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11 Posts authored by: marismith

Aside from meeting someone in real life, video is the best way for small business owners to connect with prospects, clients and fans. There’s nothing like a real or virtual face-to-face encounter to develop that know, like and trust factor.

 

Whether you want to do a live video broadcast to educate, create your own show, be a guest expert for someone else, or both, there are plenty of opportunities for Facebook Live video in your small business marketing.

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Related: How to Identify Facebook Live Opportunities for Your Small Business

 

Facebook Live in Groups

 

Facebook has made Groups a priority, giving admins new features, such as welcome posts, member profiles, and badges to foster community among their members.

 

Related: How to Use Facebook Groups to Build a Loyal Community

 

Posting regular updates in your group, as well as starting threads that encourage conversation, is a must. Broadcasting live video inside your Facebook Group is a great way to share information, while bringing your group members together.

 

    • Joey Vitale is a lawyer with an Indie Law Facebook page that helps entrepreneurs through the trademark process. Vitale used regular Facebook Lives to build the law firm’s connected group to 7,000 members. Note: His firm recently re-niched their focus to Trademark Law for Online Entrepreneurs, and the new Facebook group is already rapidly growing using the same strategy.

 

    • The Market Like a Nerd Facebook group, aimed at female coaches and service providers, has a schedule of fun and informative posts, where the team “goes LIVE in the group to provide you NO-PITCH, VALUE ONLY content so you can turn up your marketing game in your business.”

 

No matter what your expertise, if you run a Facebook Group you can easily visit with your members regularly through Facebook live.

 

Facebook Live with a Sponsor

 

Branded content is an excellent way to earn money, while exposing your audience to complementary tools, products, or services. Many of my Facebook lives are monetized this way.

 

Here are examples of branded content I created for:

 

 

Target potential collaborators (brands, SaaS companies), and learn about their brands. Once you develop relationships with the companies you want to evangelize, invite them to be a Facebook Live sponsor. Remember, creators and publishers are responsible for tagging a business partner's Page when posting branded content.

 

Do an educational Facebook Live video broadcast and make a soft offer. Sponsored content works best when you choose the items you love to share with your audience. You want to seek out the most mutually beneficial situations.

 

As an influencer or brand ambassador, you may be eligible to sign up for Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager feature. This will enable you to build a portfolio to showcase your content and potentially attract more deals.

 

Facebook Live Regular Show

 

As a small business owner, you ideally want to be the go-to-expert in your industry. To share your knowledge, tips, and trends in your industry, create a regular Facebook Live show. Broadcast on your Facebook business page and encourage your viewers to engage with your content by asking relevant questions.

 

    • Multiple New York Times best-selling author, wellness activist, and cancer thriver Kris Carr goes live on Facebook every week for Wellness Wednesday. Her lives are fairly informal, personal and highly engaging. Plus, she does a nice mix of uploaded videos in-between.

 

    • Live Streaming Pros David Foster and Luria Petrucci practice what they preach. They build professional studios for clients, and their regular broadcasts - every Tuesday and Friday at 1pm PT - are very educational. Their lives span multiple pages, and are also shared on YouTube, Twitch.tv and now Microsoft’s Mixer.

 

Keep in mind, many of your fans and followers may watch your Facebook Live videos after the fact, which is fine. However, if you broadcast consistently, discuss relevant topics, share actionable advice, and interact with your loyal following, it may turn your show into appointment TV.

 

Facebook Live Guest Expert

 

If you prefer not to produce your own show, seek out opportunities to be a guest expert on “talk shows” in your industry.

 

    • Ecamm Live is a professional Facebook Live streaming software (for Macs). The founders recently launched a live series called Meet the Pros, where they bring on regular users to talk about how they are using the software.
    • Agorapulse is a top social media management tool. They just launched a new weekly social media news show called Social Pulse Weekly, hosted by Jennifer Watson, formerly of The Weather Channel. 

 

Look for Facebook live shows either in your field or industry-adjacent. For instance, if you have a CPA or a website design firm, you can adapt your topic to a variety of niches. Once you find Facebook Live shows that may be a fit, watch them, figure out how you can add value to their audience, and send a pitch.

 

Final Thoughts

 

Since its rollout in August 2015, Facebook Live has continued to grow in popularity. Especially over the last year, as people have become more comfortable recording live video, there’s really nothing stopping small business owners from truly utilizing the platform.


Give it a try. There are plenty of opportunities for your business to shine on Facebook live. You just need to look for opportunities to go live … or create them yourself.

 

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

 

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.

Pinterest is a social network enabling individuals and businesses to post and find content through boards (groupings) of pins (content) with a common theme.

 

Like Instagram, Pinterest is visually based, so businesses can use it to give clients and prospects a window into their world. Businesses can share insights and experiences related to their company and industry, as well as to promote products and services.

 

However, there is also a planning component to Pinterest. Many of Pinterest’s more than 250 million monthly users go on the platform to discover new interests, skills, or information regarding a future event or activity. And,  Pinterest is also one of the largest search engines. This makes it the perfect platform for service-based businesses to highlight their value and expertise, so potential clients and customers can discover who they are and what they have to offer.

 

Creating Pins on Pinterest

 

Before you start selling on Pinterest, take the time to explore the platform. Visit similar or complementary businesses to see how they are using the Pinterest - types of content (photos, infographics, videos) - and put your own spin on it. Then, create boards relevant to your business with pins that educate, but also highlight your services and expertise. Remember, you want content that’s visually appealing, on-brand, and has relevant keywords (hashtags) in the description.

 

Here are some great examples of what small businesses are doing with Pinterest:

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  • TheYogaNomads offer education (online courses and consultations) and information for current and future yogaeachers. They have boards on “Business of Yoga,” “Yoga Poses,” “Blogging for Yoga Teachers” and more. Their pins link to articles on their website, such as “How to Theme a Yoga Class.” TheYogaNomads use Pinterest to drive traffic to their website, where they offer more free content, newsletter signup, and paid offerings.

 

 

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  • Chef Todd Mohr’s business is web-based cooking classes. His boards and pins, which range from recipes to cooking techniques, link to a free webinar sign up or a video replay. He then uses the webinars - an example of his teaching style and knowledge-base - to promote his online cooking education.

 

Pinterest is not just for shops, crafters, and restaurants. Marketers, writers, editors, virtual assistants, teachers, web developers, and other professionals are using Pinterest to reach new audiences and sell their services.

 

When you are ready to start selling on Pinterest, switch over to a business account.

 

How to Use Promoted Pins

 

To bring more attention to your pins, advertise. Ideally you want to select your pins that are already doing well (getting impressions) to capitalize on their engagement. Check analytics to find out which ones these are. Before promoting, edit the name of your pin, so it’s easy to find. Also, make sure the pin links to your website; you may want to update the url to one you can track through UTM codes or bitly.

 

There are two ways to create promoted pins.

 

Promote from the pin:

  • Pick a pin to promote
  • Choose your targeting
  • Set the budget and ad duration
  • Publish

 

Create a promoted pin in Ads Manager:

  • Select Create Ad
  • Choose a campaign goal: build awareness, drive traffic, grow sales
  • Enter ad group details
  • Choose your targeting
  • Set the budget and schedule the ad
  • Select a pin
  • Submit for review

 

If you want your ad approved, Pinterest suggests avoiding the following:

  • Images with promotions and prices
  • False sense of urgency
  • Excessive symbology or hashtags
  • No content on destination landing page
  • Images with calls to action
  • Images with confusing design elements
  • Images or descriptions with shocking content or profanity

 

You can also create and promote video ads.

