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social media marketing

Grab some popcorn and watch the meltdown … Twitter/X news and updates for October 2023

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Sometimes it’s fun to watch a dumpster fire. Sometimes it isn’t. But it’s always important to learn from it, especially how it may impact your small business’ marketing strategies. let’s see what ol’ Elon is up to this month at Twitter/X …

  1. Twitter/X Faces Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

Twitter/X finds itself entangled in a legal battle as it faces a trademark infringement lawsuit. This lawsuit centers on allegations of trademark infringement by a company called “X Social Media.” The case highlights the importance of protecting one’s intellectual property in the digital age.

For a detailed understanding of this legal dispute and its potential implications for Twitter/X, Read more about the trademark infringement lawsuit faced by Twitter/X

  1. The Removal of Engagement Counts and Buttons on Posts

In a surprising move, Twitter/X is considering removing all engagement counts and buttons on posts [^2^]. This potential change could significantly impact the way users interact with content on the platform, potentially shifting the focus from metrics to meaningful engagement.

For those interested in the evolving user experience on Twitter/X, Learn about Twitter/X’s consideration to remove engagement counts and buttons on posts

  1. Twitter/X’s Daily Active Users Drop Under Elon Musk

In the final story, Twitter/X’s daily active user numbers have reportedly dropped under the leadership of Elon Musk. This decline raises questions about the platform’s direction and its ability to retain and attract users.

To gain a comprehensive view of the challenges faced by Twitter/X under Elon Musk’s leadership, Discover the challenges Twitter/X faces as daily active users drop under Elon Musk

Twitter/X remains in the spotlight with these recent developments and challenges. From legal battles to potential changes in the user experience and shifts in user engagement metrics, the platform is navigating a dynamic landscape. Staying updated with these developments is essential for users, marketers, and investors.

Recent Changes and Developments with Facebook/Meta, October 2023

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Let’s do a little scrub-a-dub of the latest news surrounding Facebook/Meta that may be relevant to your small business social media strategies …

  1. Declining Referral Traffic on Facebook

Our first story, reported by Social Media Today, highlights the ongoing decline in referral traffic from Facebook. According to a recent report, the platform’s referral traffic has been steadily decreasing. This trend underscores the importance of diversifying your digital marketing efforts beyond Facebook.

As a website owner or digital marketer, it’s crucial to monitor these shifts in referral traffic and adapt your strategies accordingly. For more details on this story, Read more about the declining referral traffic on Facebook

  1. Meta’s New Strategies to Reignite Interest in Threads

In our second story, also reported by Social Media Today, we learn that Meta is actively exploring new options to reignite interest in threads. As online discussions and communities play an integral role in social media, Meta’s move to improve thread engagement is an important development.

The company’s focus on enhancing user interactions within threads may present new opportunities for businesses and content creators. If you’re interested in the future of online discussions, Explore Meta’s new options to reignite interest in threads.

  1. New Ad Options with Facebook Reels for the Holiday Season

The third and final story showcases Meta’s announcement of new ad options for Facebook Reels, just in time for the holiday season. As the holiday rush approaches, Meta is making strategic moves to leverage the popularity of short-form video content and create a lucrative advertising platform.

If you’re a business owner or marketer, this presents a golden opportunity to reach a wider audience during the holidays. To learn more about these new ad options, Discover Meta’s new ad options for Facebook Reels ahead of the holiday push

The world of Facebook and Meta continues to evolve, presenting both challenges and opportunities for digital marketers and businesses. It’s important to stay updated with these developments and adapt your strategies to make the most of the ever-changing landscape of social media.

For more information on these stories and other social media trends, make sure to follow Social Media Today for the latest updates.

Can ChatGPT Write a Halfway Decent Article?

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I’ll admit it, I was drawing a blank this month on what topic to write about.  So after staring at a blank screen for a while and overworking my foggy brain I decided to ask the robots for help.  And by “robot” I mean ChatGPT.  And by “ChatGPT” I mean our future robot overlords that will eventually turn us all into plugged in humanoids like in the Matrix.  Buuuut … in the meantime we can at least use them to help brainstorm stuff!

Anyway … a topic suggested to me by the robot was “Creating Memorable Dining Experiences: The Key to Word-of-Mouth Marketing.”  I’ll spare you the robot-written article, and instead give you the bullet points of what was suggested …

  • Ambiance and Atmosphere
  • Stellar Service
  • Culinary Creativity
  • Engaging Experiences
  • Surprise and Delight
  • Consistency
  • Embrace Feedback

I liked this idea not just for the food world, but to show some of the things that create successful word-of-mouth marketing, which can truly be the most powerful and effective way to grow our businesses. Reading a great review online from somebody we don’t know is all well and good, but when somebody we TRUST vouches for a company or a service, we are much more likely to be sold on that business. 

And what we have here is actually a pretty great list showing us some of the most important factors of word-of-mouth marketing (and not just for a restaurant).  I mean sure, “culinary creativity” is a little industry specific, but it also plays to the larger concept of coming up with creative and unique ways that our business stands out from a competitor.  

Another common factor in a lot of these suggestions is how they relate to the customer’s overall EXPERIENCE and how we FEEL about a business.  For true business growth and evolution it’s not just about doing the bare minimum and filling an order or providing a service, it’s about having your customer feel like they were part of something special.  

