3 Things You Must Know About Social Media August 2016

All right, guys. 287. In this episode we’re going to talk about the 3 things you need to know about social media in August of 2016 because today is August 5th, 2016, the very first Friday in August. There are some things happening.

I know that social media is one of those things that can feel incredibly difficult to keep up with. It can feel like it’s changing all the time and there’s new services and there’s new opportunities from old services and there’s new networks and there’s new things on old networks. It can be really overwhelming, but not if you have a go to resource and that’s why I built this show and that’s why I built Hit the Mic Backstage, the membership community. It’s so that you could have a resource.

In the spirit of that, we’re going to be that resource today. We’re going to talk about the 3 things I really want you to be paying attention to in August. Not all the things, just the 3 things that I’d like to see you paying attention to right now.

Let’s get started with the biggest news right now that you’re probably hearing about in all the places, Instagram stories.

There are a few schools of thought when it comes to Instagram stories. Some Snapchat lovers are quite angry about Instagram stories, saying that it’s a total rip off. Some are saying, “I didn’t really want to do Snapchat, but now I can get that same purpose happening in a network I’m already using.” Then there’s people like me who are like, “Awesome. Look how Snapchat is being taken seriously as a competitor and they’re seeing that this is really working and so there’s making other option to do it. That’s really cool.” I fall in that camp.

I think Instagram stories are very cool. I am still absolutely using Snapchat, of course it’s only be a couple days. I don’t see myself stopping using Snapchat because I do have different connections on Snapchat than I do on Instagram. However, much like we saw with something like a Meerkat and a Periscope, where Meerkat we had to build a new audience and that took a lot of effort, and where Periscope we already had our Twitter audience built in, or with Facebook Live where we already see we have our Facebook audience built in.

I think that Instagram is going to be a great option for those people who were not feeling Snapchat, were not wanting to go over there, were not wanting to build an audience some place else. I will absolutely still be using Snapchat because, again, I have an audience there, but for a lot of my clients that I’ve talked to already about this who are just starting to get into the idea of maybe doing Snapchat or who have started Snapchat very loosely in the last couple of days and they have really sold Instagram audiences already, I’m saying, “Hey. Let’s use Instagram stories.”

Again, I don’t think that Instagram is going to be a Snapchat killer. I think that we’ve seen a lot of innovation coming out of Snapchat in the last honestly 8 months to a year. We’ve seen them make massive, massive changes to the user interface. We’ve seen them make massive, massive changes to things like how the service works, like introducing memories. I think we’re going to see more of that innovation come as a response to this. We’re seeing them partner with Bitmoji. I was thinking about it earlier, that’s the one thing that I really miss in Instagram stories is I loved Bitmjoi integration. It’s a really fun way to personalize a story with some fun graphics.

I don’t think this is going to be the killer that maybe people are thinking it is right now. I think we’re going to see Snapchat hammer back in a really cool way, which the social media nerd in me is very excited to see. Amy Porterfield recently talked on a Facebook Live about Instagram stories and how she couldn’t get into Snapchat, she never felt comfortable there, but she’s really excited to use Instagram stories and then I watched one of her Instagram stories where she did a behind the scenes in her office. The exact kind of content I would expect to see from her on Snapchat, but it was an environment she was already comfortable in and she made a really great point in that Facebook Live. Sometimes as business owners, we have to make decisions and for you, it may be the decision of, what do you have the capacity to take in? Where are you comfortable spending your time? Where have you built your audience? Where is your audience responding to? Show up there. That’s what’s most important.

I’m a big proponent of not trying to be all the places all the time. Instead, be in the right places at the right time. That’s going to get you a lot further a lot faster. Yes, Instagram stories, amazingly cool, but I don’t necessarily think they’re going to be the end of Snapchat. If you want to see more about Instagram stories, I did a brief talk about Instagram stories on Facebook Live yesterday. I will link to that in the show notes so you can watch that if you’d like to watch the replay. If you want to dive even deeper, there’s going to be a Instagram stories update to the Instagram training page inside of Hit the Mic Backstage next week, because it’s only the 5th. Next week. You’ll see that the week of the 8th. That’s just a really great example of when something happens and so there’s a bonus training in the community. Be sure to check that out.

Number 2.

We talked about Instagram stories, let’s move to number 2. Facebook page changes. Some of you may be seeing a change to your Facebook page. Here’s the thing. Not everybody can see it yet. This some things Facebook has been rolling out and testing for quite a while now. I think my first Backstage member probably mentioned that they had it 4, 5, maybe even 6 months ago. I just got the new layout. They’re doing it a little differently. They’re rolling it out by user and not by page so, for example, I have it now so all of the pages I see are now in this new format versus some pages being in the new format and some pages being in the old format, which I think is a really smart way to roll it out because, from a user perspective, I don’t have to go back and forth between the way pages look.

