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2018

Facebook can be incredibly powerful for local businesses to attract a very specific demographic. In some ways, local businesses may find Facebook marketing easier to yield solid measurable results vs. global businesses, given they are only looking to attract a specific local market.

However, oftentimes, local business owners are so busy running their businesses they may feel they don’t have time to use Facebook regularly. The good news is there aremany simple and effective ways you can optimize your presence on Facebook that don’t take a ton of time or budget.

 

Let’s look at a variety of Facebook marketing best practices for local businesses, exemplified by several fabulous examples.

 

Dundee’s Restaurant On The Waterfront – Cairns, Australia

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Dundee’s is a local restaurant in Cairns, Queensland, Australia and is a client of my longtime Inner Circle member, Lisa

Monks of Chipmonk Media.

 

Dundee’s embodies many excellent Facebook marketing best practices.

 

Publish a variety of visually compelling posts

 

With a glorious location on the waterfront and a scrumptious seafood menu, Dundee’s has amazing features to showcase on Facebook in visual format.

 

Dundee’s shares regular videos of the restaurant inside and out, and the spectacular waterfront view. You really get a feel for the venue from the video posts.

 

In addition, you can find an abundance of photos and slideshows of Dundee’s yummy dishes.

 

Our friends at Buzzsumo analyzed 100 million Facebook videos last year and the most popular video topic by a large margin is food.

 

Garner plenty of reviews

 

It’s very important for local businesses, especially restaurants, to showcase reviews. Everyone wants to know what peers thought of the food, experience, service, ambience, location, etc.

 

Dundee’s has a 4.5 of 5-star rating out of 422 reviews. In addition, Dundee’s added a tab to their Facebook page with TripAdvisor Reviews where we can see well over 2,000 reviews with very high ratings.

 

Refer to this post and Facebook Live training for ideas on how to increase authentic business reviews on Facebook.

 

Run fun and relevant contests for lead generation

Dundee’s encourages fans to enter a contest to win a $100 dinner voucher by simply sharing their favorite Dundee’s dish, or choosing a dish from the menu that they would like to try. The strategy here is to get the audience talking about their favorite meals so others can get a sense of the amazing menu.

 

In addition, the contest is hooked up to a Messenger chatbot which helps Dundee’s to grow their Messenger subscription list.

 

Whereas email open rates are around 20 percent on average, Messenger open rates are as high as 90 percent. Ideally, businesses include both email marketing and Messenger chatbot marketing in their mix.

 

Additional best practices to point out on Dundee’s Facebook page include a gorgeous cover image, profile photo and Our Story photo. These are three prime pieces of visual real estate on your Facebook Page and a picture says a thousand words. You can also put a cover video instead of a photo. In this case, Dundee’s chose a striking image that embodies the ambience and view.

 

Becca Rose Mystic – Mystic, Conn

 

Becky Mashuta owns the Becca Rose cosmetic store in Mystic, Conn. She is a client of my longtime Inner Circle member, Molly Mahoney, The Prepared Performer, who helps refine and implement her marketing strategies.

 

What can we learn from the Becca Rose Mystic page?

 

Publish regular video content and Facebook Live broadcasts

 

Becky shares fun Facebook Live broadcasts from her phone in vertical (portrait) format for personable updates, with fun masks and filters. Plus, she does desktop Facebook Live broadcasts using the BeLive.tv app to share behind the scenes, live gemstone sales, free Tarot card readings and more.

 

Integrate a Messenger chatbot app

 

The Becca Rose Mystic page hooked up an interactive chatbot that helps customers and prospects engage and discover more about the store. Additionally, on Becky’s Facebook Live broadcasts, she uses a keyword comment trigger to do free giveaways via the Messenger chatbot. This is a superb method for lead generation. Fans simply comment on the Live video with the appropriate keyword, and the chatbot automatically delivers the giveaway.

 

In this post, I talk about my favorite Messenger chatbot platform, Mobile Monkey.

