The Future of Facebook & Instagram

Here are the upcoming changes to Facebook & Instagram & how you can leverage them:

1. Go “Story-First”

Last year at this time, many individuals were highlighting live video as the future of social media platforms. As you can tell, that’s very much the present! Live video has become a popular, powerful way to reach your audience. One of my clients went live this past month and received over 1,000 views on a page with a little over 2,000 likes!

That’s a demonstration of both the powerful preference Facebook gives to live video in the newsfeed & the effectiveness of strategic promotion beforehand (both of which we leveraged). Stories, be it on Instagram or Facebook, live or recorded, is social media’s newest rising star.

2. Create Communities Around Groups

If you’ve read the headlines, some people are freaking out Facebook is limiting its organic reach for business pages. Let’s pause this conversation for a minute — doesn’t this same story come out every year? There’s always someone saying that Facebook is crushing businesses by lowering the audience size of an organic post. Don’t adopt a poor-old-me, victim mentality! Has that ever helped you in the past?

In addition to making your posts memorable and compelling, look to create a Facebook Group for your page. It could be as simple as the people who have entered a contest you ran on social media in the past. What’s the magic of groups? The organic reach within them is not limited. You reach many more of your members in a group setup than you would fans of your business page.

3. Leverage Live Video

Roughly one year ago, the live video format became a hot topic for social media strategists. Started by the now terminated Meerkat, unedited video via a live stream format caught fire among viewers, positioning it as a robust engagement strategy. Social platforms began to create exclusive live streaming functionality, specifically Periscope, Facebook & Instagram Live.

The explosive popularity of such medium allowed for an unexpected opportunity for live streamers “to take on traditional TV as the dominant media platform.” Traditional and digital authorities have almost uniformly begun to agree that online media is quickly replacing ‘older’ versions of radio and newspapers. This slow yet powerful transfer of influence is awaiting the fall of another media staple: television.

While older generations maintain that their favorite method of content consumption is television, “millennials say their preferred platform is streaming. Why not have these stream-savvy millennials watch your broadcasts? For that to happen, you have to practice live streaming yourself discussing information related to your industry. After all, live streaming can be “the ticket for tightening your relationship with your audience and for taking your brand to the next level.

Let’s address some common live streaming myths and fears so you can take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity. The first anxiety that often comes to mind for individuals contemplating ‘going live’ is the consequence of messing up, stuttering or saying something incorrect. You’re human. The real, raw, unedited nature of live streaming is what has created its popularity.

Therefore, if you do something that isn’t ‘perfect,’ that can be seen as engaging! It shows this is not a pre-recorded, hyper-edited piece of video, but rather someone bold enough to share their thoughts on live video. There is a commendable nature to that form of expression. If you misspeak, just say “excuse me, rather…” and then state the correct item.

Perhaps you’re worried about rude comments and people trolling your video. Remember, only champions have critics. If someone is so small that they feel they need to post a negative comment, then just continue with your video knowing that for every one of those people, there are a hundred supporters interested in your advice.

Lastly, social networks like Facebook have built a system where negative comments work in your favor! The more comments a video gets, the more people Facebook will show the video to because it is receiving engagement, regardless of the quality! Your comment trolls are unknowingly working overtime to expand your reach.

Armed with this knowledge, practice going live since “you’ll only get better as you become more comfortable with this new medium of marketing.

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