Posted by: FDMC | July 27, 2016

Snapchat or Facebook. Which One For Your Business?

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Snapchat is  rolling as the hot app and Facebook is taking a serious look at its competitor so it can shore  up many of its most successful features.

At the same time, Snapchat is moving away from ephemeral content and beginning to engage in a stronger battle against the most popular social network in the world than we first thought. Will there be a clear winner?

 Audience 

We may not have all the stats to compare side by side the audience for both platforms, but Facebook is #1 with its 1.65 billion monthly active users. There’s no social platform yet that can beat this number, while Snapchat says it has 100 million daily users but no hard facts to back those numbers up.

Youth appeal

Snapchat got popular for its impressive appeal to the younger audience, starting as a fun and instant form of communication among teenagers. Although it has evolved since then, it is still popular to the audience aged 13-24, as it forms 60% of its audience. Snapchat states that it  reaches 41% of all 18 to 34 year olds here in the US on any given day. Facebook may be the most popular network but it’s appeal to the younger audience has given away to mid millennials and the over 40 generation. Teens early 20 somethings don’t want nothing to do with those stats as they like their own “space” in the world of social media. There has been a 46% growth of new Facebook profiles from 2012 to 2015 for the ages of 45-54, while a decline of 25% has been noted at the same period for the new Facebook profiles of people aged 13-17 in the U. S. Young people face a new reality when family members join Facebook. They head to new platforms to freely express themselves. They don’t abandon Facebook they just don’t share content on it as much.  They use Instagram and Snapchat for those outlets.

Ephemerality

This is probably the most obvious popular feature for Snapchat. The power to make its users check content with high frequency on it’s platform before the content disappears. Snaps last for just 24 hours, which means that FOMO (fear of missing out) can become more intense, especially once you start adding more friends.Facebook seems to be fascinated lately with the idea of ephemeral content and that’s why it announced the launch of secret conversations on Messenger, a feature that will introduce encrypted messages with a timer to control the when they will be visible to the recipient.

 Engagement

Snapchat has managed to create impressive engagement with ephemeral content, but it’s still not easy to beat Facebook, which has turned into a daily routine for a great number of its users.  Adults spend about 23 minutes a day on Facebook according to most stats. Snapchat has observed that 54% of its its users engage with the app daily, while the average iOS user spends  an average of 18 minutes on Snapchat during the day, which means that there is an indication that the battle of engagement will become even more competitive soon.

Authenticity

You don’t have to like (or even understand) Snapchat to admit that it brought a new type of content to social media, with its explosive growth being attributed to the combination of ephemerality, creativity, simplicity and visual content.The idea of vertical video has proven to be successful (and effective for brands), while filters turned out to be a fresh use of branded promotion.It wouldn’t be fair to omit Facebook’s own authenticity back when it started, but as it’s heading to a more mature status, we’ll give this round to Snapchat and its attempt to beat the odds of success at a surprisingly fast rate.

For The Fun Of It

Snapchat is fun. No question about it.  Facebook as it is today really is not meant to be fun but more of an informative platform.  This is why teens and young people have left it.  They want fun because they have not grown up. They want to be entertained and they want excitement.  While Facebook in its infancy was cool to be on it has evolved into a communication tool that the older generation has embraced.  Facebook however has established itself and we know it will be around a long time.  The verdict on Snapchat is still out as it is still a relative “fad” platform but growing. Snapchat is trying hard to be taken seriously, as it is still known as the platform that may turn you into a dog, or swap your face with Leonardo DiCaprio. Lenses have turned out to be very popular for Snapchat and their constant update creates a habit of trying out the new ones, again, for the sake of (useless) fun.However, this changed when brands joined the game of sponsored lenses, which made them more interesting from a business perspective.For example, Gatorade created a sponsored lens during Super Bowl and it led to 60 million plays in total, 165 million views and an increase of 8 points in purchase intent.

