Your Shopping Cart

Missed something ? Continue Shopping

Why You Need Video Marketing to Succeed after Facebook’s News Feed Update

Facebook recently announced MAJOR updates to their News Feed that have businesses concerned for good reason. One major thing most small businesses overlook is that Facebook is not a free self-promotion platform, but they are an algorithm and an advertising platform. Remember, if you’re not paying for something, you are the product. They too are a business and make their revenues from advertising, so that means you’re going to have to pay more to play, and play by their rules and algorithms of how Facebook works at maximum efficiency if you want the maximum amount of your followers to see your posts. This blog will cover what Facebook did, what it means for your business, and how you can succeed with Facebook video.

The implications of these recent changes are particularly important for the need for brands to create more video content. Video continues to be an important pillar for Facebook — the “video first” strategy emphasized in earnings and the recent launch of Facebook Watch make that clear — but the recent changes to News Feed (where you and your followers view others posts) indicate that Facebook might still be trying to figure out exactly how video best works into its overall strategy.

What Facebook Did

On January 11th, 2018, Facebook announced that to keep the platform “good for people’s well-being” the company had overhauled its News Feed ranking system. The goal is to return to Facebook’s core mission of creating a social network that builds personal relationships through “meaningful social interactions.”

Video remains a key focus for the social network (as we have seen by the explosion of video on Facebook over the past two years).

What It Means for You

The core change is simple: whatever Facebook considers a meaningful interaction with a post will increase the ranking of that post in the News Feed. The most meaningful interaction is Person to Person (it is a social network after all). 🙂

Person to person interaction will be ranked higher than person to Page (including businesses and influencers) interactions. To do this, Facebook is using the amount and “quality” of interactions. Personal interactions as a proxy for the quality of the content consumed. They figure that the likelihood of a person consuming, interacting, and sharing content is directly related to its quality. By definition, the inverse is true: content that does not organically (naturally by it’s quality of content) lead to lots of interactions will be ranked lower, fulfilling the new goal of de-prioritizing generic, passive, and nonsocial experiences and interactions.

The Head of News Feed at Facebook stated: “As we make these updates, Pages may see their engagement, reach and referral traffic decrease…[and] we’ll show less public content, including posts from publishers or businesses.” With these changes, what’s a business to do?

How to Succeed with Facebook Video

Changes to Facebook, and specifically News Feed ranking methodology, shouldn’t be too surprising. The precedent for ranking some content lower based on its value and authenticity was already set in December 2017 with the “engagement bait” penalty. Ultimately, to be successful on Facebook you need to play by its rules and be ready to adapt quickly when those rules change. In the spirit of adapting, here are five ways to succeed with video on Facebook following these changes:

  1. High Quality and High Value Video Content: Facebook ranks video that generates person to person interactions higher. To stand a chance, your video has to at least get enough interest with your audience to give them the opportunity to interact. This is going to raise the bar on the relevancy of your video, how interesting it is to your audience, how valuable it is to the individual viewer, and how subtly you can encourage your viewers to interact (without becoming engagement bait). Zuckerberg himself said that we should expect the time spent on Facebook to decrease, with the overall goal that the time spent on Facebook is more valuable. Take this to heart and make your videos and content as valuable as possible.
  2. Cultivate Meaningful Interaction: Facebook is explicitly prioritizing interaction, and meaningful interaction gets even more points. What is meaningful interaction? For starters, interactions from your connections will get the biggest boost in the new ranking system because “interacting with people you’re close to is more meaningful.” The more likes, comments and shares you get, the more your videos will be exposed to a broader audience. An interesting spin on this is that the quality of and effort in the interaction also affects its rank. According to Facebook, “typing out a long and thoughtful reply to a friend’s post” will increase the ranking of that post more than “just scrolling through the Facebook feed, passively reading or watching without interacting with others.” Ultimately, your Facebook video strategy will be successful if you can tap into your viewers’ interest and excitement for your video and get them to interact with it as deeply as possible.
  3. Livestream to Your Audience: Not surprisingly, live-streaming video is explicitly called out in the Facebook update. According to the announcement, live videos on Facebook get six times more interaction, on average, than “regular” videos. Given the new ranking system, live video streaming on Facebook is an opportunity for brands and publishers to get front and center with their audience. Technical considerations aside, we recommend tying livestreams to something time-sensitive, like a special promotion, event, product announcement or real-time news story. Creating urgency and a reason for seeing what you have to say first is the most important part of creating a captive live audience. Once you have that audience, build “calls-to-interaction” into your message to promote your livestream and increase its ranking in Facebook.
  4. Build Personal Connections: Social networks exist to connect people and Facebook’s new rules will prioritize videos with which people and Groups interact. One way to take advantage of this is to make your video more personal and authentic and well-thought out. Video that makes a personal connection will encourage others to interact with it, increasing its ranking. In other words, plan your videos out carefully and thoughtfully or use help of a professional such as our video team at SYN3RGY Creative. Another way to get better rankings will be to set up your employees to take part in your Facebook video strategy.
  5. Diversify and Take Ownership of Your Video Distribution: This last tip isn’t specifically about Facebook, but it’s critical to your company’s long-term video success. The reality of working with Facebook, or any other social network, is that you are not in control. It’s someone else’s business and at the end of the day, you can’t rely on them to always do what is best for you. With that in mind, we have two recommendations. First, there are other social networks out there (YouTube, SnapChat, Twitter, Instagram to name a few.), and each of them is making video a top priority. Yes, you’ll need to tailor your videos for the expectations and capabilities of each social network, but it will be worth it. Second, don’t forget about your own web properties. Whether it’s your website, blog, landing pages, or apps video is what people want. Make it easy for them to understand your message and make decisions that lead to the results you want.

