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Facebook Live via Desktop Rolls Out Globally: This Week in Social Media

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social media researchWelcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news.

To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention.

What’s New This Week

Facebook Expands Ability to Broadcast Live from Desktops and Laptops to All Users: Facebook announced that everyone around the world can now “broadcast live video to Facebook from their desktop or laptop computers.”

Facebook rolled out the ability to go Live from a desktop or laptop to all users around the world.

Facebook rolled out the ability to go Live from a desktop or laptop to all users around the world.

Facebook also added a new Live feature that “makes it easy to use streaming software or external hardware when going live from a computer.” All Facebook users can now “seamlessly share their screens, insert graphics, switch cameras, or use professional equipment in Facebook Live videos” and broadcast directly from their personal profiles and well as to Facebook Groups, Events or Pages.

For example, it’s now “easier than ever” for gamers to stream their PC gameplay to their Facebook audience. Artists and presenters can switch between on-screen graphics and a camera for sharing tutorials and how-to Live videos from their computers.

Facebook Rolls Out New Product-Focused Ad Format and Ad Metrics: Facebook now offers “better ways to visually inspire mobile shoppers” with its newest product-focused ad format, collection. With collection ads, brands can feature a primary video or image above relevant product images that, once clicked, lead to “an immersive, fast-loading shopping experience… that can showcase up to 50 products at a time” within Facebook. Collection ads are rolling out to Facebook marketers worldwide.

With Facebook's new collection ad format, brands can feature a primary video or image that lead to an immersive, fast-loading shopping experience on Facebook.

With Facebook’s new collection ads, brands can feature a primary video or image that lead to an immersive, fast-loading shopping experience on Facebook.

Facebook also announced an upcoming change to the way outbound click metrics are measured for full-screen ad experiences across Facebook and Instagram, such as collection and Canvas. These performance insights are currently being tested and are expected to offer all marketers a “clearer picture of people’s paths through the entire ads experience” once they are rolled out more broadly.

Instagram Adds Option to Save Live Video: Instagram rolls out ability to save live video broadcast to a phone once it ends. Although the live videos will continue to disappear from the Instagram app once the recording stops, this new feature “gives you the flexibility to hold onto your video and re-watch it later, especially if something exciting happens during your broadcast that you want to remember or share.” However, Instagram notes that comments, likes, the number of viewers, and live interactions will not be saved with the downloaded videos.

The ability to save your Instagram Live videos to a phone is only available with n the latest versions of the Instagram app on both iOS and Android.

Instagram rolls out ability to save live video to a phone once the broadcast ends.

Instagram rolls out ability to save live video to a phone once the broadcast ends.

Twitter Introduces New API for Live Video: Twitter introduced Periscope Producer API, a tool that “opens up new ways to share live video, such as starting broadcasts directly from external hardware, software, cameras and web services – without the need to connect them via the app.” The API will also allow third-party applications to authenticate Periscope accounts, configure streams, start and stop broadcasts, and publish broadcasts to Twitter.

Twitter is currently beta testing Periscope Producer API with a handful of strategic partners. However, other users can sign up for the waitlist to access the API once it rolls out more broadly.

LinkedIn Debuts Trending Storylines on the LinkedIn Feed: LinkedIn rolled out Trending Storylines, which are “daily curated interest-based feeds about the most important developing stories in your industry.” According to the LinkedIn Offical Blog, this new feature is personalized to each LinkedIn member and is expected to help them “discover and discuss news, ideas and diverse perspectives from the largest group of professionals, publishers and editorial voices ever assembled.” Trending Storylines can be found beneath the Trending tab on mobile or at the top right of the LinkedIn homepage on the desktop.

Trending Storylines are currently only available in the U.S. but will expand to more countries “soon.”

Our Take on Top News This Week

The Social Media Marketing Talk with Michael Stelzner is taking a break for Social Media Marketing World and will return on Friday, March 31, 2017. Subscribe to future shows here.

More News to Note

Messenger Rolls Out Reactions and Mentions Globally: Facebook Messenger introduced “two new features that improve group conversations to make them more fun and useful.” These include Message Reactions, which lets users “react to an individual message with a specific emotion, quickly showing acknowledgment or expressing how you feel in a lightweight way. Messager also rolled out the ability to “directly notify someone when they’ve been mentioned in a conversation” with an @ tag or just by typing the first few letter of their name.

Reactions and Mentions in Messenger are rolling out to all users globally “in the coming days.” They will also be available for Work Chat in Workplace, Facebook’s global communications platform for organizations.

Facebook Messenger is rolling out Reactions and Mentions globally over the coming days.

Facebook Messenger is rolling out Reactions and Mentions globally over the coming days.

Facebook Introduces Split Testing for Ad Optimization: Facebook introduced Split Testing for ads, which allows businesses to “simply and accurately” test different components of their Facebook ad buy across all devices and browsers and receive “easy-to-understand” feedback and results. While Facebook offers a number of ways to test ads on its network, the benefit of split testing is that it eliminates audience overlap and surfaces “the version of your ad that is performing best by randomizing the audience based on people, not cookies.”

Facebook Split Testing is available to all advertisers globally in Ads Manager and the API.

Facebook introduced Split Testing for ad optimization across devices and browsers.

Facebook introduced Split Testing for ad optimization across devices and browsers.

Google Introduces New Reporting and Research Features for Video Ads: Google Adwords announced “new research and reporting features to help advertisers ensure their video ads don’t just reach their audience, but also capture their attention – at scale.” These features include Unique Reach in AdWords, which allows marketers “to see the number of unique users and average impressions-per-user across devices, screens, and platforms,” and the ability to track long viewers watch your content with watch time reporting.

YouTube Automatic Captioning System Now Describes Sounds: YouTube’s automatic captioning feature can now label ambient sounds in videos such as applause, music, or laughter. The technology is currently restricted to exactly these three sounds because “they are among the most frequent sounds that are manually captioned” and the simplest to differentiate and decipher, according to YouTube. The company plans to “expand [its] algorithms to understand a wider vocabulary of sounds” in the future.

Instagram Expands Two-Factor Authentication to All Users and Begins Blurring Sensitive Content: Instagram announced that “two-factor authentication is now available to everyone.” This “extra layer of security” requires users to enter a code every time they log into an Instagram account, but is an optional feature which can be turned on and off as needed.

Instagram expands two-factor authentication to all users and begins blurring sensitive content.

Instagram expands two-factor authentication to all users and begins blurring sensitive content.

Instagram also announced that it will begin blurring photos and videos which have been marked as “sensitive” by another community member and reviewed by the company. Instagram indicates that users may soon notice a screen over sensitive photos and videos as they scroll through the feed or visit a profile. They can simply tap the image to reveal the photo or video.

Facebook Showcases Seasonal Greeting on Mobile: Facebook rolled out “new animations to denote the changing seasons” at the top of the News Feed. This past week, mobile users may have seen “an animated message with birds or butterflies denoting the first day of spring, if they’re in the Northern Hemisphere, or an animation of falling leaves, if in the Southern Hemisphere” in the flagship Facebook app for both iOS and Android. TechCrunch reports that the purpose of these animations is to create an environment on Facebook where users are “moved to express their feelings and connect with things that matter” and prompted to share a post about it.

Hootsuite Expands to Include Snapchat Analytics: Hootsuite has acquired a Snapchat analytics solution created by content creation company, Naritiv. With the addition of this new analytics product, “Hootsuite customers can harness Snapchat’s power as an emerging, brand-building video network.”

Linkedin Adds Enterprise Tier to LinkedIn Sales Navigator: LinkedIn added a new enterprise-focused tier to Sales Navigator, its subscription-based sales and CRM tool. The Enterprise Edition is “designed to be the best version of Sales Navigator for high-functioning sales organizations” and “ups the number of InMails to 50 per month, adds improved manageability features like Single Sign-On (SSO), and introduces an exciting new feature: TeamLink Extend.” LinkedIn Sales Navigator Enterprise Edition is now available to all users.

Medium Debuts New Subscription-Based Program: Earlier this year, Medium announced plans to move away from an “ad-driven publishing model” and focus on delivering quality content. TechCrunch reports that the publishing platform has released its new paid subscription service. While Medium will remain “open and free” to anyone who would like to publish on the site, only paid members will be able to read the content on the site and access other exclusive features such as offline reading, early access to updates and more.

Facebook Issues Call for Submissions for 2017 Facebook Awards: Facebook is now accepting submissions for the 2017 Facebook Awards, which honors “the best campaigns on Facebook and Instagram.” This year, the winning campaigns will be chosen based on “how it made people feel and how it helped businesses grow” as well as the reactions it provoked. According to the Facebook Business blog, “this year’s submission period opens on March 21, 2017 and closes on April 28, 2017. Information on how to submit Facebook and Instagram marketing campaigns for consideration can be found on the Facebook Awards site.