 Branded content

Facebook Pages have formed the idea of branded content in social media and they have been imitated by many platforms. It’s an organized way to distribute content by encouraging users to stay up-to-date with a brand’s news, while Facebook offers several tools to boost this experience.On the other hand, Snapchat wanted to revolutionize the idea of branded content, by encouraging a new format of visual content which focuses on the engagement with the user, ensuring that the reach is not missed through a customized feed that hides the content you’ve liked.This doesn’t mean that all brands are ready yet to experiment with Snapchat and this may be attributed to the lack of options regarding the distribution and the measurement of the content, which is certainly something that we’d love to see in the future.Both platforms have their advantages and their disadvantages when it comes to branded content, but Facebook is certainly a winner, mainly due to its established status, the flexibility and its insights.

Video

This is probably the biggest battle between Facebook and Snapchat and it’s also the most interesting one. Both try hard to succeed in this field, as this may be the battle that will crown the ultimate winner.Video content is on the rise and it’s not expected to stop anytime soon, and both Facebook and Snapchat have their own advantages and disadvantages on its creation and distribution.What’s more, Facebook has launched the idea of Facebook 360 videos, in an attempt to succeed with another popular trend. Snapcat  is definitely ambitious enough to compete with Facebook’s plans with video content, This sign of explosive growth cannot stay unnoticed and that’s why there is an attempt to keep up with its fast growth by offering more features and options for brands that join the platform.

Instant communication

Snapchat started as a fun platform of instant communication between teenagers and that’s how it became popular with its ephemeral content, its simplicity and its mysterious appeal.Facebook started as a platform that connected people all over the world, although the concept of communication changed over the years. The launch of Messenger was a great move for Facebook. That brought the best features of Facebook and it’s apps into one platform. which now boasts over 1 billion users.Both Snapchat and Facebook have benefited from their appealing instant communication in their own way, the first by creating a strong engagement rate which helped it grow, the second by expanding its features to interesting paths that we keep exploring.

Chatbots 

Instant communication in terms of business opportunities is already changing on Facebook Messenger with the introduction of chatbots, the pre-programmed messages that allow users to stay informed from their favorite brands and pages regarding a new release, a sale, or an event.This could be the big step for Messenger in e-commerce and further business opportunities, and as there are more than 11,000 bots in Messenger, we are expecting great things from this feature.

Advertising

This is an unfair battle, as Facebook is already established in advertising, offering numerous options for brands to promote their products. There has been a 50% increase in Facebook’s active advertisers in a year.Mobile advertising has turned out to be extremely effective, as it accounted for 79% of the company’s revenue of Q1 2016.From a brand’s perspective, Facebook’s advertising tools can help an ad reach the right audience, while the introduction of Canvas led to more creative formats that may be more appealing to users.On the other hand, Snapchat is yet at an early stage of its advertising growth, but early reports from Snapchat on it’s ROI is very impressive. It has noted that its Snap Ads have a 5x higher CTR compared to other platforms.

Summary

The fact that Snapchat managed to become a serious competitor for Facebook in certain areas in just a couple of years is an indication that we cannot ignore its potential, as its growth is expected to continue. Snapchat is expected to surpass Twitter and Pinterest in  users this year, reaching 58.6 million users with a growth of 27.2%, while it will keep building its audience until 2020 to further close its gaps with Facebook.Even if it’s not enough to ever beat Facebook, it is still impressive to monitor its success to go up against Facebook.

Roy

www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

Posted by: FDMC | July 20, 2016

Doing Videos With Instagram

Digital video is more popular than ever and small businesses are jumping on the bandwagon.  Doing videos for mobile apps such as Instagram is a marketers goldmine. The problem is many small business owners believe it is too costly or they just do not understand how to go about making their videos.  Here are some good tips to keep in mind when making digital videos, especially for Instagram.

Step 1: What is Your goal in making your video?

Before shooting your video, ask yourself what your goal is. What do you hope to achieve with this particular Instagram video?

Making an unedited video using your smartphone camera many times is all you need to do.  Just remember to capture your idea and keep it professional.  Always remember the time limits of videos on Instagram. Typically 60 seconds.