Are these changes something you should be concerned about? Yes. Best rest assured there are ways to adapt your Facebook video strategy so you can still be successful. As you make changes to your Facebook strategy and expand to other social networks, you may want to schedule a conversation with us on how to best adjust your social media strategy for early 2018. Our expert team will give you professional insights into the demographics of your online customers and prospects, how to plan your social media strategy, ideas for videos your brand should have, and more.

Thanks for reading and we’ll talk to you soon about your video and social media needs.

6 Hacks for More Effective Meetings

No one dreads anything more in the workplace than another pointless meeting. The quality of your meetings, will never exceed the quality of your preparation.

Check out our latest video below where we’ll give you 6 practical hacks to have more effective meetings that will drive results! 

 

8 Tips for Better Trade Show Booths

When investing time, money, resources and staff into attending a trade show to showcase your business, it’s imperative you do it right! Many businesses get it wrong and go bare basics, but we’re here to help. Below are 8 practical things any brand should consider before attending their next trade show or event.

  1. Clarity is HUGE. Anyone working the booth needs to have the company “elevator pitch” memorized. The brand story from SYN3RGY is regally great for helping brands identify a clear message. Be yourself – let the booth be about what you do what you say you do and the giveaway should do the same. 
  2. Be genuine. It’s okay to be funny, quirky or different as long as it is true to you and your brand do it.
  3. Begin with the end in mind. Know what you are trying to communicate. What do you want the visitors to your booth to know, do, or think differently about? What is your call to action? What does success of the event look like?
  4. Read the fine print of each venues requirements. Some venues have crazy regulations, a/v provided or not provided, restrictions, unions, power requirements, etc. Understand what you can and can’t do, load in and load out, etc.
  5. Have amenities other companies aren’t likely to have to lure people to your booth over others.  By simply having a place for people to charge their phones can be nice, have a 5 minute conversation while you give their phone a little juice.
  6. Have a unique give away. It should not be a throwaway item and also help reinforce what your brand does. Be creative. If needing ideas, SYN3RGY can help as we have catalogs full of promotional products by category. 
  7. Know your audience. Understand what their needs are. What do THEY want out of visiting you? Remember the trade show isn’t about you, it’s about what you can do for them. How will you make their lives better?
  8. Measure: whatever event marketing you do this year measure it. Keep a budget, measure conversations had, track how long, track responsiveness, follow ups, conversions etc.

Hopefully some of these tips have helped you think more strategically about your next event. As always if we can be of any assistance, let us know!

4 Advertising Strategies For Small Businesses

Small business owners often need focus with their advertising efforts.  Most are on a small, limited budget and need to be strategic with their allocated resources and advertising strategy, yet often don’t know where or how to get started. Here are some tips on how you can get started in the right direction before you spend another dime.

Find your target audience

You don’t want to waste time and money marketing to everyone.  That’s a waste of resources.  You need to do research and find out who you should be targeting and then target those groups.  Collect data, then use it in your advertising strategy. To collect the data needed to find your target audience, you can create surveys, keep track of who your current clients are and graph out their demographics like age, gender, income and interests.  Create a persona for your customers and find out more about them. You can Google all sorts of articles and tutorials for how to create a customer persona.