Facebook is now accepting submissions for the 2017 Facebook Awards, which honors the best campaigns on Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook is now accepting submissions for the 2017 Facebook Awards, which honors the best campaigns on Facebook and Instagram.

Google Invites Verified Organizations and Celebrities to Post Within Main Search Results: Google opened the application process for verified organizations and celebrities in the U.S. and Brazil to be selected to post relevant content and information directly within Google’s main search results. This opportunity is currently limited to specific “museums, sports teams, sports leagues, movies and… musicians.” Google will continue experimenting with Posts as it looks to make Search “even more useful and timely.”

Google opened the application process for organizations and people within specific categories in the U.S. and Brazil who will be eligible to post directly within Google's search results.

Google opened the application process for organizations and people within specific categories in the U.S. and Brazil who will be eligible to post directly within Google’s search results.

Upcoming Social Media News Worth Following

Facebook Tests GIF Button for Comments: TechCrunch reports that “Facebook will begin testing a GIF button that lets users post GIFs from services like Giphy and Tenor as comments.” Facebook confirms that this is “just a test” for now and will share more once this capability can be fully supported.

Facebook Tests Enhanced Local Search and Discovery Feature: Facebook is testing “an enhanced local search feature that… [allows users to] surface recommendations of nearby places – like “dinner nearby” or “bars nearby,” for example – by entering a query in Facebook’s search box on the web or mobile.” TechCrunch reports that this query returns “a list of relevant businesses, along with their ratings on Facebook, a map, as well as which friends of yours have visited or like the places in question.” Facebook has not confirmed any other details about this test nor has it shared when it will be rolled out to all users.

Instagram Boasts Over One Million Monthly Advertisers and Previews Upcoming “Book Appointment” Button for Business Profiles: Instagram announced that it has reached over one million active advertisers and over 120 million visitors per month and plans to “roll out the ability to book a service with a business directly from their profile later this year.” With this new feature, businesses will be able to customize the booking options to show pricing and payment as well as a dates, times, and types of services offered from a button prominently displayed on their Instagram profile page.

Instagram previewed the "Book Appointment" button coming to business profiles.

Instagram previewed the “Book Appointment” button coming to business profiles.

Google Introduces Location Sharing with Others: Google announced that users worldwide will “soon” be able to share a real-time location with anyone from the Google Maps app which is available on both iOS and Android.Others will then be able to see your location on mobile or desktop. The Next Web reports that users will have the option to set their location or progress while navigating “to be shared permanently with certain people or set a time limit.”

YouTube Will Stop Supporting Video Annotations on Mobile: YouTube announced that “effective starting May 2, you’ll no longer be able to add new or edit existing annotations, only delete them” on videos viewed on a desktop. Mobile users will no longer be able to see video annotations at all. According to YouTube, “the use of annotations has decreased by over 70 percent” as the adoption of mobile-friendly End Screens and Cards across all devices and the use of mobile devices have both increased.

The use of video annotations on YouTube has decreased by over 70% as the adoption of mobile-friendly End Screens and Cards across all devices has increased.

The use of video annotations on YouTube has decreased by over 70% as the adoption of mobile-friendly End Screens and Cards across all devices has increased.

Twitter Explores Paid Subscription Service for Power Users: Twitter is surveying users on their willingness to pay for premium features like analytics, timely news alerts, and tools for composing tweets in TweetDeck. The Verge reports that users are sharing screenshots of the survey and a mock-up of how the premium version of Twitter might appear on Twitter. Twitter states that it “regularly conduct[s] user research to gather feedback about people’s Twitter experience and to better inform [its] product investment decisions.” The company also confirms it is currently “exploring several ways to make Tweetdeck even more valuable for professionals.”

Google Developing Social Network for Collaborative Photo Editing: TechCrunch reports that “Google has been developing a new social app that lets small groups edit photos together and then organise them for future enjoyment: think Path meets Snapchat-style filters and edits meets Google’s imaging smarts.” Google confirms this product is simply “one of many” experiments it is currently running but did not share any further details.

YouTube Reevaluates Restricted Mode: In light of community concerns about YouTube’s Restricted Mode, the company stated that “this feature isn’t working the way it should.” According to YouTube’s Creator Blog, “it will take time to fully audit [its] technology and roll out new changes.” However, YouTube emphasized its commitment to “being a platform where anyone can belong, have a voice and speak out when they believe something needs to be changed” and it is actively addressing how Restricted Mode works on the site.

YouTube is reevaluating how Restricted Mode ought to function on the site.

YouTube is reevaluating how Restricted Mode ought to function on the platform.

Google Announces Plans to Expand Brands’ Ability to Control Ad Placements: Amid controversy over ad placements that appeared on offensive third-party websites in Europe, Google has “begun a thorough review of [its] ads policies and brand controls” and will make changes that give brands more control over their ads across YouTube and the Google Display Network “in the coming weeks.” Advertisers are requesting “simpler, more robust ways to stop their ads from showing against controversial content.”

Foursquare Launches Location Analytics Platform for Brands and Retailers: Foursquare unveiled Foursquare Analytics, “a clean, simple dashboard that puts the power of [Foursquare’s] proven location intelligence in the hands of brands.” With this new platform, brick-and-mortar retailers and restaurant chains can better “understand how their own company and an entire category are performing based on actual, measurable, real-world visits – and much more quickly than any option out there.”

Foursquare is currently beta testing this new tool with a handful of select brands. Other companies can contact Foursquare directly to learn more about it.

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Reddit Tests User Profile with Select Redditors: Reddit is testing “a new profile experience that allows a handful of users, content creators, and brands to post directly to their profile, rather than to a community.” The testers have access to a new profile page design that will “better showcase [their] avatar, a short description, and their posts” and allow them to follow and engage with other logged-in redditors. Select users were chosen to test this new feature, but Reddit will slowly roll it out to more users “over the next few months.”

Reddit is testing user profiles with a select handful of redditos and will slowly roll it out to more users over the next few months.

Reddit is testing user profiles with a select handful of redditors and will slowly roll it out to more users over the next few months.

News From a Partner, Simply Measured:

Social Media Progress Tracker: Track your weekly, monthly, and quarterly full-funnel metrics to keep you on pace towards your business goals. This Social Media Progress Tracker Template (formulas included!) helps you analyze your metrics and growth that matter to your business at all stages of the marketing funnel. Find ready-to-use excel sheets to track your goals and results. Don’t wait, download it today! (Sponsor)

This Social Media Progress Tracker Template (formulas included!) helps you analyze your metrics and growth that matter to your business at all stages of the marketing funnel.

Some Interesting Studies to Note:

Facebook Native Video Study: Quintly updated its previous December 2015 study about the usage of videos on Facebook using data collected from 167,000 Facebook profiles and over 6 million posts from July 1 to December 31, 2016. The findings show that native videos have over 1055% share rate and generated 186% higher rate of interaction than videos shared from third-party sources like YouTube. Of the Facebook pages and profiles examined, nearly 47% used videos and 85% included a native video.

The State of Performance Marketing 2017: AdRoll surveyed over 1,300 marketers from North America and Europe on their latest performance marketing strategies “across every stage of the marketing funnel.” The findings suggest that 57% of marketers are changing their attribution model this year and nearly 40% of those surveyed spend a majority of their budgets on measurement alone.

Friending in High Places: Business Leaders on Facebook and Instagram: This new study conducted by public relations firm, Burson-Marsteller, examines top business leaders’ adoption of Facebook and Instagram. Using data from 167 verified public Facebook pages and 224 public Instagram accounts for CEOs, company presidents, owners, founders and so forth, the findings show that Facebook is the fastest-growing platform among Fortune 500 and Global Fortune 500 executives and Instagram is not far behind. It also provides insights on which are the most followed profiles and biggest influencers and provides tips on how other business leaders can drive better engagement and interactions on social media. This report was initially prepared for the recent Ragan Facebook Leadership Communications Summit held at Facebook’s headquarters.

2017 Global RepTrak: This annual report from the Reputation Institute examines how a “good” or “bad” corporate reputation can impact consumers’ purchasing decisions and recommendations. The report also provides insights on how to create and sustain an excellent reputation. For example, the top four factors indexed are product-related with “perception of quality” being the biggest factor to consumers. The next biggest factor is corporate reputation pertaining to social responsibility, ethics, and fair business practices.