However, I really, really, really am excited for them to roll this out for everybody because I think the new page layout looks so much better. If you head over to Facebook.com/TheStaceyHarris, that’s my page, you’ll see a snapshot of what it looks like now for those of you who don’t yet have it. I’m hoping that they continue this roll out and they maybe speed up this roll out, however I appreciate that they do it at the pace that they do it at because there are a lot of users to roll it out to, but I’m really excited for you guys to see it. It looks amazing. It looks so much better. I’m really excited about this new change. It is going to mean some changes in your graphic sizes when it comes to your cover images and the way things are placed, but we also get a much bigger call to action button now. It’s right under the cover photo and it’s quite bit and it’s quite blue and it’s actually stands out which I really like.

Our profile images are no longer going to sit on top of our cover image. We now have a round circle profile image that sits just to the left of the cover image. That side bar that you see on the right currently is now over on the left so where you see your page like and your page information and your videos and all that stuff is now on the right side of the page, so your eye goes right to content, which I really think is going to think a big, big help as far as getting people engaged with content on the page when they visit the page. Again, if you head over to Facebook.com/TheStaceyHarris, I will have a snapshot over on the Facebook page of what it looks like right now for those of you who maybe have not seen it roll out to you yet. Cool. All right.

Let’s wrap it up with number 3.

Number 3 is not a change or a new network or anything like that. In fact, it’s really all about planning. I know a lot of you listening are service-based businesses and a fair amount of people listening are product-based businesses and all of you need to plan for one thing, the holidays. The time to plan for the holidays is not during the holidays. The time to make those plans is now. Especially if you’re in a product-based business that perks up at the holiday season, maybe you’re selling gifts or calendars or ornaments or holiday fare or whatever it is, the time to be planning what that needs to look like is right now. Figuring out your ad strategy, figuring out your budgets, figuring out your creative for your ads, figuring out your content. Make sure that you are taking some time to figure out what the marketing needs to look like through the holidays now.

I think it’s really easy to want to be in the moment and stay like, “I’ll worry about that. It’s so far away. It’s only August,” but, dude, it’s August and, in a lot of cases, you’re seeing people who are already starting their holiday shopping. You need to be on top of what’s happening for your customer base. Are they people who are early shoppers? I know a couple of you who listen to this, because you’ve emailed me, create custom gifts, so custom jewelry, or etched glass, or paintings, those kind of things that people very commonly give as gifts. I’m guessing you need those to be ordered in the next several months, not in December. Now is the time to get your audience primed. Maybe they’re not somebody who usually shops early, but they need to be ordering early from you. Let them know that. Start talking about it in your content. Start talking about that in your social.

In a big, big way, you need to be planning what your social media’s going to look like over the holidays. What needs to go out, what doesn’t need to go out, what’s going to be your ads focus. I know there are at least a couple of you where this is your big time of year. This is your big income generation time. Make sure you’re taking advantage of that and you have built out your marketing plan like you would for any other launch.

For another section of the audience who may be a little more like me where you slow down over the holidays, you also need to plan for that. I’ve talked about it a lot on this show. A lot of people have heard me talk about this. I take December off, so my content and my social and all of that stuff, it doesn’t stop, but it needs to be done before we get to December so I’m looking at that. What needs to be done for me in the next few months to make sure that my business can maintain and even grow while I’m not working, or at least not working very much. That’s the holiday planning I’m doing right now. What content needs to be created? What social needs to be created? What stuff needs to be scheduled? Are we going to have any automated stuff happening as far as challenges that are all through automation in my email service? What’s going to be happening? How am I still going to continue to drive traffic to Hit the Mic Backstage?

I also know that Hit the Mic Backstage does not tend to be a big Christmas gift, although that would be super cool. Super cool Christmas gift to give to your team members or your biz bff. I’m just saying, but I also know that that means I don’t want to be trying to run Facebook ads up against everybody and their brother trying to sell Santa Hats, so I turn my ads off. That also means that I would rather have a big October November before that December ads blitz, but really it starts in November, where my cost per click and my cost per conversion goes way, way up. I have to figure that out right now because that stuff’s going to need to be rolling very shortly.

Whether you are somebody who gets really busy during the holidays or you’re somebody who goes completely quiet during the holidays, the time to figure out what needs to be done is really right now. In August, that’s what I encourage you to do. Do some planning for the holidays for December and make sure that your business is set up for that lean time or that really busy time.

Just to recap before we go.

Number 1, Instagram stories. Be sure to come over and watch the Facebook Live where I’m talking about Instagram stories as well as join us backstage for the walkthrough of Instagram stories. Facebook changes. Head over to the Facebook page and you’ll see a screenshot of what the new look is and let me know on that post if you have it yet, because I’m very curious. Number 3, holiday planning. It needs to be happening. This is the month to start figuring that stuff up. Okay? All right. I will see you very soon, on Tuesday in fact. Have a great weekend.

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