Measure and track your advertising

There are many small businesses that simply don’t know if their advertising is working.  As a business owner, you have to know where you’re at. Establish key metrics to measure success or hire an agency like SYN3RGY Creative to measure them for you.  Set up a specific email  address and phone number for your business so you can track who is contacting you for your business from your advertising efforts.

Know when to advertise

Most small businesses can’t afford to be advertising 24/7.  The key is to use your dollars wisely.  You need to learn when your target audience is online, watching television, listening to the radio, etc; this way you can target them at the right time on the right day. There are numerous SaaS (software as a service) programs out there that can monitor customer buying habits for you, or we can track that for you.  If you sell seasonal products, you should be advertising during your peak season, not the off season for example.  Watch your competitors closely and see when they are advertising and if they are being effective.

Clearly define your brand

Can your customers identify you easily based on your advertising?  Will they relate to your logo, typeface and colors and brand message?  You want your customers to be able to identify your brand based on these things.  Use your brand identity to build loyalty.

Focus on your brand’s unique voice in your advertising campaigns instead of having them be a broad sweep across the board. You will spend your advertising dollars in a more strategic and efficient way.  This is incredibly important for small businesses.  We know your dollars count and we at SYN3RGY Creative can help you with all of these points listed above so your brand really takes off.

How To Increase Social Media Engagement

Social media can still be considered the Wild West for advertising, but don’t let that scare you away. A lot of business owners do see the value in social media and are using it, but they aren’t doing it right. They don’t necessarily know how to increase engagement in the most effective way and an increase in engagement means more people are paying attention to your brand. Here are a few tips to further your brand by increasing user engagement.

Be Yourself

People like when brands humanize themselves; it creates a relatable feel to your brand, which can drive sales. It really is as easy as just being yourself. Take a break from the monotonous “buy our product” posts and instead fill your Facebook and Twitter posts every so often with what’s going on with your company. Do a profile on an employee, post pictures of the office, have an employee live tweet or Snapchat a “day in the life of.” 

Share Relevant Content

Scour the internet for articles about your businesses industry and share those posts. For example: say you own a pool company, share a post that might be “Top 5 Ways To Cool Off This Summer.” Or “Pool Cleaning Tips.”  This makes your brand more resourceful to your target audience.

Keep It Light

You don’t want to only be posting about your business and what it can do for others and why a client should hire you or visit your store, etc. Keep it fresh by sharing jokes and keeping up with recent internet trends; a good example of this would be memes. You can also share videos to your page that have gone viral and are popular at the moment. Doing this will also increase your chances of your post getting shared, which can drive new potential followers to your Facebook or Twitter page where they will see information about your company such as what you do, your phone number and website. It’s all about driving traffic. The only potential issue with sharing memes or viral videos is that they are only popular for a limited amount of time, so you have to hop on them quick. 

Your light hearted posts can even possibly go viral. Think back to the Super Bowl blackout in 2013 when Oreo posted the now famous Twitter post right as the lights went out in the stadium, “you can still dunk in the dark.” The post (that was made for free by the way) reached not only their current followers at the time, but millions of other people because it went viral. The post got 15 thousand likes on Twitter. By taking advantage of a real-time situation, Oreo essentially got hundreds of thousand of reach from the post and an incredible ROI by simply keeping it light and being timely with its post.

Think of your business page as your personal feed. What do/would you share to your friends? When you think like that, it’s easier to make content that isn’t all about selling your product or brand.

Be Timely & Regular With Posts

To stay active in the minds of your audience, you have to be active yourself. We suggest posting one to two times daily for Facebook and Instagram, twice if you are a medium-sized brand. For Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram Stories you should be posting even more frequently.  If a holiday is coming up, take advantage of that and make some of your posts about said holiday a few days before. On the day of the holiday you can post a simple message saying something like “we hope you had a great (holiday here)”.

In a previous blog post, I talked about why hiring a marketing agency to do your social media is better for you.  Agencies have access to different tools and software that you might not have access to or even be able to afford on your own. Access to these tools can benefit you greatly. Marketing agencies can provide multiple services for your social media such as providing analytics, (the kind that dives much deeper than what free analytics do) all the way to writing social media posts out weeks, even months out ahead of time and queuing them up to post at a certain time and day by using special software so you won’t ever miss a post. This allows you to work more efficiently, so you can focus on your subject matter expertise instead of marketing your business!

