HostGator Web Hosting Blog | Gator Crossing

HostGator Blog

Web Hosting Made Easy!

  • 5 Ways to Make Your B2B Brand Fun on Social

    Thursday, April 19, 2018 by
    fun b2b social media ideas

    5 Excellent Examples of Social Media for B2B

    Social media is the ultimate online hangout for consumers. On any given day, you’ll see people sharing the latest trends and products with their friends. It’s also an effective way for companies, big and small, to highlight their brand personality. And while B2C brands shine the most on social, B2B brands sometimes hesitant to leverage the channel. Chelsea Baldwin, founder of Copy Power, writes: “The B2B world can feel quite stiff sometimes. And while we all technically know that it doesn’t have to be that way, we find ourselves defaulting to that stiffness within our marketing, over and over again. Because even if we do want to be fun, we still need to be professional.” B2B brands can have fun, too. Below are five B2B companies nailing social media marketing.  

    1. Showcase a Playful Brand Culture

    The B2B ecosystem represents powerful deals, endless paperwork, and a polished, professional atmosphere. You’ll even think it's the place where creativity goes to die. However, if you rethink how you view B2B, you’ll understand that these companies aren’t selling to other businesses. Similar to their B2C counterparts, B2B brands make transactions with people. Every business is H2H, or Human to Human. We’re all connecting and selling to other humans who enjoy learning, having fun, and engaging with others. And that’s where the magic begins! You can use your brand personality to invite consumers into your culture. Give them an opportunity to see how uplifting and informative your brand can be. We’re not saying post inappropriate photos from the last happy hour party. But we do want your values and playful nature to bleed through. Below is an example from package delivery company UPS. On Instagram, the brand likes to post joyful images related to their company logo and culture. It’s unique and garners the eyeballs of their audience (even 3,068 likes!).

    Bow WOW. Happy #DressUpYourPetDay 🐶

    A post shared by UPS (@ups) on

    Your B2B brand isn’t a heartless, corporate juggernaut. It’s full of many people who make up your brand culture. Display that image to your customers.  

    2. Launch a Virtual Product Tour

    When you’re a kid, the best school days involved field trips to new places around the city. It was a chance to experience something different. From the school’s perspective, it was an educational way to make the classroom theory a reality. Those tours to the local zoo, courtroom, and theater made abstract concepts more attainable. You can bring back those memories to your consumers with virtual product tours. Through social media, you can offer a behind-the-scenes look at an upcoming product launch or give a snapshot of your facilities. “Visual content tends to garner more engagement, especially on those networks where it is a fit like Facebook, Pinterest and Google+. Aside from great photography, use memes, infographics and visual representations [to exhibit] points made in blog posts,” says Douglas Burdett, founder of Artillery. GE is all about introducing its Facebook fans to their innovations. During Drone Week, they answered live questions to enhance the experience. Facebook Live video example for tech brand What’s unique about your office? Can you give a live guided tour with one of your experts? Use these questions as starters to develop a fun social environment. Bring your customers into your daily routine. Product tours make it easy for people to relate to your brand.  

    3. Highlight Charitable Giving

    Humanity involves our actions and how we treat one another. People gravitate towards individuals who give back to those in need. Charitable giving manifests in many shapes and forms. There’s donating a few extra dollars to your favorite nonprofit or spending your Saturday mornings tutoring kids in the neighborhood. These selfless actions give hope. They show characteristics of compassion, friendship, and kindness. Take a front and center approach by spotlighting your charitable giving. Consumers desire the stories of your brand doing more than just collecting a profit. They want to know how you’re serving the community. Accenture walks the walk on social media. This global management consulting giant commits itself to giving back to communities. The soul of the brand centers around philanthropy, whether that’s donating funds or offering workers a chance to volunteer their time.   There’s a fine line between spotlighting your giving efforts and boasting about them. Work with your team to ensure your B2B brand isn’t coming off as arrogant. Customers respect genuine charitable giving. And they can spot an imposter quickly! So continue to evaluate your strategy. You’re doing wonderful things to impact the world. Use social media as an outlet to amplify your good deeds to the world.  