 

Handling your Pinterest Traffic

 

Connect each pin to its relevant link destination. And use a multi-channel approach to give users a variety of content, as well as a better picture of what you have to offer. For instance:

 

  • Article links direct to the blog post
  • Video links go to YouTube or Facebook
  • Quotes, inspiration, or general information may go to a newsletter sign-up
  • Pins that promote a specific service direct to that landing page

 

You may also want to create pins that direct to an introductory deal on your services or a freebie (content, video, course) to get prospects invested in you and your business

 

Note: Make sure your website has the Facebook pixel for retargeting set up, so you can follow-up with the users who found you through your pins.

 

Final Thoughts

 

Just like Instagram, Pinterest is as much about showcasing your business as it is selling from it. While Pinterest is widely used to sell products with buyable pins, you can still use this wonderful, searchable platform to showcase and sell your services. You just need to get creative about it.

 

Read next:

Pinterest is a Search Engine for Small Businesses by Joel Comm

 

About Mari Smith

 

mari_0362xFACE_preview.jpg

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.

Next to real-life communication, video on social media is the best way to connect with prospects, clients and customers. Yet social channels need to make video adjustments if they hope to compete with YouTube.

 

Instagram launched Instagram Television in June 2018 with much fanfare. However, the IGTV app, built for longer videos, has yet to become the breakout hit Instagram intended. That may be changing.

 

In response to feedback from viewers and content creators, Instagram has made several critical changes to help increase IGTV’s usability and user-base, so it rivals other long-form video platforms. The most recent new feature is support for landscape video as well as vertical. Because so many other platforms, like YouTube, primarily use landscape video this could help encourage users to cross-post video content to IGTV vs. having to create a new piece of content for the platform.

 

If you have an Instagram account, you have an IGTV account, but will need to download the separate mobile app to use IGTV. Or, you can view and upload videos on desktop Instagram.com.

 

One of the primary benefits to IGTV videos is length. Where Instagram videos are capped at one minute, IGTV videos can run between 15 seconds and 10 minutes. Larger and verified accounts can upload videos up to 60 minutes in length from a computer. (Instagram doesn’t stipulate what ‘larger’ actually means.)

 

Another fairly new IGTV feature is ‘Previews’ in the main Instagram feed. So, whenever you upload a video to IGTV, you can also choose to showcase the beginning clip on your Instagram account. The preview will be up to one minute, depending on the length of your video. 

 

This longer run-time gives companies more flexibility to delve deeper with their video content, and create branded channels, along with valuable content (i.e. shows) that can inform, entertain and ultimately endear customers to their business.

 

So, what works best on IGTV? Here are three companies creating great IGTV content in very different ways.

 

REI: Produced Video Reminiscent of a TV Channel

 

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REI (aka Recreational Equipment, Inc.) is doing an excellent job of producing just-outside-their-box videos. They upload new content two to three times a week and have four different types of videos (or “shows”).

 

    • Camping Recipes:Quick food videos you can make in the great outdoors.
    • Why on Earth?:REI asks and answers questions about nature.
    • Breath of Fresh Air:The sounds and views of nature (the ocean, the forest) so viewers can “sit back and relax” for a few minutes.
    • Behind the Scenes:In their newest series, the team at REI Co-op’s onsite product testing facility (aka 'Mag Lab') answers common product questions. The first one is on Sleeping Bag Thermal Ratings.

 

Even though they have the luxury of time, REI keeps most of their videos around 1 minute. The result is quick, engaging, and informative on-brand videos targeting directly toward their audience.

 

Headspace: Animation 

 

Headspace, the meditation app, has a mixture of types of animated videos on their IGTV channel. The company’s branding has illustrations throughout, so it makes sense they create videos with that same imagery.

 

Some of Headspace’s IGTV videos are informative (How to Use the App, Training the Mind), while others contain an actual meditation (sounds or guided meditation).

 

Through simple videos on their IGTV channel, Headspace shows prospects and fans who they are and what they - and their app - has to offer.

 

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Solopreneur Sidekick: Solo Videos that Educate

 

Louise, the Solopreneur Sidekick, has an IGTV channel full of how-tos and tips for website success. Her channel works well for a few reasons.

 

    • Louise’s “talking head” videos have a literal frame around them, which has her branding and YouTube link (which leads to more videos).
    • Her on-screen persona is friendly and on-brand; she’s personable and knowledgeable, and it shows. 
    • In addition to specific calls to action in the description, Louise adds her same about me one-liner and free trial incentive link.

 

Solopreneur Sidekick’s short videos tell the viewer exactly what they are going to learn, and then follows through on that promise. A definite recipe for business - and video - success.

 

Each of these examples showcase ways small businesses could integrate IGTV in their marketing mix. Whether you go the full production, education, or animation route, there are different tools you can use to create videos.

 

The field is wide open on IGTV, too. Any small businesses moving quickly with video can become IGTV trailblazers.

 

          Related Links

 

About Mari Smith

 

mari_0362xFACE_preview.jpg

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.

With all the recent privacy concerns surrounding Facebook , it’s no wonder Mark Zuckerberg is being so public about prioritizing privacy.

 

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“I understand that many people don't think Facebook can or would even want to build this kind of privacy-focused platform,” Zuckerberg wrote in an open letter on Facebook last March, “because frankly we don't currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services, and we've historically focused on tools for more open sharing.

 

“But we've repeatedly shown that we can evolve to build the services that people really want, including in private messaging and stories,” he added.

 

Since its inception, Facebook has focused on bringing people - and communities and businesses - together in a very public way. That “Town Hall” connection is invaluable for people’s personal and professional lives. However, people also value their privacy, which is what Facebook is addressing in full force.

 

Of late, private messaging, Stories and Facebook groups have garnered the most attention. They are, after all, the fastest growing areas of online communication. People prefer to converse one-on-one and in small groups in order to keep their communications and interactions secure.

 

How Small Business Owners Can Capitalize on Pivot to Privacy

 

With Messenger, the main area you can take full advantage of is to create a chatbot. Automating your FAQs and customer service queries can save an inordinate amount of time and money. People want quick replies. In fact, a study by Ogilvy found that 40 percent of people don’t care if customer service comes from a human or technology, as long as it’s the right answer!

 

Check out ManyChat or MobileMonkey for two of the most popular and affordable Messenger chatbot solutions.

 

The Future of Messenger

 

During the first day of this year’s Facebook’s F8 conference, Asha Sharma, Head of Facebook’s Messenger, announced several new products and features for businesses, individuals and developers expected to roll-out later this year.

 

    • App Changes. Facebook is rebuilding the architecture of Messenger to be faster and lighter.
    • Desktop App. Messenger will soon be upgraded for desktop use with improved functionality for group video calls, project collaboration, and multi-tasking while chatting in Messenger.
    • Group Viewing. Users will be able to invite/share Facebook videos directly from the app  and then watch together. While the entertainment value is obvious, this can also be used in business: watch videos together for training purposes, do customer service demos, and so on, all while being able to simultaneously chat.
    • Business Tools. Facebook is also adding terrific new features designed to support small businesses, starting with lead generation templates and booking appointments through bots.

