Is Camera-Based Messaging The Way Of The Future?

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Is ‘snapping’ and real-time video the way of the Future? Facebook is betting on it.

Facebook just rolled out three new features to its platform, in what seems like a move to remain relevant and dominate in the social media space. These new features are being called Facebook Camera, Direct, and Stories.

The Facebook camera feature, like Snapchat, gives you all the effects and filter fun you can ask for. It provides reactive effects along with style effects that can add things like falling leaves or artistic filters. Integrated with the new camera effects is the stories feature. In stories, you’re able to add photos and videos to a storyline throughout the day which will last 24 hours. To add any photo or video to your story, you simply tap on the “your story” icon in the ‘stories’ bar at the top of your news feed. The main difference is that unlike Snapchat’s pre-approved lenses and filters, Facebook’s camera effects are mainly created by the community. People and pages will be able to develop and submit frames that, once approved, can be used by other people, offering more choices and creativity to the interaction.

The Facebook Direct feature is an in-app messenger which allows users to send photos or videos only to specific friends or family. Once they are viewed, a person can reply or react before they disappear. All three features, when used together, allow you to the same thing you can do in Snapchat, but interacting instead with the friends you currently have on Facebook. By integrating these features, the platform is cementing the idea that camera-based messaging represents the future of social interaction. “Content is changing from text to photo and videos,” says a representative from Facebook.

Thinking about how you can start integrating more visuals and videos into your social media marketing? 219 Group is ready to help your Fayetteville business get in front of your customers and stay on top of these marketing trends. Call us today at 919-483-4749!

Live from Facebook, IT’S YOUR BUSINESS!

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You may have noticed the growing trend on Facebook of going live. Friends use it to post a live feed of their wedding, birth announcements, or just hanging out.

You may wonder how your business could use this to reach your audience. Whether you’re a restaurant looking to showcase your best dish, a realtor wishing to show the best features of a home or your business is attending a charity event, video is largely regarded as the best way to engage your customers. Facebook has taken that to another level by allowing you to go live via your Facebook page.

Facebook has made it easy for its users to live stream as an individual. When using a device with a camera (Phone, Tablet, Laptop, etc.), simply login to your Facebook and go to Create a New Post. You will see an option to Go Live. Click that and you will be streaming in no time!

For businesses, it can be a little more involved but by following these directions, you will be showcasing your business with ease:

1. Go to your app store for your device. Get your free download of the “Facebook Pages Manager” developed by Facebook. Get it now from the App Store or the Google Play Store.

2. Once you are signed in to the app, you can select which business you want to post from.

3. Click post when the page shows up in the app.

4. Click “Go Live” to start streaming.

Although it takes a few more steps for a business to do a live feed through Facebook, the benefits outweigh the negatives. This is a great chance to gain even more interaction from your customers and keep your business top of mind.

 

Creating the Consumer Experience Through Social Media

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The past few years have led to a transition in the marketing industry. Detached advertisements are no longer successful. The millennial generation is focused on receiving an experience rather than the product itself. This result has lead to a transition towards an interactive customer experience. Marketers must focus on relevance, context, and effective delivery.

Social media is one platform that is growing in this industry. Consumers feel engaged by social media interaction. The objective of a social media strategy for many businesses is to increase the reach and visibility of their company. The challenge involved with social media, is creating a customized platform.

Find your audience:
It is tempting to follow what is trending in popular culture and jump on whatever platform is being talked about the most. Maximizing your social media use means choosing those platforms and practices that suit your core business strategy. Utilizing analytics can help you discover your target audience. Pages with a larger following can be a great source. Connecting with their page will give you exposure to the following built by that page. Joining group and community pages with similar interests will allow you to reach potential audience members. Location, interest and demographic are key in building your target audience.

Create your platform:
There are several social media sites that may suit your company’s needs. Facebook may be the largest social media platform, but Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram have the highest growth rates. Each site has its benefits. If your target audience is an older generation, and followers seem to have a long attention span for content than Facebook may be the best site for you. If you have a younger following who seeks a constant connection than Twitter and Snapchat may be better routes for you to pursue. All social sites provide you with management insights. This information is very valuable as it allows you to see what is most effective for your page. Focus on what is already successful for your company and try to build where you are weak.

Grow your following:
Social media isn’t a place to advertise your products or services 24/7. The key is to engage your followers. Your sites provide a platform for providing your prospects and customers with useful and interesting content. Engaging with them in two-way dialogue is what will drive your success. Keep in mind the 80/20 rule; 80% of your content should be helpful information and the remaining 20% can be of a promotional nature. Showing you are involved with others and in the community is key. Publicize your social presence, show your support to others and the more likely your page is to be given support. Engaging with influencers and the social community can also help boost the following of your page. By linking up with other sites, your page will have more exposure. Another way to keep your audience engaged is by offering contests and promotions for your audience to stay involved. People are attracted to interaction and can from there be led to promotion.