Start by outlining what it is you want to achieve, like getting the views you want. This is done by getting people to share your video and using hashtags.

Choose a goal that is achievable for your brand. If you’re just getting started on Instagram and only have a handful of followers, don’t expect 1,000 views on your first go-round.  Going forward, keep a time frame to post future videos so you can gain an audience.  Stick to that calendar!

Step 2:  Light your shoot.

You don’t need to own a top-of-the-line lighting kit to make people look great on camera. There are, however, some basic lighting tips that you can’t afford to live without. This advice works particularly well if you’re shooting a talking-head style video with a backdrop and a subject that’s standing in one place.

  • Avoid shooting video under overhead lighting.  This type of lighting creates “raccoon type eye” shadowing, which doesn’t make anyone look great. Have your subject move around until you find the sweet spot.
  • Use natural light. Does your office have a lot of big windows? Is the sunshine just pouring in every day? Stand near a window for the shot, but remember to always keep the light in front of you, not behind you.
  • Get creative with your available light sources. If your subject is looking a little harsh with your current light setup, create softer light by bouncing a light source off a reflector, like a piece of white poster board. Block out unwanted light in your space by covering your windows with some black plastic and save some cash. If your budget allows for it, spring for blackout roller shades.

Step 3: Shoot your footage.

When it comes to shooting your footage, there are a few key tips to keep in mind. Try to incorporate these best practices into the Instagram videos you make and you’ll be on your way to success.

  • Mix up your shots. Just like with any video, you’ll want to mix up your shots in order to capture your viewer’s attention. Grab your phone and record a number of short clips that help tell your story. If your video is longer than just a few seconds, change up your shots so your viewers aren’t just staring at the same talking head for a minute and a half.
  • Show, don’t tell.  For Instagram videos  the platform itself is a visual one, so play it up. Show them what your product actually looks like.  Don’t talk into the camera like a selfie.  Nobody cares about your face.  They want to see what your product or service is.
  • Use your judgment.  If you’re shooting a  company culture video, you should feel free to take some liberties with steadying your shot. Walk around with your phone and capture the best shots without worrying about stabilization. However, if you do plan to shoot talking-head videos, interviews, consider a tripod.  There are tripods available for smartphones.
  • Be selective.  Remember that you only have 1 minute to share your story, so save your long-form content for your site. Company culture posts tend to perform well on this platform because they fit in with the types of content other people are already sharing. Plan ahead around events and functions – if you know there’s always a company-wide outing during the summer, add shooting an Instagram video into your editorial calendar for that month. Not everything is video-worthy, but if you can come up with a fun, creative angle for what you’re promoting, video can help get the job done!

 

Step 4: Edit.

Now that you have all your footage together, it’s time for the edit. Editing videos within the Instagram app itself isn’t the most seamless experience, so if you’re stitching footage together or going for anything other than just a quick trim, you should edit the footage in a third-party app. Here are some apps we’ve found particularly useful:

  • Splice (Free) | iOS. This app was made by GoPro, so you know it’s legit. Splice has a five-star rating and comes equip with cool features such text overlay, video splicing, and narration, music, and sound effect functionality.
  • Magisto (Free) | iOS & Android. Magisto is a simple yet powerful editor that makes it really easy to create professional videos. Choose music, customize the theme, and splice shots until you’ve created the perfect mix.

Remember: Instagram is all about keeping things lighthearted and fun, so don’t over think it and remember your time limitations.  As you get more experienced, you can start adding various effects to your videos such as wipes, dissolves, slo-mo and other fun things.  If you are still shy about doing digital video, you can always hire a professional but as that famous line goes..”You Can Do It!”

-Roy

www.floridadudemarketingconcets.com

Posted by: FDMC | July 13, 2016

Getting Your Social Up In 4 Easy Steps!