 

Generate Leads in Messenger with Automated Chat Templates

 

The ability to generate leads using lead-generation templates (Q&A chatbot scripts to aid the customer journey inside Messenger) is a gamechanger!  When you run a Facebook or Instagram ad with a call-to-action button that clicks through to Messenger, you can connect this to your chatbot and collect information from customers and generate leads.

 

You can then continue the conversation directly in Messenger. Similar to a lead generation form, an automated chat is a more conversational approach to collecting customer information.

 

Book Appointments Using Bots in Messenger

 

Bots that make appointments can be reached directly in Messenger or in conversations that begin with a Facebook News Feed ad, Messenger home page ad, or via web chat plugin on an organization’s website.

 

The ability to book appointments directly in Messenger is great news for businesses, such as car dealerships, stylists or cleaning services. Regardless of your industry, if you set up appointments with customers, make it really easy with Facebook Messenger integration.

 

 

     Related Links:

 

About Mari Smith

 

mari_0362xFACE_preview.jpg

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.

For the last few years, video has been at the forefront of social media marketing for small business owners.

 

This year in particular has seen quite a rising trend of vertical video.

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Why Vertical Video?

 

People naturally hold their phones in “portrait mode” for everyday use. Statista shows us that adults in the U.S. spend an average of 5 hours and 57 minutes per day on video, out of which 10 daily viewing minutes were generated via smartphone. Vertical video is designed for mobile consumption.

 

And, a recent studyof over 9 million Facebook pages by Socialinsider revealed some incredible statistics regarding the state of video in 2019 and where small business owners need to be focusing their attention. Vertical videos outperform landscape video in engagement for all page sizes.

 

As of January 2019, 96 percent of active Facebook user accounts access Facebook via a mobile device [Source: Statista]. And, 57 percent of video plays worldwide come from mobile devices [Source: Breadnbeyond].

 

Millennials are much more likely to be focused on a video they watch on their mobile devices than they are on video watched on television.

 

Vertical Video Success Tips

 

Know your aspect ratios

 

When you create vertical video, there are three distinct aspect ratios you should be aware of, depending on the placement of your video content.

 

        1. 9:16 full portrait/vertical - used for Stories on both Facebook and Instagram, as well as Facebook Feed
        2. 4:5 vertical - ideal for both Facebook and Instagram Feeds
        3. 2:3 vertical - for Facebook only

 

See Facebook’s helpful Best Practices for Aspect Ratios.

 

Creating vertical videos in these three aspect ratios might seem overwhelming at first. However, there are terrific tools you can use to easily create content for these different aspect ratios at the click of a button.

 

My favorite video creation tool for all aspect ratios is Wave.video. Their tool is popular and affordable. You can upload your own video clips and/or access Wave.video’s extensive library of stock assets. Then create your video with text overlay, branded elements, and then automatically resize it for each platform and purpose. This can help save you time in the editing process and take the technical challenge out of creating a video that can be formatted in different ways.

 

Keep your viewers engaged

 

The first 3 seconds of your video are critical in engaging a viewer's attention. This means you need to be quick, clear and concise in getting to the core message you want to get across. Skip the intro with a spinning logo or other effects that take time to come on screen. Just dive right into your content with a quick summary at the beginning, and always include a clear call to action at the end. Don’t speak longer than you need to. The goal is to captivate your viewer’s attention from start to finish.

 

Use animated graphics and transitions to direct the eyes and attention of the viewer.

 

Use vertical video to showcase your products

 

Product videos help customers make purchasing decisions.Vertical video allows you to get up close to your subject. It creates a more intimate setting that invites your viewer in. This can be particularly useful when showcasing products or giving viewers an insight into how your business exists to serve them best. Vertical video is fully immersive, meaning the video covers the entire phone screen, and lets your viewer feel like they are with you.

 

When shooting products, practice the rule of thirds. This is a photography term that states you should not place the main subject in the center of the frame. Instead, use vertical and horizontal lines to place the subject either on the lines or where the lines meet up. If you are recording your video on a mobile device, there is a setting to show these grid lines.

 

Also, be sure your video quality is stable. Shaky movements and even fast transitions from side to side can distract the viewer to create a negative viewing experience.

 

Add captions to your videos

 

The majority of video on Facebook is watched without sound. If you don’t have captions or text overlay on your video, there is a high risk your viewer will simply keep scrolling because it’s not convenient for them to watch at that moment. Be sure to enable the captions feature when you upload videos to Facebook. And/or use a video tool such as Wave.video to  easily add text overlay.

 

For Facebook and Instagram Stories videos, you can easily overlay text on your videos using the app’s features. You don’t need to caption word for word but by summarizing your main point in a sentence or two, you give your viewers the opportunity to consume your content with the sound off.

 

Use Facebook and Instagram Stories

 

In Mark Zuckerburg’s own words, Stories are the future! In a recent article, I discussed how you can bring your small business to life with Facebook and Instagram Stories.

 

Stories really popularized vertical video. The Stories format is specifically designed for recording or uploading on mobile. Stories are a fantastic way to create vertical video on the go with very little time or skill set required.

 

Stories are interactive. Your viewers can easily hit reply and keep the conversation going. Simply by giving your audience a glimpse into your everyday business life, you provide them with the opportunity to build a real relationship with you and your company.

 

Also, when you go live on Facebook or Instagram using your mobile device, make sure your phone is upright in portrait mode. You’ll be streaming in vertical format and will see comments in the lower third. It’s a highly engaging feature for both platforms; live videos get six times more engagement than recorded videos.

 

Invest in Story Ads

 

You can easily place vertical video ads on Facebook and Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager. If you leave the Placements setting as ‘automatic,’ so long as you meet the technical requirements, your ad will appear in Stories. This goes for videos of all formats. However, I recommend creating 9:16 immersive videos in the same native format for Stories.

 

Tip for Landscape Videos

 

For your landscape videos, you can easily repurpose these to create vertical video content. Simply place the horizontal video into the frame and use the space around the video to display your header, your video captions/text overlay, and call to action. In fact, this is a really popular format on Facebook. You might take a peek at Jay Shetty's style of video - he tends to use the 4:5 format a lot with text above and often below as well. Here’s a helpful guide with infographic from Facebook.

 

Disclaimer: Mari Smith is the chief brand ambassador for Wave.video.Read next:

 

Read next:

How to Use Compelling Video on Social Media for Your Small Business 

 

 

About Mari Smith

 

mari_0362xFACE_preview.jpg

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.

Over the last few years, the use of messenger apps has skyrocketed. WhatsApp usage alone is now over 85.21 billion hours with 1.6 billion users worldwide while Facebook Messenger is right behind with 1.3 billion users.

 

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Texting and messaging through apps has become a top way to communicate. The ability to connect and chat with businesses in a convenient, accessible and trackable way is a huge benefit for customers.

 

For businesses, with engagement rates reaching up to 80 percent, it comes as no surprise that companies are adopting messaging as a key element in their marketing and customer care strategies.

 

Not only do messaging apps offer a more efficient, cost-effective way to handle customer care, they offer a means to excel at it.

 

In this article, I’ll share tips and best practices you can use to improve your social customer care in the evolving world of messaging apps.

