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It seems like every month Facebook releases a new feature, which enhances the user experience and keeps people within their platform. One of the more recent announcements was about Facebook Live and its capabilities within the Facebook mobile app. To save you time and mental energy, we’re here to break down Facebook Live so you understand what it is, how to use it, and how it can positively impact your small business. Let’s get started!

What is Facebook Live?

At its core, Facebook Live is a real-time video streaming service within Facebook. With the rising popularity of video across all social media platforms, it should come as no surprise that Facebook has embraced video and is attempting to create the preeminent video platform. Facebook Live allows users to stream live video to their friends and followers. Streams can run up to 90 minutes in length and can be restricted to certain groups requiring an invitation from the creator. A novel feature is that videos are automatically stored in the creator’s timeline, which builds a virtual video library for friends and followers. However, the creator does have the ability to delete stored videos at their discretion. This compilation of videos is in stark contrast to SnapChat, where snaps are only available in the moment and instantly disappear once viewed. Currently, Facebook Live is available on iPhones and Androids, but has ambitions of being rolled out globally this year. read more

Summer vacation icon wheel

With Memorial Day weekend behind us, summer is right around the corner! This means sun, sand, and lots of travel are on the horizon and vacation days are populating your calendar. For a small business, time away from the office needs to be handled carefully, whether you’re a team of one or have a handful of employees. You know that just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean your business can put up an out of office message and pause your business and social media activity.

To best position your business to thrive while you’re enjoying your well-deserved time off, consider these tips for managing your social presence. read more

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We’ve been talking a lot about how social media is a critical part of any successful business. What we haven’t discussed is how to manage your social media so you are projecting a consistent brand presence without it taking over your entire week. Enter the social media editorial calendar. Establishing an editorial calendar for your social media efforts will save you time and allow you to strategically target and analyze your social media posts.

With the jack-of-all-trades mentality that often accompanies small business work environments, it is easy to jump from project to project and sometimes lose focus of where your resources and time should be spent. By implementing an editorial calendar, your business has a visual representation of what topics are being discussed across your social media presences as well as maps out deadlines so work is delegated and broken down into tangible tasks. Even if you’re a one-man show, this kind of planning is useful. read more

The Business of Mother's Day Infographic Header
Mother’s Day is right around the corner! It’s a day to acknowledge a person who has played a central part in your life and helped shape the person you are today. Whether you recognize your biological mother or someone else completely, it’s time to reminisce and show her how important she is to you.

Now while on a personal level this might initially cause you to panic because you have four days to find a token of appreciation for your mom, from the standpoint of a small business owner, you should rejoice. Nearly 50% of shoppers make their purchases 2 and 7 days in advance of Mother’s Day. This means there is a huge audience in need of gifts now! In fact, Mother’s Day spending is on the rise and is the third largest retail holiday in the United States. As a small business, you have an enormous opportunity over the next few days to engage customers who have a serious spending deadline. read more

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They’ve done it again: Facebook released another update to your News Feed. Over the past two years, there have been numerous revisions to the News Feed algorithm, all with the focus of making it more customer-centric and user-friendly. Following the F8 Summit earlier this month, it’s no surprise that new features are being implemented quickly and often. To summarize the changes, Facebook stated the following in its April 21 announcement,

“As we work to improve News Feed, we make updates to help make sure you see the most relevant stories at the top.” read more

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Pinterest recently opened its Promoted Pins platform to small businesses, meaning that small businesses can now target and segment their ads at a much deeper level. Small businesses can now collect data and audience insights that were previously off-limits.

According to a Pinterest internal study, “Promoted Pins have a major impact on brand metrics. People who saw Promote Pins have seen double digit lifts across several brand objectives from awareness, to favorability, to purchase intent.” read more

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We all know and love YouTube for its enormous collection of videos ranging from hilarious to poignant to downright astounding. Undiscovered talent, vloggers, and hosts of other talented people and groups have built cult-like followings on YouTube and have millions of subscribers. Their viewers return day after day to watch the latest videos and share their thoughts in the comment sections.

These individuals are not the only ones who have capitalized on YouTube’s power as a marketing platform. “YouTube is used by 55% of B2B marketers, and 55% of B2C social media marketers who participated” according to the 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. If you thought YouTube wasn’t for your small business, this study shows it is a responsive platform to different businesses and industries. read more

April Fools' Day with Googly Eyes and Mustache

Pranks are the name of the game on April Fools’ Day, and increasingly brands are getting involved in the fun. This year we saw a flurry of businesses play into the trickery of April 1, but the majority fell flat. The notable few who rose to the top had viewers laughing out loud and were incredibly memorable. Aside from having viewers giggling at their desks, these brands successfully engaged their audiences through these stunts and turned an otherwise silly cultural holiday into a marketing triumph. read more

Businesses often go through periods of plateau while they build credibility and become leading authorities in their industries. Watching your company’s web traffic stagnate can be deflating, but there are ways to get your business out of this phase and improve momentum.  By actively managing your social media presence and interactions, you can leverage your current follower base to drive new users to your social media platforms and ultimately your website.

Check out our 7 recommendations for cultivating more social media followers: read more

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One of my favorite parts about the holidays is the spirit of giving and sharing. This is especially true when it comes to how brands decide to creatively share the holiday spirit on their social media platforms.

While we have told you the 10 social media marketing materials to prepare for your own social media presence, we thought we would share some of our favorite displays of holiday cheer we have seen in 2015 across eight platforms and eight brands.

Facebook: Sears
Sears has used their Facebook page to promote their latest campaign, #BringTheSleigh. Not only did they utilize their cover photo to share the promotion, but they incorporated it in their profile photo WITH the hashtag. This is a great way to keep your audience in the know as soon as they reach your Page. read more

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