    4. Spotlight Your Employees

    When it comes to B2B brands, it’s easy to think there’s no one doing the work in the background: making phone calls, meeting with customers, or even mopping the floors. Well, businesses don’t operate efficiently unless there’s a dedicated and capable team calling the shots. Your employees are working around the clock to ensure the business runs smoothly. And where there’s people doing great work, an amazing story is usually around the corner. You can use social media to magnify these stories. “Post photos of team meetings, community events and everyday office fun! Show your audience there’s more to your brand than, well, a boring company. Show the human side of how things get done. Use your employees to breathe new life into our social campaigns,” suggests Owen Matson, director of content strategy at MarketScale. Below is a LinkedIn post from Citi. The company honors their employees by sharing stories of their achievements.
    Do something similar by profiling your own employees. You also can mention their achievements or highlight their work. You want consumers to see how you workers impact the business. It doesn’t take much to spice up your social feed. Start giving your employees the extra recognition they deserve.  

    5. Create Contests to Boost Attention

    The social in social media is what most B2B businesses overlook. They forget that engagement occurs when you interact with your audience. To spur engagement, you can try posting a question to spark discussion, or you can even challenge your followers to caption a funny meme. But you probably want to kick it up a notch, right? If so, host your very own contest on social media. You can ask consumers to post their entries on the social channel, or you can direct them to a page on your site. The great thing about contests is that they can be as simple or elaborate as you want. You can offer free swag or a trip for two to Paris. The only advice is to make it relevant to your audience. Square shows how to create contests geared toward your consumers. The mobile payment brand hosted a contest to give away free retail space. They also teamed up with Appear Here to make it all happen. b2b social media contest Social media is all about connecting with people. Draw excitement for your B2B brand by creating a contest.  

    Shine on Social

    Social fun isn’t reserved only for B2C brands. Your B2B business can leverage its originality on social media, too. Try using your brand culture to get consumers’ attention. Open your virtual doors and invite folks to a product tour. And it never hurts to give your employees all the glory by highlighting their actions. Having fun on social starts now.
  • 5 Ideas To Create Social Media Content Your Customers Will Love

    Thursday, April 19, 2018 by
    create social media content customers like

    How to Create Social Media Content That Your Customers Actually Like

    Most businesses share content without thinking about whether it will resonate with their customers. They focus on promoting their products and get stuck in a rut of selling 24/7. Those companies miss an essential point of marketing—thinking of your customers, not yourself. You’ll want to be strategic about your content. Larry Alton, an Adweek contributor, says: “Sure, an attractive Facebook cover photo is great, but it’s not going to mean the difference between converting a follower into a customer. The content you publish and share could, though. Treat content like your currency and it’ll fundamentally change the way you approach social media.” It’s time for you to experiment. Here are a few ways to find the types of social media content your customers will love. HostGator Website Builder

    1. Identify Popular Blog Posts

    When it comes to selecting the right content, teams can get antsy. Rather than creating a focused strategy, they start posting any and everything online. As a result, your social media account looks like paint thrown onto a wall. A few of posts work well, but most of your content misses the mark. Then, you scramble to try again and get the same outcome. This time around, begin with what you know. And that’s your popular blog posts! You’ve already done the hard work, and you know customers benefit from the content. Now, it’s up to you to share it with the rest of your followers. If your website is connected to Google Analytics, you can locate your most popular posts in a few seconds. First, login to your account. On the left column, click Behavior, Site Content, and then All Pages. For primary dimension, click Page Title. find most popular blog posts in Google Analytics

    Image Source

    Be sure to adapt each post to your desired social channel. You may have to tweak images, headlines, or even create a cool Twitter thread. Do what’s already working. Start with your greatest hits—your most popular blog posts.  

    2. Ask Customers Directly

    As small business owners, it’s easy to get stuck in your own head. Your team is pondering day and night to figure out what content will intrigue your fans. However, it’s important to realize that you don’t possess all the answers. And to reach a solution, sometimes the best option is to ask your customers directly. That’s right! If you want to know the types of content that really excite customers, get their feedback. “Can direct outreach really be beneficial in getting feedback from customers? Absolutely. Understanding your customers is often as easy as talking to them directly. This direct outreach can also help fill in the gaps that less personal forms of feedback tend to create,” states Gregory Ciotti, a writer, marketing strategist and alum of Help Scout. Depending on your company’s resources, you have a few ways to collect customers’ feedback. You can try sending an email requesting responses to a few questions, connecting with them on social media via direct message, or if you really have time, pick up the phone and call customers. Inquire about their interests and what problems are plaguing them at the moment. That way, you can post social media content that fits their needs.  

