Posted by: FDMC | May 24, 2017

Using Snapchat For Your Business

When Snapchat first took the mobile world by storm, most people assumed it was just another teenage fad. Six years and a $16 billion valuation later, one of the most talked-about IPOs to date has since made it clear that Snapchat’s influence goes far beyond silly pictures.

According to Snap Inc.’s recently updated Form S-1 SEC registration statement, the app boasts 158 million active users each day, and those users spend an average of 25 to 30 minutes on the app each day. Clearly, Snapchat has ingrained itself as the king of a social media niche that Facebook and Twitter never knew existed.

For businesses that use social media to interact with consumers, Snapchat presents opportunities no other platforms can replicate. Whether your company’s goal is recruiting new talent, engaging current employees or marketing to the masses, Snapchat has something for everyone.

The many faces of Snapchat

Snapchat users become princesses, cowboys, aliens and puppies all the time. Why shouldn’t the app be just as versatile for business?

Direct consumer marketing is the obvious first step, but Snapchat works for internal communications and recruitment, as well. Certainly, a 10-second snap isn’t the best way to notify employees that their bonuses have been delayed. But, for small recognitions, company events, birth announcements, new hires and goals achieved, Snapchat provides bite-sized slices of company life that employees will actually look at A Snapchat channel of employee posts, such as the one Cisco uses, can also be a great tool to show potential candidates what life at the company is really like!

Cisco, for example, allows its employees to post on the channel themselves, giving viewers a live look into the company’s different roles, office locations and special events. The channel has been a great success: Cisco found that 70 percent of its viewers had watched its stories all the way through, and more than five million minutes of its content had been consumed.

What’s more, the oversaturation issue doesn’t apply here: Just because everyone else uses Snapchat for direct marketing doesn’t mean it isn’t worth looking into, yourself.

10 seconds to better business

With a platform as versatile as Snapchat, most businesses have trouble figuring out where to begin. The following five strategies will help businesses get the most from their Snapchat experience.

1.Keep your content candid. Creating custom-designed snaps is expensive and inefficient. Users of Snapchat want to see slices of real life, not heavily designed ads. So, let your employees post directly to a feed, or put a personable social media expert in charge of capturing moments to share. With brands now posting an average 13 stories per month and 11 snaps per story.

2. Bring in well-known guests. Social media influencers and niche celebrities provide excellent brand exposure. Let someone else take over the Snapchat story for a while, and see what develops. Not only will brand loyalists appreciate the shakeup, but fans of the talent that was previously unaffiliated with the brand might become new customers themselves.

3. Call users to action. Attention is great, but action is better. According to Sumpto, 67 percent of college age students want to receive more discounts and promotions from brands on Snapchat. Encourage followers to visit a website or share on other social media platforms. Incentivize engagement with special Snapchat filters or contests for prizes.

4. Build a following through consistency. Twitter followers may rally around hashtags, but how can brands create a following on an app that relies on transience? Simple — by making Snapchat a bigger part of the branding outside the app.

5. Track snap data. Even though Snapchat lacks the more advanced analytic tools other platforms use, it still provides some interesting insights. Total views are useful, but story completion (how many people watched all the way through) and screenshots (how many thought it was worthy of sharing) pinpoint the most engaged users.

Don’t be fooled by its often-silly exterior — when it comes to marketing, Snapchat is the real deal. Follow these strategies to start building better stories and engaging with more users.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC


Clean_YouTube_Icon_by_TheSuperPupWhile live streaming has been around for a while now, only in the last year or so has this particular form of online video become immensely popular. In fact, according to livestream, 81% of internet and mobile audiences watched more live video in 2016 than they did in 2015. Additionally, research from MarketsandMarkets predicts the video streaming industry as a whole will be worth around $70 billion by 2021. It should come as no surprise, then, that YouTube has recently upped its game to cater to this burgeoning interest in live video. The platform’s live streaming feature, which last year expanded to mobile devices for select users, has grown rapidly in popularity.

If your business has yet to experiment with YouTube Live for your video marketing purposes, you’d find no better time than right now. However, before you dive in blindly, you should make sure you’re following some of the best practices for this platform. Doing so will not only help you get the most return on your efforts, but also ensure you’re properly capitalizing on everything YouTube Live has to offer your brand.

For streams, you want to schedule in advance, instead select “Events,” which gives you the ability to preview your stream before it’s live, have backup redundant streams, and start and stop the broadcast at any time. Like impromptu streams, you will be able to fill in your title, add a description, and more. Scheduled streams can be up to 8 hours long, and their archived videos can also be set to private in your Video Manager.

On mobile, the process for going live is a little different. Users will load up the YouTube app on their phones, select the capture button, and click “Go Live.” They can then enter a title, take a small thumbnail photo, and edit various privacy, age restriction, chat, and promotion-based settings before starting their broadcasts, which are saved to the creators’ channels when the stream ends.

