories on Instagram are 15 seconds. Video ads if you're going to be doing pre-roll or it's called mid-roll ad breaks, those are five to 15 seconds, usually six is recommended, six seconds up to 15 seconds. And then in a moment, I'm going to be talking about the Watch platform and creators. And Facebook's really looking for three minutes or longer to get your videos on the Watch platform.


Mari Smith:     So we have to be careful when we're talking about videos because there's a variety of different purposes for them. And certainly for consumption, just general consumption in the feed, 30 to 120 seconds and shorter captions. Captions meaning the descriptions, the narrative that goes with the video.


Mari Smith:     And then certainly increasing your use of Facebook live. Facebook is still absolutely favoring Facebook live. It gets six times engagement than regular videos whilst it's live, and then a lot more as well continuing on whilst your broadcast is, people are catching it with the replay and whatnot. And of course, you can boost it afterwards. Oh, by the way, I had the boost button on my scheduled Facebook lives about two months earlier this year, and I think Facebook was just doing an experiment and a test and that was awesome because I found that I could get significantly more reach beforehand obviously with boosting a scheduled live. And then now, now it's just basically you can't. They took it away for some reason. I guess it was just a Beta test and I was in the Beta group and now it's gone. But I'm positive it will be coming back.


Mari Smith:     So in any case, with video and with live, definitely doing more lives and then also doing more video and image posts. Then you do link posts. Saving your link posts maybe for ads or what are called dark posts, which means it goes out as an ad in the feed or wherever you place it, but not on your wall. You use the Facebook ads manager for that. HubSpot example where you could see pretty much every post they're doing now is a short video. And then definitely using Facebook live more often.


Mari Smith:     Today, I'm using This is actually a talk show platform. You can have multiple guests on, you can have actually up to four people on screen at any one time. So if it was yourself and three guests or you could have one or two guests, whatever you want, you can have 10 people in the lobby, meaning that in the green room, you can see who's coming on. You can also share your desktop like I'm doing here. So you've got and there's numerous apps out there that will allow you to do Facebook live streaming from your desktop.


Mari Smith:     And then for creating videos, many of you know I absolutely love wave.videos. These are super awesome platform that allows you to pull from 200 million assets they have, video clips and images, and then also export in multiple formats. They have all the different formats, as I was mentioning about square, and then you've got landscape, and then you've got your nine by 16 story format. So this is really a great tool. You got plenty of music in here. It's just, you can add your watermark and different fonts and colors, really great. There's no excuse not to be making more video. That's just a


Mari Smith:     Let's look at a great storytelling example because this is an element of video that you'll see HubSpot's really starting to do a great example of that, of just putting human beings, putting people on camera, integrating real people into their videos, and doing some storytelling. I love to use this example, Raleigh Diamonds, a diamond store. Now obviously, if you are a jewelry store, you've got so many stories you could tell. I think most small businesses have stories that you don't even realize that you can probably tell, and so this is a great example of this.


Mari Smith:     On the left here, a couple that got just got married at 75. How cool is that? I love this example here on the right, Marquis and Amy, beautiful love story, and then so Raleigh actually created a video. Now I'm actually going to play the video. You may or may not be able to hear the volume that well, I'll turn it up just in case. It's a short, it's about a one minute excerpt of like a four or five minute video that was produced for Raleigh. So let's see if we can play that. Should come in. Come on. There it goes.


Mari Smith:     I'm Amy.


Marquis:          I'm Marquis. This is our story.


Mari Smith:     We painted the house together. I was 16, he was 17.  This is unreal. I'm so, so lucky. I don't even know how to explain it. It was just like magic.


Mari Smith:     Okay. So that, like I say, is just as a super short excerpt of a longer video. If you get a chance, you can go and check out the longer one. But that's a beautiful example of storytelling, putting the focus on the customer, and then as people are watching your video, whatever product or service that you're selling or offering, think about how you can wrap the storytelling element around a bit and create those videos. And it doesn't take a lot of expanse. It really doesn't.


Mari Smith:     Use a reasonably good maybe $500, $600 DSLR camera, some lighting. There's like a three point lighting always works well, and a good microphone. I actually have a whole video gear list that you can download. You can just go to and that will actually get you all the different gear that I use myself for my home studio and I also take it on the road because just with your phone, your smartphone, you can have the whole mobile setup and you can be capturing so much great video content. And then you can supplement it with using Wave, right?


Mari Smith:     All right, so I promised you I would share with you how Facebook is favoring creators and I strongly recommend that if you have content that you want to create and showcase on video, you can go ahead and go to You can register there and you can also sign up for Facebook's Launchpad. And they actually say there, it's ideal if you have plans to create videos. Remember, I said three minutes or longer and that's for the Watch platform in particular. Okay? So I'm just going to hop over there. Creators, and you'll see anybody can sign up here.


Mari Smith:     Facebook brought this out not that long ago. Ready to make your thing a thing? Welcome to a new community helping video creators level up on Facebook. So obviously, YouTube has a whole community of creators. You can go in any of these things. There's also a creator app, of course. You can scroll down here and go ahead and get more information. And then up the top here, here's the Launchpad that you can go ahead and click on that, and it tells you right here what that's about.