 

The Most Popular Messaging Apps

 

The most popular messaging app in North America is Facebook Messenger. At Facebook’s recent F8 Developer Conference, the company focused extensively on Messenger as a priority. This means small business owners do need to pay closer attention to the improvements Facebook offers in Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram Direct.

 

In addition to Facebook Messenger, Apple’s iMessage is vastly popular in the U.S. Plus, check out Apple’s Business Chat, which is growing in popularity among brands.

 

Outside of the U.S., WhatsApp is the runaway leader. If you have international customers, you’d do well to bring WhatsApp into your marketing mix and social customer care tools.

 

For third party Facebook Messenger chatbots, definitely take a look at MobileMonkey and ManyChat. Both companies offer extensive support, training and communities into which you can tap for maximum effectiveness right out the gate.

 

Related:

Facebook Messenger Chatbots Give Small Business Owners an Edge

 

Why Your Small Business Should Use Messaging Apps

 

Messaging apps in demand. A study by Messenger People found 117 million customer queries were received on WhatsApp by companies in the last 12 months. Messaging apps allow companies to meet customers where they are at, when they need them most. If this is what the market demands, the greatest step towards enhancing customer care is provide that solution.

 

Messaging apps increase engagement. When it comes to business, attention is the game. There is a strong case to be made for the ability to follow up and keep in touch with customers once they have contacted you. Certainly, millennials prefer to deal with companies by text; 83 percent of millennials open text messages within 90 seconds. Being able to communicate directly with customers with such high engagement rates is a huge opportunity for companies.

 

Messaging apps are convenient. Messaging apps evolved from social networks. They provided a way to combine all the key features from different apps and implement them into one platform for the user’s convenience. Rather than having to download a separate app or go through the traditional telephone/email process to contact a company, messaging allows users to quickly reach out to a company and start a conversation while continuing on with their day.

 

Messaging apps are efficient. Messaging apps create a centralized conversation with customers making it easy for different team members to track the conversation, access all the relevant information, and provide streamlined solutions in one place. No more passing the phone to different teams and waiting on hold for hours. This in itself improves customer care through efficient processes.

 

Messaging apps are low cost. For the most part, messenger apps are free to use. All they require is a data or WIFI connection. This saves significant resources, once only allocated to call centers and hiring a number of customer care representatives. While companies definitely still require customer care representatives, the very nature of the chat is through written word enabling employees to manage multiple conversations at one time.

 

Chat conversations are more cost and time efficient than the traditional phone conversations that were restricted to one customer at a time and often involved wait time. For customers, timely responses are a huge plus when it comes to their customer experience.

 

Messaging apps can be partially automated. Messenger chatbots can be used to provide instant solutions to standard customer service questions. Messenger chatbots are not designed to replace human interaction. They are designed to support it.

 

Most likely, there are a few key actions customers are looking to take when they message you. A messenger chatbot can provide instant first-level support by answering common questions regarding appointments, open hours, directions, returns, payments, and so on. This means customers no longer have to wait for a human to get back to them. If they still require human support, it should be made available promptly but chatbots offer an instant solution to increasing customer satisfaction.

 

As AI continues to advance, Messenger chatbots are becoming more sophisticated. This helps to find a quick solution while also creating a personalized experience for the customer.

 

Messaging App Best Practices

 

To ensure a streamlined customer experience, you’ll want to properly set up your messaging processes. To ensure you implement messenger bots successfully, here are some best practices to follow.

 

1. Be human.

 

People don’t like to talk to robots. They also don’t appreciate pre-written, scripted responses. If a customer is reaching out to you, it’s because they need help. The need people who can understand their problems on an emotional level and relate to how they are feeling in this moment.

 

If you do decide to implement a messenger chatbot, proceed with caution. Start very simply and focus on getting the process right first. Remember that chatbots are not designed to replace human support; they exist to provide quick solutions. Always let the customer know they are speaking to a chatbot and if they require human support, it is available.

 

2. Be transparent.

 

When it comes to customer service, it’s important to be completely honest and transparent. It is no different when it comes to messaging apps. People understand if you don’t know how to help them or don’t have a quick solution available if you are transparent about it.

 

Rather than leaving a customer waiting hours for a response, politely let them know that you aren’t sure of the solution but you will find out and get back to them by a set time. This way, they understand the situation, can get on with their day and they know when to expect a solution.

 

3. Streamline your processes.

 

It’s important to align your service, sales and marketing teams when it comes to messaging apps. You need to be able to understand where your customers are in their journey and provide the right solution to the right problem.

 

Once they reach the right support, teams need to be able to access all the relevant information to provide a solution. This means companies need to understand the customer journey and have responses instantly available for the most frequently asked questions.

 

4. Respond quickly.

 

Being able to quickly identify customer queries and provide a timely solution is paramount when it comes to reputation management. Of the 117 million customer queries received via WhatsApp, only 62 percentwere answered within 24 hours. If you are going to offer support through messaging apps, it’s important the right resources are allocated to the task at hand. People need quick and accurate responses. Otherwise, you could quickly turn a happy customer into an angry one.

 

People do business with people they know, like and trust. Being able to communicate directly with customers one-on-one in a scalable way is the first step towards creating a personalized experience for your customers. This allows them to feel heard, valued and taken care of.

 

Messaging apps are changing the game when it comes to customer care.  Now is the right time to embrace that!

 

About Mari Smith

 

mari_0362xFACE_preview.jpg

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.

Since launching in 2016, Instagram Stories have become a rapidly growing feature now used by over 500 million people around the world on a daily basis. Since then, Facebook has continued to invest in the growth of Stories through the addition of the feature into the Facebook app in March 2017.

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Mark Zuckerberg is so confident that “The future is stories” that during Facebook’s third-quarter earnings call 2018 that he mentioned stories a total of 71 times!

 

In this article, I’m going to share with you how your small business can use Facebook and Instagram Stories to bring your brand to life.

 

What are Stories?

 

As I discussed in a previous article, Facebook-owned Instagram originally launched the Stories feature in August 2016 as a direct copy of an already popular Snapchat platform. In 2017, the company went on to launch Stories on Facebook as well.

 

The feature allows users to post photos and videos, typically in real time, that vanish after 24 hours. Add media to your story, a colored circle will appear around your profile picture letting users know you’ve shared something new.

 

Stories can be up to 15 seconds. You can add up to 100 stories in a 24-hour period making it highly flexible and a great on-the-go vlogging (video blogging) platform for users and businesses alike.

 

Fortunately, you only need to add about three Stories at a time in any 24-hour period to stay relevant and at the top of your followers’ feeds. I wouldn’t recommend going too crazy with volume unless you have the time and the assets to go for it. Excessive volume tends to have diminished returns, though, so be strategic about the content you post.

 

Why Stories have become so valuable

 

If you’re looking to grow your business through Instagram and/or Facebook, the Stories feature holds incredible value. Here are just a few reasons why.

 

Stories are Interactive.

 

Stories aren’t just a one-way form of communication. Viewers can reply to your Story and initiate a privateconversation with you. This is golden! It’s as good as having your prospect or customer’s cell phone number. You can build personal relationships with your audience and earn trust through the transparent, organic nature Stories provide.

 

Stories are real-time.

 

This makes it really easy to create video content quickly without any technical or editing skills required.

 

Stories can provide Additional Calls to Action

 

If you have over 10,000 followers, you’ll have the feature to include ‘swipe up’ links in your Stories. This is great for adding a call to action that leads your audience outside Instagram. For example, a blog post, product offering, or lead magnet.