 

Place Facebook ads

 

Becca Rose Mystic is also a savvy marketer that integrates paid promotions on Facebook. For instance, this simple comment trigger photo post ad invites the target audience to receive a free tarot message.

 

Placing Facebook ads with either a Messenger call to action or a comment trigger is an excellent way to begin 1:1 conversations with your audience.

 

Play City – Chula Vista, Calif

 

Play City is a fun indoor inflatable playground for kids ages 1-12, based in Chula Vista, Calif. My longtime Inner Circle member, Alita Mighela, is the marketing manager at Play City and is extremely passionate about her work.

 

Showcase your venue with a Facebook cover video

 

First impressions count and you want your page visitors to immediately get an impression of what your business is all about. Play City has a vibrant video depicting the epic fun kids can have at this venue.

 

Play City also makes regular use of video content, including Live broadcasts. Videos feature the daily buzzing atmosphere at Play City, kids doing their favorite dance moves, and Alita sharing fun behind-the-scenes peeks.

 

Use the Facebook Events feature

 

Play City makes regular use of the Events feature. A little-known secret about using the Facebook Events feature is that your event also shows up in Facebook’s newly revamped mobile app, Local. Local is one of my favorite Facebook apps; it’s super easy to use and has a comprehensive range of search features making it very easy to find all manner of activities to do in your local area.

 

Use Facebook’s Shop feature

 

Play City also makes use of the Shop feature on their Facebook page with simple admission tickets, membership and gift cards. Fans can easily purchase online on desktop or mobile. The images for each item are colorful and eye-catching.

 

Willowglen Garden Centre - Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

 

The owner of this lovely garden center is a client of my Inner Circle member, Diane Murray of Orbit Agency Ltd.

 

Willowglen Garden Centre owner, Richard Robinson, is a third-generation gardener and Diane tells me he would openly admit that before he set up his Facebook business page, he was terrified of social media and putting his business 'out there.'

 

Now, Richard has become quite the whiz at getting on camera and chatting with his fans in such a personable way, showcasing all the lovely offerings of his garden center.

 

Over a short period of time (around 15 months), Willowglen has managed to gain quite a following, reach a wide audience and has seen a significant increase in footfall and sales.

 

Just like Dundee’s Restaurant with their compelling food photos, a garden center lends itself perfectly to visual content. Willowglen’s Facebook wall beautifully showcases their range of flowers, plants, garden tools, pet products and more. Plus, Willowglen runs regular contests with fun prizes that helps spark engagement. This dog talent show contest is a great example with hundreds of shares and comments.

 

Facebook offers small, local businesses such a variety of great ways to not only showcase your products and services but, more importantly, to connect with your audience. Make your business more personal and inviting through engaging video and photo content, contests, and Messenger chat conversations. Amplify your efforts with boosted posts. And you’ll be well on your way to achieving greater success with Facebook, too.

 

About Mari Smith

 

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Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and

socialmedia. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day.

Forbesrecently 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.

It’s always easier to sell your products and services to people who know you than to those who don’t. More important, one of the better ways to increase your client base is to restart the sales conversation with prospects that have been through your sales process before.

I know what you’re thinking: “But what if they said, ‘I’m not interested in doing business with your company?'” That’s a fair question but the wrong one to ask. Better questionsare:

      1. How do I get past prospects interested in doing business with my company?
      2. Has anything changed from our original interaction?

 

Answering those two questions will dictate whether it makes sense to pursue past prospects. We recently helped a small business owner improve their sales process and increase sales by turning their past prospects into clients.

These are the 3 steps to turn past prospects into future clients.

 

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1. Identify why the prospect came to your business originally

Why did the prospect originally call or email your business? People spend money for products and services to solve a problem they have or to get a desired result. Companies that can clearly identify the true need of their clients can easily create predictable revenue. Knowing why your prospects came to you will help with identifying how to approach them again. There was something about your business, solution or messaging that led them to believe you could help them.

 

2. Ask the hard questions

 

Ask yourself and your customer difficult questions. For example, why did your prospect choose another company? Have they found the solution they wanted? What does their ideal situation look like?