    3. Listen on Social Media

    On social media, there’s a lot of noise. Brands can get trapped into talking about irrelevant topics and decide only to stick to what they know best—their products. To venture beyond the constant selling, you must be willing to do things differently. Rather than blasting out the same post every day at the same time, you’ll want to actually listen to your customers. Jump down the social media rabbit hole to learn more about your followers. Gather information on what they like and dislike about your brand and discover their interests. This is the art of social listening. To organize your search, you’ll probably want to invest in a tool like Sprout Social. You can monitor specific keywords, identify relevant hashtags, and engage with your brand advocates. social listening software Reports indicate that 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. So take what you learn and apply it your customer service interactions. Moreover, user-generated content is helpful for providing your audience with social proof. Reach out to customers raving about your brand and ask them if you can use their content in your next campaign.  

    4. Spy on Your Competitors’ Content

    In the world of business, there’s a wise piece of advice for newcomers: don’t reinvent the wheel. Too many times, teams spend their precious resources building something from scratch, instead of revamping a mold that already exists. Some of the best content research is available for free and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to locate. So, where is it? It’s your competitor’s social media content. Both of you are attracting and engaging similar audiences, so use their content as a barometer on what may or may not resonate on your channel. “You can also learn from your competitor’s mistakes—the Facebook posts that flop versus the posts people love, for instance—and hone your strategy to accommodate what appeals to your audience. With competitive intelligence in your marketing arsenal, you’re prepared to amp up your presence and increase traffic back to your website,” writes Sarah Bauer, content director at Navigator Multimedia Inc. Observe which content types get the most customer engagement. Look for questions asked by followers and never get answered. The goal is to find your competitor’s blind spot and fill the consumer’s need on your social media account. Of course, spying on the competition won’t give you everything you need. But it’s an effective process to get the content machine moving in the right direction.  

    5. Research Past Social Engagement

    People are creatures of habit. We take comfort in doing things the same old way. When people recognize something familiar, we move towards it. This principle holds true for ramping up your social media engagement. Analyzing past trends can offer insight on what customers may enjoy in the future. Too often, we skip the data available to us. Analytics dashboards make it easier than ever to review social behavior. For instance, below is a summary of Twitter analytics. It shows the top tweet, top media tweet, top mention, and top follower. You can find similar data on your brand’s account. Twitter Analytics dashboard Once you gather this data, what’s next? Use it as a guide to craft content with related topics or themes. It also may spark ideas to repurpose existing content. Share that funny meme on Facebook to your Twitter followers. Ask an influencer in your field to repost your top Instagram post. Social media is always evolving. So don’t focus on trends from three or five years ago. The past year is good enough to understand what your customers like. Data is useful for predicting future behavior. Learn how to leverage it to satisfy your customers.  

    Must-See Social Media Content

    The first rule of social media is to make content your audience will enjoy. If you don’t, you risk losing people’s interest quickly. Promote popular blog posts to connect with your followers. Pay attention to what your fans post on their accounts. And give yourself a boost by taking a peek at your competitors. Speak to your customers. Create likeable content.
  • Launch Your Online Store with This 5-Step Plan

    Monday, April 16, 2018 by
    online store launch

    5 Steps to a Successful Online Store Launch

    Ready to open your online store? With all the excitement for the official launch, it’s important that you take time to map out your plan. You want to be ready to serve customers on day 1 (with little or no issues). Everything won’t be perfect, but the key is to keep pushing forward. Listen to Entrepreneur contributor Jonathan Long’s advice: “Do not wait until you think it is perfect to launch. You are going to need to constantly split-test and make changes—it’s never going to be perfect...Don’t let excuses or fear get in your way—you are never going to know if you have a viable online business unless you launch.” A strategy can help remove fear and doubt before launch day. Here’s our 5-step plan to assist you. best dedicated server hosting