Giveaways & Contests

This can be a fun and fresh experience for your followers. It makes the user feel like he or she is a part of the brand. Take for example the contest “Do Us A Flavor” that Lay’s Potato Chips does through social media. Lay’s asks users to “do them a flavor” and “create” a new flavor of potato chip. The creator of the winning chip flavor that gets picked for Lay’s to use gets a 1 million dollar prize. This of course creates competition between users on the various social media platforms the contest is run on and drives traffic to the Lay’s website where the “creators” input their information for their new chip flavor. 

You don’t have to be a large corporation or have a large prize to have a competition with your followers though. The prize can be something as simple as a gift card to the business you own, a small cash prize or anything else you can think of! The competition you create can be themed to your brand too! For example, say you’re a company that sells office supplies. Your competition can be something as simple as asking followers to take a picture of someone “who has the messiest desk.” Or if you’re a company that sells pet supplies, you could have a contest that’s “dress your pet in the best outfit you can create from our selection at X Pet Store and post it to our Facebook page and the post with the most likes wins a $50 gift card to our store.” The people who have posted their pictures for your contest can then be encouraged to share his or her post on their personal pages asking their friends and followers to go like the photo submitted so he or she can gain the most likes to win. So this means that competitions and giveaways can also encourage new visitors to your page, which can result in more likes and a larger reach for the future. 

Competitions are great conversation starters as well and we all know word-of-mouth advertising is incredibly effective. The ROI on social media is excellent because there are no costs for retweets or likes. Social media is at no cost to join so they can be a potentially zero dollar investment (if you aren’t participating in boosted posts and the like,) this makes ANY return on social media great!

Customer Service

As with any industry, customer service is incredibly important. Good or bad customer service can possibly make or break a brand. 

Anytime a customer engages your page, whether it’s a like, comment, share or review be sure to interact back with a thank you or an appropriate comment. If someone posts a negative review, respond to it ASAP and attempt to resolve the situation. By you commenting back on a bad experience, even if the review isn’t changed to a positive one after the situation is fixed, others can see that your brand made an effort to try to resolve the issue and it also shows you care. By interacting with your followers, it encourages further and future engagement with your social media pages. People like to see brands interacting with them, especially when they have had a negative experience. Sometimes, just simply reaching out to the person who is upset can be enough. 

If you’ve decided that hiring an outside marketing group is the right decision for you, you have made a step in the right direction toward growing your brand. SYN3RGY Creative has a team of marketing strategy and social media experts and the necessary tools ready to help you and your brand accomplish your goals, give us a call or email today and let’s talk about what’s possible. 

Why your brand MUST have a Social Media Presence

Can you think of a brand that doesn’t have a social media presence?  Even most small mom and pop businesses typically have social media profiles.  Not having any social media presence is like owning a landline or using dial-up internet.  There are some small businesses who will ask if he or she really needs social media marketing.  The answer is yes— and here are some of the most important reasons why:

Loyalty  

A Texas Tech University report recently found that brands with active social media profiles have more loyal customers. Your brand becomes more personal when you’re utilizing social media.  Your fans and followers don’t view social media as advertising, they view it as engaging with them at a deeper and more personable level. Users are more likely to engage with a brand, share what it has to say and remember what the brand is posting compared with a traditional advertisement. 

Using social media for business can boost your site’s SEO 

Social media posts can drive targeted traffic. You want to create a new page on your website and have the world see it, without begging for it and even paying for it.  Well-placed social media posts can make all the difference. 

Your competition is using it, so that means you need to, too

More than 91% of brands are using more than one social media platform.  You don’t want to fall behind the competition on this because it’s much harder and more expensive to try to catch up rather than get in on something great, early.  Don’t let your competition beat you to the punch on getting potential customers to follow them first because then their loyalty likely remain with your competition.  You want your competition to be playing catch up, not you.

Branding

With every profile being unique, businesses can give brands a personality on social networks. How they interact, the look and feel of the profile, all encompass the general characteristics of the brand. For many businesses your social profile may be more important than your website. If there’s a problem with your product or service, you want to know about it right away. With the feedback you get in the process of social media marketing, you’ll be the first to know when there are issues – and you can take steps to resolve them right away. Studies have shown that consumers appreciate companies that respond to customer complaints. This is a huge deal for small businesses more so than large corporations.  You can engage with your consumers with social media and they can engage back, this helps build rapport with your consumers, which can help with branding and leads to you making a higher profit.  Communication is important for any business but positive engagement with the customer base can really lead to improved reputation. Social media allows brands and users to interact freely and quickly.

As always, you can contact us with any more questions on social media you may have.  SYN3RGY Creative offers the best in social media management and marketing strategy solutions.