Creative Ways to Engage Your Audience through Facebook Live, Images and Video

Facebook Live can be an effective way to grow an online following for organizations. As with anything new, it is beginning to morph as people make it their own.

As an account executive at Lukas Partners, I monitor social media to keep an eye out for trends that could benefit clients.

The latest buzz has been around the use of Facebook Live as a poll where the reactions buttons, the like, heart, haha, sad and angry faces, are your way to vote. These live video polls have taken little known organizations into a viral spotlight on Facebook. This same outcome also can be achieved with a static graphic or recorded video. For example, on one side of the screen could have a dog, the other, a cat; Facebook users vote for their favorite animal using the reaction you choose to signify a vote for each. If you were to choose heart for cat and like for dog, users would click the like or heart button to cast their vote.

The best Facebook Live poll is going to be one that still contains a live video element. Facebook has recently been cracking down on static images or pre-recorded video put up as live.

You may have noticed that Facebook has moved its live notifications into their own tab on mobile, but the change hasn’t stopped the interest in watching live video.

People love seeing behind-the-scenes content, events, do-it-yourself (DIY) tips or advice, or any sort of update or insight from their favorite people or organizations that they follow on Facebook. Generally, you should strive to entertain, teach or reach people through this medium, and you will find success.

If you’re ever stuck for an idea of a topic for live video, you could go to Facebook and look at what people are doing live right now.

Another new aspect added to live video is as a page admin, you can now deem someone as a “live contributor” on your page. This can work well for organizations who have multiple people at different locations. It allows them to stream a live video on their mobile device as the page.

Ultimately if live video isn’t your cup of tea, I still recommend posting videos on a regular basis. According to a video company named Brightcove, social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.

About the blogger:
LeAnne Morman is an account executive at Lukas Partners. As a former journalist, LeAnne has a great deal of experience with all types of media, including social and digital formats. She works with businesses on a regular basis to help them use digital and social media to their advantage.

 

Find Your Prime Time for Social Media

Timing can be everything on social media. You want your posts to get engagement, so therefore, you are on a quest to find the best time that has the most potential people paying attention.  A few factors can help to find your prime time when posts could be seen by the most people. Because every organization, person or entity is different, audiences and best times to post vary.

As an account executive at Lukas Partners, I am always helping clients find the best timing for social media posts on various platforms.

Finding the right time to post depends on three factors. Analytics, trends and previous posts.
First, look at what the analytics tell you. When are the majority of your followers online? When are they liking and commenting on your posts? Different platforms may mean different prime times.

Second, what are the trends you see with other organizations like yours? Pay attention to when they post, engagement on the posts and how often they are putting content on social media. This isn’t a fool proof method, but it does provide insight for your own use.

Finally, take a look at your previous posts and tweets. Figure out what worked and what did not. It’s somewhat of a guess-and-check method. You could always repurpose content that did not do so well for a different timeframe to test your theory.

For general guidance, Sprout Social has recently crunched the numbers and identified times and days of the week that are ideal to post. These times and days change based on audience habits and trends, they also are not based on your own, specific audiences.

About the blogger:
LeAnne Morman is an account executive at Lukas Partners. As a former journalist, LeAnne has a great deal of experience with all types of media, including social and digital formats. She works with businesses on a regular basis to help them use digital and social media to their advantage.

To hear more from Lukas Partners, follow us on Twitter @LukasPartners or subscribe to our newsletter.

 

Facebook Workplace App Helps Companies Break Down Silos

It can sometimes be a struggle to get employees from different departments or locations involved, engaged and communicating to one another.  Facebook has come in with its Workplace application and flipped the script. The Facebook Workplace app is an internal and secure social media communication platform, and it has larger companies like Starbucks and Booking.com singing its praises.

The app is similar to Facebook. You can post status updates, scroll your newsfeed, create an event and then some. One difference, it’s just for people within your organization. No outsiders allowed, although Facebook has opened Workplace up for organizations that work together.facebook image

A benefit cited by many companies is that it can be used anywhere, from your desktop computer or laptop to your smartphone, allowing employees who are on the go the same opportunity to communicate.

Another benefit could be the ability for leaders to reach their employees easily to share news, bulletins, videos and other content.

The Workplace version of Facebook is not linked to your personal profile, so if you’re not into your boss seeing your personal posts, it is still kept separate. Also, you won’t see any advertisements come up on the Workplace version.

After a beta test by a selected group of organizations, it’s now open to whomever wants to sign up. The starting cost for an organization is $3 per employee per month for the first 1,000 employees. After 1,000 employees, the cost per employee per month goes down. Facebook does not require a contract and offers a free 90 day trial period to give you a chance to see if it would mesh well within your organization.

About the blogger:

LeAnne Morman is an account executive at Lukas Partners. As a former journalist, LeAnne has a great deal of experience with all types of media, including social and digital formats. She works with organizations on a regular basis to help them use digital and social media to their advantage.

 

Grow with Instagram to Increase Engagement

Instagram has been around since 2010, and we’ve seen it grow within the social media landscape to become a household name alongside Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and LinkedIn.