 

Even if you don’t have access to the ‘swipe up’ feature, you can use Stories to remind and encourage viewers to click the link in your bio where you can place a strategic call to action.

 

Or, all Instagram users have the ability to link Stories to your IGTV videos. IGTV is a separate app for longer vertical video (15 seconds up to one hour), but the app is very integrated with the main Instagram app.

 

Plus, unlike the main Instagram app, any URLs you add to your IGTV videos in the description or comments are hyperlinked. So, by adding a swipe up to your IGTV video where you then direct people to an external link, you can get traffic from your Stories. I’ve seen Buffer do this strategy well, even though they have the swipe up to outside links feature, they also experiment with swipe up to IGTV videos.

 

Stories improve your reach dramatically.

 

Not everyone sees your feed posts. Stories help combat the diminishing reach on Instagram. Stories are still shown to followers in chronological order. This means the more often you post, your profile Story will place higher ranked at the top of your followers’ feeds.

 

 

How to Get Started with Facebook and Instagram Stories

 

When it comes to getting started with Stories, it’s as easy as choosing your topic, creating the content either in the Instagram app or using a third-party tool then publishing it to your Story.

 

1.  Choose Your Topic: Stories invite your community into your daily life. You can use them to document your day and/or to incorporate some of these strategic ideas for building engagement:

 

        • Offer a behind the scenes look into your brand, people, products and processes.
        • Share tips and tutorials that leverage your knowledge and expertise.
        • Host a Q&A using the questions feature.
        • Conduct market research and get to know your community using the polls feature.
        • Offer platform exclusive offers and discounts encouraging loyalty.
        • Go live and start a conversation with your community. Try also inviting users onto the screen with you to create more intimacy.

 

2. Create Your Story Content: All of these features are included natively within Facebook and Instagram stories making content creation a breeze.

Don’t worry if you’re camera shy, there are still a number of ways you can tell stories and share insights with your audience as you build confidence using the platform.

You can even use low-cost tools such as Canva to create Stories as images/graphics, or Wave.video to create short vertical videos that captivate your audience and invite them to start a conversation with you.

 

3. Publish your Story: To publish an Instagram or Facebook story, you click on the camera shown at the top left of your home screen then use the navigation at the bottom to choose your format.

 

Best Practices for Facebook and Instagram Stories

 

There are no set rules when it comes to Stories but there are some best practices to follow.

 

1. Post Consistently: The only way to engage your audience is to be present. That means showing up on a daily basis and taking the time to really invest in the Stories feature as a key strategy for growth. When you invest in your audience, you earn their attention and they will start to invest in you.

 

2. Plan Your Content in Advance: By planning your content ahead of time, you are far more likely to post consistently. Your stories will also tend to be more intentional and aligned with your goals for the platform.

 

You can also schedule your Instagram Stories in advance using a third-party app. Three great tools that allow you to plan, upload and schedule your feed posts and your Stories include AgoraPulse, Planoly, and Plann.

 

3. Make Use of Interactive Features: From polls to questions, GIFs, countdown timers, locations and @ mentions, there is a wide variety of interactive features built into both Facebook and Instagram Stories. Take advantage of them liberally! These features are all designed to spark engagement in a quick, fun and entertaining way. This is an easy way to get to know your audience and start building relationships with them.

 

And, keep in mind that people absolutely love to touch their phones. (Some studies say as much as 2,600 times a day or even more!) The more you can give your audience an excuse to tap a sticker, or slide the poll, or send you a heart, the more you’ll increase your engagement and loyalty.

 

4. Track and Measure Your Success: Anytime you invest your time and energy into marketing, it’s imperative you track the return on that investment. It’s no different with Stories. To access your Story metrics, just swipe up on any Story.

 

Be sure to measure your traction in terms of growth and engagement not only on a macro level but on a micro level too. You want to know which content is engaging your audience and which content you might want to limit. By honing in on the analytics, you can continuously improve your Story content and the loyalty among your community.

 

You can always go back and review the views on a particular Story within your ‘Archives’. These can be accessed by visiting your profile and clicking the clock icon on the top left.

 

Now it’s your turn to bring your small business to life with Facebook and Instagram Stories. This is an opportunity to connect with your audience and invite them into your business. You no longer have to tell your community why they should buy from you because they get to experience the benefits first hand.

 

 

About Mari Smith

 

mari_0362xFACE_preview.jpg

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.

Mark Zuckerberg started 2018 with a renewed commitment to bringing people closer together, prioritizing more meaningful interaction, and ensuring time users spend on Facebook was well spent.

 

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However, as 2018 unfolded with one scandal or setback after another, it became Facebook’s biggest annus horribilis—the single worst year in the company’s history. The world’s top social network found itself at the center of global storms over a wide variety of major issues such as data breaches, election interference, congressional testimonies, security breaches, fake news, lawsuits, fines, threats of antitrust cases, and possible government regulation.

 

Yet, despite the repeated claims that it would do better when it came to security, the company ended 2018 explaining why it was sharing information about users’ friends and families with dozens of companies without users’ consent.

 

“For years, Facebook gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it has disclosed, effectively exempting those business partners from its usual privacy rules, according to internal records and interviews,” the New York Times reported in December.

 

Related: Facebook Privacy: What Small Business Owners Need to Know

 

Facebook loses the public’s trust

 

Research shows that, out of the major tech companies, people trust Facebook the least with their personal information. Five times more people place Facebook as the least trustworthy company to handle their personal information when compared to Amazon and Twitter, according to this chartcompiled by Statista.

 

Only 28 percent of the Facebook users surveyed after CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony (April 2018) believe the company is committed to privacy, down from a high of 79 percent in 2017, according to a survey by the Ponemon Institute and NBC News.

 

Of course, as trust in Facebook hits an all-time low, the company’s overall reputation has been impacted severely. Looking at the public reputation of the 100 most visible U.S. companies, Facebook is currently a dismal No. 94, according to a Harris Poll survey in partnership with Axios.]

 

Use of personal data becomes mainstream - it’s a good thing!

 

Yet,  one positive outcome of 2018 was personal data became a mainstream topic of conversation among the general public. Consumers are becoming much more educated about tech companies’ terms of service, privacy policies and their respective country’s personal data laws.

 

People are starting to really wake up to the fact that major tech companies have been tracking, storing, utilizing and—in some cases—selling or sharing their data to advertisers.

 

Because of this new awareness, U.S. consumers are starting to a) think twice before automatically accepting terms of use for online services and apps, b) demand more control over their personal data and privacy rights, and c) pay attention to current privacy laws and lobby for better regulation, such as European governments are implementing.

 

Understanding Zuckerberg’s new privacy-focused social foundation of the future

 

Due to all of the above, we now know that Zuckerberg had been working hard behind the scenes for some time to come up with a turnaround strategy for Facebook and its family of apps and services, that includes Instagram and WhatsApp.

 

In March, Zuckerberg published a 3,200-word privacy manifesto as a note on his Facebook personal profile. Zuckerberg details his vision for this new privacy-focused foundation with these six pillars:

 

1. Private interactions: Facebook is shifting the focus to its messaging apps with Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram Direct. Zuckerberg has commented previously on the fact that people feel safer and more confident to share when they know their conversations are private.

