I don’t know about you, but it seems like every time I open my inbox or check Twitter, one of the major social media platforms has added a new feature.
This can get pretty overwhelming. It can even make you curl into a ball under your desk and wonder why you even bother…
I… feel… you!
It’s my job to keep up with emerging trends in digital marketing, and even I get exhausted keeping up with all the new changes.
But the one thing you CANNOT do is get too far behind. Your audience will notice. According to Global Web Index, Internet users have an average of 5.54 social media accounts.
Not understanding how digital marketing is evolving on a daily basis can hurt your bottom line. If you are using old techniques and not reaching your audience where they are, you can see drops in not only your engagement but also your profit.
Me no like no profits…
Okay! Get from under that desk; I’m here to help. Let’s get caught up on the latest social media features so you can start improving your marketing strategy and growing your business.
#1 Pinterest Video Ads
Pinterest ain’t just for reminding us of how inadequate and uncreative we are. It’s a major power player, and your pin game needs to be strong because now videos ads are here.
Pinterest is beginning to roll out video ads across their platform. The new update allows businesses to purchase ads for short videos that will be hosted in user’s Pinterest feeds. Almost similar to a quick snap or a gif, the short video is just a teaser, and the users can click on the preview to see the full video. Along with the video, advertisers can add on six related pins that correlate with the video. Each pin can then be saved or pinners can click a button to purchased.
Here’s a look at how the new promoted video works:
#2 Facebook Live
Everyone knows about Facebook Live by now, but small businesses are really not using it. I truly believe that many are still wary about a live broadcast without the ability to edit. The good thing about the lack of use in the small business community is that there is still an opportunity to be a first adopter.
Here are some tips to help you begin using Facebook Live effectively:
- Tell people ahead of time when you are going live. Creating a Facebook event and inviting your audience is a great way to let people know you’ll be broadcasting soon.
- While you are live, ask your viewers to click on the “Subscribe” button so that they get notified when you live again.
- Plan your broadcast ahead of time. It may be live, but it doesn’t have to be unplanned. Know what you are going to talk about and create a script if needed.
- Create an attention-getting description. When going live, you have the option to add a description. Make sure you include that so people know what you will be talking about.
- End with a call to action. The point of marketing is to get results. Let people know what you want them to do. Visit your website, download an ebook, etc.
- Engage with viewers. This is especially useful if you are doing a question and answer session. Say hello to you commenters by name and respond to their comments or questions.
Want to learn more? Check out these tips from Facebook.
#3 Instagram Stories
Okay..Let’s discuss the elephant in the room?
It’s an obvious, but welcome knockoff of Snapchat (don’t shoot me snappers). Like many businesses, I already have a significant following on Instagram, so it’s much easier for me to utilize Instagram Stories to grow my business versus Snapchat.
Many overthink Instagram and Snapchat, which is why many companies are struggling to use the tools. It’s simple. Stop worrying about how it looks, and just use the damn thing!
Let’s stop pondering the universe every time is time to post something for your business. Just do it! Take pics and videos throughout the day of you running your business, using your products, etc. Be creative and have fun.
Need more tips:
- Take behind the scenes videos and photos of your business and be sure to include fun captions to engage your audience.
- Feature your customers and get video testimonials right after a purchase.
- Let partners/customers/clients take over your Stories and show how your business/product/service is helping them.
- Promote your content in a fun way and then include a shortened URL for viewers to read more.
- Give sneak peaks of product launches or services through Instagram.
#4 Twitter Direct Message Buttons
Twitter now has a new direct message button that you can place on your website to allow visitors to send you a direct message via Twitter.
Death to contact forms? I think so…
The button is great for businesses who need to provide quick customer support. It’s also good users because now they don’t have to search for your Twitter profile to send you a message.
The buttons are customizable and can be built via Twitter’s publishing landing page. Grab one and add it to your company’s blog sidebar and contact us page.
Need help? Follow me on Twitter and let’s talk.
#5 Instagram Business Profiles
Instagram has been in no rush to roll out features! Although they take FOREVER to give us what we want (Hello! Scheduling posts please??), when they do, it’s usually really good. Their new business profiles are no exception. If you haven’t already, go over to your Instagram account and convert your page to a business account right now!