Mari Smith:     Creators are selected for this limited program to be eligible for cash bonuses and up to four qualifying videos. And then there's an opportunity to access and use your ad break monetization product, earn money through ads, design for video creators in the US. This is just for US for now anyway, for now, right? Longer. When they say longer, that's three minutes or more. And that's specifically, this is next generation television, my friends. This is absolutely Facebook TV. So if this is something you're interested in, Facebook's really favoring that aspect of creators, and you do get early access and all kinds of good stuff.


Mari Smith:     And then Facebook Watch, if you don't yet have your show. What Facebook is favoring is these episodic episodes, right? And you might have even noticed when you go to do, you upload a video, if you go in and you edit your Facebook live, you'll see now there's different features. You can say, it'll say, "Is this an episode? Is this part of a series?" And when you do select those, your video can now show up in the Watch platform whether you have an official show yet or not, because as I say, Facebook's really favoring the videos for pulling them into the Watch platform.


Mari Smith:     And you can also apply for your own Watch show. FB Watch Form will get you there. And that's just gonna be, you just fill that in and you let Facebook know that you want to, you have an idea for a show and you just fill in the details there. But don't wait until the Facebook comes back and approves you. You can go ahead and begin your episodic content, make a playlist, and do that all right there on your Facebook page.


Mari Smith:     Speaking of Facebook Watch, this is one of my clients, Sonia Stringer, and she's an expert in teaching women network marketing. She has a business academy, and she recently got into the Watch platform. She's one of the students and participants of my Fast Facebook program, Fast Facebook Results program. And she has now her show-


Mari Smith:     ... fastest results program, and she has now her show on watch. Actually, she chose to convert her original Facebook page into a show page, and you can do that. She has over 3,000 followers. You can do that or you could build a whole separate page, like our friend Gary, for example. He has his Facebook page, but then he has a separate watch page. You see people doing that, but it depends. It may not be for everybody, but this is just something to keep an eye on, and Facebook is really favoring and just moving in that direction of Facebook TV.


Mari Smith:     For sure, then we want to also embrace Messenger marketing, setting up your chat bot, maybe doing some what are called Click-to-Messenger ads. That's in your ads, in the call to action, you go into Ads Manager, instead of having people click and leave Facebook, or wherever the ad is placed, it might be placed on Instagram, then you can have people click that button and it opens up in Messenger, and especially if that's connected into your chat bot where you're going to begin to engage with your audience and begin a conversation, and maybe answer some FAQ or get them to do a quiz or survey to kind of segment and give people really what they want. You can find out more about that on the session I just led on my page earlier.


Mari Smith:     This is an example. This is a screenshot right here where I've got my red arrow, this is screenshot of an ad on mobile. That actually would be a video ad, and you can see the button there just says Send Message. This is showing you, I had the same slide in my Messenger chat bot session earlier, so this is actually a company I use called Mobile Monkey. This is a screenshot of what it looks like behind the scenes of when somebody clicks on that send message, I've set it up behind the scenes so that when they click the message, it comes and it says, "Hi! Thank you for letting us know you'd like to learn more. Want the full scoop?"


Mari Smith:     Then they just click that learn more, and then it goes ahead and it tells them more information and gives them the link. So it's really a brilliant, brilliant way of doing more lead generation, relationship building, customer care, all right inside of the apps. Right? Obviously people are coming out of the Facebook main feed or wherever they're seeing the ad, they're hopping over to Messenger, but Facebook makes it very, very seamless. So this is a really great strategy.


Mari Smith:     All right, a couple more slides, and I'll get to your Q&A. I'll get to your questions, and I'll give you the A. Okie dokie.


Mari Smith:     So start using stories. I mentioned about stories, especially on Instagram but also on Facebook, because Instagram is growing. In general, the stories format is growing at 15 times faster than the newsfeed format in terms of content. Facebook is actually predicting, we've only got a few months left of this year, and Facebook is predicting that the stories format consumption, like consumption of content in stories format is going to overtake, is going to surpass consumption of content in the feed format. That's both Instagram and Facebook.


Mari Smith:     O you can put stories on both your profile and your page on Facebook, and then you definitely want to be doing more Stories Ads. How you do Stories Ads is right inside of Facebook Ads Manager. You can create them, for example, using that I showed you where you can export in the 9x16 format. That's just a screenshot over here of an example ad.


Mari Smith:     In fact, this example ad is one that's actually being placed across a variety of formats. It's not just being created as a story format because it's got a landscape picture, and anytime you see the text like this in this example, it's like white text in a little black background, that would be the narrative that goes with the image in the link. Then the sign up or the call to action button as they swipe, or you can just tap that little arrow and it pops up.


Mari Smith:     That's the example of the Stories Ad. And you always see the little sponsored thing there too.