YouTube Live: 10 Tips and Best Practices

Now that we’ve covered what YouTube Live is and how it works, it’s time to delve into some tips and best practices for the platform. Note that some of these suggestions only apply to the desktop version of Live vs. the mobile one, and vice versa; you should also be aware that as Live develops and grows, any of these best practices could end up changing. So staying on top of the latest news around YouTube Live will, of course, ultimately help your brand find success on the platform.

You’ll also want to test different live stream lengths and content types to see what most resonates with your audience. For example, in Tubular’s Q1 2017 State of Online Video report, gaming content ranked as the most successful type of live programming at 53%; technology (15%) and news and politics (12%) content is also popular with audiences. Depending on your brand’s industry and goals, see if you can’t incorporate these genres to help grow your viewership. To get the most out of your and your audience’s YouTube Live experience, follow these tips and best practices:

#1 Aim for Quality

This should go without saying, but you want to make sure your live streams are the highest quality (both visually and audibly) they can possibly be to provide your viewers with an enjoyable live experience. We’ll outline ways you can do this in more tips below; for now, keep quality at the top of your mind. Of course, a beautiful, problem-free live stream isn’t a guarantee, especially if you’re using the mobile YouTube Live option (thanks, wi-fi!), but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to ensure your broadcast is in the most tip-top shape it can be.

#2 Promote Early

If you’re not planning on doing an impromptu live stream, you can schedule one in advance via the “Events” option. This allows you to promote your YouTube Live stream far ahead of it actually going live. Using social media or your brand’s email newsletter, you can let your audience know when you’ll be broadcasting live. You can also create a live stream trailer to promote on your YouTube channel, in other YouTube videos, and across your social profiles. Finally, consider updating your channel art to promote the upcoming live stream.

#3 Use the Right Equipment

As part of your efforts to ensure your live stream is high quality, make sure you’re using equipment which can handle the broadcast. For example, you’ll need to have the following:

  • Reliable internet connection: Wired connections of at least 1.5 Mbps upstream bandwidth is the preferred recommendation. With mobile streams, you can always purchase a 4G mobile hotspot if your available wi-fi is shoddy.
  • Dedicated encoder: You’ll need to have an encoder so you’re able to capture and broadcast your stream in the first place. Check out YouTube’s recommendations for encoder software, both free and paid. I have personally broadcast live from You Tube via my Android smartphone and it worked fine without any encoder.
  • Computers with high CPU: Your computers need to be capable of handling the demand a live stream will put on the machines thanks to your encoder. Dual-core computers are best, and even then you should make sure the only thing you’re using your computer for at the time of your live stream is the stream itself. This is especially important for less-powerful devices like laptops. I have used Many Cam Professional with excellent results for streaming on You Tube.
  • Redundancy/backup option: If possible, you’ll want to have a backup stream running in case your initial one fails. This means two different encoders, preferably on two different networks.
  • Webcam and microphone: You’ll want to purchase the best webcam and microphone possible, if you’re not using your mobile phone for Live. Webcams should be capable of capturing video at a resolution of at least 720p, though 1080p would be better. Microphones should be capable of blocking out most of the unnecessary noise around you.

#4 Follow Recommended and Required Settings

To use YouTube’s recommended settings for your live stream, check out this help article on which bitrates, resolutions, and encoder settings are best for your live stream. Note that broadcasts conducted through the “Stream now” option won’t require you to choose a bitrate as YouTube will automatically detect your encoder’s settings.

Also, make sure to provide information like metadata, title, thumbnail, description, and even closed captions if you want your stream to be found. Some of this is required, and is in your best interest to provide, anyway. However, the most important requirement to follow is clearing the rights to any third-party content (i.e. music, graphics, images, etc.) you might be using in your live stream.

#5 Plan Ahead and TEST

For pre-planned live stream events, it’s important to plan and test out all of your equipment to ensure streaming works the way you want it to. Some experts suggest testing at least two weeks in advance if you have the time; at minimum, you should test 24 hours before your live stream to ensure bandwidth quality, technical functionality, and redundancy. Test all video and audio settings and tools you plan to use in-stream for at least 30 minutes straight, and turn off any firewalls your computer may be running to ensure the best connection to the internet as possible.

Also, make sure you pick the right kind of streaming before you go live. As noted above, using the “Stream now” option gives you up to 12 hours of continual broadcasting, but the “Event” option is only 8 hours. Therefore, if you’re planning a live stream longer than 8 hours, you’ll need to use the “Stream now” option or your content won’t be saved past those 8 hours. Finally, keep in mind the YouTube Video Editor only allows editing of videos 3 hours or less, so if you want to be able to edit your livestream post hoc, you’ll need to keep it under that time frame.

As for mobile live streams, you should make sure you’re on the strongest internet connection possible before going live. To further prevent interruptions, try setting your phone to airplane mode, which should block incoming calls and texts that would interrupt your stream and draw your attention away from your live event.