As an account executive at Lukas Partners, I monitor social media trends constantly to ensure clients don’t have to pull over with a flat tire on the social media super-highway.

Over the past year, many organizations have experienced positive engagement with their audience using the Instagram stories feature. It allows users to collect a group of pictures and videos in a story format, giving followers a more in-depth experience beyond a single image or video. The stories show up at the top of the app, and are a great way to get noticed. Snapchat and Twitter have created similar options.

To grow an Instagram following without breaking the bank, the recommendation remains to continue to take advantage of new features and create unique, rich and compelling content that will turn heads in your direction. And of course, continue to use those hashtags!

I’ve noticed a couple of new features added to Instagram that can enhance your posts. The first is layouts. It’s an add-on that allows you to post a photo collage of pictures to your Instagram page. The second is called Boomerang, and it will loop your video over and over in a post.

Instagram LayoutsLukas Partner Boomerang

And, without getting too doom and gloom, it’s important to remember what’s hot one minute might not work the next. According to data from TrackMaven, brands saw 10 times more engagement on Instagram than Facebook in 2016, which is a trend expected to be short-lived as Instagram adjusts it’s algorithm to generate more selectivity, building more of a pay-to-play mentality that other sites like Facebook and Twitter have established.

About the blogger:

LeAnne Morman is an account executive at Lukas Partners. As a former journalist, LeAnne has a great deal of experience with all types of media, including social and digital formats. She works with organizations on a regular basis to help them use digital and social media to their advantage.

Ideas to Get Creativity Flowing for Social Posting

We’ve all been there. The moment where you stare blankly at a word document or status window, thinking about what to write. You are not alone in feeling the pressure to stand out amongst the crowd with a stellar update or blog post.

As an account executive at Lukas Partners, I am always working with clients to seek out the most compelling stories to share.

ideas for social postingFirst, try to change your surroundings to get a different viewpoint. It could be attending a meeting outside of your department at your organization or going to lunch with a coworker you don’t interact with on a regular basis. This new scenery could spark idea flow.

Put yourself into the shoes of your audience. What would they find interesting? What are others talking about in your circles of family, friends and colleagues?

Try tapping into the personal stories in your workplace to help connect your organization with your audience. The stories that stick with us are those that are relatable. One way to do this is to ask for help from others within your organization. Request ideas either from their own lives or the lives of their fellow coworkers. Have them email you their ideas and follow up to get more details.

Another tactic I’d recommend is jotting down a few thoughts or ideas at the end of each day to keep a running dialogue with yourself that you can come back to and fill in more as you go.

If you’re still stuck and under a deadline, take a look back over content you have already written. It’s possible a previous post could create a new or spin-off idea or update.

About the blogger:

LeAnne Morman is an account executive at Lukas Partners. As a former journalist, LeAnne has a great deal of experience with all types of media, including social and digital formats. She works with organizations on a regular basis to help them use digital and social media to their advantage.

To hear more from Lukas Partners, follow us on Twitter @LukasPartners or subscribe to our newsletter.

Lukas Partners Honored at Nebraska PRSA Paper Anvil Awards

Thursday night was an exciting night for Lukas Partners! We were honored to receive four Nebraska Public Relations Society of America Paper Anvil Awards at the annual PRSA awards dinner. We thank our client partners, pictured here with us, for the opportunity to execute the award-winning programs recognized by 2016 PRSA Paper Anvils.

Lukas Partners PRSA

Public Service Partnerships Award of Merit – Healthy Kohl’s Kids, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center

Integrated Communications Award of Merit—Healthy Kohl’s Kids, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center

Internal Communications Award of Merit – Imagine the Possibilities, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center

Integrated Communications Award of Merit—Outlook Nebraska’s Phin the Guide Dog Reporter, Outlook Nebraska

Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you to the Nebraska PRSA chapter for another great gala.

Holiday Social Media Campaigns To Engage Your Audience

Studies show December is not only the largest shopping month, but also the largest month to give back. Companies and nonprofits can heighten awareness on social media with a holiday social media campaign.

As an account executive at Lukas Partners, I’ve seen benefits of holiday social media campaigns include increased engagement with followers and shares, which raises awareness for the organization and its products, services, mission and needs.

One attention-getting way to utilize social media is a customer appreciation campaign. Offer a prize, share the details on a post with an image or video, then choose a winner who liked and shared your post. This type of campaign works best on Instagram and Facebook.

holiday-campaigns

Another way to get your organization involved in the holiday fun is to ask for photos or videos of an activity. For example, plan an ugly Christmas sweater contest or ask to see people volunteering in your community. Demonstrate the activity on the call-to-action post by using video or images of you doing it yourself. Have followers use a designated hashtag and choose a way to recognize and reward those who participate.

Say thank you to followers on social media by offering a discount or exclusive offer to those who mention seeing it on your social channels.

Look back over the year and sum up your most popular posts. Create a holiday infographic with memories from 2016 or interesting facts related to your organization.

Any campaign you choose, you will want to cater to the audience you are trying to reach. Pin posts to the top of your profile and consider a profile or cover image that reflects your campaign. Boosting or sponsoring the posts for your campaign can help broaden your reach.