Mari Smith:     This is examples I mentioned to you of the growth. Right? Right now, as of June 2018, the stats that are official and public and out there is Instagram stories has 400 million daily active users, my friends. The whole platform has 1 billion monthly active users, and Instagram Stories. I love it 'cause I think it's like a whole subculture. People are going in there, and they're consuming content in the stories format proactively. They're not just kind of seeing it go by in their feed. They're tapping, and they tap and consume it.


Mari Smith:     Facebook right now only has 150 million, probably a little bit more than that by now, that was back in May. WhatsApp they call it Status. I don't know about you, but I rarely consume stories in Messenger format, but they're there, 70 million. Then I notice in this, Tech Crunch put this graph together, and Snapchat, the whole app, 200 million users.


Mari Smith:     Now, then, let me talk about the ads component, and then we'll get to your questions. Removal of 3rd party Partner Categories, that's really probably one of the biggest, in terms of targeting, the biggest changes this year. Then also they've tightened up Custom Audiences, which I personally am really glad about because for instance, I know there's people out there that will go and download their LinkedIn contacts, and think that's fair game to have those emails, and then go and upload them to Facebook and create a custom audience or start blasting those emails. That's just one of my pet peeves, I wish LinkedIn wouldn't allow that. I don't know if they still do, I'm pretty sure they do.


Mari Smith:     But in any case, the stricter rules around custom audiences, when it comes to Facebook, is you have to confirm and verify and guarantee that you collected those leads, those phone numbers or those email addresses through permission base, like people have actually opted in, which is great. I've seen, for sure, there's been an increase in a tighter process of ad approval. I've had several ads disapproved, which is not like me. I usually get all my ads approved, but I guess I'm just ... I don't know, someone told be the word you're, they don't like using the word you're. I'm like, "Good grief."


Mari Smith:     So I recommend maybe you could use audience insights, using your own custom audiences for sure. That's loading up your database in segments, so people who have bought from you, prospects, warm, cold, hot, different segments of leads, certainly people who visited your website, different pages on your website. Then you've also got engagement custom audiences, which is people who have watched your videos, and then retargeting them with other content. Then also building out look alike audiences.


Mari Smith:     Now, I know I'm giving you a crash course, and some people say stop drinking from the fire hose. Many people here, you're like, "Oh Mari, I knew all that already. Yup, I'm doing that, I'm doing that, I'm doing that. Okay, here's a few new things." Other people, depending where you're at with your business development and your use of Facebook and Instagram, you're like, "Oh my gosh, the more I know I know, the more I know I don't know." Right? Familiar with that saying? You're like, "Mari, I've listened to you for an hour, and I'm like, oh my gosh, I know about 10% of it, and I need to dive deeper."


Mari Smith:     I've got more trainings coming up. We'll do more trainings on ads and on Facebook, on Instagram, and on stories, and video, and all these great things. Segmenting, for sure.


Mari Smith:     All right, friends, as I mentioned, this is brought to you by Bank of America Small Business Community, and they have hundreds of articles for small business owners. The articles in the whole Small Business Community, there's actually a whole community over there you can join, you can interact, you can consume all the great content, it's designed to help entrepreneurs and small business owners grow online and offline. That's the full link,, or I made you a simple Bitly,


Mari Smith:     With that, I'm actually going to click it and show you. As I mentioned, I've actually been writing for Bank of America for most of this year. I'll just go ahead and sign in, like that. You don't have to sign it, actually, by the way. You can become a user or you can find lots and lots of content. But if you want to obviously interact, engage, then you definitely want to do that. So yay, look at that, I'm a Featured Expert.


Mari Smith:     I can show you my own content right here, as I just wanted to draw your attention to that. There's lots and lots of great articles. I have a related article that goes with this particular Facebook Live, Is Facebook Still the King of Social Media? I think I had a link. Oh, you know what? I think I put that link in the Facebook Live. I'll make sure to put it in the comments, too. But this is an article that I wrote earlier that goes with this Live here today. Is Facebook Still the King of Social Media?


Mari Smith:     I start to go into why small businesses must embrace Facebook Marketing. There's 80 million businesses on Facebook, only 6 million advertisers. And on Instagram, 25 million business profiles, 2 million advertisers. Massive potential for business owners. Still the world's number one social network. I talked about the family of apps, and Instagram being Facebook's next Facebook, the stories format. I talk about the past, present, future of Facebook. So a really good article there, definitely take a look at that my friends. In some ways, honestly, as I think I said down here, yeah, the 14 year old company, Facebook is going through some teenage growing pains, but they're just as strong, just as robust, and it's still a profound opportunity for everything that you could possibly think of to grow your business with all that Facebook offers.


Mari Smith:     With that, let's hop over to some Q&A, my friends. Let's do that, okie dokie. Great.


Mari Smith:     What are you saying? Hi, Ed. Yes please! What's yes please? Yeah, got it, okay, great. Guilty, I need to do more on Instagram, you got it.


Mari Smith:     Okay, so Natura's Foods, great question. She says is Watch only for US? It just in the last, I want to say six weeks or so, four weeks, Facebook now has launched the Watch platform globally. Okie dokie? Everybody should be able to see the Watch platform globally. Let's just go like this, and if I go over to my home page here, and you should see, everybody should see this around the world. If you don't see it yet, then it's definitely coming for everybody. But right here, it's the third one down on the menu, and it's going to show you all the different videos. Click the little arrow to go to the main homepage if you haven't seen it yet.