#6 Include In-Stream Content

While you obviously have a reason to be doing a live stream in the first place, you want to make sure the broadcast is as engaging for your audience as possible, as well as growing your brand’s presence on YouTube. The easiest way to do this is by including in-stream content during your live event. For example, include both visual and verbal calls-to-action if you want to draw your viewers’ attention to a particular link or action, like asking them to subscribe to your channel. Just remember that if you use third-party content, you must have the rights to show or play it in your stream.

#7 Start Ahead of Time

Starting your live stream a few minutes early will enable you to check the integrity of the live stream and your equipment before getting started. You’ll also be able to send out final promotional social posts or emails to help generate more interest in your broadcast. If you enabled chat, starting early also allows users to jump into the chat screen and talk with each other before you officially dive into the content portion of your stream.

#8 Monitor Feedback

During the live event, make sure you’re paying attention to the chat box. Sometimes you may receive feedback to help you improve your stream, like a viewer telling you to move your microphone closer to your mouth so they can hear you better. If you’re not able to keep up with chat yourself, make sure other team members from your brand are available to help monitor and respond to users’ comments.

#9 Always Have a Plan B

If you’re unable to have two encoders for redundancy’s sake, and something with your live stream fails, you’ll need to have a plan B. In the case of a desktop-based live stream, you might have your laptop next to your desk computer to use as a backup, or you could opt for YouTube Live on mobile. If you’re live streaming via the mobile version, you may not be near a computer should your broadcast fail; however, you can do your best to move to a position with better wi-fi or make sure you have a mobile wi-fi device to keep your stream rolling.

#10 Capitalize on the Finished Stream

Hitting the “stop streaming” button doesn’t mean you’re done with your work. If you want to make the most of the broadcast you just conducted, consider adding it into a playlist of related content, or starting a new playlist solely for your live streamed content. You can also edit your stream and turn it into smaller highlight videos for distribution on your channel, or embedding on outside sites. Finally, make sure to promote your live stream archive and related clips via social media, your newsletter, or your website. Always keep in mind that while “Live Streaming On You Tube is great, doing pre-recorded events for your brand is still the real way to go. Live events is obviously exciting and allows for you to create urgency, interaction and other call to action but also mistakes can happen. I hope this helps and as always email me or hit me up on how FDMC can help you!

Roy Garton

FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC

Posted by: FDMC | May 10, 2017

Making Social Media Work For Your Business

logosDespite everything you read and no matter what anyone else tells you, there’s really no secret to success for marketers on social media.

Obviously, you can put the odds in your favor if you follow the industry’s best practices. But there are no shortcuts or tricks, no workarounds or hacks.

Big advertising budget or not, if you’re not careful to adhere to some of the channels’ most fundamental principles, any wins you experience will be short-lived at best.

Transparency counts for a lot in social media, as do authenticity and immediacy. Emerging technologies and newfangled tactics play considerable roles as well.

As if all that’s not enough, whether you’re talking about copy or design, still images or videos, memes or GIFs, you need to have an infinite supply of content in some shape or form queued up and ready to share with your followers, subscribers and connections.

Those principles I referred to above still reign first and foremost, though. There are too many of them to list here, but let’s talk about a few of the most important ones.

1. Have a solid strategy in place

Far too many businesses and brands decide to launch a campaign, only to realize not too far into it that they either don’t have enough content to sustain momentum or they have no idea what to do with it.

That’s just one of countless issues to address before you dip your toes in the social media waters. Branding. Lead generation. PR. SEO. What are your objectives? Which channels are you going to use? Who’s your audience? How can you achieve better results than your competition? You can easily get lost on social media if you haven’t mapped out your journey in advance.

 2. Be persistent and patient

If you’re not a brand like Red Bull or a celebrity like Kim Kardashian, you’re not going to be an overnight success on social media. Attention on these channels is earned, not given to you.

Even if you put a massive budget behind your content and promote it like crazy, you still need a ubiquitous, bona fide presence on social media to be taken seriously. Social media levels the playing field between buyer and seller. The more you engage authentically with your audience on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like, the more likely they’ll be to respond affirmatively to what you have to offer.

3. Roll out the red carpet for your audience

You never get a second chance to make a great first impression. Treat the members of your audience like VIPs. Roll out the red carpet and greet them with open arms. Thank them for following you. Ask how you can help them. Speak to their needs and interests, not yours. Give them props, credit, praise and kudos. Show them how much you appreciate the time they’re taking to watch, listen and learn from you. Give them far more attention than they’re giving to you and chances are, your welcome and warmth will be reciprocated.

4. Be available, responsive and engaging

The good news is that social media has made it possible for you to engage with customers, consumers and constituents in real time, anytime. The bad news is that they can reach out to you at their own convenience. And the expectation is that you will respond to them immediately. Banker’s hours are unheard-of on social media. Nights. Weekends. Lunchtime. It doesn’t matter what your schedule is in real life. On these online communication channels, you need to be there for your audience at a moment’s notice. If you snooze, you lose. There’s no rest for the weary on social media.

