Hello, hello. Once again, The Stacey Harris here to talk all things you must know going into November of 2018. A couple of the things we’re going to talk about today come off the heels of Mark Zuckerberg, and his Q3 announcements and presentation. I wanted to share a couple of highlights with you, we’re not digging into everything he presented, if you want to know all the things, he did a great post over on his Facebook page, but I wanted to talk about the things that are really relevant to us, as marketers.
We’re going to follow up with some things that I want you to be paying attention to going into 2019, considering we are, in fact, in the final two months of 2018. As a little side note, sort of a PS here, we are going to be putting Hit the Mic TV live, the weekly Facebook live show we do on Thursdays, on hiatus for November and December. So there’ll be no live show for the next couple of months. We will restart that live show in January, but we are working on a couple of really massive projects right now behind the scenes. More will be coming out about both of those projects this month, I’ve been teasing them a little bit here and there in the past episodes, but we’re going to be talking a ton more about them later this month, and into December.
But, because we’re working on those projects, and because there are literally only so many hours in the day, we’re going to be putting a pause on the live show, just for November and December. We will be back on Facebook with the live show in January. Until then, nothing is changing with this podcast, so you will still get this podcast every Tuesday in your inbox, in your preferred podcast listening destination, whether that’s Spotify or iTunes, or Google Play, or where ever else, you will still get this through the end of the year, without fail. Sound good?
All right, why don’t we jump in?
Number one thing I want you to know, and this sort of the Facebook updates.
There’s kind of a couple of updates in this, but some Facebook news, the first thing is Facebook stories. I don’t know how much you are using them, I don’t use them a ton, as a consumer. However, as a marketer, I am starting to really pay attention to the space, and a big part of that is because of the Q3 call that Mark Zuckerberg hosted, or presented, however you want to phrase that, because Facebook is putting a lot of emphasis on stories, moving into 2019, and if that’s the space that’s going to get traction, I want to make sure I’m utilizing it.
So, one of the things I am doing is starting to pay attention to the numbers and the metrics to see what’s happening there, to see what kind of results I can see there. The cool thing that they’re adding specifically, is the ability to add links and hashtags, they’ve also extended the character counts. You can add more text to stories, they’re making it easier, and easier, and easier for you to create posts, both for your wall and for stories even when they’re more long form.
The thing I want to be paying attention to, as a marketer, is ads, and this new space, which quite frankly, the reason it’s being created, the reason it’s getting so much energy is because, straight up, Facebook needs more real estate for ads, but looking at where that can be beneficial for us, where we can start leveraging a space where our audience might be. So if your audience is in the demographic of being interested in stories, pay attention to the ability to run ads to them. Start testing and learning how your audience engages with your stories, not just on Instagram, but over on Facebook.
A great way to get started with that is if you’re creating Instagram story content, publish it over on Facebook as well. You have the ability to do that right from Instagram. I’m not usually a big proponent of creating content in one place and pushing it to multiple places, but I think in the beginnings of starting a story’s strategy, and a story’s test, it’s a really low effort way to start getting some data. And so, if that makes sense for you, that’s a great place to start. If you’re already using Instagram stories, it’s a great place to start.
The other Facebook update I want to talk about before we get into out next thing is video polls.
So we have video polls in both live videos, you can also use them in replay videos now. This can be a really good way to get those micro commitments, those micro touch points where we’re able to get little yeses, and little engagements, to keep someone engaged with the experience of watching. It’s a little less of a commitment ask then a comment, they just kind of have to click stuff, and so that could be a really great way to, again, get them engaged without making a really big ask.
And so, look at where you can start adding some polls and getting some engagement in your videos. This is a really great way, again, to keep them around and watching a little bit longer, which is going to be an important thing with Facebook videos moving forward. Before we wrap up the video talk, I’ve had a ton of questions about Facebook video being dead because a large social media publishing company, information source, blog, event, whatever you want to call this company, sent an email to their subscribers with the subject line, “Is Facebook video dead?” And have pulled some of their video content from Facebook, and made a big announcement around it.
Personally, no. I don’t think Facebook video is dead. I think Facebook video is different, is young, and is not yet truly a competitor to YouTube, in the sense that long form produced content retains an audience all of the time, on the flip side of that, if you’re providing really valuable content, and you can build the habit into your viewers, it can do really well. The big takeaway I want you to have here is not, “Oh, well, I need to do X, Y, Z type of video content, or I need to ditch Facebook altogether, or I need to double down on Facebook.”