 

If you know why people spend money, you can ask the hard questions to solve their problems. Asking prospects important hard questions is uncomfortable but necessary. Your prospects will appreciate your honesty and they will respect your professionalism for sincerely trying to help their business.

3. You need to ‘Follow up’


They say that there’s riches in niches. I say, “There is financial freedom to follow up!” How many times have you wanted to buy something and added time to the equation because you were unsure of the decision to buy? You ask yourself questions like, “Is this product or service good for me or my business?”, “Am I paying too much money?”, “Will this solution work for me because the previous company let me down?” Prospects think the same thing.

 

Following up with your current and past prospects allows you to restart the conversation, answer questions and position yourself as the expert.

So, how should you follow up?

 

Create a sales cadence on following up with them. In other words, how much do you contact them and in what manner? That can be via emails, phone calls, direct mail or a combination of all three. How impressed would you be if a company constantly reached out to you in different ways answering your questions and addressing your needs before you ask them? How many times have you heard of someone who needed your services but forgot you were the expert so they googled someone else?

 

The goal is to be top of mind for your prospects. You want to be the first person they think about when they think of your industry. If people know you, they can buy from you. Your past prospects already know who you are and they came to you for a reason…so remind them how awesome you are at what you do!

 

 

Read next:

Understanding the Sales Cycle: The Top 5 Tips for Prospecting and Closing Sales

5 Tips for How Not to Feel Salesy When Selling

The Five Best Customer Relationship Management Tools to Increase Sales

 

About Ebong Eka

 

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Ebong Eka is no stranger to the world of personal finance. As a certified public accountant and former professional basketball player he offers a

fresh perspective to small business planning and executing. With over fifteen years of accounting, tax & small business experience with firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte & Touche and CohnReznick, Ebong provides practical money solutions tailored to the everyday person, the aspiring entrepreneur or the small business owner.

 

Ebong is the founder of EKAnomics, a sales, pricing and leadership firm. He is also the founder of Ericorp Consulting, Inc., a tax andmanagement consulting firm. Ebong is the author of “Start Me Up! The-No-Business-Plan, Business Plan.

 

Ebong is also the founder of The $250 Tax Pro, which provides tax preparation and consulting services in the Washington, DC area.

 

Web: www.ebongeka.com or Twitter: @EbongEka.

You can read more articles from Ebong Eka by clicking here

 

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

 

Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.  ©2018 Bank of America Corporation

Who are “Affluencers” and why should small business owners care? The most recent Ipsos Affluent Survey has identified a subgroup of affluent consumers who have outsized influence on others’ purchasing decisions.

 

Dubbed Affluencers (a combination of affluent and influencer), these consumers have huge potential to positively affect how others perceive your brand.

 

Let’s learn who the Affluencers are, what purchases they influence, and how a small business can influence them.

 

Who are the Affluencers?

  • Ipsos defines “affluent” consumers as adults with $125,000+ in annual household income (the top 16 percent of American households).

  • The median age of affluents is 46 and their median household income is $178,200.

  • A whopping 71 percent of affluent consumers are Affluencers.

  • Younger people are more likely to be affluencers: 81 percent of millennial affluents, 70 percent of Generation X affluents, 64 percent of baby boomer affluents and 57 percent of senior affluents are Affluencers.

  • The face of affluent consumers is increasingly diverse. More than one-fourth of affluents are nonwhite; 17 percent speak another language at home; and 6 percent identify as LGBT.

 

What do Affluencers influence?

Affluent consumers have long driven trends in luxury and high-end products, but the influence of Affluencers goes beyond luxury to be felt in nearly every category. They spend more than non-affluent consumers and affluent consumers impact the following areas:

  • Alcoholic beverages

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  • Art and collectibles
  • Vehicles
  • Boating
  • Children's apparel/accessories
  • Computers, electronics and home entertainment
  • Home decorating/remodeling
  • Leisure/entertainment/dining out
  • Men's apparel and accessories
  • Insurance
  • Personal care and wellness
  • Skincare, cosmetics and fragrance
  • Sports/athletic equipment
  • Travel
  • Watches and jewelry
  • Women's apparel and accessories

 

Why are Affluencers so influential?