5. Show the human side of your brand

One of the biggest mistakes marketers, advertisers and professionals in general make is to underestimate the importance of the social in social media. People do business with people who are willing to engage as themselves, not logos behind a litany of promotional messages and corporate gobbledygook. Be kind. Be generous. Be yourself. Cold, calculating and contrived content will get you nowhere on these channels. Candor and extemporaneousness will fly. Stress the positive attributes of your brand, personal or professional, but don’t pretend you’re something you’re not. Honesty and personality will get you everywhere on social media.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC

Posted by: FDMC | May 3, 2017

Branding Your Small Business

We’re all familiar with slogans like “Just Do It,” “Live Más” (Spanish for “more”) and “Because You’re Worth It.” These slogans have become synonymous with the brands they represent, so it’s natural that small business owners would associate the notion of branding only with big corporations. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Branding should be a priority for small business owners, as well, despite its being one of the most difficult things to tackle.  Half of small businesses close their doors within five years of launching. And one of the causes might be the perception that branding is too “difficult” for founders to dedicate time and brain power to.

Why is branding so important?

 The answer is that it represents who you are and what your company is. It represents who you want to be and your core values and principles. The principles you set for your brand should be your guide, and compromising them means you don’t trust your own brand. Change is a constant in business and someone will always try to rival the services you provide; others may try to copy (or steal) your concept, logo and assets. But the one thing no one can copy? Your brand.

Here are four tips to develop a lasting brand identity:

1.Find your purpose.

 A brand is nothing but a promise delivered; therefore, building a brand must be the core of your company. Your brand’s purpose is to answer the “why.” Why do you matter and why you exist? Why did you start your business?

When I ask, “Why do you want to become an entrepreneur?” One of the standard replies I hear is, “Because I want to make money.”

Nothing is wrong with that; I love to make money too, but that cannot be the sole purpose. In this über-competitive world, your brand needs to find the one thing that makes it different.

As a small businessperson, you don’t need a purpose that’s going to change the world. An example: If you have a small restaurant that serves a type of food similar to that of the restaurant two doors down, but you use locally-grown products to feed your patrons, that’s going to be your calling card.

Your purpose? To help local farmers and help the local community. Customers know that you’re looking to make an impact and will reward you with their loyalty.

 2.Find your voice.

 Is your brand quirky? Fun? Adventurous? Giving a brand characteristics normally associated with human beings is one way to ensure that people identify with it.

In the beginning, your brand pitch helps you to create key phrases or descriptions and a checklist of touch points and then use those as bookends when interacting with customers. Opening and closing with a strong touch point leaves a lasting impression on the customer and helps you avoid derailing from your message.

If people are trying to get me to buy something and they launch into a hundred reasons why I should do that, I’m not interested, no matter how great the product. I don’t have time to stand there and listen to a whole sales pitch. So, take a lesson here: Don’t parrot your brand’s virtues; live them.

And, be short, concise and to the point: If customers feel and understand your passion, they’ll understand what the brand is trying to convey.

3.Make brevity and simplicity your best friends.

 It’s tempting to think of the multitude of things that make your brand great; therefore, it can be overwhelming to try to simplify what to convey to the public. The key here is: simplicity is best. The most successful brands have the simplest brands. For example, Coke has not changed its brand overall since the 19th century. The company may have changed colors and style, but that’s about it. All of us are familiar with the brand, whether we drink soda or not.

Keeping things simple increases brand recognition and can help create an emotional connection, turning customers into brand loyalists. Also, avoid being vague with your messaging. It’s a trap that many people fall into — if your messaging says nothing about your brand, your company becomes forgettable. Clichés are also a no-no. They make your brand look lazy and unprepared.

It’s tempting to use vague language to feel “safe,” but it makes customers think you’re hiding something from them. Don’t be afraid of offending someone; just be honest. With all the changes taking place in society — culturally, politically and economically — more consumers are looking for brands that align with their beliefs.

4.Make them work for you.

 Evangelizing your brand is already a part of your job and that of your employees’. It’s their job to tell your customers why you’re great and why they should buy from you.

When customers understand your brand, what you stand for, what you deliver for them and everything your brand conveys, they take on the role of “brand ambassadors” willingly. When your target consumers understand every nuance of your brand, you’ve hit the branding jackpot. When consumers identify with your brand, they become vocal about it — on social media or through word of mouth, which is still a powerful medium.

When customers have that connection, they organically evangelize your brand; they are working for you. Reward them, especially when they’re not expecting it. A discount or special offer, especially if it’s unexpected.

Here’s a bonus tip for you: Every campaign should be personally authorized by someone who truly understands the brand before anything is revealed to the public. If it not you the owner or manager, never leave branding to chance, because even minor mistakes can have a long-lasting effect on your business.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC

Posted by: FDMC | April 26, 2017

Using Instagram For Your Business

So how can you increase your organic reach on Instagram? Here are the 10 powerful tools to help you reach your audience with Instagram. Use them all or use some of them for your business. Regardless, make Instagram a part of your social marketing strategy so you are not missing out on your target audience whom today are very mobile.