Mari Smith:     I like that they used to have categories, like what's popular now, what's trending now, what your friends are watching, what's funny, all kinds of categories. But now, to me, I don't know, it's just a big mish-mash. A big mish-mash. You could just scroll and scroll and scroll. You could just go on a total binge watch. It's crazy, right? There's everything from the Mayo Clinic to all kinds. There's Goop, our friend Gwyneth Paltrow, right? Seth Meyers, oh my goodness. Bob Proctor. Look at that, all kinds of things. Try not to laugh. Amazing what's in here. Jay Shetty, I like following him. Sad guru. Where's our friend Mike?


Mari Smith:     So is this a way of consuming content on mobile or desktop, or television? So this, where I've got overlayed is actually my phone. If I pull up my Facebook like this, and I go into Facebook, and this icon right here, if you can see where my cursor is, the exact same little icon, if you see them side by side where my cursor is up here, there's the Watch platform on desktop, and here's the Watch platform right here. For me, it's the second icon in. It might be different for you, or you might not necessarily have it yet.


Mari Smith:     If I tap on that, you'll see all different pages. They've got different. See how it's almost as if it's geared for mobile, right? It's geared for people to just totally, totally binge watch. Then they've got Today's Spotlight. So you're scrolling up and down, and then we can stop and scroll right to left from time to time. All kinds of stuff in here. They keep tweaking it, they're even ... See, you've got left and right for Live Now, and there's everything that's live now. All kinds of things going on, right?


Mari Smith:     That's the Watch platform, and they're featuring videos in there. Whether you have a show or not, you may or may not ... Oh, I hope my phone was showing there. I just realized that I don't ... Well, maybe it was showing. I think it was. Sometimes I share the phone just by itself. But anyway, that's great. So Natura's Foods, make sure you take a look and see, you probably already have the Watch platform.


Mari Smith:     Let's see. Okay, Steven. "How do you make a list from bots in Messenger or do you leave them in Messenger email list I mean?" Okay, you can do both. Beautiful thing, Steven, is that you don't have to have the email addresses because they're already messenger contacts. So you can message people inside of Messenger, within the rules, and you want to sign up for subscription messages, and you can go check out my other training I just led earlier. But over time, you also want to migrate, not migrate, but it's almost like both and, you want to give people the option to also give you their email address, give them a good reason to do that so you've got something new. You'll see the way I do it. For some of them, different opt ins or options that I have in the bot, like getting my slides or something. I might say, "Here's the slides," and I just give the PDF link, right? No opt in. But then I might also say, "Hey, go check out my video gear list," and that goes to an opt in. It's kinda like both and.


Mari Smith:     Yeah. Oh, Gayle, absolutely, yeah, creators. Creators would be great to do painting class. For sure. You have a great business, Gayle, as an artist, and I would definitely go to Creator and sign up there, and also the Launch Pad.


Mari Smith:     Yeah, and you said that you're a host on a show in YouTube, but you can, yeah, you can definitely just multipurpose those and put them onto the Watch platform as well.


Mari Smith:     Let's see what else we've got here. Oh, that's fantastic, another one. Gayle, you're so active today, I love it. She said she did a live with an organization you work with, and you were a host. You got 8,000 organic reach. That's fantastic! Everyone following the queen, you're the best. 8,000, that's beautiful. That's awesome. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

Mari Smith:     Thank you, Scott, I appreciate you putting that link in there.


Mari Smith:     No, for lives, it's funny 'cause people have different ... If you're going to go live, I'd say on your mobile, you can use the creator app and go live on vertical. I would do those shorter. But for me, when I'm doing more like this of a training and educational session, I would go maybe 20 minutes minimum, it could be 10, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, but I usually go for an hour. Sometimes if there's more questions, I might even go over. But yeah, exactly.


Mari Smith:     That's a good point Ed makes here. It goes back to ask yourself what do you want to do with the video later? Is it going to be used elsewhere? What's the layout? Yeah, good point, yeah. So even with these, like I'm in the center here, I can repurpose this as a square video, but then if I put in the questions or anything that takes up full landscape, that would be a different story, right?

Mari Smith:     All right. Anything else I can help you with here today, friends? Good, good, good. All right, excellent. Thank you, Ashley. Great!


Mari Smith:     Yeah, exactly. The call to action, the optional lead capture page, precisely. You got it, Steven.


Mari Smith:     And Karlyn, it's not about adding things to watch. The interesting thing, Karlyn, is that what happens with Watch platform is Facebook is basically pulling videos from all kinds of sources, and if you happen to have one video, whether it's live or recorded, or pre-produced, and you upload it, what they're looking for is engagement. So if you have a video, one or more videos on your page, whether it's part of a show or not, it doesn't matter at the moment, then what they're looking at is does this have engagement? Does it have views? Are people interacting, commenting, sharing? Then that could actually just show up in the Watch platform without you even necessarily knowing it, and more people could discover it in the Watch platform.