We work with a lot of people talking about social media. I’ve had conversations with people who are leveraging their accounts to build their own businesses, some  who are beginning to see the benefits of signing up for Periscope, Snapchat, or Instagram using these tools to build their personal brand.  No matter what you do with social media, 3 things still apply about this crazy technology and its effect on people.

  • They continue to be surprised by how quickly everything keeps changing.
  • They like how it helps them to connect with people and help them grow their personal brand or business.
  • Despite all the advice out there, they still don’t feel like they’re any good at it.

If this is how you feel, here’s what I want you to understand: There is no one way to be good at social media. The strategies, tactics, and platforms that’re going to make a job seeker in the food industry well versed in social media won’t necessarily be the same strategies, tactics, and platforms that make a marketing manager in the financial industry excel and stand out.

But, even though there’s no one-size fits all way of using the platforms, there are best practices and steps you can take—no matter why you’re online—that’ll make you a better at it.

Here are some tips that I think might help your or your social strategy work better:

1. Understand Your Posting Style and Stick to It

If you want to be a confident, savvy social-media user, you have to decide what you want to be known for on social media. How do you want to position yourself or your brand?

For example, do you want to be a go-to expert on a topic? Do you want to create a Facebook page with funny videos everyone watches while they eat lunch? Do you want to offer no-holds-barred commentary on current events?

I know this might sound warm and fuzzy, but it’s actually an important marketing tactic. If you pretend to be an expert on a subject you know nothing about, people are going to catch on—and disconnect—very quickly.

Once you decide what you want to be known for—in other words, what you want your community to come to you looking for—all you need to do is serve up that content consistently.

2. Keep a Running List of Videos, Articles, and More 

Having content is to share content. Share content you think the people you’re trying to connect with will find interesting, insightful, and thoughtful. Ideally, it’s also content that speaks to you.

The easiest way to post great content (and to post it regularly!) is to keep a running list of the content you come across on a daily basis that you think your audience will enjoy. Then, whether you decide to create content monthly, weekly, or daily, you have a big meaty document to pull from, rather than trying to come up with content on the spot.

3. Respond to Everything

If you browse the internet for social media tips, you’ll find a ton of articles about how to create content and how to publish that content.

When you think about the real reason we choose to be on these platforms—to connect with people—it’s crazy that we spend so much time and energy trying to get people interested in us or our businesses (by creating and publishing great content) and not spend time actually solidifying the connection we just worked so hard to make.

Creating and publishing awesome content doesn’t make you good at social media—it makes you good at creating and publishing great content. To be good at it, you need to foster and nurture the connections you derive from your online presence.

So, if someone comments on a photo, answer him. If someone tweets an article you wrote, thank her. If someone sends you a direct message on LinkedIn, reply back. It’s one of the easiest ways to make your network grow.

4. Watch Your Analytics

If you want to get better at social media, you need to understand who’s engaging with what you post and what’s resonating most with those people so you can continue to serve up content they’ll respond to. The easiest way to do that? Analytics.

Analytics can be a pain but all you really want to know is: What were your top pieces of content in the last month? How much engagement (likes, shares, comments) did top posts receive? Who is interacting with your content most often?

Take some of your best connections and venture off Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. Exchange email addresses. Invite an active follower to coffee. Send a handwritten thank you note. Invite a few contacts to your next webinar. That’s when you’ll know your social media game is strong. Going offline is really OK!

Posted by: FDMC | July 6, 2016

Skype For Small Business

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Microsoft recently announced a browser version of Skype aimed at small businesses. The service is called Skype Meetings, and it’s the company’s first web-based product. Skype Meetings will let you video chat with up to 10 people at a time for the first 60 days of use, and then meeting capacity is limited to three people. It also includes some of the more powerful collaboration tools included with Skype for Business, such as screen sharing and PowerPoint integration.

Skype Meetings is very similar to the free version of Skype. Both versions of the software let you video chat with the same number of people and make use of the platform’s messaging capabilities. But Microsoft is clearly marketing this version of Skype as a easy, no-frills way for small companies to set up video calls. Its only real appeal over Skype’s standard version is the ability to work directly in a browser and the addition of the few features it borrows from the business tier of the product.