What I really want it to be is, I want you to look at your numbers. I want you to look at where your audience is spending time, are they super onboard with watching Facebook videos. Maybe you can absolutely get your audience to sit there for 45 minutes and watch a video, fan-freaking-tastic, look at your numbers, because that’s where you’re going to get the best data, is your numbers, all right? Do not, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever make business decisions, marketing or otherwise, based on another company’s data. Do it based on your data.
Now, I’m not saying that you can’t make an educated guess based on someone else’s information, but just make sure you have the same audience. Just make sure you have the same goals, make sure you have the same benchmarks for success. Ultimately, the decision has to be based on what you see happening, okay? I will put my soapbox away now, and we’ll move to number two.
The second thing I want to talk about today is, if you haven’t yet figured out what you’re doing with Messenger, and specifically with things like bots.
This last two months of the year is a really good time to spend some time looking at that. Mini Chat as a fantastic bot course, and it’s completely free off their site. We are going to be doing more, and more bot content inside of Backstage next year. There are good ways to do bots, and there are bad ways to do bots, just like everything else. So don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, but having a few sorts of baseline automations setup for your Messenger system is really, really, really valuable because you get answers from FAQs. You can direct some conversation down a specific path that gets their answers a little bit faster than you or someone on your team jumping in.
The thing I love most about bots, with a couple of our clients, is we’ve actually put in some real basic FAQ stuff, and we’ve been able to get people simple, simple answers in a matter of seconds, versus the 24 hours turn around of, “Oh, well, they asked it on Saturday night, and no one knew and checked it until Monday morning, because nobody’s in the shop on Sunday.” That’s a massive difference, and so, now Monday, when we’re having conversations, we’re following up and saying, “Hey, can I book? Can we book a call? Can we …” whatever the next steps are. “Can I get you more information?” Whatever that next step is for you.
So, make sure you are, again, looking at at least getting some baseline foundational bot and Messenger stuff figured out, because they’re not going anywhere, and in fact, this is more of what was in that Q3 call, which is Messenger is getting even more sleek, and clean, and user friendly so that more, and more people are using this as a default way of communicating. Just as a heads up, I do not use this as a default way of communicating. But, for a lot of people, it works really well, so figure out what works for you, and set those up. But again, we’re going to have more, and more bot stuff coming in 2019, Backstage. We’ve got some really cool bot stuff, trainings we are working on right now, but in the meantime, Many Chat has a great one. You can find the links to that over in the show notes.
The final thing I want to talk about before I let you guys go is 2019 planning.
Yeah, I know, everybody and their brother is inundating you with 2019 stuff. I’ve been talking a lot about strategies, and building strategies, and how you need to make sure you have one for this year before you worry about next year, but we’re rapidly, rapidly reaching a point, in fact, we’re there, that if you want to launch something in January, now is the time to be figuring out what that looks like, because if you’re launching in January, you’re in prelaunch in December.
If you want a program that starts January first, you need to sell it in December, which means you are in prelaunch right now. So, be paying attention to what you want in January so that you can be doing the marketing plans for that, which means if you haven’t yet done your business planning, now’s definitely the time to do it. Again, a couple weeks ago in an episode, I shared some resources for 2019 planning. Rachel Cook, Tara Newman, and The BRAVE Society, we did a panel in there, there’s a ton of great resources, again, I think Rachael’s training is coming up the first week of December. She’s got a CEO retreat.
She’s doing one here, in L.A and she’s doing a virtual one. I’ll be at the one here in L.A because I’m going to make sure my house is in order for some stuff that I’m going to be sharing next week on the podcast, but make sure that you have this stuff figured out, guys, because, again, if you want to launch something in January, you need to be figuring out these marketing pieces now. You need to be figuring out if there’s anything you need to put together, as far as content, or options, or whatever. So get that together. Don’t let planning something that keeps you from taking action, but also, make sure that you’re not taking action for the sake of taking action.
Instead, rather, you are going back to that idea of intentional marketing, intentional posting, intentional content. Intentionality is my word, maybe, for 2019. I want you guys to really be thinking about why plan everything when it comes to your marketing. Cool? All right, that’s the three things I want you to know this month, in November, holy moly, 2018. I’m super excited again. Next week, I’m going to be sharing more really cool news, and stuff with you guys about how things will be evolving and changing here at The Stacey Harris, moving into 2019, because I feel like I’ve been hinting around at a lot of things, and it’s time to open the curtains, and show you guys what’s happening inside.
It’ll be a lot of teasing still because there are things sort of still working its way, but I want to pull you in, so make sure you are subscribed, and you come and listen, all right? I’ll see you next Tuesday. Bye.
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