My Show on My Schedule: Facebook IQ studied how people’s media consumption behaviors are changing as a result of digital streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. This report also explores how people how people on Facebook engage with and talk about their favorite content and what “frequent TV watchers” want from content providers. With every major social media platform experimenting with some form of live streaming or original programming, these findings offer marketers important insights on what key demographics are interesting in watching, platform-specific messaging and how to leverage mobile and social media to drive content discovery.

What do you think of broadcasting to Facebook Live from your computer? Have you tried saving your Instagram Live videos to your phone? Please share your comments below.

Facebook Live via Desktop Rolls Out Globally and other social media news for Mar. 25, 2017.

Facebook Live via Desktop Rolls Out Globally and other social media news for Mar. 25, 2017.

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Aw, Snap: Everything You Need to Know about Snapchat for Business #SMMW17

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“Social media evolution is inevitable. All you can do is evolve along with it.” – @carlosgil83 Click To Tweet

Snapchat is a platform seemingly designed to confuse people of a certain age. Let’s say those of us who were high school age or older when Bill Clinton was president. If you’re in that demographic, you probably didn’t immediately “get” Snapchat’s minimalist UI and self-destructing messages.

Even if you’re one of the hip kids snapping away at home, it can be hard to see the business value of the platform.

But among the emoji and the rainbow vomiting there’s a huge potential audience. Brands with the right content and strategy are already enjoying success. If your target audience matches the platform’s demographics, it’s time to dive in.

At his Social Media Marketing World session, BMC’s Head of Global Social Media Carlos Gil made a compelling case for Snapchat as a marketing tool, and offered tactics for engaging on the platform.

Who’s on Snapchat

There are over 300 million monthly users on Snapchat. The vast majority are between 18 and 34 years old. 77% are over 18, and 24% are in the 25-34 bracket.

It’s a much smaller audience than, say, Facebook, but it’s a major player for millennials. 41% of all millennials in the United States are on the platform.

If your audience includes millennials and Gen Z, Snapchat is most likely a good fit for your business. If you’re hitting an older demographic, Carlos says, that doesn’t automatically count you out. It’s still worth doing a little research to see if your particular Gen X or Boomer audience is on the platform. Even B2B businesses can find an audience on Snapchat.

Brands Are Seeing Amazing Success on Snapchat

Carlos didn’t pull any punches in his assessment of the platform’s potential: One of his slides read simply “Snapchat is a legit marketing channel.”

Take Gatorade’s Super Bowl lens, for example. The lens added football-style eyeblack to people’s faces and simulate the celebratory Gatorade dousing at the end of the game. More people saw Gatorade’s branded lens than saw the Super Bowl itself–and for a fraction of the cost of a 30-second ad.

How to Build a Following on Snapchat

It takes work and engaging, fun content to get people to follow your brand, Carlos says. If you’re just starting out, it makes sense to experiment with geofilters first. People don’t have to follow your brand to see geofilters–they pop up based on location. Use geofilters to build brand presence, reach local users, even amplify tradeshow presence and community events.

To build your audience, start by leveraging your existing social media channels. Make sure your Twitter and Facebook followers can easily connect on Snapchat from their preferred platform. You can also run Facebook and Instagram ads that are targeted at Snapchat users. Just add “likes Snapchat” to your targeting criteria before running a campaign, and use creative that includes your Snapcode and handle.

Influencer content is huge on Snapchat as well. After you have started building a following, look to influencers in your vertical to co-create content and do channel takeovers.

Content that Engages on Snapchat

Unlike every other channel, Snapchat users want quality content that is fun, creative, and/or educational.

Okay, like every other channel, Snapchat content should be fun, creative, and/or educational. The difference is Snapchat is more informal and a whole lot shorter–you’re looking to build stories that are 2-3 minutes long, and each segment is just 10 seconds.

Carlos suggests keeping it extra real: Use the platform to go behind the scenes, feature the employees that make your business work, highlight your corporate culture. If you have a physical product to sell, think product story, not sales pitch.

Carlos used Nike as an example. If they’re launching a new shoe line, their Story will show people playing basketball in the shoes, not someone highlighting the shoe’s selling points.

Most importantly, keep your content fresh and updated often. Stories only last 24 hours, so constant refreshing is vital to keeping your audience entertained.

Keys to Converting from Snapchat

According to Carlos, marketing on Snapchat isn’t all about brand awareness fun and games. It’s definitely possible to inspire action and track results. Here are Carlos’ top tips for conversion and measurement:

  • Keep stories brief and include a very direct CTA
  • Offer followers exclusive VIP offers and flash sales
  • Use tracking URLs for every link out of Snapchat

It’s All Snappening

If your target audience includes millennials and Gen Zers, Snapchat is worth exploring. Start with the best practices you use for all of your social content creation–keep it authentic, entertaining, and educational. Then embrace the unique qualities of the platform. Go for informal, person-to-person content that humanizes your brand. Take your audience behind the scenes, let them meet your people and see what you’re about.

As Carlos says, “The key word in social media is ‘social.’” That’s true on every social media platform, but even more so on Snapchat.

Is your business using Snapchat? What questions do you still have about the platform? Let me know in the comments.

Creating Breakthrough Content: There Ain’t No Magic Feather #SMMW17

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If you want to write amazing content like Ann Handley, don’t be a Dumbo.

Dumbo was convinced he could only fly while holding a “magic feather.” When he lost the feather mid-flight, he plummeted toward the ground. It wasn’t until he believed he could fly without the feather that he was able to take off again.

Too many would-be content creators are searching for their magic feather–the book, online course, or perfect antique typewriter that will make them a writer. And while they search, they can’t or won’t write.

So Ann began her session at Social Media Marketing World by asking us all to recite a pledge out loud:

“I don’t believe in unicorns, fairies, or Santa. There is no magic feather.”

Despite the slander against Mr. Claus (who I have on good authority is very real), it’s a crucial first step. You have to know that good writing is a learned skill, not something magically bestowed on those with the right talisman.

You can do it. You can get better at it.

Here are Ann Handley’s five tips for writing “ludicrously spectacular” content.

#1: It Starts with Not Writing

At least half of the writing process doesn’t look anything like writing. Now, you may be thinking, “frequently what I’m doing while I’m supposed to be writing is not writing.” That’s not quite what Ann means, though.

“Not writing” means being in idea-gathering mode all the time, when you’re out in the world, bingeing on Netflix, or just daydreaming at work. Writers should gather ideas like squirrels gather nuts–always on the lookout, never passing one up, and stashing them where we can get at them later.

The difference between a productive writing session and a frustrating hour staring at a blank screen is having a stash of ideas to go through. Whether you keep them in a notebook, or a service like Evernote or OneNote, commit to hoarding at least five ideas a day.

When you’re ready to write, snag an idea from your stash and, as Ann puts it, “explore the daylights out of it.” Use tools like BloomBerry, Board Reader, and Buzzsumo to see how people are talking about the idea, so you can develop your own approach.

#2: Write an Ugly First Draft

When you do start to write your first draft, silence your inner critic and focus on getting the words from your brain to the screen. Know that you will revise the work at least once–probably more–before you publish. It’s incredibly freeing to accept that your first draft will be bad.  As Ann puts it, “You can’t write well without first writing spectacularly badly.”

That first draft doesn’t have to be a fully-fleshed out draft, either. It could be a list of points you want to cover, a really informal summary of the piece, or even something you dictate into your phone. The point is to give yourself something you can build on. It’s a giant leap from nothing to something–anything you do after that first leap will be easier. So whatever it takes to get something on the page, go for it.

After you finish your ugly first draft, let it rest for a while. Give your brain a little time off and let the piece sit. You’ll be better equipped to edit if you have some distance.

#3: Screw & Do

It’s not as salacious as it sounds: first, identify the ‘screw,’ the one key point for your reader that your whole piece revolves around. Second, do the editing you need to get to the screw as quickly and compellingly as possible.

How do you find your screw? Develop pathological empathy for your reader. Ann recommends the “so what?” process. Start with the statement you want to make, then imagine your reader shouting “SO WHAT?” Keep asking “SO WHAT?” and refining your message, and you will find the purest version of what you want to say, expressed in terms of benefit to the reader.

For the editing process, start with a self-edit by chainsaw. Ann says, “make every paragraph earn its keep.” In the first pass you’re trying to carve out huge chunks of writing that, while they may be very pretty or witty, aren’t serving your screw. Seek to create momentum for the reader by cutting out the junk that slows them down.

Then break it down to the sentence level. Edit with your scalpel, making sure each sentence is earning its keep. Edit for voice–when you read it out loud, does it sound like a person with a point of view wrote it? As Ann says, “If the label fell off, would they know it’s you?”

After the content is in fighting trim, then you can edit for grammar, formatting, all the small stuff. But the grammar should be the last consideration. There’s no point in repainting a condemned house. Get it structurally sound first.