1. Find your optimal posting times

Even though Instagram uses an algorithmic timeline now, optimal posting times are still important. It is a factor in the algorithm. Posting at the right times can help generate an initial round of engagement on your posts which can, in turn, prompt the Instagram algorithm to push your posts higher on your followers’ feed.

If you are using a Instagram Business Profile, you can check your Instagram Insights to find out when your followers are most active by the day of the week and the time of the day. To access your Instagram Insights (link to Instagram analytics post), tap on the profile tab in the Instagram app and then the bar chart icon () on the upper-right corner. There will be a section for your followers’ activity information, and you can tap on “See More” to see more detailed insights. Here’s an example of what you’ll see:

2. Experiment with videos  

Studies have found that photos tend to get more overall engagement (i.e. likes and comments) than videos on Instagram. On first look, it might seem that photos are better than videos for engagement — and it could well be! On closer examination, we might draw a different conclusion. News Whip studied the Instagram accounts of 31 news publishers and made an interesting discovery. While photos, on average, get more likes (and overall engagement) than videos, videos generate more comments than photos. In fact, videos, on average, received more than twice the amount of comments than photos! It is not certain if the Instagram algorithm values likes and comments equally or one more than another. But since commenting requires more effort from a user than liking, it’s possible that the algorithm values comments more than likes and would rank posts with more comments higher than posts with more likes.

Last year, Instagram found that the video watch time on Instagram increased by more than 40 percent over a six-month period. At this growth rate, it could be great to experiment with videos to see if it increases your engagement and organic reach on Instagram.

3. Host contests or ask questions to encourage engagement

Asking questions or calling for an action is one of the fun ways to encourage your followers to interact with your Instagram posts.  Hosting a giveaway contest is an effective way to engage your followers. Some of the call-to-actions you can do are:

Enter to win by sharing your favorite emoji party combo in the comments below 

 To enter, simply tag a friend below who you would “Vote” for as your favorite marketer and you’ll both be entered to win!

To enter tag a friend below who you know is rocking it on social media! 

What’s on your reading list this week? Drop your book suggestions below for a chance to win a free book of your choice from the Buffer team!

While giveaway contests usually generate more comments than usual posts. Try to give it a few months in between each contest to keep things fun and exciting.

4. Curate user-generated content

Curating user-generated content can encourage those users to engage with and share those content. Since the Instagram algorithm considers users’ relationships when ranking content on their feed, building relationships with your users through Instagram might also help your content rank higher on their feeds.

Apart from organic reach, Crowdtap found that user-generated content is 35 percent more memorable and 50 percent more trusted than traditional media and other user-generated content. This makes user-generated content a valuable strategy to try.

5. Tell Instagram Stories

Typically, 63 percent of marketers use Instagram, only 16 percent have created Instagram Stories. There’s a great opportunity to stand out before it gets too crowded! Instagram Stories take a prominent position on the Instagram app — above the feed. This allows you to stay on top of your followers’ feed and grab more of their attention. If your followers view your Stories regularly, it could possibly even help your Instagram posts rank higher on their feeds. It’s worth noting that the Stories are also ranked by an algorithm. Spend the time to create cool stories and make them shine!

6. Go live on Instagram

A similar “trick” is to go live on Instagram. When you use live video, you will appear right at the front of the Stories feed, assuming no one else is live at the same time. The “LIVE” logo also makes your profile photo more prominent in the Instagram app.

Going Live though can have a weird effect on your content.  A reason might be your brand is in front of your fans more often so the fans might go to your page to see your content more — even if the fans don’t watch the live video. This effect could play out on Instagram, too. Seeing your logo at the top of their feed might encourage your followers to check out your Instagram profile.

7. Use Instagram ads

This might sound a little counter-intuitive but Instagram ads can be an effective way to grow your organic reach.

If you have an Instagram Business Profile, you can promote your existing posts from within the Instagram app. (Here’s how!) By boosting an existing post and selecting the appropriate target audience, you can drive more engagement to the post and help it rank better on your followers’ feed. The paid reach can eventually help to drive organic reach!

So which post should you promote?

Here’s a quick way to pick a good post to promote:

Go to your Instagram Insights on the mobile app (tap on the profile tab and then the bar chart icon).

  Tap “See More” under the “Top Posts” section.

          Tap on “Impressions” at the top (a pop-up should apply to let you adjust your stats filters).

          For the first filter, you can choose “All”, “Photos”, or “Videos” according to your preference.

         For the second filter, select “Engagement”.

          For the third filter, select “7 days”.

You will see your top posts by engagement for the last seven days. From there, you can pick a post to promote.

8. Post less

If you truly want to connect with your audience, it’s better to share one fabulous photo instead of 20 mediocre images. So next time, before you hit post, take a moment and consider how this content contributes to your brand, and does it effectively encourage engagement from your followers.

