The overlooked step of reciprocation
Reciprocity is still overlooked as a part of a digital marketing strategy, no matter how many classes or consultants a brand brings on. The two habits of using social media as either a megaphone without regard to what others are saying, or as a watercooler for gossip, remain the most common behaviors online. Very few professionals use the social networking tools to the best of their ability, rather plug in something automated or talk about their lunch, then walk away, expecting leads.
Doing business through social media is extremely lucrative if done well, but we’ll beat the dead horse that has been buried for years, and remind everyone that social media is a conversational tool, not a megaphone, and you must give back. In order to get Facebook love (mentions from other people, interaction from others, brand loyalty in public, etc.), you must give Facebook love that is sincere, legitimate, and done because you care about your community, not because you expect a 12.5% ROI on the efforts made.
Giving back is not just going to other peoples’ Facebook pages and saying “happy birthday,” or “nice post,” or “cool picture,” then moving on as if your good deed of the day is done. No, giving back takes legitimate effort, but it can be extremely simple.
Without developing your strategy for you, shall we visit a tiny, easy to miss feature that Facebook added a long time ago, but is often overlooked by the masses?
Enter the secret Facebook weapon
Imagine for a moment that you are a restaurant owner. You are used to people checking into your venue on Foursquare and Facebook Places, and you monitor those checkins. But imagine that you see something pop up through Facebook Places check-in that is not live, rather a recommendation, a photo that has been tagged of a visit to Austin last summer that someone is telling their friends about.
Facebook Places is the equivalent to Foursquare, but is an easy way for you as a professional to spread some love on Facebook to local businesses, which by the way, alerts them that they have been tagged in a status update. Think of the last five things you spent money on, take a picture related to that, then tag the local business in the photo update. Did you get your tires changed last month and got a hell of a deal? Take your phone, snap a shot, upload and tag. Did you buy a new brand of milk at the store that is pretty tasty? Shoot, upload, tag the store. Did your plumber do an amazing job for you? Photograph the sink or share a before picture of the leaking pipe destroying your bathroom, tag, and share.
So how exactly does one do this?
Don’t worry, we’re not going to just use obscure terms and not help you. Here is a quick photo tutorial of a neat line of sausages I recently bought at a local store, and instead of “checking in” to a location, I tagged the item on a map which not only shows up on their page, but on my map page.
Step one: after taking a picture of an item or place, in this case sausage, upload like you would any other picture, but notice the tiny map marker on the bottom of the status update box. Typically this is used via mobile to check in to a location, but you’re going to use it to spread Facebook love:
Step two: start typing in the name of the location, venue, retailer, etc. and select the one that matches the address you are alluding to. If it does not exist, you may be a hero by adding it from scratch – this takes extra homework, but it can be done.
Result: this is what your update looks like. Note that “at H-E-B” is blue. It is a link to their page. Bingo! Are you feeling the love yet?
Your profile: all of these photos tagged with locations will show up in your Facebook Timeline under the maps, which can be found on your (or anyone’s) profile page like so:
Maps: below, you will see what it looks like when the map on a profile page is clicked. When you enter your own, it will prompt you to begin filling in your map by asking you to tag existing photos of you, or telling Facebook where all you have lived. This is a personal preference – note that my own profile does not have many dots outside of Austin. I am very private and don’t care to tell Facebook that I have lived in Spain, Mexico, Dallas, and all over Austin, because it already knows enough about me, but you should feel free to use your own discretion… adding sausage shots is not going to hurt anything (don’t you dare misinterpret that last line, you bad kids).
Want to see your map or someone else’s map? Simply type in “/map” after any profile you are connected with to see someone else’s maps. Try it with a few of your friends and you will see how few people are tagging locations in their photos or updates.
The takeaway and special notes
You do not have to take a picture for this to work, you can simply update a status, but in the era of visual social media, pictures reign and require very little extra effort. If you are a true ambassador in your community and are consistent about recognizing others and giving Facebook love, you will be seen by your network as the authority on the area, but you will eventually get back some of the love you give – it’s human nature, so get out there and spread the love by tagging the locations of local businesses and professionals in updates!
Why Trump’s lawsuit against social media still matters
(SOCIAL MEDIA) Former President Trump snagged headlines for suing every large social media platform, and it has gone quiet, but it still deeply matters.
It was splashed across headlines everywhere in July: Former President Trump filed a lawsuit against social media platforms that he claims unrightfully banned him during and after the fallout of the January 6th capitol riots. The headlines ran for about a week or so and then fell off the radar as other, fresher, just-as-juicy news headlines captured the media’s eye.
Many of us were left wondering what that was all about and if anything ever became of it. For even more of us, it probably passed out of our minds completely. Lack of public awareness for these things is common after the initial media blitz fades.
Lawsuits like these in the US can take months, if not years between newsworthy milestones. The most recent news I could find as of this publishing is from August 24, 2021, on Yahoo! News from the Washington Examiner discussing the Trump camp’s request for a preliminary injunction in the lawsuit.
This particular suit shouldn’t be left to fade from memory in the shadows though, and here’s why:
In the past few years, world powers have been reigning in regulations on social media and internet commerce. The US is actually a little behind the curve. Trump may have unwittingly given us a source of momentum to get with the times.