Affluencers wield influence because:

  • They make a disproportionate amount of purchases.
  • They’re trendsetters. Affluencers are early adopters of everything, from technology and fitness trends to restaurants and obscure travel destinations.
  • They’re a source of advice for friends and family considering purchases. Nearly all Affluencers (97) say people “often” ask them for purchasing advice, and half influence others’ shopping and purchasing behavior in five or more categories.

 

How can you influence the Affluencers?

Affluencers are a powerful target market for businesses to leverage, Ipsos notes. Seven in 10 U.S. marketers say influencer marketing budgets will increase in 2018, and 89 percent of survey respondents believe influencer marketing can positively impact how people feel about a brand.

 

Influencer marketing pays off. On average, businesses generate $6.50 in revenue for each $1 spent on influencer marketing, Business2Community reports.

So how can you reach Affluencers? Think media. The average Affluencer consumes far more media than non-affluents or affluents—their readership of both print and digital publications increased over 9 percent from the prior survey.

 

What’s surprising is the strong reach of traditional media for the Affluencers. TV is their No. 1 media source, followed by the web, mobile apps, printed magazines/newspapers, social media, traditional radio, digital magazines/newspapers, and podcasts. For comparison, 97 percent watch TV, 77percent listen to radio, 72 percent use social media, 48 percent read digital editions and 15 percent listen to podcasts.

 

In addition, 26 percent of Affluencers “like” brands/products on social media, primarily because:

  • It’s something they want to buy soon or already use
  • It’s something they want updates/information about

 

Tips to influence the Affluencers:

  • Reach out to Affluencers via the media they prefer. This will differ based on what you’re selling and your target Affluencer niche (technology vs. travel, boomers vs. millennials).
  • Share useful information that helps them assess a possible purchase. Affluencers do a lot of research before buying.
  • Appeal to their desires to be “the first” to have the coolest, newest thing.
  • Once they’ve purchased from you, maintain an ongoing relationship and collect as much data as you can.
  • Harness their power as referral sources to get new customers.
  • Enlist them to help promote your brand with online reviews or social media mentions.

 

Want to dig deeper into data on the Affluencers? Check out the full presentation.

 

Related Content: The Dos and Don’ts of Connecting with Influencers Online

 

About Rieva LesonskyRieva Lesonsky Headshot.png

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and Co-founder of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship, and the blog SmallBizDaily.com. A nationally known speaker and authority on entrepreneurship, Rieva has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media, Lesonsky was the long-time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and numerous local and national television programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, The Martha Stewart Show and Oprah.

 

Lesonsky regularly writes about small business for numerous websites and for corporations targeting entrepreneurs. Many organizations have recognized Lesonsky for her tireless devotion to helping entrepreneurs. She served on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council for six years, was honored by the SBA as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate, and received the prestigious Lou Campanelli award from SCORE. She is a long-time member of the Business Journalists Hall of Fame.

 

Web: www.growbizmedia.com or Twitter: @Rieva

You can read more articles from Rieva Lesonsky by clicking here

 

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

 

Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. ©2018 Bank of America Corporation

Summer is the season for family vacations, backyard barbecues and days at the beach. For a small business, it can also be a profitable season. With summer underway, how is your business doing at capturing customers’ summer dollars? Here are some creative midsummer marketing ideas to boost your business’s sales.

 

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  • On a scorching hot day, attract passersby into your business by promoting your air conditioning. Put up a sign saying, “Come in and cool off!”
  • Give away ice-cold lemonade or bottled water outside your business, along with a coupon for 10

 

Get Outdoors

  • Have a company picnic for your customers at a local park, lake or beach.
  • Put up a tent in the parking lot; grill hot dogs and hamburgers and scoop ice cream for customers.
  • Have employees wear sandwich boards, twirl signs or hand out coupons on busy street corners.

