SMMW16 RECAP: Mari Smith – How Companies Are Succeeding With Facebook (7 Power Tips)

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At this year’s Social Media Marketing World event, the largest social media marketing conference in the world; showed nothing but talent in terms of speakers, and interesting sessions.

The one and only Mari Smith, often referred to as the “Queen of Facebook”, was the perfect example of this. The Scottish-Canadian started her journey on Facebook early on, creating a profile and from then on coming to run sessions, workshops, etc. for Facebook.

Her expertise on social media marketing had the audience of the mega-conference focused and motivated. Mari started talking about Facebook, where it’s going and what it has on it’s plate. Here, a Sheryl Sanberg reference comes out, showing that Sanberg believes that Facebook has 3 priorities:

  1. Capitalizing the shift to mobile
  2. Growing the number of marketers using the ad product
  3. Making ads more relevant and effective

For the last 10 years, Facebook has been a strong, forward thinking, media force and there is no sign of it slowing down any time soon. At this year’s SMMW conference, Mari shared her advice to the room of marketers on how best to work with platform.

  1. Creative Use of Video

The art of storytelling is essential to the world of marketing and business. It is a means to engage the people and capture their attention. With video ads, video tools (animate, adobe voice, etc), mobile animations (Rpil, lumyer, etc), we are able more now than ever to draw on interactive experiences for viewers. Something that I’ve personally notice to be very helpful are the subtitles and encouraging people to increase the volume. This allows them to focus on where the ad is actually based, and as Mari agreed, it increases the reach.

A great site to check out is Upworthy. Since 2012, Upworthy has been a source of viral content. Their videos have great frame quality, captions and are overall amazing. This is definitely a place to take note of because many people are teaming up with content producers.

  1. Adoption of Facebook Live

The key to successful marketing is quality and relevance. Mari Smith mentioned that with this feature, you can write news, how to, behind the scenes, Q&As, weekly shows, and special groups. Again, this is all about building a relationship with the audience, which she stressed. Smith’s main tips include:

  • Short, Compelling Titles (Use emojis)
  • Encourage Viewers to Subscribe
  • Acknowledge Commenters and Engage
  • Broadcast for 5-20+
  • Edit Your Videos After

Mari also predicted that there might be a movement towards YouTube-esque content with Facebook—something big to look for.

  1. Immersive in Mobile

Mari Smith also stated that internet users are not only willing to wait 3 seconds for a mobile website to load, decreasing from 8 seconds in 1999. The attention spans and patience of our audience is thinning.  With this, Facebook has come up with things such as instant articles (10x faster loading), canvas ads, emailed sign-up forms, and selling ads yourself (100% the money) or selling through display networks (70%).

Mari noted that instant articles are a faster way than mobile searches outside of Facebook. Through publishing tools, instant articles and canvas ads are here. In addition, WordPress plugins are available.

  1. Messenger for Business

Facebook also wants to replace the toll free number, so that people can have 1:1 personal support, and thus would prompt social care. With messenger links set to m.me/username, Smith mentioned that we could hope to see messenger chat bots and advertising in the near future. There are also QR codes available so we can use these feature offline and off site to encourage people to use it. People will be able to go on your Facebook page, click on the message section and download your code.

  1. Optimize Facebook Ads

Facebook has are approximately 90% of mobile users. That is 1.59 billion active users, and an estimated 93% valid users. With a mobile newsfeed, desktop, messenger, Instagram, the audience’s network, and probably Whatsapp, Mari explained that Facebook is a mega-hub. Through lead ads it becomes easier to build an email and easy for people to fill out the form. Ads are often overwhelming for brands, but Mari referred to the heaps of objectives, content, KPIs, custom audiences, and the endless list of targeting options. Ads now have the ability to be as diverse and creative as we want them to be.

  1. Maximize Organic Reach

Mari Smith stressed that an important point in gaining success through Facebook (and any marketing strategy) is storytelling. It is key to make your audience look good when sharing, and increase the share ability factors. In the effort of having relevant and timely content, Facebook Live can be your best friend!

Moreover, on the question of whether to post more or post less, Smith suggested posting less—this is what people want to see.

  1. Engagement Is Queen

Relationship is everything. Throughout her talk, Mari emphasized the value of connecting with your audience. Having a fast response and being a warm, personal human goes a long way in business. Try using first names and people will respond with surprise and delight. Also try private messaging commenters when it’s relevant, but most importantly, acknowledge the people who share.

On note of engagement, Mari mentioned that Sundays apparently get 52.9% more engagement than any other day. So, if you’re looking for when to start, give it try. 10-11 pm at night is also the best time for interactions. She also stated that images and video posts get the most interactions and shares, giving you the most circulation and views. Her biggest key to success centres on connection and creating a conversation with the audience. If you engage them, they will engage you.

And that’s a wrap! Overall, Mari tried to pack in a lot of content, which was VERY interesting. A great session to go to, I’m glad we got the recordings to be able to revisit!