These new biz profiles open up a whole new level of magic. I’m talking insights about your followers and the ability to promote your posts inside the app. Plus… no more trying to cram your business’s contact information in your bio.
My favorite, though, is the ability to see what posts are performing well, including what times your followers are engaging.
Get your butt over to Instagram and convert. More tips and tricks directly from the IG Gods:
Plus a step by step video:
#6 Facebook Slideshow Ads
Constantly creating Facebook video ads? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Instead get the same effect with Facebook Slideshow show ads. Not only are they more cost-effective, but they are easy to make. Like really easy. Plus, you can overlay audio and text. Slideshows are much better for users too because they don’t have to wait for videos to load.
All you gotta do is upload your photos (video stills, stock photos or brand photos) and overlay text and sound. That’s it.
So… no more excuses about why you can’t create video ads. Here’s a quick video by Facebook to help you get started:
#7 Facebook Lead Ads
Face Lead Ads are my besties! One of my KPIs this year is to grow my email list. I’m not going to go on a rant as to why I think email is the most important part of building loyal customers. That’s another blog post for another time. But I will say that these have been successful for me.
Just like it sounds, Facebook lead ads help you generate leads by allowing users to fill out a form so you can follow up with them.
Facebook, as usual, has made it super easy to use. The contact forms are included in your ad; you just add the fields you want to capture. When someone clicks your ad, it takes them to a form right inside of Facebook. They don’t have to do much because Facebook fills out the form using their profile information. Easy peasy for your audience!
Here’s the part I had to hack a little. Downloading and uploading entries every time someone submits? Again… ain’t nobody got time for that. Enter Zapier, the automation tool for businesses. They automatically dump my Facebook leads entries into MailChimp.
Voila… all done and the marketing can begin.
Facebook has a ton of resources to help you figure it out.
#8 Website Push Notifications
This feature isn’t new, but it is under used so thought I’d mention it.
You know how your favorite apps can notify you on your phone if they have an update available or new features?
Did you know your website can do that too? I know right, pretty cool! Here’s how it works:
1. When someone visits your slice of the Internet, a box is triggered to let them know they can opt-in for push notifications. Once they allow your website to notify them, they become a subscriber.
2. You can now send them push notifications! They arrive in real-time. When a subscriber clicks on the notification they go directly to the URL you posted, i.e., new blog posts, freebie, sale, etc.
I know this is exciting, but please do not annoy your people. You know how irritating it is to get a ton of app notifications, right? Don’t be THAT business.
Ready to get your website updates into your visitor’s mobile notification trays? My favorite tool is Push Crew. They have a great free plan for your first 500 subscribers. After that, it goes up to $25 per month.
#9 Best Time to Posts Scheduling Features
Recently I gave up on my addiction to trying figure out when to post on social media for my clients and me.
After a million spreadsheets and research, I finally hit a wall and gave up (I was back under my desk again).
Put down the spreadsheets and Google analytics, and walk away.
Let’s be honest. Nobody knows. Even the industry leaders like Kissmetrics, Hubspot, Coschedule, Buffer, and more are confused.
They must have realized it because everyone has released “best time to post” features in their scheduling apps. So we can finally stop guessing and let data do the work. Here’s how I do it:
Buffer: I use Buffer to schedule my personal social media including Instagram. They have a feature called “Optimal Scheduling” where you let Buffer discover the to share content on social media and build your schedule.
Coschedule: For content marketing, I use Coschedule. I LOVE COSCHEDULE. Too much love to explain in just this post. Anyhoo… They have a great feature when scheduling the social promotions for your posts called “Best Time”. Just choose the day and they will take care of the rest.
Mailchimp: If you are a paying customer, MailChimp will send your emails at the best time. Once you build your email, the last step before you schedule or send, there’s an option to let them send it at the best time based on your subscriber’s time zones and open rates. (FYI… subscribe to my list please).
Whew! That’s it. Those were all the new features worth mentioning that have popped up recently. Implement these babies and they will help you take your business and life from Hustle to Success.
Anything I missed? Lmk in the comments!