By MelanieBoylan  | Consult, Manage | Contributor | Networker | | | Go to   |

The second year of Social Media Summit Ireland closed its doors yesterday after having over 30 speakers at their two day event.  This years keynote however was the Facebook Queen herself Mari Smith.  The main demographic of this event would be brand managers and social media marketers but the event is open to all.

Having spent the past two weeks travelling and speaking internationally, this final date was rounding off a busy schedule for her before heading back to the States today.

Mari Smith bounced on to the stage after a short explanatory video of her background, though in fairness I am sure the majority of the attendees knew who she was already.

Her story was shared a while back by Buffer – well worth a read as it was recommended by Mari herself.

A couple of weeks ago Mari and Mike Stelzner of Social Media Examiner were on a podcast together and they were discussing the Facebook Newsfeed.  Up to 90% of people access their newsfeed via mobile and this very small “real estate” area is where you get your message across.  Mari confirmed that Facebook have said they are going to run out of Facebook Ad inventory come this Summer so things will need to be tweaked imminently.

This particular tweaking will involve a new dedicated video newsfeed (already out in the US) and this should help ease the pressure on our current newsfeed.

The use of Canvas Ads was brought up and only 5 or 6 people in the room confirmed they had used these so far.  Mari went on to explain it does require a fair bit more investment in time and money to do these properly but “immerses” your audience and can double your ROI on standard Ads.

She gave the example of one business (Brussels Airline) that started using Canvas Ads and saw an uplift of 27 times (1 minute, 20 seconds) more times on their website that was previously only about a 3 seconds.  Her number one suggestion for all types of ads including Canvas, you need to craft your ad to allow for maximum shares.  As shareable as possible!

Reaching your audience is about making them feel special. Make them feel something positive towards you.

We hear all the time how much emphasis people put on the amount of Likes they have on their business pages.  Mari said creating the right audience is more important than having a large one however.  Spending fortunes on Likes and Awareness campaigns are fine when you start up or perhaps change strategy but shouldn’t be necessary once you have created accurate avatars.

Creating a better customer service for the audience you currently have and generating loyalty is important.  Apparently Europe and Asia at the moment have a better handle on this than the States so it’s something we need to continue to push.

The simple act of addressing someone by their first name can make all the difference and by building a relationship and rapport the trust follows.

Now to list the 5 Content and Conversion Aspects that are working on Facebook


YouTube, Amazon, GoogleTV and others are all racing to provide content to Generation C. Currently they are 30% of everyday consumers but that will rise to 40% by 2020.  They are picking up from where TV advertising is now failing.

Coming up next is the dedicated video newsfeed on Facebook. It is “live” in the US and not rolled out here yet but it is to come.

Create evergreen, signature content.

You can generate leads and an income from very old content as long as its evergreen. As long as the information doesn’t date and is still relevant it can still be shared and tweeted to your audience.  Mari used the example of Betty Rocker who has a blog post created back in 2015 and she still uses this post in Facebook Ads and this post has been shared about 29,000 times now.

Amplification Programme

A more corporate thing to do as they have several platforms to use but this would be utilising different platforms and methods to boost the one piece of content.  Namely Ads, Facebook Group, organic reach, video, brand ambassadors etc.  However, anyone can create a strategy to do this, it just takes time and coordination.

Custom Audiences and Retargeting

Using video views and page engagement.  Adding your email lists and ensuring you have the Facebook Pixel on every page!

Relationship Marketing

Showing you genuinely care for your audience builds rapport and trust.  Do you spend time thinking about your end user and what worries them?  Does your product or service answer a problem or pain that they have?  Or do you look at your audience as facts and figures?

Relationship Marketing is the only via way to make your audience respond.  You need to use listening tools and ask questions to fulfill the needs of your audience.


Buffer did a study about a year ago of approximately 60 million posts of brand pages that do roughly one post a day.  It is widely known that video gets a upto 3 times more engagement however, in the study conducted 80% were links, 19% were photos and UNDER 1% were videos.

3rd Party apps like Animoto and Adobe Spark are horribly under-utilised and need to be included in your strategy.

Your video need not be salesy, it can be amusing or poignant. It needs to make the viewer feel something on an emotional level.

Square Video

Instagram of course has been the birth of the square video but now its a “thing” on Facebook and they have been proven to do better than traditional Landscape/Portrait ones.  Up to 28% more video views in fact.  People are watching square video 5 times longer too.

Introducing… SQUARE Video Format by Animoto

TA-DA! Animoto just released SQUARE format videos today! ??? Here are 10 reasons why this is important to marketers:1. Square video performs better on Facebook and Instagram.2. Square videos get +28% more video views than landscape.3. Square videos (1:1) get more likes & shares than landscape (16:9).4. Square videos take up 78% more screen space than landscape.5. Square videos have a +67% higher view completion rate.6. People gaze 5X longer at video than at static content on Facebook and Instagram.7. Over 90% of Facebook daily active users access on mobile. 8. Almost half of people surveyed find it easier to pay attention to video when viewed on a smartphone vs a computer (especially Millennials.)9. Smartphone users are much more likely to consume online video than computer users. 10. Facebook encourages marketers to optimize for mobile so your creative can ‘cut through’.If you are an existing Animoto customer, check out your Marketing Video Builder and the SQUARE format will be there. [[I'm delighted to be one of three featured square storyboards!]]For NEW Animoto customers, get 20% off a Professional or Business account when you enter code: marchgladness. Go to ?????On last Friday's sneak peek Facebook Live, I promised I would reveal a special new "F" word from Animoto… hahaa… it's "FORMAT!!" Okay, could've been 'Feature.' But it's Square Format. Woohoo! Read more about this new feature on Animoto's blog:“NOW is a great moment to be a visual marketer.” Greta Baisch, EMEA Consumer Insights, Facebook. Facebook states: "We identified five factors related to the rise of online video viewing: smartphones, shorter attention spans, binge-watching, the importance of context and the thrill of novelty." See more at:

Posted by Mari Smith on Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Advertising through Facebook

Mari suggested that creating a post first and allowing for some organic reach is best.  However, “boosting” a post that is already getting some reach organically isn’t recommended.  Instead go through to Ads Manager and push the post that way.

It is more cost effective to drive business from your existing customer – so make an enormous effort to provide THE best customer service.

Finally Facebook Live

Only in the last week or so in Ireland we can now add people who are watching a Facebook Live we have started.  If you are recording it in portrait the invitee shows in a smaller screen on the iPhone or if you turn it Landscape the invitee shows up in the screen next to you.

There are alternatives like Wirecast but this is more a “professional” version for larger corporates.

She did drop a gem of information about what’s to come in the not too distant future for larger brands.   Essentially QVC meets Facebook Live. It means you can watch a Facebook Live of theirs and on the left hand side of the screen will be a “shop” you can click, look at and buy from WHILST the Live Stream continues.


If you would like to see the full Livestream of her talk, visit the Social Media Summit Facebook Page, for details.


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