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Ask Social: Facebook Live and Hashtags

Posted By TNNA HQ, Friday, June 2, 2017
Updated: Friday, June 2, 2017

Ask Social: Facebook Live and Hashtags

By Vickie Howell and Mari Chiba Luke

Welcome to Ask Social, an advice column for TNNA members aimed to demystify social media practices and strategy. In TNNANews, we’ll answer questions from store owners, manufacturers, designers, teachers and bloggers about simple and effective ways to use new media to influence their businesses.

Dear Social,

I’ve been seeing more and more live videos pop up in my Facebook stream. Should I be working on a lifestream strategy for my business?

Yours truly,
Fiber Company Owner

Dear Fiber Company Owner,

The short answer is, yes.

The longer answer is that live stream video is where current marketing is at right now. It offers a way to reach out to both a global (key, if you also have a e-commerce aspect to your biz) and local customers at once, while also enriching your consumer community. Because Facebook Live videos are interactive (meaning that those watching live can post questions during the stream, which you’ll see and can react to in real time), they give your followers the feeling of being a part of something — it’s the virtual equivalent to getting to talk to you in your shop, or chat via an old-school help line.

Conversely, the live videos are also recorded so that they can be viewed at a later time via your Facebook page, which means you can build a playlist of videos to act as a living resource library. As a bonus, currently (and I use that term literally, like right this very minute, because who knows how long this will be the case), the Facebook algorithm allows for more of your audience to see these than even natively uploaded video. This number increases if you also spend a few bucks to boost the post after you’re done recording.

Here are my top three tips for Facebook Live video success:

1. Be consistent. Pick a day (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.) that your videos will go live, and stick to it. You’ll be surprised how many people will fold you into their life schedules, if they know what to expect.

2. Have a plan. Pick a topic or topics ahead of time, so that you're clear on what’s happening once that on-camera countdown begins. Producing a relatively tight, 10-minute video is way better than a 40-minute ramble session. Also, if your followers know the topic to expect (I recommend promoting ahead of time), they’re more likely to be invested in seeking the video out.

3. Be yourself. Although I I just recommended going into your video with a general plan, feel free to treat the situation as if you’re having these viewers into your home. Talk to them as if they’re friends, which means not being concerned about staying too on-script.

Have fun!

 

Dear Social,

I see everyone using hashtags on Instagram, but I'm not sure which ones I should be using?

Thanks,
LYSO

Dear LYSO,
 
Yes, you should definitely be using hashtags! Before we get into which hashtags to use, let's talk for a moment about which ones not to use.
 
I see many fiber related accounts promoting sales with #discount and #sale. Before you use a hashtag, I'd encourage you to first look it up! If you search either of those hashtags you'll find a lot of images that are totally unrelated to our fiber niche. The beauty of the hashtag is that it helps people interested in your content find you and your channel. What are the odds a yarn shopper is going to be searching Instagram for #discount? Not great. And what are the odds that someone searching #discount is a crafter? Also, not great.
 
Some of my favorite hashtags for knitting related accounts on Instagram are #knitttersofinstagram #knitstagram and #instaknit. But to get a fuller picture of the hashtags your brand should be utilizing, look at the hashtags your customers, the companies you admire, and your competitors are using. There are also some great tools (both free and paid) that will tell you related hashtags and the popularity of specific hashtags. Displaypurposes.com is a free option that shows you related hashtags and their frequency; hashtagify.me offers a variety of in depth tracking and analysis for hashtag usage.
 
And one more thing while we're on the topic of hashtags: Consider starting one for your own brand. This will be a way for others to share your products on their own feeds, and for others new to your brand to find related content quickly and easily. Make sure to search a few options that include your company name before you finalize your brand hashtag, and then put it in your profile so that it's easy for others to follow suit.
 
Have fun and start tagging!

 

Got social media questions? Send them to jmoriarty@tnna.org or leave a comment below!


Ask Social is a collaboration between Vickie Howell (@vickiehowell), executive producer and host of The Knit Show with Vickie Howell (premieres on YouTube, October 2017), and Mari Chiba Luke (@mariknits), business integration manager and design director of Stitchcraft Marketing.

 Vickie Howell      Mari Chiba Luke
    Vickie Howell              Mari Chiba Luke    

 

Tags:  Ask Social  Social media  tips  TNNANews 

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