I believe this is about the allocation of your resources and time. Instead of publishing 20 posts a week, use the same resources and time for just one or two posts and make them great.

Quality content that is relevant to your followers has a higher chance of eliciting a positive response from your followers. In turn, this can help your posts rank higher on your followers’ feed.

9. Create specifically for Instagram

One way to create quality content is to create content specifically for Instagram. Instagram, being a very visual platform, has a greater focus on the photo or video itself than the text. So a post that would do well on Instagram is probably different from one that would do well on Twitter or Facebook.

For smaller social media teams or solo social media manager, it can be challenging to always create unique content for each platform. Cross posting and repurposing content from other platforms can be great, too. If you are doing that, it’d be best to craft specific caption for each social media platform as your followers likely follow you for a different reason for each of the platforms.

10. Be a great Instagram user

Social media algorithms are built to encourage genuine, positive behaviors on the platforms such as sharing, showing appreciation, quick replies, and more. Often, they would also try to discourage abuse or hacks. My gut feeling here is that being a great Instagram user will help you grow your organic reach over time. That includes:

·                    Posting quality content that is relevant to your followers (be it informative, inspiring, or entertaining)

·                    Answering questions on your posts quickly

·                    Thanking people for commenting on your posts

·                    Exploring other people’s profiles, engaging with their posts, and building a relationship with them

I hope this has been of some value to you and if you have any questions always feel free to reach out to us. Have a good one!

Roy Garton

FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC

Posted by: FDMC | April 19, 2017

YouTube Channel For Your Business

Video Marketing has become increasingly important for small businessesof all sizes. And YouTube is one of the most popular platforms for posting and sharing those videos.

If you have a YouTube channel for your small business, or are thinking of starting one, here are 20 ideas for type of content you can post. Hope you enjoy them!

Video Ideas for YouTube

Product Spotlights

If your business is a product-based one, you can use YouTube as a platform for highlighting specific products such as widgets, bar glasses, Tiki patio furniture..

Product Announcements

Then when your business comes out with new products, you can create videos that offer a preview of all the new features.

Product-in-Action Videos

Video can be a great way to show your products in action. This is especially relevant for products like video games. PlayStation often posts game play videos for the games available on its device. Locally you can do the same with your proucts.

Product Explanations

If your product is something that might require a bit of an explanation, you might also consider creating videos aimed at simply explaining it to beginners. This can help them get acquainted enough with your offering to gain interest.

Product Comparisons

You can also create videos that compare multiple products to help your customers make more informed choices. An example would be if you sell air conditioners, you might show the difference of various sizes of the conditioners as to how many rooms it would cool. This would help your customers out!

Collection Videos

If your business releases collections of products, like lines of clothing or similar items, you can also create videos around those releases, Say you offer a new line of home made soap here is your chance to make it a premier star out of it.

Mini Movies

Your YouTube content can certainly be intended to inform or persuade. But don’t forget to entertain your audience as well. Lego does this with mini movies that feature some of its popular product sets. You can do it for your business as well. Having good editing software here is something I would suggest highly.

Special Offers

You can also share information about special offers or limited time promotions so that your YouTube viewers are constantly up-to-date with your offerings.

Customer Stories

To create more engagement with your customers and share content that’s relevant to your audience, you can create videos that share some of your customers’ stories through interviews or similar formats. I did this for a local insurance company and it worked out well.

Behind the Scenes Videos

You can also create videos that show some behind the scenes views of your company or products. Doing a “Meet The Staff” video or “A day In The..” with one of your route drivers is another example.

Company Milestones

When your company reaches a big milestone, or has a big accomplishment, you can create a YouTube video to celebrate and share the news!

How-to Videos

People often watch videos to learn how to accomplish certain tasks. So you can make these helpful videos in a way that includes some of your products or services.

Tips Videos

You can also create videos that offer simple tips on a particular subject. If you are a real estate person (and boy do we have real estate people all of a sudden here) you could do a video on tips on preparing your home for sale or showing. Tips such as painting or yard work. You get it.

Discussion Videos

Similar to how you might discuss various topics on a blog, you can create a video where you simply share your expertise or some thoughts on a particular topic. Let’s say you own a gym and you do a series of videos on fitness or running. This would be a great example of discussion videos.


Video can also be a great format for showing off content from your audience, especially if you can collect clips from people as part of a contest. GoPro is one example of a company that has done this well but make sure you follow all laws before doing this.

Inspirational Videos

Even if a video doesn’t directly relate to your products, it can still offer value to your target audience. Inspirational videos can sort of break up all those videos that specifically relate to your products or services. Assist a non-profit for example and shoot some video be kind and don’t make a big commercial about yourself out of it.

Regular Series

If you create enough video content regularly, you can turn it into a web series. Red Bull does this with some of the behind the scenes content it shoots with various extreme sports stars as an example.

Influencer Videos

You can also partner with influencers relevant to your audience and ask them to star in your videos as a way of creating quality content and growing your audience. Examples would be factory reps or distributor reps that you buy your products from for re-sale.