    1. Optimize Your Product Descriptions

    In the e-commerce business, the website is the foundation for your brand. And similar to a house, a weak foundation can result in problems in the future. That’s why it’s vital for you to optimize your website from the start. This process includes everything from web hosting to branding to technical search engine optimization. There’s a lot to consider. Think about how easily a potential customer can access your navigation bar or what keyword phrases will help you rank on page one of Google. With the growing number of mobile consumers, you’ll also want to configure your site for smartphones and tablets. A few small changes can make the shopping experience better. Product descriptions are often overlooked when launching online stores. The content should provide all the product details with an image. Here’s an example below from TJ Maxx. From a price to social share buttons, shoppers receive all the necessary information to make their purchasing decisions. ecommerce product listing example Before you dazzle up your store, figure how you can enhance the site for your consumers. Every tweak gets you closer to a sale.  

    2. Know Your Shipping Strategy

    Most e-commerce stores sell physical products. If that’s your business, you need to ponder how you will deliver those products to your customers. Shipping is a big deal in business. From a brand’s perspective, you want the lowest costs to get items from point A to point B. Customers want their products to arrive at their doorsteps as soon as possible. These dilemmas leave very few options for e-commerce brands. For instance, you might have to offer free shipping to your shoppers. “Most customers not only want free shipping, they expect it. For this reason it can be difficult to sell a product with a hefty shipping fee. Many online retailers combat this by including the cost of shipping into the price tag while raising the price and offering ‘free shipping’,” writes Forbes contributor Brent Gleeson. Build a shipping strategy that ensures everyone involved gets what they desire. Answer the following questions:
    • What courier will ship your products?
    • What are the rates for your selected courier?
    • Will you fulfill international orders?
    • Will you purchase shipping insurance?
    • How will you keep track of your shipping costs?
    • What’s your shipping policy for refunds?
    The more details you provide upfront, the better your strategy. You don’t want to be guessing what to do next when customers start buying your products.  

    3. Build Your Email List

    While many industry leaders may declare that email marketing holds no significance, it’s still one of the best ways to communicate with potential buyers and longtime customers. Communication is essential in the customer relationship. Email offers you the chance to inform consumers about your latest products and confirm shipments of their most recent orders. Plus, on-the-go consumers can use their smart devices to check their emails. This access can help you become part of your buyer’s everyday tasks. But before you jump into all the complexities of email marketing, like segmentation and user profiling, your brand can start with the basic content—the welcome email. This email is the first greeting a consumer will receive for signing up for your newsletter. It’s the friendly introduction to your brand. Take a few tips from Urbanears below. Their welcome email gives the purpose of their newsletter  and what consumers can expect to receive. The 10% coupon code doesn’t hurt either! welcome email example for online store When creating your welcome email, you may want to include a small incentive, too. And don’t forget to add your branding to the message, like your logo or brand colors. Email marketing isn’t dead. You can take advantage of the benefits with a simple newsletter.  

    4. Gain Pre-Launch Feedback

    Like anything in life, you benefit when people lend you their expertise. Listening to others can provide insight on how to iron out launch issues. If possible, join a community of e-commerce store owners. You can learn from their mistakes and pick up a few pointers to improve your store. Think outside the box when finding communities. You may have to join multiple Slack groups or sit down face-to-face with folks in your local area. Prepare to ask specific questions and offer your skill set to others. Initiating a beta consumer group also is an effective way to get feedback before your launch. That way, you get real-life scenarios of what’s working (and not working) in your store. “E-commerce companies should aim to create quick and cost-effective prototypes which they can share with potential customers. Beta users can then offer feedback that will help reinvent your product so that it better meets their needs,” states Danny Wong, entrepreneur, marketer, and writer. Ask your beta users to navigate through your website and report any challenges that arise. You’ll also want to know if the products resonate with them. Of course, you want to give an incentive to your beta testers. Their honest feedback will only improve your launch. From communities to beta consumers, find ways to get feedback about your store. Then, make the changes quickly.  