Mari Smith:     Then, Al, yeah, Facebook's definitely offered criteria. Oh, no, actually, that's a good point. It's not necessarily public knowledge, but they definitely are looking for that episodic content. Ideally, if you want a show, if you want a regular show on Facebook, then it does need to be episodic. So you're, let's say, it could be every day, mostly going to be every week. Ideally, it's what they call appointment television, but it doesn't necessarily have to be.


Mari Smith:     I just recently was watching Rachel Farnsworth, I think her name is, and she has Stay At Home Chef, and then she has recipes. Recipes Watch is her page, and that has over 4 million fans. Now, she is doing some great things, and you can definitely do well to follow her and all the cool things she's doing with the Facebook Watch and monetizing through ad placement, actually. Of course, when you've got 4 million fans, you can definitely monetize through ad placement, right friends?


Mari Smith:     Anyways, I think that's about it for now. I just want to remind you that this is brought to you by Bank of America Small Business Community, and you can find tremendous articles, all kinds of great information here. Business, general business, sales, marketing, technology. Look at all this in the resource center. Small business podcasts, celebrating small business. They've got a good one here, a spotlight on women, some great, great information here for all kinds of entrepreneurs and business owners, and then some great content, people you can follow. Actually, shout out to my fellow contributors here, Steve Strauss, Carol Roth, Ebong Eka, Rieva Lesonsky, and Karen Harrison. People who are influencers contributing content as well to the community.


Mari Smith:     Let me see, I'm just going to my content here. You can see all the different views. I think one of my most popular articles here, let's see 7,000. Oh, this one here, Facebook Privacy was most popular, followed by How to use Facebook Groups. Then we've got Facebook Messenger Chat Bot is another good one. Instagram Stories. Best Performing Facebook Ad Formats, and so on and so forth. We're just getting around to our September ones.


Mari Smith:     All righty, friends. It's been a joy and a pleasure to be with you here today. As mentioned, this is brought to you by Bank of America Small Business Community. Check out their fabulous resources for articles and all kinds of free resources to help you grow your business.


Mari Smith:     I hope by now you've figured out, Facebook is still the king of social media. Thank you my friends. I look forward to seeing you again real soon. Have a blessed rest of your day. Many blessings. Bye for now.



About Mari Smith



Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.


Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.

Web: Mari Smith  or Twitter: @MariSmith

You can read more articles from Mari Smith by clicking here


Bank of America, N.A. engages with Mari Smith to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Mari Smith is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Mari Smith. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

No amount of sophisticated technology will ever take the place of live, in-person connecting. However, the next best thing is video. Especially live video, when possible. I’ve said this for over a decade and it’s never been more true than now, given the incredible access businesses have to video and streaming technologies.


As a small business owner, you can really stand out with creative use of video – both recorded and live. The benefits of showcasing your business with more video include:



  • Better tell the stories of your business, founders/owners, staff and customers.
  • Draw your audience in with emotionally connecting videos.
  • Stand out in Facebook and Instagram news feeds. With so much competition for attention, it’s the autoplay feature that catches people’s eye.
  • Facebook has been increasingly favoring video in the news feed and especially recently with the global release of the Watch platform.


Facebook is determined to become a destination digital streaming video platform, right up there with YouTube, Netflix and Amazon. Facebook’s video mission is:


“Create shared experiences and a sense of belonging through video.”


It’s not just about creating and publishing more video content. It’s about building more community and sparking meaningful social interaction with your videos. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of publishing more video content across all your social media channels.


I recently teamed up with my favorite video creation tool, and conducted a video contest on my Facebook Page. To enter the contest, I asked my audience to share their No. 1 challenge with getting measurable results using video on Facebook. We received over 300 entries, and these were the top five challenges people shared:


  • #5. Gear:  Which professional yet affordable lighting, microphone, camera and accessories to use
  • #4. Confidence: How to overcome fears of looking silly, making mistakes, feeling too old and more

  • #3. Differentiation:  How to stand out when it seems everyone is doing a lot of the same things with video
  • #2. Content: Knowing what to say; how to map out an effective content plan
  • #1. Time: How to find the time to create and shoot quality, professional videos for business


Speaking of contests, Bank of America recently teamed up with Mastercard for a fabulous contest where one lucky grand prize small business owner will receive $25,000.* To enter, you simply submit a one minute video to, explaining how you plan to grow your business. All submissions will be judged for relevance to the contest theme/question and its expression of both creativity and originality, overall appeal, and entertainment value.  Four finalists will be selected and flown to NYC to present their pitches in front of a panel of judges and live audience on November 8, 2018.


Entering this contest is a terrific opportunity to practice your video skills. I suggest sketching out a storyboard of your one minute video first. Less is more. Don’t cram too much in. It’s better to make one clear point, versus packing five points into one minute. Ideally, talk into the camera, looking into the lens. Here are three simple tips for how to frame a talking head.


If you’re already clear on your business growth plans, it might be really easy for you to shoot a one minute video. However, remember it can take more time to craft a short, concise message.