 

Hit the Road

  • Choose a tradeshow or conference relevant to your business. Make it a mini-vacation by building in a bit of sightseeing before or after the event.
  • Take a road trip to visit key clients. Many B2B companies’ schedules slow down in the summer, so your customers will be less frazzled and your meetings more productive.

 

Team Up

  • Get together with your Chamber of Commerce or other local business owners to plan a sidewalk sale you can all participate in. Put tables outside the stores selling small items, and keep your door open to attract customers inside.
  • Put together a monthly “First Fridays” or “Second Saturdays” event featuring musicians, face painting, and refreshments in your business district to attract customers one evening a month.

 

Join the Crowd

  • Find a local community event your target customers attend, like a fun run, classic car show or music festival. Sell products at a booth there or give away free samples, along with a coupon to get recipients into your business later.
  • If you don’t have the bandwidth to have a physical presence at the event, become a sponsor to get your businesses’ name in front of the crowds.
  • Farmers markets are especially popular in the summertime, and can be a great place to sell products or promote your services to locals.

 

Be a Good Sport

  • Take your best customers out to a baseball game, surf competition, volleyball tournament or whatever summer sport is hot in your area.
  • Put on a golf or tennis tournament for clients at the local links or country club.

 

Get Social

  • Get customers to engage with your business on social media. Have employees share their vacation photos and ask customers to do the same.
  • Give away company T-shirts or baseball caps with your logo and offer a prize for the customer who posts a picture of them wearing it in the most exotic vacation locale.
  • Hold a contest or drawing to give away summer-related products or services, like beach toys from your toy store or a summer spruce up at your hair salon.

 

Share Summer Content

  • Summer-ize your content marketing with seasonal information relevant to your customers. That could be serious stuff like pool safety tips for children, or fun stuff like 10 top nail polish colors for summer pedicures.

 

Heat Up Your Promo Products

  • Invest in fun summer promotional products, like beach towels, sunglasses, Koozies®, coolers or beach balls.
  • At an outdoor event, give away promo products to cool customers down, like fans, visors or spray bottles with your logo.

 

Help Customers Enjoy the Summer

  • If you own a service business, put together packages that help your customers get the most out of summer. An auto repair shop could offer a “pre-road trip inspection” special to get cars vacation-ready. A yoga studio could hold special “Mommy and me” classes.

 

Summer is short. Don’t waste your chance to make the most of this special season.

 

Related Content:

8 Stops to Prepare Your Business for Summer Tourists

5 Simple Steps for Giving Your Team Time Off This Summer

Top Hacks to Make your Store Profit from Summer Tourists

 

About Rieva LesonskyRieva Lesonsky Headshot.png

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and Co-founder of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship, and the blog SmallBizDaily.com. A nationally known speaker and authority on entrepreneurship, Rieva has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media, Lesonsky was the long-time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and numerous local and national television programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, The Martha Stewart Show and Oprah.

 

Lesonsky regularly writes about small business for numerous websites and for corporations targeting entrepreneurs. Many organizations have recognized Lesonsky for her tireless devotion to helping entrepreneurs. She served on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council for six years, was honored by the SBA as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate, and received the prestigious Lou Campanelli award from SCORE. She is a long-time member of the Business Journalists Hall of Fame.

 

Web: www.growbizmedia.com or Twitter: @Rieva

You can read more articles from Rieva Lesonsky by clicking here

 

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

 

Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. ©2018 Bank of America Corporation

Facebook-owned Instagram launched Stories in August 2016 as a direct copy of an already popular Snapchat feature. Today, Instagram Stories has 300 million daily active users. As a result, Snapchat growth slowed 82 percent.)

 

But what, exactly, is a "Story?" And are there benefits for business use?

 

Stories Demystified

 

A Story is a piece of micro-content that disappears after 24 hours.

 

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Stories can be photos/images, recorded videos, text with a colorful background, live video or 'boomerangs' (short, looping video content like an animated GIF).