    5. Develop Your Promotion Strategy

    Brand-new e-commerce stores face a heavy burden when it comes to promoting their businesses. While you’re offering an amazing product, people must know you exist. Promotion starts with knowing your audience. By learning who they are, you gain knowledge on where and how they consume information. For example, if you’re selling puppy accessories, you may find out they read a unique magazine tailored to dog owners. Then, you may want to purchase ads on the magazine’s site to connect with the audience. There’s a wide variety of promotional channels. You can begin with Facebook ads, strategic partnerships, or social media posts. Old Navy promotes their products with the help of influencers on Twitter. This tweet sets the tone of the brand with a call to action. ecommerce tweet Focus your promotional strategy on the consumer. It’s the time to show them why your brand deserves their attention. What separates you from the competition? How do your products solve their problems? Learn more about your customers to succeed with promotion. You’ll have the intel to attract and maintain their loyalty.  

    Launch Your Store Today

    Preparing for your launch day will help you move past any fears holding you back. With a strategy, you can make the customer experience better. Remember to optimize your product pages to convert visitors into buyers. Place email opt-ins around your site to capture window shoppers. And consider doing a beta launch to gain feedback. Plan. Then, launch! Learn how HostGator's web hosting can support your e-commerce store.
  • How to Add Google Fonts to Your WordPress Website

    Monday, April 16, 2018 by
    choose fonts for your website

    Is Your Site Using the Right Font?

    Thanks to the growing number of mobile internet users, finding the right font has become a big project for site designers, publishers, and retailers. The BBC and the Guardian have recently debuted new bespoke fonts designed to be easier to read on phones—and save the companies money on licenses for commercial fonts. Even if you don't have a flagship-media budget, there are ways you can update your site fonts for better readability, a more consistent appearance across browsers and devices, and faster page-load times to help your SEO. best WordPress hosting

    What Fonts Are Best for Your Site?

    Whether you're a design fan or someone who likes to consider all the options, it's really easy to fall down a rabbit hole of fonts. There are thousands of open-source fonts that anyone can download and use, and thousands more available for purchase. Because you want fonts that make your website easier to use and faster, it's probably best to limit yourself to Google Fonts, a repository of open-source fonts that are easy to read on small screens and which cache quickly to speed up page load times. At this writing, Google Fonts offers a mere 848 font families, 823 of which work for English-language copy. To narrow down your 800-plus choices, you'll need to apply some basic font choice principles, like those described by Janie Kliever at Canva.
    • Two to three fonts is the ideal number for most sites. If you stick with only one, your site may look sterile and visitors may have a hard time figuring out which text is a headline and which is your main copy. More than two or three fonts can make the site look chaotic and amateurish.
    • Choose fonts that have some contrast so that they create a visual hierarchy. For example, you could use a bold or serif font for your headlines so they stand out and a simple sans serif font for body copy so it's easy to scan, even on a smartphone.
    Google Design gives a broader overview of typography, fonts, and how to find the best fonts for your site in their Choosing Web Fonts: A Beginner's Guide. Among the things the authors say you should consider are:
    • Are you designing your site for the long-term or short-term? Long-term projects often need font families with many style options.
    • How long will your text blocks be? Even on-screen, serif fonts are a good idea if you'll feature five or more paragraphs at a time.
    • What size will your type be? Simpler fonts are easier to read at small sizes, but they may not stand out enough in headlines.
    • Will your visitors translate your site into other languages? If so, you'll need to choose a font family that supports multiscript characters so those translations display properly.
    The guide recommends a few fonts for specific situations to help you get started. You can also browse the entire Google Fonts library here.  