Easy-to-use video tools abound


Time consistently comes up as a challenge when it comes to creating quality video and all social media content, for that matter. However, the good news is there are simple solutions to dramatically speed up the time it takes to create terrific videos.


First, compile existing photo and short video clip footage you may already have on your mobile device. Check with your team members, too, for useable footage they may have as well.


Then, using a free tool like Adobe Spark (available on both desktop and iOS), you can easily and quickly create eye-catching video montages with text overlay and music. Animoto is another great video tool to create compelling video montages from scratch or using their array of creative templates.


You can also take advantage of terrific stock photos, video clips and music. includes access to over 200 million premium assets – that’s a vast library! You’ll never be stuck for just the right photo, graphic, illustration, video clip or soundtrack to clearly communicate your brand’s message.


Another aspect I especially appreciate about is you can simultaneously create multiple video formats. For example, let’s say you create a landscape version of your video for sharing on Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. And then export the square version for Instagram and Twitter. And the 9:16 vertical version for an Instagram or Facebook Story – organic Story and/or Story ad. Plus, there’s even a Facebook Page covering video aspect ratio.


So, by taking one video concept, you can quickly create multiple variations and repurpose that same video for a successful cohesive campaign and save a huge amount of time. Then, when you launch a promotional campaign using your video content, your videos literally start popping up everywhere and your audiences across your various social channels will pay more attention.


To address some of the other challenges with creating video content mentioned earlier, do take a look at my new 3-part Video Success Kit with super helpful free resources!


Are You a Small Business Owner Interested in Winning $25,000?*


Entrepreneurs will receive the chance to win $25,000 when they enter Mastercard’s Grow Your Biz Contest. To enter the Grow Your Biz Contest, small business owners must answer the simple question, “How will you grow your small business?” by submitting a video up to 1-minute long online . Four finalists will pitch their business to the Grow Your Biz Panel in New York City on 11/8/18 for the opportunity to win $25,000 and small business-expert consultation. Learn more at

Facebook Live video broadcasting began rolling out in August 2015. Since then, Facebook has been aggressively pushing a video-first approach for the platform, ultimately competing in the streaming video-on-demand space alongside Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube, Twitch and more.


However, most businesses struggle to properly embrace live video broadcasting due to concerns of time, effort and resources. In fact, Buffer conducted a study that found:



              Forty-three percent of marketers said they’d create more live videos if there were no obstacles like time, resources and budget. [Source: Buffer]


Yes, it does take time to map out your live video strategy, storyboard the content, decide which talent will be on camera, choose your streaming tool, create a compelling offer and more. And then, there’s no guarantee your livestream will actually generate business results.


However, help is at hand. Let me open your eyes to the various ways you could easily integrate Facebook live video broadcasts that will yield a measurable increase in your lead generation, sales conversion and revenue. And, if you start with the end in mind and keep your eye on the prize, you’ll be much more motivated to take the leap into doing more live video.


Generate leads by connecting to a chatbot


When you do your Facebook Live broadcasts, you can schedule them as much as seven days in advance using any one of several third-party tools, including, BlueJeans Network, Zoom, Ecamm Live or Wirecast.


Once scheduled, you then connect the scheduled Live post on your Facebook business Page wall to a Messenger chatbot.


                         RELATED CONTENT: How to Use Facebook Groups to Build a Loyal Community


My favorite chatbot tool is Mobile Monkey. One of the nifty features is Comment Guard, allowing you to send an automated message to your audience when they comment on your posts. This allows you to also message those who opt in to your bot. At first, you’ll have Messenger contacts and you can then begin an automated or human dialog and request their email address and phone number.


                         RELATED CONTENT: Facebook Messenger Chatbots Give Small Business Owners an Edge

Sell your products or services


It’s perfectly fine to do a live video broadcast on Facebook, add value at first and then make special offers. For example, lead an educational session anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour, but be sure to intersperse your special offer throughout your broadcast, every 8-10 minutes is just fine. You’ll find the audience on Facebook tends to drop in and out. Ideally, have some text overlay on screen during your broadcast with details of your offer. Any of the Facebook live platforms mentioned above allow you to have on-screen text overlays.


Test everything ahead of time. Set up your Facebook Shop or use Shopify as a great online shopping tool. Selling your own products or services is one of the easiest and simplest ways to monetize your Facebook Live videos.


Promote affiliate offers


Perhaps you have affiliate relationships set up with companies where you receive commission in exchange for promoting their products. This is totally fine to do on Facebook, including live broadcasts. You will need to use the handshake icon to indicate a ‘Branded Partner’ relationship. Software as a Service firms (known as SaaS) or subscription companies are great for affiliate relations as the payout is recurring.


Be a brand ambassador


This is one of my favorite methods of monetizing Facebook Live broadcasts. You establish paid relations with companies you love and from which your audience would derive value. Again, SaaS or digital tool companies are great here.


Think about what companies offer products or services that would be complimentary to what you do.  What problems/challenges does your audience face that you could help solve? What products/services/apps/platforms are you already using?