The goal is to entice small teams to try out Skype and then upgrade to either the video chat app’s more fully featured version or subscribe to an Office 365 business plan that includes Skype. (The company even advertises Office 365 on the Skype Meetings webpage.) As video chatting becomes more and more of a commonplace way to communicate in business, Skype for Business might be worth a look at. I am disappointed at how Microsoft tries to push Office 365 at you but if you can get over the banner ads then take a look at the web version of Skype for Business.  After all it is free.

-Roy

FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC

Posted by: FDMC | June 29, 2016

Are You Marketing For Mobility?

mobile_marketingWhile it may be hard to grasp, especially for the small business owner, putting your advertising dollars now into mobility is a reality one can not escape from.  Last year 30% of advertising dollars spent went into mobile advertising and that rate will  go up this year. (IAB report)

As we spend more time on our smart phones searching for deals, places to eat, movies to see, mobile ads are popping up everywhere. While some businesses it does make sense not to use mobility, most retailers capturing millennials and younger, they would be foolish not to be using mobile advertising.  Items included in these platforms include the standard SMS and email.  What is new to this platform is the use of 10 to 15 second video bursts.  Take a serious look at in-app advertising and see what you could be missing.

-Roy

Roy Garton

FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC

www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

Posted by: FDMC | June 22, 2016

Being Real With Your Social Strategies

Using social media and actually having it work for you has to be a partnership. I put together some simple but important tips to help your business grow and and at the same time, making sure your social platforms all click on the same “page” sort of speak.

Don’t Self Promote. Nobody cares. People are interested in what you have to offer and your brand. While it is important people know who you are and the face and people behind the business, talking about yourself too much can do more harm than good. This leads me to point #2.

Be Authentic. Your brand is your business.  Nothing can show how real you are than to have your staff or other people talk about your brand.  Being real today is more important than ever in interacting with your customers.

Keep your brand consistent across all of your marketing channels.  Do not confuse your customer base by showing something on one platform and something else on another.  If you sell and promote widgets on one social platform and they go to say Pinterest and see tree bark for sale then you lost your customer.  Keep everything equal and your images concise. Keep your colors and branding logos the same as well.

My last point is customer interaction.  Make sure if your customers ask questions, you reply and do so in a timely matter. Ignoring your customer base is a customer you lost and they will tell others you don’t care.  In this real time social world we live in, interaction is so important.  Good luck!

Roy Garton

FDMC Social and Digital Media

www.floridadudemarkeingconcepts.com

Posted by: FDMC | June 15, 2016

Mobile Content Marketing Strategies

download Mobile Content Strategy  needs to be done with the mindset of a person on the go. We do not want to make desktop marketing take a back seat but we need both platforms to go hand in hand. So how do we do that without creating more work? When you do your marketing strategy and you start thinking about what you need to do for your mobile users (which by the way now outnumber desktop users by a large margin) , think about what you yourself might want when looking up your business from a mobile device. Here are some quick tips.

The first thing we need to consider is attention span.  Mobile users sadly really don’t have one.  Most mobile users want their answers and search questions responded to  5 minutes before they even started..  Think hard about your keywords both in your header and text and think about a short sentence summary at the top of your article.

Keep your content as short and use images whenever possible to convey your message.  You have no more than 3 seconds typically to grab the attention of your mobile user. Use social media icons.  Mobility kills links so make it easy for your viewers by making things sharable.

More people are using voice search. If you are using Google Analytics, you can go to your console and use search queries and filter in some language keywords to help users find you with voice search. Good luck and start thinking mobility!

Roy Garton

FDMC Social & Digital Media

www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

Social-MediaSocial Media if it were to have a “birthday” I guess would be around 10 years old as we look at it today. While it has evolved and continues to do so monthly it seems like, we really need for small business, basic tips for using these platforms. I would like to chime in on my thoughts I typically share with my small business associates.

