Many business owners – entrepreneurs, micropreneurs, and solopreneurs – have a love-hate relationship with social media. All the “marketing experts” out there tell you that you need to be on social media but several of those same experts have differing opinions and ideas on what social media platforms you MUST use, how, and how often.
Social media – if not managed strategically and creatively – can be a huge time-suck. On the other hand, if done right and efficiently, it can be a huge lead generation tool and platform for prospect nurturing and conversion.
Another factor that can make it difficult for small business owners (and all business owners, really) to master social media, is that the social media landscape for commercial use is always shifting and changing.
In each of our social media mid-year reviews, we will cover some of the ways social media has evolved in the previous period.
Our social media highlight for the first six months of 2017: For the love of “live” – the race for real-time
Of course, when we think about going “live” we probably think of Facebook first. Yet, Twitter actually started the trend of real-time news and information being readily available to and from everyone, including businesses. Google rewarded this positioning by indexing Twitter posts – Tweets – in search engine results.
Consequently, businesses can (and should) now take advantage of this by real-time tweeting their events, offers, and company news. They get the benefit of the “live” marketing and information dissemination, but also the second benefit when these bytes are indexed.
Businesses have become increasingly frustrated with how Facebook has consistently taken steps to hinder organic visibility and reach. Instead, it seems the only way to really be seen by any real number of fans for a business on Facebook, is to pay for advertising.
An exception seems to be when a business “goes live.” It’s surmised that Facebook gives preferential indexing to Facebook live videos. Furthermore, it’s been reported they actually paid “social media influencers” upwards of $50MM to help them advance Facebook Live across the platform. With this much invested, they likely have even bigger plans for this tool than we currently know. Thus, it’s almost certainly worth the effort for businesses to strategize ways to use Facebook live video in marketing.
Furthermore, there is some expectation that Facebook will soon expand their “Facebook Stories” to businesses/pages too (stories are now only available for non-commercial users). These are user-generated live video shorts that expire within 24 hours after a friend views them—with a functionality similar to Snapchat.
While Facebook Stories are not really taking off yet, if they put money behind forcing the virility of this tool as they did with Live, it might be a good idea to start figuring out how you might make Facebook Stories a part of your social media marketing plan so you can get your piece of the pie – and possibly some interesting results – at the same time.
Snapchat is in the process of rolling out their own “Stories” in select cities. These stories are live videos that they index as part of their “Our Story” feed.
According to Website Magazine, “Using machine learning, Snapchat is now able to understand what’s happening in Snaps that are submitted to Our Story – likely similar to how Facebook analyzes images and videos to deliver a Facebook Memory that a person is most likely to share – so they can be categorized appropriately to deliver relevant results to a person’s query.”
Experts believe this new Snapchat feature has the potential to really blow up and become huge. Of course, it’s not hard to see the positive ramifications of a service-based business being able to go live and create a Story that is then indexed in real-time so that it’s able to be found in the Our Stories search quickly.
The challenge will be figuring out how other business can make the most of this opportunity. AND… since it’s likely that Snapchat will show preference to businesses with a following, it makes total sense to jump in and get ahead with this feature ASAP.