Here’s an example broadcast I recently did on my Facebook Page.


You’ll need to use the Branded Content tool for any brand ambassador content. The cool part about doing brand ambassador work is you may be eligible to sign up for Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager feature where you build a portfolio to showcase your content and attract more potential deals.


Attract show sponsors


If you’re set up to broadcast on Facebook Live on a regular basis, then you’re in a great position to begin seeking show sponsors. This could simply be in the way of “brought to you by…,” or, “in partnership with…”. Or, depending on your show type, perhaps you’ll have product placements, just like you see on television. Again, you’ll need to use the Branded Content tool.


What are potential show sponsors looking for? Exposure, visibility, brand awareness, qualified leads and paying customers. Sponsors will be seeking a close match to their target audience. Ideally you are set up for “appointment TV,” that is you have episodic broadcasts that typically air once a week or more.


Conduct live auctions


Some businesses might lend themselves well to doing real-time auctions. For example, direct-sales women’s clothing company LuLaRoe has grown from 300 sellers in the US to 80,000 in just four years. This rapid growth has predominantly come from pop-up parties and live auctions using Facebook Live!


Get Facebook ads rev-share


I’m including this potential live video monetization opportunity here… but it could be a ways off for many businesses. Facebook does have an ad revenue-sharing program in place but it’s taking longer than anticipated to gain real traction. Time will tell. Of course, the ad rev-share model has done really well for YouTubers and eventually monetization through rev-share of Facebook video ads will pay off.


Remember, you can ‘go live’ anywhere on Facebook – your personal profile or business page, or any group you belong to, or any public event. Also, you can choose to broadcast live through the Stories feature on Facebook and Instagram.


                         RELATED CONTENT: 5 Ideas to Use Instagram Stories to Drive Small Business Growth                     


Use Facebook Live regularly. Facebook is giving priority to video content, including live video broadcasts, especially when you use the Creator App and/or when you broadcast live through Stories as well.


Set up cross-posting relationships. This feature allows you to automatically access videos from mutually approved pages and publish as a fresh post, but the video views are aggregated. This feature is now also available for Live videos and can help increase reach.


About Mari Smith



Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.


Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.


Web: Mari Smith  or Twitter: @MariSmith

You can read more articles from Mari Smith by clicking here


Bank of America, N.A. engages with Mari Smith to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Mari Smith is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Mari Smith. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

Facebook offers small business owners an unprecedented opportunity to reach your ideal target market with your message. With the right Facebook ad format, creative and offer, you can easily drive more foot traffic and website traffic to your business. Managed properly, your ad campaigns can yield incredible results, including generating more highly qualified prospects that convert into increased sales and profits.


If you are not optimizing all Facebook offers with its wide array of campaign objectives, targeting parameters, placements and ad formats, this article is for you. We’ll specificallyhone in on the best performing formats and placements.



Currently, there are over 80 million business pages on Facebook. Out of which, only six million use Facebook for advertising.


If you are among the 74 million businesses not taking advantage of Facebook ads, you likely fall into one of two camps:


      1. You’ve tried Facebook ads and were disappointed with the results. Perhaps you ran a few campaigns and didn’t get the ROI you were expecting. Thus, you’ve decided Facebook ads don’t work (for your business).
      2. You’ve never placed a Facebook ad and don’t really know where to start. Perhaps you’re overwhelmed with all the options and afraid of losing money. And/or you may be hoping that your organic marketing strategy will pay off.



The good news: There’s never been a better time to start using Facebook ads to grow your business.


12 Facebook Ad Formats


Facebook offers the following 12 different ad formats for promoting your message to your target market. This list is in my recommended order for both best performing and level of complexity, from easiest to more complex.


  1. Video – Tell your story with sight, sound and motion. Show off product features, and draw people in. The auto-play movement catches people’s eye. Video is one of the best performing ad types as Facebook is giving high priority to video content in the News Feed.
  2. Image – Use a beautiful image to convey your message. Drive people to a destination website or app through high-quality visuals. Image ads with a link work really well on Instagram in particular, given it’s such a visual platform.
  3. Lead Generation – Lead ads on Facebook and Instagram help you collect contact information from people interested in your business. A lead ad is presented using an image, video, or carousel, and followed by a lead form when the user engages with the ad. Facebook’s tagline for Lead Ads is, “Tap, tap, done.” It’s that simple for the user.
  4. Messenger – Get people to start conversations with your business. This format is particularly effective when you have a Messenger chatbot [BE2][GK3] hooked up to your Facebook Page. Plus, people seeing your ad don’t have to leave Facebook to interact with you. Well, they hop out to Messenger and then right back to scrolling through their Facebook feed!
  5. Slideshow – This ad format is a lightweight looping video of up to 15 seconds long, using between 3-10 of your own images or Facebook’s stock images available via Shutterstock. The simple slideshow format doesn’t take up as much streaming data to play, which helps to reach people across connection speeds.
  6. Carousel – This is a lovely format that allows you to showcase up to ten images and/or videos within a single ad, each with its own link. This format performs well on both Facebook and Instagram.
  7. Offers – Create a special discount to share with your customers on Facebook. You can design your offer ad to appear as an image, video, or carousel.
  8. Event Responses – Use this ad format to promote awareness of your event and drive responses. Event ads can be a single image or video. I recommend video.
  9. Collection – Encourage your prospects to shop by displaying a variety of items from your product catalog—customized for each individual. Definitely a more advanced ad format, and essential for ecommerce stores.
  10. Dynamic – Promote all the products in your catalog to the right people, automatically. Also incredibly effective for ecommerce stores.
  11. Canvas – This beautiful, immersive format lets people open a full-screen, mobile-optimized experience instantly from your ad. I don’t see too many of this ad type; usually bigger brands put the time and effort needed into creating this format.
  12. Page Likes – I put this one last on purpose. If your Facebook Page is really new with not that many likes (fans), or you’ve reached a plateau in fan growth and wish to build your audience, then Page Likes ads could be a good choice. Page Likes ads can be with a video or an image. However, I will say that Page Likes ads should be a low priority in your marketing mix. It’s best to invest your advertising dollars to place your message in front of your exact target audience. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying to get more likes, and then paying again to reach them.