Holiday Greetings

On or around holidays, you can also make special videos intended to show some festive spirit and have some fun, We had a blast making a bunch of these for some of our customers last year. Yes, you can get them done professionally if you wish.

Funny Videos

You can also simply have some fun with your audience by posting funny commercials or other video content on your YouTube channel. Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has been getting thousands of hits and national publicity doing these while bringing up awareness on crime protection and safety.

I hope you enjoy these tips and if our company can be of any assistance to you in getting you started, please call or email us. We are YouTube certified partners and we can help you with that next video project as well.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC

Consumers know what they want, and when it comes to visiting a small business’ website, they expect the same experience they would get from a larger chain.

If website visitors don’t get that experience—whether because the site doesn’t provide simple information like an address or business hours, or because it has a poor mobile experience—then they are left with a bad impression.

March 2017 research from Vistaprint Digital found that roughly half of US internet users surveyed said they would most likely be left with a bad impression if a small-business website had outdated contact information.

And almost as many respondents said they would have a bad impression of a site that provided no address, directions or business hours.

A poor mobile user interface, difficult fonts and an unprofessional design were other factors cited by respondents.

Surprisingly, some small-business websites are still not mobile.

A separate survey from Yodle, conducted by Research Now, found that four in 10 US small businesses don’t have a mobile-optimized site.

Ultimately, a bad impression—like that from a poor mobile site—can affect whether or not consumers make a purchase.

In fact, nearly 60% of respondents surveyed by Vistaprint said they would be less likely to purchase something from a small business based on a bad impression of its website.

If you are a small business and need help with your website, feel free to reach out to us!

Roy Garton

FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC

Posted by: FDMC | April 5, 2017

Facebook and Video. A Hot Commodity Right Now!

Over the last few years, Facebook has quickly risen to become a powerhouse video destination, with its top ten publishers pulling in billions of viewers each month but just exactly why is that the case? Scientifically, is there a reason Facebook users, and even Instagram users, are attracted to video content when they’re on the site?

Facebook IQ recently conducted a study with some overseas users and found that they watched video content 5X more than any other content posted. Facebook’s study derives from a lab experiment where people’s eye movements and facial expressions were tracked as they scrolled through their personal feeds; this was followed up by interviews about the role video played in each participant’s’ life. The 114 participants were aged 18-30 and watched short-form (under ten minutes) online video content and ads at least once a month. Facebook IQ also enlisted Kantar Media to conduct a study of 1,999 people from two overseas countries who were over 18 years of age and who watched short-form video content monthly. The goal of this study was to try to gauge the content consumption of the participants and analyze related viewing trends.

  • 77% of respondents preferred videos under ten minutes, with 67% of millennials claim it’s easier to focus via mobile viewing than via desktop
  • 65% of millennials watched several videos in a row, with 60% of them saying they don’t even realize they’re doing so.

Next Steps for Video Marketers and Publishers

Facebook claims five key factors have attributed to the increased popularity of online video viewing, which include “smartphones, shorter attention spans, binge-watching, the importance of context, and the thrill of novelty.” Taking all these into consideration, video publishers on the social platform (and its related photo- and video-sharing app Instagram) should consider the following strategies if they want to reach video watchers.

Focus on mobile content.

Most of the millennials in Facebook’s study prefer watching video content on mobile instead of on a desktop. Cater to this preference by developing mobile-optimized clips which users won’t be able to resist clicking on when the content shows up in their feeds.

Harness the power of Instagram.

Facebook IQ discovered that across all surveyed, video on Instagram resulted in 1.80x higher levels of joy than the same content posted on other platforms. Video publishers who want to incite action and brand loyalty should therefore consider posting more clips to their Instagram accounts.

Keep content short.

With shorter attention spans contributing to the rise of online video, video publishers need to make sure their own content on Facebook and Instagram is digestible and impactful, so that it not only captures the attention of users as they scroll through their feeds but also relays brand messaging or key points at the very beginning of the video.

Try new video formats.

Based on the idea that novelty is a key factor to online video’s growth and success, Facebook IQ suggests publishers experiment with new video formats. For example, the recent study of the overseas participants were found to look at 360-degree video 40% longer than regular video content; these respondents also reported a level of joy 1.40x higher than joy from standard video.

Posted by: FDMC | March 29, 2017

Use Inbound Marketing To Save Time & Money!

here’s no doubt that the world of inbound marketing  has fundamentally changed demand generation.

The strategy of attracting prospects through content, social media, search engine optimization, and more has taken over the B2B world and for good reason: inbound marketing costs less  than traditional advertising and produces 54% more leads than outbound marketing. Your prospects and customers don’t want to be targeted with disruptive and annoying advertisements. They want to engage with quality content that educates, entertains, or inspires them.