 

2. Encryption: Currently, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is fully end-to-end encrypted, meaning that messages cannot be read even by WhatsApp/Facebook. Facebook now has a goal to bring this same level of encryption to Messenger and Instagram Direct to provide more security to its services.

 

3. Reducing Permanence: Facebook has also found that people feel more comfortable being themselves and sharing more openly when they know their content won’t ‘stick around.’

 

4. Safety: Zuckerberg states that “People should expect that we will do everything we can to keep them safe on our services within the limits of what's possible in an encrypted service.”

 

5. Interoperability: Zuckerberg confirmed on the Q4 earnings call on January 30, 2019, that Facebook plans to merge the underlying infrastructure of its three messaging apps/products (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram Direct). This will make it easier for users and businesses to communicate seamlessly through the messaging app of their choice.

 

6. Secure data storage: Finally, Zuckerberg wanted to drive home the point that Facebook will not be storing sensitive data in countries with weak records on human rights like privacy and freedom of expression in order to protect data from being improperly accessed.

 

Thoughts on encryption

 

Regarding No. 2, I have long been a proponent of full end-to-end encryption. However, I’ve come to understand counter-opinions and realize that encryption can also spawn its troubles.

 

It’s one thing to have third parties or governments unable to read our messages. But, if even Facebook cannot read messages on its own services (either via humans or artificial intelligence), this can potentially wreak havoc because horrible things can be happening behind the scenes without anyone knowing. In fact, this was apparently one of the main areas where recently departed Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox, disagreed with Zuckerberg.

 

More on ephemerality

 

Regarding No. 3 , ephemerality – the concept of content lasting only briefly – is  already inherent in the Stories product across Instagram and Facebook. This simply means that all Stories disappear after 24 hours unless the content owner/publisher chooses to showcase Stories in their archives.

 

Now, Zuckerberg plans to introduce a level of ephemerality to other areas, such as disappearing private messages and expiration dates on public content, if you choose. (Expiration dates are currently already available for Facebook business pages owners and comes in handy if, say, you have news, updates or offers that are no longer relevant after a certain date.)

 

What small business owners should focus on now

 

At the end of the day, I firmly believe the six pillars detailed in Zuckerberg’s privacy manifesto are a giant leap forward for Facebook, its family of apps and services, and its combined 2.7 billion active users.

 

I further discuss my own thoughts on Zuckerberg’s new privacy-focused approach on my Facebook Page on this post and on this Live broadcast.

 

The bottom line is that this new “privacy-focused social foundation for the future” is a major pivot point for Facebook and a major pivot point for marketers and small business owners.

 

Keep publishing your compelling video content, create niche groups where your community can create meaningful connections with you, and be sure to integrate a Messenger chatbot for your Facebook business page.

 

Related:

How to use Compelling Video On Social Media for your Small Business

3 Social Video Marketing Tools to Grow Your Business

How to Use Facebook Groups to Build a Loyal Community

Facebook Messenger Chatbots Give Small Business Owners an Edge

 

And, as I told the 5,000 attendees at Social Media Marketing World 2019 in my opening keynote, pay attention to what Facebook deemphasizes and what the company prioritizes. We have to stay nimble, stay educated and be ready for change!

 

Keep reading the great content here on Bank of America’sSmall Business Community and be sure to follow my Facebook Page closely as the year continues to unfold and we all adapt to pending changes on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp.

                                                                                                          

Related:

The Power of Facebook – with Mari Smith

Is Facebook Still the King of Social Media?

 

 

About Mari Smith

 

mari_0362xFACE_preview.jpg

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.

 

With the recent security attack on millions of Facebook accounts, it’s vital that you tighten up your own account security if you haven’t already. Facebook offers a variety of settings to help protect your account from potential risks.

 

In this video guide, I walk you through the specific recommended settings you should review on a regular basis to ensure the maximize security of your Facebook account to protect your personal information and your business information.

 

If access to your Facebook account was compromised, you can imagine the ramifications could be detrimental. That is, both from a personal reputation standpoint and possibly from a business standpoint. It behooves you to very carefully protect your Facebook login and account security so you maintain control.

 

Navigate to Settings, then Security and Login. Then go through the various settings, specifically:

 

  • Change your password if you haven’t changed it in the last 6-12 months. Also, if you can remember your password, it’s not cryptic or secure enough and should be updated. Use a password manager system such as LastPass or 1Password. Aim for at least 13 characters with a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and at least one special character.

  • Set up two-factor authentication. If you prefer not to submit your mobile phone number, you can use an Authentication app. Follow the on screen instructions. You can even add a backup option such as a Security Key and/or Recovery Codes.

  • Choose three to five friends to add as your trusted contacts to help if ever you got locked out of Facebook.

  • Review your authorized logins and remove any that are no longer needed.

  • Set up alerts for any unrecognized logins.

 

Also, review the Apps and Websites section and Business Integrations sections to ensure you’re happy with any and all authorizations there. Many apps you use for your business page will need to remain connected to your Facebook account. For example, I use the live streaming apps BeLive.tv and BlueJeans on a regular basis so they stay connected.

 

All these settings mentioned above can be accessed via desktop or mobile.

 

Always keep in mind that you should never share any highly sensitive information through Facebook such as your social security number, bank information, mother’s maiden name, or even your full birthdate or home address.

 

As a best practice, regularly review your Facebook security and login settings along with your privacy settings and authorized apps. This should help give you peace of mind as you go about using Facebook for both personal and business purposes.

 

 

 

Transcript

 

Mari Smith:     Hello there. It's Mari Smith here, Premiere Facebook Marketing Expert. Coming to you in the Bank of America Small Business Community. I want to make sure that you know exactly where to find the settings to secure your Facebook account. You do have control over numerous settings, and we want to make sure that nobody ever has access to your account if you can possibly help it. There's been some challenges lately with some Facebook security breaches, and in this video I'm going to walk you through where to find those settings on desktop and on mobile. Very, very important that you take control of those settings.

 

Mari Smith:     How to Secure Your Facebook Account, An Important Guide for Users and Businesses. Because, we're all users here, and we're all businesses as well. I'm going to walk you through it in a moment, I'll just show you on this slide. Security and login. Set up your two factor authentication. Consider changing your password if you haven't changed it in a while. Review authorized logins, and set up alerts about unrecognized logins. I really like that one. It's going to text you a message if you've ever got unauthorized login.

 

Mari Smith:     In those separate settings we're going to look at reviewing apps and websites that are currently logged in with Facebook. Then the final one, reviewing any business integrations.

 

Mari Smith:     All right, so hop over first to desktop, and on your profile or anywhere as long as you've got the blue bar, it doesn't matter where you're looking. It could be on your homepage, but what we're mainly going to look for is this little blue triangle at the top. Click that, and look at settings. You probably know that already, but here's how you get to your settings, and up in the top left we want to tap on security and login.

 

Mari Smith:     Basically just working our way from top to bottom, if you want to, you can set up three to five friends to help you if you get locked out of your account. "Recommend to everyone," says Facebook. Then you can look at where you're logged in right now. If you see, you can see expand that. If you see any strange devices or locations that you should not be logged in as, you want to go ahead and you can either log out of all sessions, or you can tap the little three dots and say logout. Or, if it's not you, you want to let Facebook know that. For the most part you should be fine there with your devices, but definitely want to check that.