 

Photos or videos can be uploaded from your camera roll, or you can record within the app. You can add effects, filters, stickers, text, interactive polls, animated GIFs and all manner of fun stuff to your Stories.

 

You can also add a clickable hashtag, @ mentions and locations to your Stories. This all helps with gaining extra visibility. Both hashtags and locations have Story feeds users can follow.

 

In 2017, Facebook also introduced the Story feature to both Messenger and the main Facebook app after Stories had already gained quite a foothold on Instagram.

 

“The way people share and connect is changing; it’s quickly becoming more real-time and visual.” ~Facebook [Source: TechCrunch]

 

Should you include Stories in your marketing mix?

 

The short answer is a resounding yes! For several reasons, to name a few:

 

  1. Micro-content is extremely easy to create.
  2. Both Instagram and Facebook position the Stories feature at the very top of their respective mobile apps. This provides tremendous visibility for your followers. Stories on Facebook are also very easy to create on desktop and are visible on desktop.
  3. People have very short attention spans these days and Stories are incredibly easy and fun to consume.
  4. For Instagram business accounts with over 10,000 followers and/or verified accounts, you can also add a URL to your Stories where your followers swipe up to go to your designated web page. (Now, with the launch of Instagram’s IGTV, you can choose to direct your followers to one of your IGTV videos or an external URL).
  5. Stories are growing 15X faster than feed sharing.
  6. Instagram boasts over 300 million daily active users and Facebook has over 150 million DAU’s.

 

“The Stories format is on a path to surpass feeds as the primary way people share things with their friends sometime next year.” ~Chris Cox, Facebook Chief Product Officer

 

Regularly publishing Stories for your business is a great way of producing micro-content for top of mind and top of feed awareness.

 

5 Story ideas for your business

 

  1. Do live broadcasts. Live Stories get the most prominent positioning at the top with a red “LIVE” icon. You can also do a “Live with” where you invite a guest on and Instagram splits the screen in half. Both your followers and your guest’s followers will see the telltale Live icon at the top. Your Live Story could be a product sneak peek, behind-the-scenes, meet the staff, customer spotlight, Q&A session, special offer, exclusive discounts and more.
  2. Conduct polls. I’ve found interactive polls to be an excellent method for sparking increased engagement. Instagram makes it super easy to add a simple and fun voting button as a slider, or a simple two word or emoji choice. You can even share the poll results later as another Story.
  3. Highlight user generated content. If you gather user generated content across your social channels, you could share screenshots with the relevant user @tag and an appropriate hashtag. These could be simple shout outs, or testimonials and reviews. Instagram auto-suggests hashtags when you start to type. Be sure to first search and settle on the best hashtag for your Story, as this can really help others discover you.
  4. Announce new content. If you publish blog posts/articles, podcast episodes, vlogs (video blogs), and/or live streaming videos, be sure to use Stories to let your Instagram followers know. Always include the related URL in the Swipe Up feature, if you have it.
  5. Share exclusive deals. Entice your followers to keep coming back to consume your Stories by regularly sharing special offers, codes, or unexpected bonuses.

 

Embrace micro-engagement, too

 

Whether you choose to include Stories in your marketing mix or not, I highly recommend starting to at least view and engage with Stories. This is a great way to create what I call micro-engagement.

 

When you view Stories on Instagram, the person/business will see that you've seen their content in their Insights. Granted, not everyone necessarily views their Insights for each Story, but many do, including myself.

 

When possible, try sending a quick reply or even an emoji response to a Story. This goes to the account holder’s private inbox. (Depending on user settings, the ability to reply may not be available on all Stories).


In closing, it is worth noting here that at YouTube’s 2018 VidCon video conference, the company announced that it, too, will be launching a Stories feature.

 

Clearly, Stories are here to stay and businesses would do well to map out a powerful micro-content strategy.

 

Related Content:

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Social Media

Facebook Privacy: What Small Business Owners Need to Know

Facebook Messenger Chatbots Give Small Business Owners an Edge

 

About Mari Smith

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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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