In the European Union, they have the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), widely acknowledged to be one of the toughest and most thorough privacy laws in the world, a bold title. China just passed its own pair of laws in the past four months: The Data Security Law, which took effect on Sept. 1, and The Personal Information Law, set to take effect November 1st. The pair is poised to give the GDPR a run for its money for that title.
Meanwhile, in the US, Congress has been occupied with other things and, while there are five bills that took aim at tech monopoly currently on the table and a few CEOs had to answer some questions, little actual movement or progress has been made on making similar privacy protections a thing in the United States.
Trump’s lawsuit, while labeled by many as a toothless public relations move, may actually create momentum needed to push regulation of tech and social media forward in the US. The merits of the case are weak and ultimately the legislation that would give it teeth doesn’t exist yet.
You can’t hold tech companies accountable to a standard that doesn’t properly exist in law.
However, high profile attention and someone willing to continue to make noise and bring attention back to the subject, one of Trump’s strongest talents, could be “just what the doctor ordered” to inspire Congress to make internet user rights and data privacy a priority in the US, finally.
Even solopreneurs are doing live commerce online – it’s not just QVC’s game anymore
(SOCIAL MEDIA) When you think of watching a show and buying things in real time, it invokes thoughts of QVC, but social media video has changed all that.
After the year everyone has had, one wouldn’t be remiss in thinking that humanity wants a break from live streaming. They would, however, be wrong: Live online commerce – a method of conversion first normalized in China – is the next evolution of the ubiquitous e-commerce experience, which means it’s something you’ll want on your radar.
Chinese company, Alibaba first live streamed on an e-commerce site in 2016, allowing buyers to watch, interact with, and buy from sellers from the comfort of their homes. In 2020, that same strategy netted Alibaba $7.5 billion in presale revenue – and it only took 30 minutes, according to McKinsey Digital.
But, though western audiences have proven a desire to be just as involved with sellers during the buying process, live commerce hasn’t taken off here the way it has elsewhere. If e-commerce merchants want to maximize their returns in the next few years, that needs to change.
McKinsey Digital points out a couple of different benefits for organizations using live commerce, the main one being an influx in traffic. Live streaming events break the buying experience mold, and consumers love being surprised. You can expect that prospective buyers who wouldn’t necessarily visit your store under normal circumstances would find value in attending a live event.
Live events also keep people on your site for longer, resulting in richer conversion opportunities.
The sense of urgency inherent in in-person shopping doesn’t always translate to online markets, but having a stream showing decreasing inventory or limited-availability items being sold inspires people to act expeditiously rather than sitting on a loaded cart–something that can kill an e-commerce conversion as quickly as it starts one.
There are a ton of different ways to incorporate live events into your e-commerce campaigns. Virtual auctions are popular, as are markets in which individual sellers take buyers through inventory. However, the live event could be tangentially related–or even just something impressive running in parallel with the sale–and still bring in a swell of revenue.
Screen fatigue is real, and there isn’t a true substitute for a brick-and-mortar experience when done correctly. But if you have an e-commerce shop that isn’t utilizing some form of live entertainment–even just to bring in new buyers–you’re going to want to try this strategy soon.
LinkedIn is nixing Stories this month (LinkedIn had Stories!?)
(SOCIAL MEDIA) LinkedIn tried to be like the cool kids and launched “Stories,” but the video feature is being shelved and “reimagined.” Ok.
Creating the next big thing is essential for social networks to stay relevant, continue growing, and avoid shutting down. Sometimes, this leads to businesses trying to ride along with the success of another app’s latest feature and creating their cloned version. While the logic of recreating something already working makes sense, the results aren’t universal.
This time around, LinkedIn is saying goodbye to its short-lived Snapchat-like video product, Stories. In a company post, LinkedIn says it’s removing its Stories experience by the end of September.
Why is LinkedIn retiring Stories?
According to a post by Senior Director of Product at LinkedIn Liz Li, “[LinkedIn] introduced Stories last year as a fun and casual way to share quick video updates.”
After some testing and feedback, they learned this is not what users wanted. Seems like they could have beta tested with users and heard the same thing, but I digress.
“In developing Stories, we assumed people wouldn’t want informal videos attached to their profile, and that ephemerality would reduce barriers that people feel about posting. Turns out, you want to create lasting videos that tell your professional story in a more personal way and that showcase both your personality and expertise,” said Li.
What does this mean for users?
Starting on September 30, 2021, users will no longer be able to create Stories for Pages. If you’ve already planned to have an image or video ads run in-between Stories, they will now appear on the LinkedIn feed instead. For those who used Campaign Manager to promote or sponsor a Story directly from your Page, the company says “these paid Stories will not appear in the LinkedIn feed”, and the user will need to recreate the ad in Campaign Manager.
What’s next for LinkedIn?
According to Li, LinkedIn is taking what it learned from its finding to “evolve the Stories format into a reimagined video experience across LinkedIn that’s even richer and more conversational.” It plans on doing so by using mixed media and the creative tools of Stories.
“As we reimagine what is next, we’re focusing on how we can provide you with a short-form, rich interactive video format that is unique to our platform and that better helps you reach and engage your audiences on LinkedIn. We’re always excited to try out new things and learn as we go, and will continue to share updates along the way,” the company said.
Although Stories didn’t work well for LinkedIn as they hoped, one thing is for sure. LinkedIn isn’t giving up on some form of interactive video, and we can only hope they “reimagine” something unique that keeps users coming back for more.
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