 

Mari Smith:     Here's where you change your password. If you have not changed your password in, I would say six months, or certainly a year. If it's been a year since you changed your password, well, well time for you to change it. Now, ideally super cryptic. I always say to people if you can remember your password, it is not cryptic enough. Clicking on edit in here, it will ask you to put your ... A little jumpy on me there. Current password, and then a new one. If you ... It's funny, if you forgot your password, you wouldn't be logged in.

 

Mari Smith:     You can also set this one up, which is login with your profile picture. You can do that on some devices. But, this is the main one right here that I want to make sure that you have, is logging in with two factor authentication. You set that up with a code from your phone. I think that's really one of the most secure ways to make sure you set your Facebook account. Then, I also want you to look at who right now is authorized logins. Again, same idea. You want to check all these. Oh my goodness, we've got a lot there. A lot there that I need to actually review myself. Those are all my iPad, or my Mac Book, or old phones. You probably want to actually un-log, log those out, okay? I can see I've got homework here to do too.

 

Mari Smith:     You could use app passwords if you want to. That's something that only works on some apps. You can use specific passwords instead of using your Facebook password to login. That's something you can check in on that. Here's one I mentioned that's really important, I recommend you have that on. You're getting alerts if there's any unrecognized login ever. Facebook will actually let you know by text message if someone's trying to login from a browser, or a device that you don't use. That's another layer of security. There they are reiterating the three to five friends down here, okay? That's it for now, you don't need anything else on that page.

 

Mari Smith:     Then over here I recommended two more settings. You've got apps and websites. Click on that. This is just going to let you know, way back earlier in 2018 here, Facebook really cleaned all this up, made it much easier for us to navigate. You should find that any, any apps in here are ones that you actually use, and you're happy for them to have access, and be logged in. If you haven't used them in about 30 days, Facebook will go ahead and expire them for you. It even keeps a list of the removed ones for you. You want to just keep an eye on that regular basis. Maybe once a quarter or so, come in here and go ahead and let's say, "Okay I no longer want Airbnb." I just check that, and I can hit remove, okay?

 

Mari Smith:     Then the third area to check is business integrations. This is similar to the apps and websites, but integrations with Facebook so that it can post on your behalf, things like that. Here's BeLive, I go live regularly on my page, and I use BeLive, different apps like that. Lots of different apps in here. Mobile Monkeys, my Chat Bot app that I use, Agora Pulse is the app that I use for community management. Lots of different apps in here that you just, you have to have them if you want to be able to operate on Facebook as a business for sure.

 

Mari Smith:     But, I want to make you aware of where to find those settings so that you can just keep a better eye on things, and make sure that you have full control. Then, let me bring up my phone because I want to show you, maybe you're doing everything by mobile and you're the type of person that just prefers mobile, and that's fine. You can go and pull up your Facebook. Similarly, it's the three little bars at the very bottom right. Tap on that. Scroll down until you get to settings right here. Tap that. Then you'll see, very similar to desktop, here is security and login. Tap that. Similarly, there's your login, there's your two factor authentication, extra security and so on. There are different settings in there. Then these ones right here, apps and websites. Then business integration, so you can do everything from your mobile device very, very easily.

 

Mari Smith:     Okay, hopefully that is helpful for you because sometimes it's just not obvious where to find these different settings, and what buttons mean when you press on them. But, hopefully you've gotten some value there. Make sure you go and review your security settings on your Facebook account. If you have any questions at all, reach out. I'd be to happy to help. Bye for now.

 

 

 

 

About Mari Smith

 

mari_0362xFACE_preview.jpg

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.

Instagram is Facebook’s next Facebook. I’ve been including this statement in all my keynotes and broadcasts for the past 18 months and it seems never more true than now. This year has been a challenging one for Facebook in many ways, and Instagram may well be the ‘life raft’ Facebook needs to ensure continued growth of the family of apps.

 

When Facebook first bought Instagram back in April 2012 for an astounding $1 billion, the young photo-sharing app only had 30 million users, 13 employees and zero revenue.

 

Now, Instagram recently announced its first 1 billion monthly active users milestone. The company has over 700 employees and has an estimated worth of over $100 billion. Instagram will bring in close to $8 billion in ad revenue according to eMarketer.

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From a business standpoint, there are 25 million business profiles and 2 million advertisers.

 

The good news for small business owners looking to optimize Instagram is there’s still plenty of time for you to master the art of standing out on this fun, visual platform with a generally younger demographic.

 

Make Sure You Have A Business Instagram Profile

 

First, in order to maximize the best features for business use on Instagram, it’s important you have a business account, not a personal profile. If you currently have a personal profile, you can easily switch that profile to business in your settings. Or, consider setting up a second Instagram account, if appropriate. Keep in mind it does take work to maintain even one account so make sure you have the resources and time to manage a second account.

 

Optimize Your Bio, Including Hashtags and Links

 

Your bio comprises up to 150 characters and is the only area where you can add clickable links. You can also include clickable @ mentions to related accounts and relevant clickable hashtags. Plus, with your business account, you can now add a call to action such as ‘Call,’ ‘Email,’ or ‘Directions.’

 

Ideas for using links in your Instagram bio include sending visitors to a webpage, to a YouTube video, to a contest, or a free download.

 

To get more out of your main website link, consider a service such as

Linktree or these alternatives. This allows you to create one link that pops up with a nice list of clickable links. Here you might add a lead generation giveaway, special offer, FAQs, etc.

 

Publish Visually Compelling Posts

 

This is going to be your most important step. Instagram has always been a highly visual platform. It was designed for sharing photos and videos and has been a real boon to professional and amateur photographers around the world.

 

You can simply use your mobile phone and good lighting to take quality photos and video clips. Then publish in the square format. Although Instagram now lets you publish in portrait or landscape mode on your main feed, the square format photos and videos still perform best. Instagram makes it very easy to publish in square format, pulling any photo or video from your camera roll.

 

Ideally, use a specific color theme for your posts and be consistent in order to communicate the right aesthetics for your brand.

 

Enhance your photos and videos with apps such as Instagram-owned Layout, Boomerang or Hyperlapse. See more great app suggestions from Instagram.

 

Or, use free stock images from the likes of Pixabay or Pexels, and make striking visuals using apps such as Canva or Adobe Spark.

 

Also, use the Search & Explore feature to find all manner of curated content that might be relevant to you. Proactively seek accounts that spark ideas for your own posts. Plus, follow and engage with accounts that may be relevant to you. This feature is also a great place to discover a variety of hashtags you might use in your own posts.

 

Include Plenty of Relevant Hashtags

 

Instagram allows you to include up to 30 hashtags per post. Some experts recommend only including 3-7 in the main post description and more in the first comment. However, other studies show maximizing up to 30 hashtags in the description performs just as well. The main point to keep in mind is relevance.

 

For example, let’s say you are a hair salon and you use the hashtag #hairtrends in your post about a funky new style, that’s totally relevant. If people find you by clicking through on the #hairtrends hashtag, they’d be happy to see your post and hopefully engage with you and follow your account. But, if you’re a drycleaner and you use the same #hairtrends hashtag on a post with tips on stain removal, that would be a total disconnect and people would quickly move on.

 

Save Time with Planning and Scheduling Tools

 

For planning and scheduling your Instagram posts, consider helpful apps such as Later, PlannThat, Schedugram, Planoly or AgoraPulse. The latter also helps you to manage your community engagement across all social channels.