Now to be fair, I’m not suggesting that every customer experience must feel like riding the Avatar ride at Disney (which is awesome by the way). I’ve never expected a life-altering experience from my lawn guy, but he also does a great job, checks in constantly, and always provides suggestions to make the lawn look as good as possible.  So guess what? He now has multiple new regular customers that have been referred to him by me.  Bang!

So dear human … take these wise robotic pieces of advice and use them to your advantage before they’ve been implanted via microchip directly from King ChatGPT, benevolent ruler of the universe and controller of our free will!

What’s working on Instagram in April 2023

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Don’t call it a comeback, but … gasp … pictures may actually be returning from the dead on Instagram! Crazy right? The social media site that built its foundation on pretty pictures that soothed our souls and gave us the escape from our judgemental Facebook peers has finally realized that they’ve been screwing everything up and ruining why people liked them in the first place.

I get it … TikTok got all popular and stuff. So then Instgram panicked and decided that they had to copy all of the success of our Chinese overlords in order to hold the attention spans of busty influencers and 13 year olds everywhere, and they gave Reels a boost. OK … they gave Reels a BIG boost and basically threw everything else in the trashcan and assumed nobody wanted it anymore.

Well guess what? Reels are REALLY annoying to have to constantly create, especially if you’re a small business owner who has 647 other daily tasks and jobs to deal with. Now, instead of being able to produce some well-curated photographs that were on brand, you had to spend hours trying to come up with 60 second sizzle Reels all the time just to keep up with the stupid algorithms. And that ended up creating a large group of brands that started doing Reels because they HAD to, and not because they actually WANTED to, thus flooding the landscape with a whole lotta crappy Reels that nobody wanted to look at in the first place (or create).

Thankfully the team at Instagram finally came to their senses and admitted they had gone overboard on pushing Reels in the past year. Now I’m not going sit here and act like everything in world has been healed and crafting an Instagram page for your business that has solid reach and engagement is by any means “easy,” but at least we’re returning to a more competitive balance of content.

So what’s the big takeaway from all of this? I see two things …

1. Always always ALWAYS grab content in as many forms as possible. If you’re taking a picture, don’t just take that one picture and move on. Take a vertical picture. Take a horizontal picture. Take a quick vertical video. Take a quick horitonzal video. Take a LONGER video. Then save ALL of it. Never ever assume that whatever is “working” right now in social media is what will still be the standard in six months … or a year … or six hours from now for that matter. You’re spending the time to grab the content … take the extra minute to grab it in multiple forms.

2. Never ever EVER try to copy somebody else just because something seems to be “working” for them. This goes for a small business trying to copy another brand on social media just as much as it goes for the multi-billion dollar social media company themselves that tried to copy another one. They didn’t do it becuase they genuinely believed in the process, they did it because they were merely following something that looked like it was working for a competitor.

Personally, I don’t understand why all of these gigantic tech companies feel like they need to monopolize EVERY market. Why can’t they do one thing really well and serve their customers instead of feeling the need to be a retail outlet, streaming service, game hub, health care provider, social media network, and whatever the heck else they can try to control?

When you try to please everybody, you end up pleasing nobody.

Keep that in mind when working to grow your business. Do what’s genuine to you and what you do well. The rest will follow!

This Article May Save Your Life

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What if I told you that by the end of this article, I would give you the single most important piece of information for your small business?  If nothing else, I’d say between the overly dramatic title of this article and that opening sentence, I at least have your attention, don’t I?  And that, my friends, is what we’re talking about today … the branding of your business and how to convey it to your audience with a sense of URGENCY.

I hosted a morning radio show for 20 years, and it was widely understood that you had approximately seven seconds to capture the audience’s attention before they changed the channel.  Seven seconds!  So if you thought it was a good idea to start your segment with, “Hi .. good morning … my name is Zack … this is my co-host … how are you today?” BUZZER!  Wrong answer! They’re gone.  They’re bored and moved on.

But if I started out by saying, “I’m going to tell you about a slice of pizza I ate last night that was so delicious it changed my life,” well now you wanna hear about this magical triangle of destiny and you’re going to hang with me until the end of the story. (Unless you’re some kind of monster that doesn’t want to hear about a life-changing pizza, in which case I don’t want you as my audience anyway.)

I help out once a month at a get-together for small business owners in Roanoke (it’s free and fun, email me if interested), and recently we were talking about the “elevator pitches” of our company.  After hearing “Hi my name is blah blah and I own a company called blah blah,” a few times I knew it was time to talk about how we promote our brand and the sense of urgency necessary to capture our audience.

When we try to reach our audience, we are in a constant battle for their attention between competitors in our field and pretty much any other distraction … Netflix, Candy Crush, annoying TikTok videos, or whatever else.  So it is absolutely VITAL to get our message across as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The good news is, once you have their attention, then you can take the time to explain your brand or your services and show them why you’re so dang awesome.  But if you waste that first seven seconds?  BUZZER! Wrong answer! They’re gone.

OK … now that we’re at the end, this article may not ACTUALLY have saved your life, but I do think this piece of advice is crucial for the success of your business, so it’s definitely saving SOMETHING!