Herzlich writes the Small Business column in Newsday.
As the weather heats up, so does mobile phone usage.
Content posted on mobile devices grew by 26 percent from May through September 2015, according to new data from Facebook IQ.
More consumers will likely be on their smartphones this summer, so brands may want to rethink the way they engage with their audiences on social media.
“Summer definitely means that people are on the go more, so they’re using their mobile devices more,” explains Denise Wakeman of DeniseWakeman.com, a Los Angeles digital marketing consultant. “Businesses need to be focused on how they’re showing up in the mobile news feed and how they can create and share content that’s a snapshot.”
Time is precious to consumers, so “you want to capture their attention very quickly,” she says.
Utilizing short video on social media can help keep them engaged. In particular, live video is hot right now, she says: “It’s where a business can interact with their customers most intimately and immediately.”
Live video platforms include Facebook Live, Periscope and Blab, and this summer, “live video on Facebook is taking over,” notes Allisa DiPolito, social media director at fishbat, a Patchogue digital marketing firm.
Facebook is giving the most priority to live video in its newsfeed, and notifies visitors who “like” a company’s Facebook page and engage with it when the business goes live, she explains.
Christine Laureano, founder of Ba6 Botanicals, a Hampton Bays maker of handmade, natural skin care lotions, balms and body care products, has been using live video via Periscope and Facebook Live for about a month.
She prefers Facebook Live because that’s where her main audience is.
“I’m not big into video, but I had to take a real creative leap and do it, because it’s so hot and the reach is so broad,” says Laureano, who is also creative director of Ba6Marketing.com, a copyrighting and content marketing site.
She keeps her videos about 15 minutes long. Most recently, she talked about “ways to boost your creativity.” She even did a live stream once from the beach and plans this summer on doing more outdoor live broadcasts.
In addition to video, consider sharing blogs thoughout social media.
Bill Corbett Jr., president of Corbett Public Relations in Floral Park, last summer wrote a blog post every single day in July and shared each one on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
“I wanted to be the antithesis of the lazy days of summer,” he says.
He looked for inspiration around him. For instance, he was walking along the Long Beach boardwalk and saw beach wrestling and wrote a blog about that, which turned out to be one of his most widely read posts.
He suggests carving out time each week to devote to social media efforts and creating a marketing schedule, pinning down what you’ll do and when.
Sharing recipes is always popular on social media, says DiPolito, such as a refreshing summer dish or drink.
If you’re having a sidewalk sale, go live and have people working at your store showcase designs or share images of new summer items, she adds.
And if your business is doing an event, offer a behind-the-scenes peek, DiPolito says. You might even tie in your content to summer events or holidays.
Include a call to action, Wakeman advises. For example, for a sidewalk sale, Instagram an image and say “Come on down to get a discount,” she says. “Make sure to tell people what you want them to do.”