Facebook Debuts Additional Call-To-Action Button

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Call-to-Action button is now available on business pages.

Facebook is shaping up for the New Year, this time adding changes to benefit Facebook business users. The social media giant is inserting a call-to-action button at the top of businesses’ pages, located to the left of the “Like” and “Message” buttons. The call-to-action for a business page varies based on the business’ goals. Facebook will offer seven options which page admins may choose: fb_button

  • Book Now
  • Shop Now
  • Contact Us
  • Sign Up
  • Play Game
  • Use App
  • Watch Video

These buttons will link users to any destination on or off Facebook, whichever the business may choose. This provides a quick, convenient way for users to contact a business or shop online without having to browse the page for information. Businesses can benefit from this this ease and continue the conversation with a consumer through their website. The button is currently rolling out in the United States and will be available worldwide this year.

Are you taking advantage of the call-to-action button for boosted ads?

The call-to-action button is no foreign feature to Facebook. The new call-to-action button on business pages is building on the call-to-action button for boosted ads that launched last year, which offer users a quick and easy way to act on advertisements from a business page. These call-to-actions help build engagement with current and potential customers and bring in more business than a standard ad alone. Businesses should leverage this feature, which clearly tells the consumer what action you would like him or her to take.  There are five options for the button on the ad:

  • Shop Now
  • Download
  • Book Now
  • Sign Up
  • Learn More

Taking advantage of the call-to-action button ad feature can increase the traffic to your website and an increase in leads and conversions.

New Year, New Facebook Changes

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Facebook changes are coming: Is your small business ready?

The New Year means new changes coming to Facebook, and they may disrupt your social media campaign. These changes specifically affect brands, in order to enhance the users’ experience. Facebook will begin rolling out changes in January in an attempt to do away with overly promoted posts. These promoted post changes stemmed from a recent survey of hundreds of thousands of Facebook users, who said, according to Facebook, that “they wanted to see more stories [on their News Feeds] from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.”

According to Facebook’s data, many users see the content from pages they have liked as “too promotional,” rather than ads. Facebook attributes this to the fact that ads are controlled, so users only see a limited amount and users can hide ads they do not want to see. The same monitoring has not been applied to promoted posts. The social media giant said in its blog post that it’s “bringing new volume and content controls for promotional posts, so people see more of what they want from Pages.” This includes a “mute” button, where users can choose to unfollow a brand or simply see fewer posts.

These are the traits of organic posts that Facebook feels are too promotional:

• Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
• Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
• Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

Organic reach has been dropping for years. EdgeRank Checker’s research shows that organic reach in 2012 was at 16%, but that number has plummeted in 2014, with organic content reaching only 6.51% of followers.

So how do you get your posts seen?

With organic reach dipping and overly promoted content being weeded out, we believe now is the time to spend some of your advertising budget on promoting your organic posts. But, if you want to reach the most people with your organic post, avoid overtly advertising your products. In addition, avoid promoting contests or apps.

And there’s really no way to avoid it now: If you want to have significant reach, you need to pay to promote your posts. And when you pay more, you reach more. By promoting, or “boosting” your posts, you will increase your reach through important posts like announcements or new products; purchases will grow by taking people to your site with link posts; and you’ll be able to find new customers by targeting new audiences.

Are you ready for the new Facebook changes? Contact us for help designing a social media plan today!

Leveraging the Power of Lead Generation

Is your business using lead generation to its advantage?

In order to bring in new customers and expand reach, businesses must keep lead generation at the forefront of their marketing plan. Living in such a digitally-connected society provides businesses with an excellent outlet to advertise their brand and reach customers. We at 219 Group recommend paid digital advertising techniques to increase lead generation, garner potential customers’ interest, and capitalize on leads.

In 2013, the average number of searches on Google per day was 5.9 billion, and the number continues to grow each year. If your business hasn’t considered using Google AdWords, now is the time to take advantage of this service. By financially committing to pay-per-click advertising through Google and selecting the right keywords, businesses can increase traffic to their website and bring in leads that may have not come in with organic advertising alone. Pay per click is beneficial to reach users searching information relevant to the brand being advertised, and since it is pay per click, money is only spent when an interested user clicks on the ad. Google provides useful tools to see analytics and gauge an ad’s performance.

fb_iconAnother affordable way to increase lead generation is advertising through social media. At 219 Group, we understand the importance of promoting your business through social media to capitalize on leads that may not have come through the search engine pipeline.  These outlets, like Facebook and twitter, have upwards of one billion users, providing a great opportunity to reach out to followers and generate leads that may have not been found using a search engine.