#4: Write a Killer First Line

“Your reader is always looking for reasons NOT to read,” Ann says. You know it’s true–we’re always looking for the next distraction. A boring first line does your reader a favor; it gives them permission to move on.

Your first line needs to captivate the reader. Always lead with something that can capture attention. It could be a funny line, a wild statistic, or even just a strong point of view. Don’t be afraid to evoke an emotion, whether it’s amusement, wonder, or even fear.

#5: It’s All about the Voice

Your voice–or brand voice–can be a major differentiator in a sea of same-y content. Your voice should express:

  • Who you are
  • Why you do what you do
  • What you are like to deal with

Which means, of course, you need to know the answer to these questions before you start.

Marketers are often encouraged to ask, “If your brand were a person, would you want to hang out with it?” When you’re writing brand content, you’re asking people to hang out with your brand. Not every brand needs to be the life of the party, but your voice should communicate why your brand is a worthy companion.

Take the Spectacular Writing Pledge

Even in the age of infographics and videos, good writing and great content excel. From landing pages to blog posts, eBooks to ad copy, let’s pledge to create ludicrously spectacular content.

Feel free to stand up wherever you are and repeat out loud Ann Handley’s pledge:

“I will collect & hoard 5 ideas a day. I will not hit backspace while writing a first draft. I will not go straight from writing to publishing. I will have pathological empathy for the reader. I will not sound like everyone else. And there ain’t no magic feather!”

And if you do stand up and say it out loud, please take a video and tag Ann @MarketingProfs when you post it.

Online Marketing News: Millennial Micro Influencers, Apple Clips, Facebook Seasons

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Infographic: Who Is the Millennial Female Micro Influencer?
Who is a millennial female micro influencer? How does she compare to your average social media user? She tends to have a larger following with more engagement, and posts about topics like travel, fashion and health and fitness. This infographic sums up who this person is and what her followers and habits are like. AdWeek

Apple introduces Clips: the fun, new way to create expressive videos on iOS
This week, Apple introduced Clips — a new way to create expressive videos out of music, photos, video clips and more. These Clips also feature interactive titles that are based on your voice, and are easily posted directly to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo or a variety of other platforms. Apple

New: Save Your Live Video to Your Phone
Late last week, Instagram announced the newest addition to its live videos – users can now save their live videos directly to their devices. However, these saved videos will not retain comments, number of views or interaction data. Instagram

52% Say Majority of Their Business Marketing Activity Is Digital [DATA]
Search Engine Journal reports: “According to a survey sent out to Search Engine Journal’s Twitter audience, 52% say majority of the overall marketing activity for their business is digital.” Does this mean that brands are straying away from traditional advertising in favor of digital? According to a recent study by AdRoll, 65% of marketing decision makers spent more than half of their marketing budget on digital marketing. Search Engine Journal

Facebook rolls out seasonal greetings at the top of the News Feed
Facebook’s Goodwill team — the same folks that brought us Friend’s Day videos — have rolled out new animated media to announce the change of the season. In the northern hemisphere, users will see images of birds and flowers. In the southern hemisphere, users will see falling leaves. TechCrunch

New: LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences will target ads based on people’s web browsing, email addresses
According to Marketing Land, “Later this year LinkedIn will once again let businesses target the people who visit their websites with ads on the Microsoft-owned, business-centric social network. On top of re-adding website retargeting — which is already offered by Facebook, Google, Twitter and Pinterest — LinkedIn will also enable business to target ads based on people’s email addresses, as its aforementioned rivals already do.” Marketing Land

How Much Instagram Influencers Charge to Post Sponsored Content
MarketingProfs reports: “Influencers charge $271, on average, to share a sponsored post on Instagram […] Modeling influencers charge the most ($434, on average) per sponsored Instagram post. Music influencers charge the least ($201, on average). Modeling influencers also tend to have the largest audiences (141,563 followers, on average), and music influencers tend to have the smallest (26,403).” MarketingProfs

Google Admits Brand Safety Is a Global Problem
Prompted by recent events in the UK, where a media group paused all of its clients’ display spending due to ads appearing next to questionable and/or unsafe content through Google’s ad network, Google is reevaluating their practices around unsafe advertising. However, advertisers must also call themselves into account and ensure they understand where and how their ads are being placed. For brands to maintain safety, everyone needs to be watching. Ad Age

What were your top online marketing news stories this week?

I’ll be back next week with more online marketing news. If you have something to share, sound off in the comments or Tweet to @toprank.

Facebook Messenger Marketing: What Marketers Need to Know

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Do you want to communicate with your customers via Facebook Messenger?

Wondering how Facebook Messenger bots and Messenger ads can help?

To explore this topic, I interview Molly Pittman.

More About This Show

The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

In this episode, I interview Molly Pittman, the vice president of marketing at DigitalMarketer. She specializes in customer acquisition and teaches regularly for DigitalMarketer Engage, which is the company’s membership community.

You’ll discover how businesses can benefit from integrating Facebook Messenger features into their marketing.

Molly shares use cases for Facebook Messenger marketing.

Facebook Messenger Marketing: What Marketers Need to Know featuring insights from Molly Pittman on the Social Media Marketing Podcast.

Facebook Messenger Marketing: What Marketers Need to Know featuring insights from Molly Pittman on the Social Media Marketing Podcast.

Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below.

Listen Now

You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher.

Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:

Facebook Messenger Marketing

Why Consider Messenger Ads?

As soon as Facebook Messenger ads became available in November 2016, Molly started experimenting with them. Molly says she’s excited about Facebook Messenger ads because they’re not just a new interface element or feature. Facebook Messenger ads are a whole new channel.

Molly believes the value of Facebook Messenger ads lies in the app’s popularity and convenience. More than one billion people communicate via Facebook Messenger. Because that’s where people are having conversations with friends, family, colleagues, or whomever, Molly believes businesses should be connecting with their customers via Facebook Messenger, too.

The app’s popularity makes Facebook Messenger a good place to buy ads, connect with prospects, and talk to customers. Molly says that DigitalMarketer’s initial tests have shown good results. The open rate and consumption are really high.

Molly has seen the benefit from the consumer’s standpoint, too. A few months ago, as Molly was driving in Austin, she saw a new apartment complex being built. Molly was interested, so she went to the company’s Facebook page and contacted them through their Message Us button. They responded almost instantaneously. Every step of her communication with the company was done through Facebook Messenger.

I ask Molly if she believes Facebook Messenger will replace email. Molly responds that email will likely always be a powerful tool for marketers, certainly for the next five years. However, she says Facebook Messenger isn’t necessarily a replacement but is the mode of communication most similar to email. In some aspects, Messenger is better than email, she continues, because people tend to respond instantaneously on Messenger, whereas people don’t feel compelled to respond to emails right away.

Listen to the show to hear Molly and I discuss our predictions for the future of Facebook Messenger.

The Types of Messenger Ads

Molly explains the two types of Facebook Messenger ads.

To set up a Sponsored Message, select Messenger under Ad Placement.

Select Messenger as the ad placement for sponsored messages.

The first one is called a destination ad because when you set it up, you choose Facebook Messenger as the destination (as opposed to your website). Like a regular ad, a destination ad appears in the news feed and can display a video, carousel, or image. When someone clicks the ad, a message to your Facebook page opens in Facebook Messenger and you can begin a conversation.

For example, the first test Molly ran was a simple destination ad that said, “Do you have questions about how DigitalMarketer can help grow your business? We’d love to chat.” When someone clicked the ad, a Facebook Messenger window opened where the person could type his or her message to DigitalMarketer.

Molly says you can target anyone with destination ads, such as your custom audiences and interests. The opportunities are endless.

The other type is a sponsored message, which is more like an email. When you send someone a sponsored message, it appears in their Facebook Messenger inbox.

Molly explains that Facebook limits your audience for sponsored messages so Facebook Messenger doesn’t become full of spam. You can send sponsored messages only to people who have messaged your page in the past. Also, people can unsubscribe from your sponsored messages.

Send Sponsored Messages to those who previously sent a message your page.

You can only send sponsored messages to people who have already messaged your page.

Molly says her first four tests of sponsored messages had open rates of more than 80%. Email might have a 10% to 15% open rate. Molly says the sponsored message open rates show how many people are using Facebook Messenger and how quickly they’re reacting.

Listen to the show to hear Molly and I discuss in which inbox sponsored message ads appear.

Use Cases

Molly and I discuss two use cases for Facebook Messenger ads. Molly says one goal might be to build your connections via Facebook Messenger, which Molly likens to building your email subscriber list. She says, however, that instead of sending people who click your ad to a page on your company’s website where they enter their email address, your destination ad starts a conversation in Facebook Messenger.