    Finding Google Fonts for Your Site

    When you're ready to explore Google Fonts, it can be a bit of a challenge to navigate the somewhat clunky directory to find the right typefaces. As an example, let's walk through looking for a serif font to use for headlines on a site for a petsitting business—something bold and businesslike but a bit playful.
    • In the Google Fonts search filter sidebar, you can select the serif category and decide how you want the results presented—by age, popularity, or alphabetized by name.
    • Under languages, you can narrow your results to typefaces that support English by selecting 'Latin' (confusing, but we do use the Latin alphabet).
    • Next, you can check the boxes to open slider menus and fine-tune your options for number of styles (variations on the font, like lighter, bolder, or italic), thickness, slant, and width.
    google fonts library By choosing 'serif' and 'Latin,' you get 174 options for your petsitting website headline font. Bree Serif looks like it could work. To see how your copy will look, you can replace the dummy copy with your text by inserting the cursor, clearing out the dummy text, and entering 'Our Petsitting Service Menu.' (You can also click 'apply to all fonts' so we don't have to retype it.) google fonts serif fonts library You can use the slider menu to resize the text anywhere from 8 to 112 points. You can also use the dropdown menu on the left to see how your copy looks in a sentence or paragraph or the alphabet and numerals in that font. Clicking the + button adds Bree Serif to a tray at the bottom, where you can collect all the fonts you want to use. When you're ready to install them, click the black tray bar and you'll see HTML and CSS code to embed the font in your site. (More on this below.) You can download as many fonts as you like, but Google recommends that you don't download everything “just in case,” because of the time and space it would take.

    download google fontsHow Can You Use Google Fonts On Your Site?

    If you're comfortable adding code to your site, you can use the Get Started with Google Fonts API guide to using stylesheets to specify the font families and styles you want on your site. You'll also find out how to drastically reduce the font file size for headings and logos by optimizing font requests. For anyone who's not comfortable editing their own site code, there are several plugins for WordPress that can install and manage Google Fonts for you. One of the most popular options, with more than 300,000 installations, is Easy Google Fonts. With this plugin, you can avoid editing the code for your site's theme and you get a menu of all Google Fonts without having to manually select and download any of them. The plugin adds a typography menu in the WordPress Customize section of the dashboard, where you can select font families, styles, color, and other text elements for each type of header and text in your site theme. Easy Google Fonts WordPress plugin You can see a realtime preview of what each change you make will look like; visitors to your site will only see your changes if you save and publish them. To change text elements that aren't part of your theme's default controls, Easy Google Fonts allows you to create your own font controls that will show up in the Typography menu. After you choose the Google Fonts you want to use and make sure they look right in the preview, you're ready to save and publish to update your site.  

    Update Your Fonts, Upgrade Your Site

    By updating your site's fonts, you're not only giving it an updated look, you're also building a better user experience. Faster-loading fonts that are designed for on-screen readability are the key to keeping visitors coming back, especially as more people do their browsing on their phones.
  • 5 Live Social Video Ideas for Small Businesses

    Thursday, April 12, 2018 by
    live social video ideas for small business

    Social Live Video Ideas from 5 Successful Brands

    Live social video is essential for marketing teams. With irrelevant messages consuming customers’ attention, your team needs content that will stand out from the rest. And that's where live social video becomes valuable to your small business. “Live streaming videos give you the chance to attract a much larger audience and generate more traffic and online visibility. Because of its immediate interaction, you can entice more viewers than you would from just a simple status update or post,” states Maggie Munley, account manager at Corporate Communications. Dust off your favorite outfit. It’s time for you to step in front of the camera. Here are five live social video ideas to get you started.  

    1. Interview Thought Leaders

    Education is important in today’s society. People are always seeking knowledge to advance their careers, help their businesses, or just find a product at a cheaper price. Knowledge is definitely power. If you’re seeking to impress your audience on live social video, you’ll want to start by interviewing thought leaders in your industry. Experts can offer unique insights on how to tackle small and big challenges affecting your consumers. By interviewing them, you also shine a light on your amazing brand. You’ll want to select thought leaders that your customers respect. So take the time to research the latest blogs, attend a few conferences, or listen to several podcasts. These spaces are prime areas to find well-qualified experts. But don’t miss the opportunity to interview the thought leaders on your team. They work day in and day out in particular areas that may interest your audience. Below is an live social video example from Socedo, a lead generation platform. While streaming on Periscope, the company interviewed their head of sales about direct messaging in the B2B social media marketing. social live video example on twitter You’ll also want to think about the topic and interview questions. Poll your audience before the chat and take live questions during the interview. That way, you’re engaging with the customer and not talking at them.  