First, businesses need to realize you sell on social media. You create awareness of your brand.  Thus marketing of your business and to an extent, yourself is what you want to achieve here. Be visual in everything you do today with social media.  Words have become obsolete-at least cut way down. Your audience wants to see images and video not read everything. They seriously in today’s hectic world, don’t have the time and chances are, they are viewing you from their smartphone, laptop, or tablet.  Not sitting in their office or home on the desktop.

Fan interaction is essential. Have real time conversations with your followers. Do not create a bunch of fans, then sit back and say”look at me!” If these same fans comment or ask questions about your brand or you, reply back!

My last thought is use the tools you need to use. Do not be on social platforms that will do nothing for your brand or your business. Take time to see what works for you and then work at it.  Bigger is not always better in social media.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social & Digital Media

http://www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

Posted by: FDMC | June 2, 2016

Dealing With Angry Customers

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I was chatting with a friend recently at a function and discussing “bad press” or getting bad reviews. We all had them.  No matter what you do, the customer thinks you are terrible, your product or service stinks and  how do you ever stay in business!??  In this social savvy world we live in today, protecting your brand, your name and your business is so important.  We all know we  can never make every customer happy as many out there are on a simple mission to get something from you for nothing or they just enjoy making someone’s life miserable because they themselves are not happy.  Having said that, let’s explore some pointers that maybe you can turn an unpleasant experience into a good one for a customer.

Point #1  Is there really any truth to their claim?   We all make mistakes and perhaps the customer is actually right in whole or in part about their gripe.  We are not perfect.  Don’t be offended but reach out to them and say, I am sorry, you are unhappy, what can we do to make it right?  (Within reason of course)

Point # 2  If you believe the claim is a bunch of lies or they are out to take advantage of you be polite but stand your ground.  Do NOT get into a shouting match or argue with the customer.  Try and back up your statements with facts or data you may have.

Point# 3  Use other customers you know to defend your point if they have used your product or service.  Have them chime in on social media.  You have fans, use them.  and  believe it or not,  many times working with an upset customer can be turned into a  long time customer.  If you work with them, they may calm down and come back to you.  Some folks just want to know if you are human and you care.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social & Digital Media

www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

Posted by: FDMC | May 25, 2016

10 year olds and smartphones

 

smartphone-kidsAccording to Influence Central, kids are getting their first cell phone at about age 10 and one-third of kids have a social media account before they get 12 years of age.  11% of these kids had a social media account before they were 10!  While I have strong feelings about kids this young messing around with devices the sad thing is brands are fully aware of these same stats  and they are  trying to get as much of their advertising toward these young new and bold users.  This same study showed kids are using tablets in cars, watching videos on those smartphones, and using basic text messages. They understand Snapchat, clicking on to the internet and off they go. I just hope there is some adult supervision going on. I am in the business of technology and social media and you would think I would all over this a being the cheerleader for mobile devices. But at what price are we enabling our children before they are still in grade school?

I look back at my young life at that age and a Tonka Truck and playing “Mouse Trap” was more than enough entertainment for me along with getting out in the mountain air with my friends. We already know the seriousness of teens using smartphones for private messaging, sexting, and their young minds do not understand the long-term consequences of how much harm can be done from what they think is a fun or private moment with their boy or girlfriend. I strongly urge parents to think hard about when your child is ready to have their own smart phone. Do not cave in to “Well Jacob or Melissa has one! Why can’t I?” You not only have to look at the costs associated with an expensive smart phone but those contracts for an extra line and then the monitoring of what your child is doing with them.

The argument can be made “Well my kid having a phone allows me to stay in touch with them.”  and yes, you can actually track them as to where they are through the GPS but take the time to educate, and know the maturity level of your child for the responsibility that go with it. Like it or not at that young age, you need to check their phones to see what they are doing with it and control what apps they can and can not have. Ahh give me back my Mouse Trap Game!

Roy Garton

FDMC Social & Digital Media

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