Molly says that when you start that conversation, you need to deliver something of value or otherwise help your audience. For example, you might answer a question that’s important to your customer or share a document such as an industry report. That report can be the basis for continuing the conversation. You might follow up by asking whether the recipient has any questions about the report.

When you build connections via destination ads, Molly explains, you gain the ability to send your connections sponsored messages, too. That’s because you can only send sponsored messages to people who have messaged you already.

Molly says you can also use destination ads to drive sales conversations. In this example, your ad targets customers who are further along in the customer journey, such as people who visit your sales page but not the thank-you page that people see after making a purchase. After you create a Facebook custom audience of this group, you can show them an ad that says, “I noticed you didn’t buy X. If you have questions we can answer, click here to talk to one of our specialists.”

DigitalMarketer targets custom audiences with Destination Ads.

DigitalMarketer shows destination ads to people who have previously visited their website.

When someone clicks the ad, a Facebook Messenger conversation begins with your customer care or sales team. This conversation gives a customer care or sales representative a chance to overcome any doubts or objections that person might have had about purchasing your product. Molly says the interaction is very similar to live chat on a website.

When you use destination ads to start sales conversations, Molly says it’s helpful to start the conversation deeper into the customer journey, because you want to provide a good customer experience. Most businesses aren’t able to handle half a million Facebook Messenger conversations, but you can manage fewer conversations with people who are closer to making a purchase.

Listen to the show to hear Molly share how a local home improvement company used a destination ad to start ideal sales conversations with their customers. 

Costs

Molly finds destination ads cost about the same as any other Facebook ad because you’re paying for people to click a link. The only difference is that link sends people to Facebook Messenger instead of your website.

For a campaign with sponsored messages, Molly uses a tool called ManyChat that charges $10 per month to send out messages. The cost increases depending on how many contacts you have. (A little later, we discuss the tool in more detail.) When you use this tool, you don’t pay per impression.

Molly says the tool is helpful because, at the moment, Facebook doesn’t display how many people can receive sponsored messages from you. Behind the scenes, Facebook automatically creates and updates an audience of people who have messaged your page in the past. So when you choose to place an ad in Messenger, which sets up a sponsored message, you simply select Messenger as the placement. (Molly expects that the ability to see the size of your Messenger audience is coming soon.)

I ask what you can include in a sponsored message. Molly says you can include one link, one image, and as much text as you want. For the text, Molly writes in a friendly, informal style because people are used to receiving messages from friends and family in their Facebook Messenger inbox.

Molly also includes a benefit for the sponsored message subscriber. For example, she sent a sponsored message to let people know DigitalMarketer was raising the ticket price of their annual event. She said, “Because you’re a subscriber and have messaged us in the past, we would like to give you a coupon code to save $500 off your ticket.”

Listen to the show to discover some of the options we think are coming to Facebook Messenger ads.

Messenger Bots

To send sponsored messages for DigitalMarketer, Molly uses ManyChat.com, a bot that integrates with Facebook Messenger. Bots are useful for greeting someone who just messaged your page or for answering frequently asked questions. However, Molly thinks this tool is especially valuable for sending sponsored messages because it has several cool features that Facebook doesn’t have.

DigitalMarketer uses ManyChat bots to interact via Facebook Messenger.

A bot greets those who message DigitalMarketer via Facebook.

In ManyChat, you can see your subscriber list. Specifically, Molly says you can see how many people subscribe to the page, their names, and when they subscribed. You can unsubscribe someone, too.

ManyChat also provides helpful options when you send sponsored messages. For example, you can choose to send a push notification that makes a noise. Molly says she sets a message about content to be quiet, so it simply appears in a recipient’s inbox when they open it. Also, you can tag people based on their interests and send sponsored messages only to those groups.

Listen to the show to hear Molly’s thoughts about how to use autoresponders with ManyChat.

Other Uses for Bots

Molly says bots can help you connect with customers on Facebook Messenger even outside of Facebook. For example, you can link a Contact button on your website or text in an email so that customers can contact you via Facebook Messenger. Molly says that ManyChat provides a URL that opens a Facebook message to your business as long as the person who clicks is logged into Facebook.

For instance, DigitalMarketer included one of these bot links in an email about their Traffic & Conversion Summit. The email asked, “Are you considering attending? Click this link.” Molly emphasizes that the email said people would be chatting with a bot when they clicked.

There are many ways to integrate bots into Facebook Messenger.

DigitalMarketer uses ManyChat’s link via email to start bot conversations.

To keep the bot interaction interesting, DigitalMarketer created funny questions and answers. Depending on how someone answered a question, the bot asked different questions. At the end of the sequence, the bot recommended whether the person should come to the Traffic & Conversion Summit.

To create a bot-based interaction, Molly explains that the sequences are all based on keywords. For example, to trigger the sequence about the Traffic & Conversion Summit, someone needed to mention a keyword in their Facebook Messenger conversation with DigitalMarketer.

Molly believes you can do fun, interesting interactions with bots, but you have to remember people use Facebook to interact with other people. Molly thinks bots are great for welcoming people, guiding them through any common issues, and maybe asking two or three questions to tee up a sales conversation with a real human. However, Molly says you shouldn’t expect to automate your entire sales process through a bot. Bots and human contact go hand in hand.

I ask Molly how managing all of these conversations works. Right now, Molly says, you don’t have an easy way to separate the automated conversations from the human conversations. At DigitalMarketer, the team goes through all of the messages in a single inbox.

Molly says focusing on your customer is the key to making Facebook Messenger ads successful. For example, although DigitalMarketer is still figuring out its strategy for Facebook destination ads, the first test (which included a custom audience of only people on their email list) had a 500% ROI. The ad featured a simple, customer-focused question: “Do you have questions about how we can help your business?”

To get started with Facebook Messenger ads, Molly recommends thinking about how you can serve your audience. What question do they have? How can you start this conversation? Remember, don’t send an ad to a half-million people, especially if you don’t have the staff to handle it. Start with a small group that you can retarget who already know your brand. Somebody needs to be available to talk to the people you message because they expect a quick response and human interaction.

Listen to the show to hear how people are responding to Molly’s bots.

Discovery of the Week

TwIM is an iOS app that’s dedicated to Twitter direct messages. It’s like a Facebook Messenger for Twitter.

Compared with the Twitter app, TwIM gives you nuanced control over your Twitter notifications. For example, you can see a notification only when you receive a Twitter direct message so you can know when you have a message before you open the app.

Use TWiM to interact with your Twitter direct messages.

TwIM is a Twitter messaging app.

With TwIM, you can also search for people by username to start a conversation; send full messages with emojis; block and unblock users; reply to people using text, photos, maps, or URLs; and more.

TwIM could be a great new tool for social media managers who are heavily into providing customer service or interaction with fans and friends in Twitter direct messages. And it’s free.

Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how TwIM works for you.

Listen to the show!
http://traffic.libsyn.com/socialmediamarketing/SocialMediaMarketing-242-17-03-24.mp3

Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:

Social Media Marketing Podcast w/ Michael Stelzner

Ways to subscribe to the Social Media Marketing podcast:

What do you think? What are your thoughts on Facebook Messenger marketing? Please leave your comments below.

Facebook Messenger Marketing: What Marketers Need to Know featuring insights from Molly Pittman on the Social Media Marketing Podcast.

Facebook Messenger Marketing: What Marketers Need to Know featuring insights from Molly Pittman on the Social Media Marketing Podcast.

Related Posts

The 6 Values (and 4 Benefits) of Agile Marketing – Whiteboard Friday

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You’ve probably heard of agile processes in regards to software development. But did you know those same key values can have a huge impact if applied to marketing, as well? Being adaptive, collaborative, and iterative are necessary skills when we live in a world where Google can pull the rug out from under us at a moment’s notice.

In today’s Whiteboard Friday, we welcome guest host Jim Ewel, founder of AgileMarketing.net, as he describes what’s important in the agile marketing process and why incorporating it into your own work is beneficial.

Agile Marketing

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Hey, Moz fans, this is Jim Ewel. I’m the blogger behind AgileMarketing.net, the leading blog on agile marketing, and I’m here to talk to you today about agile marketing.

Agile marketing is an approach to marketing that takes its inspiration from agile software development. Like agile software development, it has a set of values and it has a set of benefits, and we’re going to talk about those values and benefits today.

6 Values of Agile Marketing

Value number one: Responding to change over following a plan.

It’s not that we don’t plan. It’s just that we don’t write 30- to 40-page marketing plans. Instead, every quarter, we write a one-page plan that specifies our goals, our aspirations to get everybody on the same page, and then every two to four weeks, we reset our priorities. We say, “This is what we’re going to get done during this two- to four-week period.”