    2. Explore Behind the Scenes

    Your team’s tasks and responsibilities may seem routine (and even mundane). Everyone is doing their job to contribute to a greater cause—the customer’s satisfaction. However, that’s not the case for your social media followers. You do something extraordinary in their eyes. You make a product they adore! On any given day, your team is working behind the scenes, planning new product launches, arranging customer appreciation events, or speaking at a major conference. Those actions you call “small” are a really big deal to your customers. People enjoy getting the inside scoop on what happens within your small business—and live video makes it possible. “Use streaming to create conversations, give customers important information, and highlight fans, partners, employees, and new technologies (and share the spotlight). Sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses is yet another way to thank your biggest fans and enable them to help share your brand story,” says Kathy Klotz-Guest, founder of Keeping It Human. The New York Times is revered for its crossword puzzle. On Facebook Live, the team solves the puzzle with its followers. Plus, they give hints and viewers can put their guesses in the comments section. facebook live video from new york times Let your creativity run wild to show off your behind-the-scenes moments. It’s your opportunity to give your brand a personality.  

    3. Announce New Products

    You’re constantly seeking different ways to create brand awareness. You want to drive sales, too. Live social video can provide a helping hand. Streaming the announcement of your new products gets consumers excited. It’s a chance to see your product in real-time for the very first time. And guess what? They don’t have to leave their home or office. Then, your product announcement becomes a full-fledged event. On live video, you can explain the product features, demonstrate how it works, and talk to customers. “Sharing the event with your audience can make them feel included and enthusiastically engage with your brand. If it's not exactly viable to host an event on your own, you can still engage your audience by getting involved in a much bigger event and then sharing live videos of how you're helping out,” writes Inc. contributor Shane Barker. Time magazine highlights how to use Barker’s advice. When Apple made a big product announcement, the media publisher streamed the live event on its own YouTube channel. Bringing attention to industry news also can score you a larger audience.
    Whether it’s your product or industry news, make sure to invite your customers to the event. Their presence can lead to sale now or in the future.  

    4. Perform How-to Presentations

    When it comes to bringing products to life, there’s nothing better than a how-to presentation. It’s your moment of glory to give consumers that aha feeling. Demonstrating your product or service is an effective approach for prospective and current customers. When you turn on the camera, your main objective is to show them your product’s value. Before you get started, decide on what you want to demonstrate. You don’t want to risk fumbling over your own product with a live audience. You also don’t want to spend an hour or two explaining something; you’ll lose the attention of the audience quickly. Next, select who will be your on-air talent. You want a team member who can talk naturally about the product and won’t freeze up if he makes a mistake. You want someone who can handle the technical difficulties. How-to presentations don’t have to convey a serious tone. Have fun with your audience. Check out this example from Dunkin' Donuts. It’s a light-hearted live video to celebrate their super fans on Valentine’s Day. dunkin donuts facebook live video Killer presentations are all about organizing your ideas before the camera turns on. Do the hard work up front, so you can have fun with your customers on live social video.  

    5. Support Your Cause

    Sometimes, live social video isn’t all about you. If you want to generate brand awareness, your small business must spotlight other causes. Today’s consumer is searching for ways to connect with brands. Supporting your favorite charitable causes is one route to displaying your brand’s values. Maybe you donate a percentage of your sales to a local nonprofit. Or your team volunteers at a specific soup kitchen every year. Those defining moments give consumers an inside look at your small business. With live video, you can capture the selflessness of your team. Michael Quoc, founder and CEO of Dealspotr, offers his perspective: “Live streaming makes your brand feel real. It’s an opportunity for you to be less polished and more authentic. You can show the human side of your team versus the scripted, commercial side.” ASPCA hosts live adoption videos for rescued animals. It’s heartwarming and sincere. Audiences have no choice but to like and share the video. These videos would be perfect for a small business to show their support. social live video example support a charity There’s a wide-range of nonprofit organizations looking for help. Lend support to a cause that matters to your team.  

    Lights, Camera, Action

    Live social video is making a splash in every industry. Consumers want to see your brand’s personality and the people behind it. Engage your audience by interviewing thought leaders with bold ideas. Announce upcoming product ideas to gauge consumer interest. And of course, give your favorite nonprofit cause some support. It’s time for your close up. Start creating your own live social videos.