There’s just one problem

Businesses are investing more in content marketing, which focuses on creating valuable content to guide buyers through the customer journey. Now, every marketing team worth their salt is publishing content for their audience, from blog posts, to whitepapers, webinars, ebooks, newsletter, and more. The bar has been raised and now creating more content isn’t enough. In order to get your content seen by your intended audience, you need to differentiate your brand and rise above the noise by offering value.

The New 80/20 Rule

If you were an early adopter of inbound marketing, you might have spent 80% of your time creating content and 20% of your time promoting it. With all the noise out there, the formula has flipped.  To increase engagement, you need to spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% of your time promoting it.  Becoming more strategic in your content promotion requires taking a fresh look how you communicate with your audience and ensuring that you are providing not only the right content, but that it’s in the right spot, at the right time. Here are 4 ways to help increase your engagement with your customer or client base.

1. Promote Content Across Your Website

Your whitepapers or ebooks don’t have to be hidden away and confined to your resources page. Give them the visibility they deserve by promoting them all across your website.  It just makes sense. If a visitor is browsing your website, there’s a good chance they’ll be interested in or want more information about related topics. You can provide that to them with your content. Aside from improving the user experience, it also increases conversions by making your gated assets more visible. This can be especially impactful if you are using web personal platforms to offer your known visitors the next relevant step in their content journey.

2. Promote Content in Your Email Signature

Did you know that the average office worker sends or receives 121 emails a day, according to a report by the Radicati Group? By encouraging employees to promote content in their email signature, you can take advantage of this under-utilized channel and increase the visibility of your content. While you can be scrappy and just add these to your footer or signature yourself, there are also solutions, like Sigstr and Exclaimer, that allow you to quickly change the content of email signature as needed depending on the recipient. This way, you can offer a tailored experience and different content to employees, customers, and your prospects.

3. Use Ad Retargeting

Many marketers are running retargeting campaigns to re-engage prospects who previously visited their website and drive them back to complete an action like starting a free trial or requesting a demo. It’s extremely effective because you’re only investing in qualified leads who are interested in your product or services. However, don’t be a marketer that misses the opportunity to use retargeting to drive traffic to gated content, which you can track conversions from to prove the ROI.

Using a comprehensive marketing platform, you can listen to website activity and then retarget visitors with digital ads to promote relevant content. For example, if someone browsed your website for information about your account targeting solution, you may want to serve them an ad that promotes your latest gated asset on account-based marketing.

4. Pin It to Your Twitter Profile

Last but not least, pinning a tweet to your Twitter profile is a quick (and free) way to increase the visibility of your content. While other social platforms like Facebook offer similar features, Twitter Pins are shown by default at the top of your profile page no matter how old they are. Not sure this is worth the time? You might be surprised how much traffic your pinned post gets. In fact, when Buffer pinned one of their Twitter cards, they saw 10x as many conversions. To glean insights on your own posts, use Twitter Analytics to see how people engaged with your profile and posts in a 28 day period.

With the competitive landscape of B2B marketing, getting your content to stand out is harder than ever. Have you tried any of these strategies?

Roy Garton

FDMC Social & Digital Media

Posted by: FDMC | March 22, 2017

Live Stream your business Today!

Live streaming video refers to broadcasts in real time to an audience over the internet. While the concept of live streaming has been around for years, mobile-first video platforms with user-generated content have just recently begun to make serious waves thanks to improved video quality, faster broadband speeds, and enhanced mobile technology.

Online video has become a key part of the strategic business model for both brands and marketers as they seek more innovative ways to capture consumer attention. Creative live streaming video initiatives and campaigns are a way for companies to cut through the digital clutter and have emerged as the medium of choice not only for person-to-person sharing, but also for business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) communication.

Brands are increasingly using live streaming to reach audiences. Its importance has grown significantly thanks to substantial investments by social platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitter to build and enhance their live-streaming platforms.

And advertising dollars are likely to follow. 88% of agency respondents stated that they “might” or “definitely will” invest in live stream video advertising over the next six months, according to a recent Trusted Media Brands survey.

Live streaming video will further accelerate streaming videos overall share of internet traffic. Streaming video accounts for over two-thirds of all internet traffic, and this share is expected to jump to 82% by 2020, according to Cisco’s June 2016 Visual Networking Index report.

·        Live video’s value comes from its unique ability to add an authentic human element to digital communications. As a result, brands are leveraging three main streaming methods to connect with their viewers: tutorials, product launches, and exclusive and behind-the-scene footage.

·        Advertisers will continue to invest heavily in online video, especially as live streaming video gains traction. Already in the US, digital video ad revenue reached $7.8 billion in 2015, up 55% from 2014, according to figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau.

·        While live streaming is still in its early stages, brands are leveraging micropayments, mid-roll video ads and direct payments from social platforms, to monetize their live streaming videos.

·        The success of live streaming video hinges on brands overcoming a lack of measurement standards in the space, as well as changes in social media sites’ algorithms that affect what content users see. As of this month, live streaming is available (mostly via your smart phone or desktop) to the platforms of Twitter, You tube, Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social and Digital Media

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