Value number two: Rapid iterations over “big bang” campaigns.

In traditional marketing, we get together in a room and we say, “We’re going to run a campaign for three to six months to a year.”

We hash out the idea of what we’re going to do for that campaign. Then we communicate to the agency. They come up with creative. They review it with us. We go back and forth, and eventually we’ll run that campaign for three to six months. And you know what happens at the end of that campaign? We always declare victory because we’ve spent so much money and time on that campaign that every time we say, “It worked.”

Well, we take a very different approach in agile marketing. We take an iterative approach. We start out with a little strategy. We meet for half an hour or an hour to figure out what do we think might work. Then we figure out how to test it. We measure the results, and this is very important, we document the learning.

If something doesn’t work, we test it out and it doesn’t work, it’s okay because we’ve learned something. We’ve learned what doesn’t work. So then we iterate again, and we try something else and we do that, we get that cycle going in a very effective way.

Value number three: Testing and data over opinions and conventions

Here, again, the importance is that we’re not following the highest-paid person’s opinion. No HiPPOs. It’s all about: “Did we test it? Do we have data? Do we have the right metrics?” It’s important to select the right metrics and not vanity metrics, which make us feel good, but don’t really result in an improvement to the business.

Value number four: Many small experiments over a few big bets

And I like to talk about here the 70:20:10 rule. The idea behind the 70:20:10 rule is that we spend 70% of our budget and 50% of our time on the things that we know that work. We do it broadly across all our audiences.

We then spend 20% of our budget and 25% of our time modifying the things that we know that work and trying to improve them. Maybe we distribute it in a little different way or we modify the content, we modify what the page looks like. But, anyways, we’re trying to improve that content.

And the last 10% of our budget and 25% of our time, we spend on wild ideas, things where we fully expect that only about 2 or 3 out of 10 ideas is really going to work, and we focus those things on those creative, wild ideas that are going to be the future 70% and 20%.

Value number five: Individuals and interactions over one-size-fits-all

Now, I like to think about this in terms of one of the experiences that I have with SEO. I get a lot of requests for link building, and a lot of the requests that I get are form requests. They write me a little message that they’re writing to hundreds of other people, and I don’t pay any attention to those requests.

I’m looking for somebody who really knows that I’m writing a blog about agile marketing, who’s interacting with me, who maybe says something about a post that I put on Agile Marketing, and those people are the ones that I’m going to give my business to, in effect, and I’m going to do some link building with them. Same thing applies to all of our marketing.

Value number six: Collaboration over hierarchy and silos

One of the key things in many marketing organizations is that different silos of the organization don’t seem to talk to each other. Maybe marketing isn’t talking to sales, or marketing hasn’t got the ear of senior management.

Well, one of the things we do in agile marketing is we put some processes in place to make sure that all of those groups are collaborating. They’re setting the priorities together, and they’re reviewing the results together.

4 Benefits of Agile Marketing

As a result of these six values, there are four important benefits to agile marketing.

I. The first is that you can get more done

I’ve taught a lot of teams agile marketing, and, as a whole, they tell me that they get about 30% to 40% more done with agile marketing. I had one team tell me they got 400% more done, but that’s not typical. So they’re getting more done, and they’re getting more done because they’re not doing rework and they’re working on the right priorities.

II. Getting the right things done

Because you’re working with sales, you’re working with senior management to set the priorities, you’re making sure with agile marketing that you’re getting the right things done, and that’s important.

III. Adapting to change

Part of our life today in marketing is that things change. We know that Google is going to change their PageRank algorithm in 2017. We don’t know exactly how, but we know it’s going to happen, and we need to be able to adapt to that change quickly and accurately, and we put processes in place in agile marketing to make sure that happens.

IV. Improved communications

Improved communications both within the marketing team and, probably even more important, outside the marketing team to sales and senior management.

By representing what we’re getting done on something like a Kanban board, everybody can see exactly what marketing is working on, where it’s at, and what they’re getting done.

So that’s agile marketing in a nutshell. I’d love to hear your comments, and thanks for watching.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

Superheroes of Social Media: Your Must-See Guide to #SMMW17

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In a past life, I was a minor internet celebrity. One big perk to that dubious career was being a vendor at San Diego Comic Con for seven straight years. Our little indie booth saw visits from superheroes and celebrities alike. Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, DC & Marvel Comics: It’s truly a nerdy paradise.

Now I’m headed back to the convention center for a different kind of meetup: Social Media Marketing World 2017. I’m expecting fewer costumed superheroes (although with the right pair of glasses I could pull off a Seth Godin costume). But there will be plenty of astonishing and amazing marketers to meet.

These folks may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound—though I hear Ann Handley has an impressive long jump—but when it comes to getting results on social media, they’re nothing short of heroic.

Here are five social media superheroes I’m excited to see at Social Media Marketing World, and a quick rundown of their sessions.

#1: Carlos Gil

The Marketer: Carlos is an influencer, sought-after public speaker, social media strategist and Snapchat expert. He’s currently the Head of Global Social Media for BMC Software. Carlos’ YouTube Channel is an entertaining, informative mix of personal anecdote and professional insight.

The Session: Snapchat Strategies for Marketing Your Business, March 23, 2:00-2:45pm

For many businesses—especially in the B2B space—Snapchat is something of an enigma. Besides applying funny filters to our CEO’s headshots, what’s the marketing potential? Where’s the ROI? Carlos’ session promises to teach “how to grow your Snapchat account, strategies for content creation, tips for working with influencers including examples from notable brands and measuring the $ ROI of your marketing efforts. You will also discover how to use Spectacles for content creation and how to balance Instagram vs. Snapchat to engage your community.”

Secret Superhero Identity: The Flash

There’s only one superhero who matches up with the man who created “The Hustle Diaries.”

#2: Ann Handley

The Marketer: Ann is a personal hero of mine, as she should be for anyone in content creation. She is waging a war on boring content, fighting for truth, justice, and personality. As the Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, Ann practices what she preaches, curating and creating a treasure trove of instructional content. Think you’re not in the content creation business? Think again: As the title of her bestselling book points out: Everybody Writes.

The Session: How to Create Breakthrough Written Marketing Content, March 23, 11:30am-12:15pm

When visual is the new headline, video is the new blog post, and orange is the new black, do we really need to focus on the written word? Absolutely. Ann says, “Even in our social media-driven world, good writing still matters. Now more than ever. Good writing can move your marketing from mediocre to remarkable. From boring to brilliant.” Ann’s writing is always compelling, and her session is bound to be indispensable for marketers of every stripe.

Secret Superhero Identity: Oracle

From her tiny writing house, Ann keeps marketers informed and masterminds a content empire.

#3: Lee Odden

The Marketer: Lee is the CEO of TopRank Marketing, author of the bestselling book Optimize, and a speaker at marketing conferences around the world. Lee is a pioneer in integrated marketing, influencer marketing, and participation marketing, keeping steadily ahead of the curve as TopRank Marketing grows.

The Session: Future of Influencer Marketing: Strategies and Trends March 24, 10:15-11:00am

Influencer marketing has the potential to generate amazing results for influencers, marketers, and audiences alike. But most of us are still trying to define what exactly influencer marketing means, its potential and best practices. This session focuses on the habits of successful marketers to identify trends to embrace and obstacles to avoid, based on Influence 2.0, TopRank Marketing’s research with Altimeter and Traackr.

Secret Superhero Identity: Professor X

He’s built a team of super-powered marketers and seems to have the ability to read his audience’s minds.

#4: Koka Sexton

The Marketer: Koka is the Godfather of Social Selling, the strategic use of social media for sales enablement and acceleration. After a meteoric rise through the ranks at LinkedIn, he is currently the Global Industry Principal of Social Selling at Hootsuite. Koka’s ability to bridge the divide between sales and marketing demonstrates his deep understanding of what social means to business.

The Session: How to Turn LinkedIn Into a Funnel for New Leads, March 24, 11:15m-12:00pm

Koka has unique insight into winning strategies on LinkedIn, as the only LinkedIn Influencer who has ever worked at the company. Expect deep-level insights from someone who helped shape the platform into the B2B powerhouse it is today.

Secret Superhero Identity: Iron Man

He’s a sales and marketing machine with charisma to spare.

#5: Mari Smith

The Marketer: Known as the “Facebook Queen,” Mari has a decade of experience as a social media consultant and trainer. She’s an international keynote speaker and has shared the stage with luminaries like Sir Richard Branson, Ariana Huffington, and Guy Kawasaki. The numbers speak for themselves: Mari has over 650 thousand followers on Facebook alone, and over 1.5 million across social channels.