About the blogger:

LeAnne Morman is an account executive at Lukas Partners. As a former journalist, LeAnne has a great deal of experience with all types of media, including social and digital formats. She works with organizations on a regular basis to help them use digital and social media to their advantage.

Connect with Cool Tools on Facebook

Facebook added a couple of tools for page administrators to connect with their page’s audience.

As an account executive at Lukas Partners, I manage social media for clients. I’m always looking for new and interesting social media tools.

The first Facebook tool is the ability to invite someone who likes your post to like your page. Click the list of people who liked your post underneath the post itself. It will bring up a new window with a list of those people. To the right of their name is an option to invite. Click that option to invite them to like your page. If they’ve already liked your page, it will say “liked” to the right of their name. This feature allows you to target those who may have seen your post based off of a friend’s activity or because it was sponsored content.Cool tools for Facebook Pages

The second tool allows you to direct message anyone who comments on your posts. This has been a long time coming and is especially helpful in the customer service realm. Under each posted comment you will see three options: like, reply or message. If you opt for the message, I would recommend replying to the post, as well, to tell the commenter to check their messages for a message from you. This also will show other people who are see the comment that it has been addressed privately.

Facebook also has announced plans to link Facebook Pages to Instagram so that organizations that have both platforms can manage messages and comments in one place.

About the blogger:

LeAnne Morman is an account executive at Lukas Partners. As a former journalist, LeAnne has a great deal of experience with all types of media, including social and digital formats. She works with organizations on a regular basis to help them use digital and social media to their advantage.

Ways to Organize Your Social Media Management

As an account executive at Lukas Partners, I manage multiple social platforms for organizations. I use a few different tools to help me streamline the process.

I recommend Buffer, Hootsuite and Tweetdeck as social media management tools. I use a combination of Buffer and Tweetdeck. Hootsuite works just as well, and it recently added YouTube to its list of social media platforms. These websites allow you to look at Twitter, Facebook and other platforms all at the same time on the same screen.

The order is to engage, listen and participate.

First, spend a few minsave-time-onsocial-media-managementutes checking your messages and other notifications. Like posts that positively mention your organization and if appropriate, reply to other mentions, posts and messages.

Next, spend time checking what people are talking about on each platform. If it’s something that relates to your organization, this might prompt interaction, a share or a post of your own.

Look at what’s trending on Google, Twitter and Facebook. Twitter and Facebook both offer trending content on their homepages. Bookmark Google Trends on your browser for easy access.

I like to use Trendsmap as a tool for Twitter because it offers a real time look at trending hashtags by region.

Once you have the pulse of popular topics, you can now spend a few minutes creating and scheduling posts. (But keep in mind, if your organization has news that takes priority over a scheduled post, remember to remove the automatic scheduling of the post.)  The social media management platforms I mentioned earlier allow you to schedule posts. Buffer is great because it picks the peak times for you, based off of your analytics.

As a final note on the topic, I would recommend installing the apps for all platforms and linking your company page to personal accounts to monitor times when you aren’t at work, just to make sure you aren’t missing anything big going on in the social media world.

About the blogger:

LeAnne Morman is an account executive at Lukas Partners. As a former journalist, LeAnne has a great deal of experience with all types of media, including social and digital formats. She works with organizations on a regular basis to help them use digital and social media to their advantage.

To hear more from Lukas Partners, follow us on Twitter @LukasPartners or subscribe to our newsletter.

Survey: Smartphone Owners Are More Attached to Phones Than Ever

People are more addicted to their smartphones than ever. In a recent U.S. Cellular survey, more than 60 percent of smartphone owners said they could not make it longer than a few hours without checking their phone. More than two-thirds of respondents check their phones at least every hour.

Here are five surprising things mobile users would rather give up than their smartphone:

Chocolate (72 percent) – Americans love their candy bars, consuming nearly 10 pounds of chocolate each year. But more than seven out of 10 people would choose to forgo chocolate instead of giving up their smartphone.

 

TV (65 percent) – People in the U.S. spend almost three hours a day watching television, according to the Washington Post. However, 65 percent of respondents would abandon their favorite shows in order to stay connected to their smartphone.

 

Caffeine (63 percent) – What if six out of 10 co-workers went through the day without their first cup of coffee? That would be the situation if they had to choose between caffeine and their device.

 

Pets (50 percent) – People don’t have to choose between their phone and pet, which is a good thing for half of the nation’s fuzzy friends. According to respondents, 50 percent of pet owners would give up their animals before parting ways with their smartphone.

 

Food (33 percent) – Final meal or one phone call? One-third of smartphone owners would go hungry rather than give up their device.

what-would-you-give-up-infograph

You likely won’t have to give up your smartphone and U.S. Cellular has Black Friday bargains if you seek a mobile upgrade. Consumers can get $500 back in promotional cards with a Samsung Galaxy S7 purchase. How about a free TV? Throughout the weekend, any new or current customer who purchases two Samsung Galaxy S devices will receive a free 58-inch Samsung Smart HDTV. Deal seekers also can pick up the latest wireless accessories, such as the Nest Thermostat, for $50 off. Drones, wireless speakers and headphones are up to 30 percent off.

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