These outlets provide numerous opportunities to invest in advertising. For instance, businesses on Facebook can promote a post, whether it is an old, well-performing one or a brand new post. By financially backing a post, it appears higher in users’ news feed, thus increasing the amount of views and expanding a business’s reach. This generates interest and ultimately spawns more clicks. In addition, pay per click has made its way to Facebook in the way of paid ads appearing on the right side of a user’s screen. Facebook allows businesses to create targeted ads, which direct users to their website or landing page, or instruct users to like their Facebook page.

These advertising capabilities are highly advantageous, because they create highly targeted ads. Facebook takes demographics to a new level – beyond just age and gender – allowing businesses to create a very specific vertical. The social media outlet allows business to target users based on interests, location, and likes, even it can even target based on workplace and education information.

Lead generation is not limited to just Facebook. These capabilities also exist in twitter through the use of promoted posts. Possessing the same idea as promoted posts on Facebook, these posts appear in users’ news feed.

If you’re ready to step up your advertising and reach new customers, paid advertising can be highly beneficial. With years of experience under our belt, we’re speKITTENSts in these digital advertising techniques.

If you’re ready to help your business increase lead generation and website traffic, we’re here to help.

Email, Social, and Mobile Are Marketers’ 2013 Budget Priorities

Email, Social, and Mobile Are Marketers’ 2013 Budget Priorities

Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2012/9689/email-social-and-mobile-are-marketers-2013-budget-priorities-for-2013#ixzz2EwiaTYsl

If you didn’t know before, well now should be the time to listen to what the others are putting their money into in 2013. Most businesses large and small are going to take most of the marketing budget viral this year. Email, social media and few other places are going to grow in the world of advertising. This shouldn’t be a shock to many as the Facebook has a population of almost one billion people. The target audiences are the main users of college students and recent grads, but now it’s not just your high school of college buddy on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. Your grandma and her bridge buddies are also using these sites to stay connected to family and friends. While many people are making changes in the way they live with getting rid of cable TV, internet costs are still low and social media sites are still free to use. So why not put more money into something that millions will see instead of a small age group at certain times of the day!

Almost 56% of marketing executives plan to beef up their viral ads and spend even more on social media sites. This shouldn’t be any stunning news to the world but for those of you who think that Facebook, Twitter and other sites like these won’t make you money, that no one pays attention, you might want to think again. This is the best place for customers to tell everyone what they think of your product and business, word of mouth isn’t just passed on the street anymore. It’s now passed by a few comments from ones experience with your brand or company. When you are active in the community, even online people see you are one of them, and that you care about the product, the company and the customer.

The top 4 areas that many will use in 2013 will be Email Marketing, Social Media, Mobile Devices, and SEO. Direct mail, and many tradeshows and events will take the back seat this year as the cost on those is larger than to the ones like email and social media. Take a look at what others are doing online and don’t’ be the last one to jump into SEO, and social media. Make 2013 a year for you and make sure you stay in the game.

Facebook New Privacy Settings

On Wednesday this week, Facebook released a new set of privacy controls after addressing the fears many had about how much of their information was being shared, even when they thought it wasn’t. Now it’s even easier with the tools released to show who can and cannot view photos, or information about themselves with those who are not friends. Many Facebook users have said that the controls were hard to understand and you didn’t know for sure if you were doing the right things to protect yourself. Now Facebook has made things easier to understand and easier to use for all Facebook users.

Facebook and other companies have come under fire the past few years with harsh judgements against them and how they handle keeping your information safe and how we are to stay protected online. Earlier this year Facebook was charged by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and they were told they deceived the users on Facebook about how much information was really being shared even when told it wasn’t. Now the user has to get consent each time they need information from a Facebook user. All applications run on Facebook are still having to ask for permission as well and will soon be using their own program and will have to separate requests to create a more personal service to the customer.

Now it’s going to be easier or well we are being told it will be easier to protect yourself from what others can see if you don’t want them to know things about you. This is to better protect you from someone who you maybe don’t know or someone you are to not have contact with, and keeping yourself safe is a big priority for Facebook and the company as a whole. They want you to feel safe and stay part of almost a billion users and have a great time without the fear of someone stealing your information or someone finding information that should have never had access to. Let’s see how this plays out in the next few month and hope that all Facebook users take the time to look over their settings and make sure they are where they want them to be.

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Fayetteville NC 28301
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