The Session: How to Improve Your Facebook Marketing ROI, March 23, 10:30-11:15am

Of the 60 million businesses who have a Facebook Page, less than a tenth are actively advertising, and even fewer are seeing positive ROI from their efforts. Many businesses gave up on earning organic reach on the platform as Facebook placed emphasis on paid promotion. Mari’s session promises to teach “specific content marketing secrets, savvy engagement tactics, and cleverly allocated paid promotion,” to “improve your organic reach by properly integrating strategic paid efforts.”

Secret Superhero Identity: Ms. Marvel

She’s a high-flying, high-visibility marketer who can still deliver a knockout for her clients.

Marketers, Assemble!

If you’re headed to Social Media Marketing World, keep an eye out for me and Ashley Zeckman. Feel free to stop by and say hello any time you see the gleam off the top of my head. If you can’t make it follow along on Twitter at @TopRank, @LeeOdden, @NiteWrites and @azeckman.

What sessions are you most excited to attend? Let me know in the comments.

How to Choose the Best Live Video Platform

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social media how toDo you want to add a sense of urgency to your marketing?

Interested in using live video on your social channels?

Live video creates a unique, real-time experience that encourages your audience to comment and interact, turning individual customers into a community.

In this article, you’ll discover the platform benefits and how to use live video on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

How to Choose the Best Live Video Platform by Joel Comm on Social Media Examiner.

How to Choose the Best Live Video Platform by Joel Comm on Social Media Examiner.

Why Live Video?

Going live adds two unique elements to video on social media: urgency and interactivity. Even if a live video is saved on a platform for future viewers, the unique experience offered by live video is available only at the time of broadcast. It’s an event during which anything can happen.

Live social video also has a benefit that even television lacks: the audience can participate. Viewers watching a live stream on a social media platform can write in their comments. The broadcaster can then read and reply to comments and allow the audience to influence the content of the live video as it’s being created.

No other social media format delivers these benefits, which is why Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have already rolled out their live video functions. Each version allows marketers to reach audiences directly in real time, and each differs slightly and in important ways.

But which platform is right for your content? Let’s find out.

#1: Facebook Live

Just as Facebook is the default social media platform, Facebook Live is the default live video platform. It’s the one that will give you the most eyeballs for your content and the biggest reactions.

The Facebook Live Map is an interactive way for viewers to find live streams anywhere in the world.

The Facebook Live Map is an interactive way for viewers to find live streams anywhere in the world.

Facebook Live is good for face-to-camera videos, as well as live-action shots from events and staged studio broadcasts. Use Facebook Live when you want to reach a lot of people, script a marketing message, experiment, and track results.

How to Use It

To broadcast live on Facebook from a mobile device, open the Facebook app and tap the Live Video icon below the text field.

In your Facebook status update, tap Live Video.

In your Facebook status update, tap Live Video.

Before the video starts, you’ll be able to select an audience from your privacy lists and add a short description. Tap Go Live to start a countdown from three to one, and you’ll be live!

Tap Go Live to start your Facebook Live stream.

Tap Go Live to start your Facebook Live stream.

If you’re using the Mentions app, tap the Post icon and then the Live icon to choose your audience and start broadcasting.

As you’re broadcasting, you’ll be able to view the number of people watching. A stream of reactions will flow across the screen and you’ll see a scrolling list of comments as they come in. While Twitter has only hearts, Facebook offers a broad range of reactions.

During your Facebook Live broadcast, you'll see user comments and reactions onscreen.

During your Facebook Live broadcast, you’ll see user comments and reactions onscreen.

Broadcasts can last up to four hours, and in addition to the usual video analytics, you’ll also be able to see the number of peak live viewers, people reached, reactions, comments, and shares.

At the end of the broadcast, the video is added to your profile or Facebook page. (The video ranks higher in the news feed when it’s live.) Followers who frequently interact with your page will receive a notification telling them that someone they know is now live on Facebook.

After your Facebook Live broadcast ends, it's added to your Facebook page or profile.

After your Facebook Live broadcast ends, it’s added to your Facebook page or profile.

Unique Benefits

Facebook Live gives you the ability to choose an audience, so marketers can segment their follower lists and create unique content for each group. The detailed analytics are vital for tracking results and experimenting with different content.

The biggest benefit, though, is the size of the audience. Facebook can give you the largest audience of any social media platform.

#2: Twitter Live

In December 2016, Twitter finally merged Periscope functionality into the Twitter app, so now anyone can broadcast live on Twitter and reach audiences on both platforms.

While you’ll use Facebook for delivering planned marketing videos that build and hold an audience, Twitter is great for short, spontaneous videos when something catches your eye. Broadcast at conferences, launches, or events, but think of it as live video news that shows what’s happening (rather than what you’re thinking), and keep the live video programming for Facebook.

How to Use It

To go live in the Twitter app, tap the Compose icon, followed by the Live icon.

Tap Compose to create a new tweet and then tap the Live icon.

Tap Compose to create a new tweet and then tap the Live icon.

As on Facebook, you can enter a title to help people discover your video. Hit Go Live and you’ll be broadcasting.

Enter a title for your Twitter live stream and then tap Go Live.

Enter a title for your Twitter live stream and then tap Go Live.

While you’re broadcasting, you’ll be able to see the number of viewers and hearts and comments from your audience.

During a Twitter live broadcast, you'll see comments and hearts from your audience onscreen.

During a Twitter live broadcast, you’ll see comments and hearts from your audience onscreen.

Live Twitter videos appear as tweets and remain in your timeline as recorded videos after your broadcast ends. They’ll also be available on Periscope, even if you haven’t registered a Periscope account.

After your live broadcast ends, it stays in your Twitter timeline as a recorded video (left) and appears on Periscope (right).

After your live broadcast ends, it stays in your Twitter timeline as a recorded video (left) and appears on Periscope (right).

Unique Benefits

The relationship between Periscope and Twitter gives Twitter extra discoverability. In addition to broadcasting to your followers, your video will be available on a different stand-alone app. Allow Twitter to access your location data and it will also appear on Periscope’s map, which will make it easy for local users to find you. (Facebook has a similar live video map.)

Periscope has just 10 million users so even with that extra discoverability, your Twitter audience is likely to be relatively small.

Periscope's map makes it easy for viewers to find live streams around the world.

Periscope’s map makes it easy for viewers to find live streams around the world.

#3: Instagram Live

Instagram may have started as a photo-sharing app, but recent changes are geared toward vying with Snapchat for the attention of young audiences. The live video feature is part of Instagram Stories (itself a copy of a feature on Snapchat), which is used by about 100 million people daily.

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Instagram’s live video disappears after viewing, increasing the urgency but reducing views. Because the videos are going out on a platform best known for photography, you’ll want to make your Instagram live streams colorful. And due to their short lifespan, keep them casual.

While you could use Instagram in the same way you use Facebook (for launches, tours, Q&As, interviews, and behind-the-scenes moments), it’s best to use Instagram for short chats and demonstrations with your most loyal customers.

How to Use It

Instagram has the best usability of the three apps. To start recording, tap the camera icon in the upper-left corner of the home screen (or swipe right) and then tap Live. Tap Start Live Video to start recording.

Tap the camera icon and then tap Start Live Video to start your Instagram live stream.

Tap the camera icon and then tap Start Live Video to start your Instagram live stream.

Instagram live videos can last up to an hour, and friends might receive a notification when you’re live. The profile photos of users who are live on Instagram are marked in the Stories bar at the top of the feed.

When you're live on Instagram, your followers will see

When you’re live on Instagram, your followers will see “Live” next to your profile in the Stories bar.

As on Facebook and Twitter, you’ll be able to see comments and reactions from viewers. You can also pin a comment, helping to guide the conversation.

While you're broadcasting live on Instagram, you'll see viewer comments and hearts on the screen.

While you’re broadcasting live on Instagram, you’ll see viewer comments and hearts on the screen.

Live videos are also shown on Instagram’s Explore tab, and videos that are trending based on the number of viewers, location, and engagement are pushed to the top. That gives broadcasters an incentive to hit a big audience, but it takes no more than a swipe left or right to move to the next live story.

Instagram's top live videos are highlighted on the Explore tab.

Instagram’s top live videos are highlighted on the Explore tab.

Unique Benefits

The standout feature of Instagram’s version of live video is the temporary nature. If your audience doesn’t see the broadcast when it goes out, they won’t get a second chance. While this does severely limit the size of the audience your video can receive, it does give fans a reason to keep checking the stream.

The temporary nature of Instagram’s live videos also means a more intimate experience. One way to think of Instagram’s live video is less as a broadcast channel than a large Skype chat with only one microphone. You’ll struggle to win new audiences or large audiences, but Instagram live video will help to cement the audience you’ve already built.