Small businesses should first focus on these 3 Facebook ad formats


If you are new to Facebook ads, the three formats I recommend focusing on for best performance are video, lead generation and Messenger.


For video ads, upload native video content to your wall first and also broadcast using Facebook Live. Then amplify reach with the Video Views objective. But, before you place your video ad (boost your video content) make sure you’ve included a strong call to action and a link, or Messenger button.


For almost all ad formats, you can include a link to drive people to your website to learn more about your business or special offer.


You’ll want to run many split tests when driving people off of Facebook. Ideally, send people to a very simple landing page with no extraneous buttons. Just a clean, simple offer to sign up with their name/email/phone number or to make a purchase. Make sure you have Facebook Pixel installed on your landing pages.


To learn from real businesses of all sizes generating amazing results with their Facebook ads, visit Facebook’s Success Stories.


In future articles, I’ll be walking you through additional aspects of how to get solid results with Facebook ads.



About Mari Smith



Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.


Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.


Web: Mari Smith  or Twitter: @MariSmith

You can read more articles from Mari Smith by clicking here


Bank of America, N.A. engages with Mari Smith to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Mari Smith is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Mari Smith. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

Facebook has been facing tremendous pressure and media attention as the company has come under fire due to data third-party app companies have been able to access.


The discovery and exposure has caused Facebook to roll out a number of sweeping changes to its data policy, user terms and privacy settings. This is a good thing. But, the data breach concerns have also caused significant unrest among users in the business community.

As a small business owner, what can you do to address privacy concerns among your community?


1. Craft a public statement about measures your company takes to protect privacy.


  • With consumer emotions running high right now regarding data protection and privacy, you can empathize with your audience96497415_s.jpg and quell tension.
  • Even a simple statement about how much you value your customers and audience, and what your company does to protect their data, would go a long way to deepen trust.
  • Consider publishing this statement on your Facebook Page as a wall post, as well as in your About section – and on your website.


2. Lead by example and take this opportunity to strengthen relationships with your audience.


  • Review your company’s own privacy policy. Is it clear and up to date? Is it obvious where to find your policy when visitors come to your website and enter their email address or make a purchase?
  • If you have a physical store, are your privacy terms clearly on display for customers?
  • Email your database. Let them know how much you value their trust in you. Communicate clearly what your company does to protect your customers’ data. Include a link to your privacy/data protection policy and terms.


3. Review the settings on your company’s Facebook business Page.


  • Check any third-party apps that have access to your Page. To do so: click Settings at the top of your Page, and then click Apps. Remove any app you no longer use or that you no longer want. Ensure that you remove these by clicking the ‘x.’ Then, double check any apps on public display by first viewing your main Page and look at the tabs down the left. Next, navigate to Settings > Edit Page and click on the ‘Settings’ button next to any tab you wish to toggle off. (There may be some apps you wish to keep connected, but just not on public display for now).
  • Consider certain restrictions. Everything you publish on your business Page is public by default and there is no way to change this. However, you may wish to set country and age restrictions to control who can see and like your Page. Click Settings at the top of your Page. Under General, go to Country Restrictions and click Edit. Choose the options you prefer, then click the Save Changes button. Do the same for Age Restrictions, if applicable.


If you were already utilizing Facebook’s ad products, you should definitely continue doing so. Facebook is tightening up data access and reducing some targeting parameters. However, Facebook ads still provide exceptional capabilities and can yield tremendous results.


If appropriate, you might also communicate to your audience that you advertise on Facebook and plan to continue doing so. Help your audience understand the measures that Facebook is now taking to help protect their data and significantly restrict third party access going forward.


The more you can educate your audience about the measures your business already takes to protect their data, the more you can foster trust and earn customer satisfaction.


About Mari Smith


Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.


Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.


Web: Mari Smith  or Twitter: @MariSmith

You can read more articles from Mari Smith by clicking here


Bank of America, N.A. engages with Mari Smith to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Mari Smith is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Mari Smith. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

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