 

How often should you publish content? It depends. At minimum, strive for one really good post on your wall per week then increase to 3-5 per week. It’s better to have less content that really resonates with your followers and gets great engagement, vs. pushing out too much content that hardly gets any reach, visibility or engagement. You’ll need to experiment to find the right cadence for your audience.

 

Embrace Instagram Stories

 

I wrote about the power of Instagram Stories in July. Since then, Instagram Stories has grown another 100 million daily active users to 400 million. Keep in mind that both Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, and Chris Cox, Facebook’s CPO, are saying that consumption of content in the Stories format is set to surpass consumption of content in the feed format. This goes for both Instagram and Facebook.

 

Savvy small business owners and entrepreneurs would do well to publish one to three pieces of micro content in the Story format every 24 hours. For inspiration, check out what social media management platform Buffer is doing with their weekly trivia contest in Stories.

 

Experiment with Advertising on Instagram

 

The best types of ads I’m seeing on Instagram are either photo or video ads in the main feed that blend in with the content from people I follow, plus creative Story ads. There’s a large overlap between Instagram and Facebook ad formats. And the good news is that you can place an ad on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager. 

 

For creative 15-second Story video ads, try using a platform such as Wave.video where you can easily create top-quality, professional videos in minutes.

 

Also, begin to consume more Story content yourself as a user – just to study what catches your eye and which advertisers are getting it right.

 

Examples for Inspiration

 

Want to see Instagram done right? Check out a few of my favorite accounts for ideas:

 

If Instagram is still new to your marketing mix, pick one area in these recommendations and pace yourself. But, no matter what, to really stand out on Instagram, keep in mind striking visuals win every time! 

 

 

     Read next:

               Power of Instagram Stories

               Is Facebook Still the King of Social Media?

               The Small Business Owner's Guide to Social Media

 

 

About Mari Smith

 

mari_0362xFACE_preview.jpg

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 faced an inordinate amount of negative and potentially debilitating media coverage this year. During the heat of the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal, the #DeleteFacebook movement reached fever pitch. Several celebrities garnered headline news by taking their Facebook accounts down.

 

However, just how much impact have these challenges had on the world’s most popular social network?

 

Well, only a very small portion of users followed through and deleted their accounts. Instead of shutting down Facebook in an attempt to cause change, many users and businesses chose to stay strong and use the platform to create more good.

 

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          Related content:  Facebook Privacy: What Small Business Owners Need to Know

 

In fact, many of my own community asked me during the height of Facebook’s pressure whether they should shut down their account. I got on my soapbox, big time. I implored my followers to not be so hasty or so foolish. Now was definitely not the time to abandon ship – the largest and most robust ship in the global social network ocean! I knew that Facebook would weather the storm and potentially come out stronger.

 

I first joined Facebook on May 4th, 2007 – Star Was Day! (May the fourth be with you.) It was a defining moment for me that I’ll never forget. I immediately saw the incredible potential of being able to connect with so many people that you might never otherwise have been able to reach. I became a raving evangelist for Facebook on the spot and my passion and enthusiasm for the company never waned since that day. I’ve stayed focused on teaching Facebook marketing for over 11 years now. I was fortunate to be hired as a subcontractor by Facebook in 2015 and went on tour with the company, teaching SMBs the power of Facebook ads.

 

Why small businesses must embrace Facebook marketing


There are over 80 million businesses on Facebook, yet only 6 million are advertisers. On Instagram, there are over 25 million business profiles, and 2 million advertisers. There is still massive potential for small business owners to fully take advantage of all that Facebook and Instagram offer.

 

  • Facebook has been the world’s #1 social network for over a decade and will continue to dominate.
  • Facebook has over 2.23 billion monthly active users.
  • The Facebook family of apps includes Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, Audience Network and Oculus.
  • In June 2018, 2.5 billion people
  • Your business can easily reach the exact target demographic you want by placing ads on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and the Audience Network all using the same Facebook Ads Manager.
  • WhatsApp and Messenger are the two most popular mobile messaging apps
  • Instagram just celebrated 1 billion monthly active users and is only just getting started; in many ways, Instagram is “Facebook’s next Facebook.”
  • Although user growth has slowed on the main Facebook app, Instagram and Messenger are in growth mode. To put this into perspective, it’s not even realistic for Facebook to continue amassing users at the same growth rates now that the company has well over 2 billion users.
  • The Stories format is growing 15X faster than news feed content.
  • There are 400 million daily active users (DAUs) on Instagram Stories and 150 million DAUs on Facebook Stories.
  • Stories are like a ‘sub culture’ primarily on Instagram as users are not just passively consuming feed content; they have to proactively tap into and swipe to consume Stories content.
  • Placing ads in the Stories format is already very effective for many marketers and will only keep growing.
  • If you have customers outside the U.S., be sure to pay close attention to what’s happening with WhatsApp. Facebook is only just beginning to build products for business users on WhatsApp. Android users, be sure to claim your business profile. And businesses can already place click-to-message WhatsApp ads using Facebook Ads Manager.

 

Facebook continually iterates and improves its products for both the consumer user experience and for business user success. There’s never been a better time to dive in and fully optimize Facebook and Instagram for your business.

 

The past, present and future of Facebook

 

Yes, the days pre-2012 were amazing for business users. We could achieve 300% or higher organic reach (getting our business page posts to 3x or more the number of fans). But then Facebook became a public company in 2012 and so the decline in organic reach began as the stock price climbed. Facebook has a fiduciary duty to make money for its shareholders. And Facebook sure continues to deliver in that regard, although there have been some fluctuations in share price especially on the last earnings call due to unrealistic expectations of continued user growth rates.

 

So long as Facebook continues to be an ingrained daily habit for billions of people, the company will keep going from strength to strength. They may not accrue another billion users (unless Mark Zuckerberg finally cracks the code to get into China, but I doubt that will happen).

 

But they will keep evolving and bringing out new AR and VR technology and all manner of high-tech projects. Facebook has a ‘Secret Building 8’ where a dedicated team works on numerous futuristic products. Zuckerberg declared at Facebook’s annual F8 Developer Conference in 2017 that in ten years’ time we would no longer need actual physical giant screen televisions. Instead, we would simply pop in a pair of contact lenses and look out at projected images in front of us. Amazing.

 

Zuckerberg also declared that the smartphone was the original AR device and proudly showed off demonstrations of how you could point your phone at any object and gather real-time info and possibly even a ‘button to buy it,’ he said.

 

Facebook was due to launch an in-home video chat device this year but postponed the launch when the data breach scandal came to light. The device will still launch soon. Conversational commerce – including chatbots and especially voice commerce – is another huge wave and Facebook is already well positioned to help businesses take advantage of these areas.


Messenger marketing is only just starting to catch on among businesses of all sizes. Being able to automate your customer care, FAQs, initial sales inquiries and more can help save vast amounts of time and resources, not to mention increase your conversion rates.

 

As a 14-year-old company, Facebook may be going through teenage growing pains this year. But the company is just as strong, just as robust and is at a place where making strategic choices now can impact the direction of not only the company but of global wellbeing. That’s a tall order, but Facebook has already proven that it can have significant impact on society’s decisions.

 

 

About Mari Smith

 

mari_0362xFACE_preview.jpg

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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