Conclusion

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have worked hard to make going live as simple as possible. You don’t need any special equipment, just the ability to deliver an effective marketing message.

What do you think? Do you broadcast live video for your business? Which platforms do you use? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

How to Choose the Best Live Video Platform by Joel Comm on Social Media Examiner.

How to Choose the Best Live Video Platform by Joel Comm on Social Media Examiner.

Related Posts

Your Daily SEO Fix: Keywords, Concepts, Page Optimization, and Happy NAPs

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Howdy, readers! We’re back with our last round of videos for this go of the Daily SEO Fix series. To recap, here are the other topics we’ve covered previously:

Today we’ll be delving into more keyword and concept research, quick wins for on-page optimization, and a neat way to stay abreast of duplicates and inaccuracies in your local listings. We use Moz Pro, the MozBar, and Moz Local in this week’s fixes.


Fix #1: Grouping and analyzing keywords by label to judge how well you’re targeting a concept

The idea of “concepts over keywords” has been around for a little while now, but tracking rankings for a concept isn’t quite as straightforward as it is for keywords. In this fix, Kristina shows you how to label groups of keywords to track and sort their rankings in Moz Pro so you can easily see how you’re ranking for grouped terms, chopping and analyzing the data as you see fit.


Fix #2: Adding alternate NAP details to uncover and clean up duplicate or inaccurate listings

If you work in local SEO, you know how important it is for listings to have an accurate NAP (name, address, phone number). When those details change for a business, it can wreak absolute havoc and confuse potential searchers. Jordan walks you through adding alternate NAP details in Moz Local to make sure you uncover and clean up old and/or duplicate listings, making closure requests a breeze. (This Whiteboard Friday is an excellent explanation of why that’s really important; I like it so much that I link to it in the resources below, too. 😉

Remember, you can always use the free Check Listing tool to see how your local listings and NAP are popping up on search engines:

Is my NAP accurate?


Fix #3: Research keywords and concepts to fuel content suggestions — on the fly

You’re already spying on your competitors’ sites; you might as well do some keyword research at the same time, right? Chiaryn walks you through how to use MozBar to get keyword and content suggestions and discover how highly ranking competitor sites are using those terms. (Plus a cameo from Lettie Pickles, star of our 2015 Happy Holidays post!)


Fix #4: Discover whether your pages are well-optimized as you browse — then fix them with these suggestions

A fine accompaniment to your on-the-go keyword research is on-the-go on-page optimization. (Try saying that five times fast.) Janisha gives you the low-down on how to check whether a page is well-optimized for a keyword and identify which fixes you should make (and how to prioritize them) using the SEO tool bar.


Further reading & fond farewells

I’ve got a whole passel of links if you’re interested in reading more educational content around these topics. And by “reading,” I mean “watching,” because I really stacked the deck with Whiteboard Fridays this time. Here you are:

And of course, if you need a better handle on all this SEO stuff and reading blog posts just doesn’t cut the mustard, we now offer classes that cover all the essentials.

My sincere thanks to all of you tuning in to check out our Daily SEO Fix video series over the past couple of weeks — it’s been fun writing to you and hearing from you in the comments! Be sure to keep those ideas and questions comin’ — we’re listening.

B2B Marketers Are Way Behind on Influencer Marketing and Here’s the Solution

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B2B Influencer Marketing Catch Up

Influencer Marketing is a hot topic, but what is really working, what isn’t and what are the future trends for marketers? Those are the questions we set out to answer in the research report: Influence 2.0: The Future of Influencer Marketing.

With analysis from Brian Solis of Altimeter and a research partnership between Traackr and my agency TopRank Marketing, enterprise marketers in North America and Europe were asked about the role of influence including ranking their influencer marketing maturity level.

31% of B2C marketers reported that they are experimenting with influencer marketing and 48% are running ongoing programs. This is in contrast to B2B marketers where a greater number (49%) were still experimenting and only 11% were running ongoing influencer programs.

Why does this mean B2B marketers are behind?

Within B2B marketing, the role of content during the customer journey is clear. Self directed business buyers are pulling themselves through most of the sales journey before ever contacting sales.

How are they doing it? With content.

While content continues to drive customer attraction, engagement and conversion, buyers have become numb to brand messages and advertising, going so far as to install ad blocking software at an increasing rate. Information overload and distrust of push marketing has buyers relying on peers, experts and industry influencers more than ever.

When B2B brands collaborate on content with credible outside voices that have active networks, it results in information with greater relevance, credibility and reach.

The connection between influence and content is very strong amongst enterprise marketers we surveyed. According to the study, 80% of marketers cited the biggest impact from working with influencers as content marketing. With the demand and usefulness of content marketing within B2B, there is tremendous opportunity for B2B marketers to improve their ability to integrate influence more strategically.

While most B2B marketers appreciate the opportunity with content and influencers, many are too inwardly focused. Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs offers this advice:

“Make Your Customer The Hero of Your Story. Paradoxically, your “story” is not about you—it’s about what you do for others. That’s a subtle shift, but an important one, because it installs your customer at the very heart of your marketing. It’s customer-centric versus corporate-centric.” @annhandley

Customer centricity is essential for effective B2B content marketing and working with industry influencers to co-create content adds a customer voice and authenticity that many marketers miss.

What is holding B2B marketers back from achieving more success working with influencers? There are three key issues:

1. Working with famous and friends, not influential people.

Social network size and self appointed influencer status does not equal the ability to affect a change of thinking or inspire action amongst buyers. Many B2B marketers are swayed by brandividuals into thinking that popularity alone will move the needle on buying cycle marketing metrics. Awareness is great, but without engagement and conversion as well, what is the point?

2. Viewing influencers as advertising.

People understand new things in terms of what they already know and this is no different in how many B2B marketers approach working with influencers. Advertising is a familiar model and B2B marketers that expect influencer collaboration to produce the same performance at the same consistency as an advertising channel, will inevitably be disappointed.

3. Short term, commoditized, disconnected collaboration.

The most significant disconnect of all is the “one off” approach where marketers engage influencers at random without any effort to maintain a relationship or understand what the influencer wants out of the the collaboration.

To take full advantage of a more strategic approach to influencer content, there are three engagement scenarios B2B marketers should consider:

Influencer Microcontent

Short form content is easier for influencers to contribute and serves as a nice appetizer for the brand community in advance of more substantial collaborations. Pull quotes, tips and social message-length comments are also great moments of opportunity to establish influencer relationships and to maintain positive interactions in between larger projects.

Influencer Campaigns

Strategically planned, implemented and connected influencer content campaigns provide participating influencers an opportunity to make more substantial contributions of their expertise and thought leadership to the shared brand and influencer community. The key to influencer content campaigns is that there is a guiding narrative and directive for relationship growth that provides direction for continued and evolved influencer engagement, not one-off or stand alone projects with only short term goals.

Influencer Community

A dedicated group of influencers as part of a brand VIP program provides advocates and industry experts a platform for collaboration in a variety of ways. A more formal engagement with influencers helps identify their affinity for shared values with the brand as well as what the common interests and goals of their mutual communities.

Many B2B marketers still experimenting with influencer marketing may touch on these three engagement scenarios, but are not often implementing strategically or long term. To do so, requires both a strategy and technology.

In the Influence 2.0 report, 71% of enterprise marketers view their influencer marketing as strategic or highly strategic and yet, only 24% of overall marketers are running ongoing influencer programs allocating just 10% of overall marketing budget. The awareness of a bigger picture view and integration exists with most enterprise level marketers, they just need to invest in a strategy and resources, including technology, so they can realize the benefits of an approach that is long term and scaleable.

When it comes to technology that supports more scalable, long term and integrated influencer marketing, Jason Miller, Global Content Marketing Leader at LinkedIn agrees: “I am a major advocate for making all of our jobs easier as marketers and it’s time we put the technology to work for us. Having a tool such as Traackr in your arsenal can help tie influencer marketing back to overall business goals and prove the marketing value to your CMO; that’s a very good thing.”

What is the Future of Influence for Enterprise organizations?
57% of marketers in our study say influencer marketing will be integrated in all marketing activities in the next 3 years compared to only 5% claiming full integration today. As more B2B marketers evolve from influencer marketing experimentation to a more strategic approach that emphasizes relationships, common goals and the ability to manage and scale with technology, the more they will realize the benefits of integration across all marketing functions.

Influencer 2.0 Cover

You can download the full report, Influence 2.0: The Future of Influencer Marketing here: http://influencermarketingreport.com

Of course you can get help with influencer content strategies from the some of the best in the business at TopRank Marketing.

A version of this article originally appeared on the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog.