Hugo Animal Care png by Ouch, Banyan blog

5 Tips for Creating Likable Content on Social Media

Just a decade ago, most small businesses didn’t pay much attention to social media. Now, creating likable content is a big deal on Facebook and other social channels.

Sure, exceptional service matters most. But online engagement has taken on new significance.

Hey, it’s the digital age.

So, what’s the bottom line? Studies suggest that increasing your online presence through blogging and social media can increase new leads by 55 percent. 

You know you need content that will get your social pages more likes. The challenge is knowing what to create.

Here are five ideas for likable content that will boost your online visibility and build greater trust with your followers.

Proven Formulas for Likable Content

I. Expert Knowledge

Think about all the self-help and other video tutorials floating around on YouTube. Chances are, you’ve viewed one—or several—of these in the past.

What about your own team’s expertise? If you’re in healthcare, you can share a lot of common-sense wellness tips.

Why not video a special health tip of the week (or month) to share with your followers?

Regardless of your industry, you are knowledgeable about something.

For example, here’s a quick tip we shared recently on Banyan’s Facebook page:

Are you fully utilizing the Banyan App?Here is an app tip from Banyan!#BanyanSocial #SocialMediaMarketing #GoogleMyBusiness

Posted by Banyan on Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Bottom line? Share valuable knowledge with your followers. They’ll appreciate your expertise.

II. Frequently Asked Questions

Adding a FAQ page to your website will not only address common questions but make your patients or customers feel like you are responsive to their concerns.

A FAQ page can also increase your web traffic as search engines send potential patients with those same questions to your site for answers.

Why not video an excerpt from your FAQ to post on social media? We all know that video is the ultimate ‘likable content.’

Case in point: After hearing the question, “How should I brush my baby’s teeth?” a dentist decides to video the answer.

Video Credit: Dr. Aaron D. Johnson, The Smile Center

A little humor can also factor into your FAQ.

Maybe customers always ask where the restrooms are at your business. Create a fun video tour that answers this question in an unusual or humorous way.

Go beyond what your customers expect and you’ll stand out from the competition.

III. Success Stories

As we’ve mentioned before, sharing photos and videos of actual customers is by far the best way to engage your followers on social media.

By hearing from people just like them, future customers can imagine getting the same great treatment when they visit you.

Banyan clients know how easy it can be to text a review request to patients or customers while they’re still on site. From there, a Google review or Facebook recommendation is just a click away.

But video reviews are even better on social media. Did a patient or customer give a glowing review? Feature them on video at their next visit. Win-win!

Video testimonials can also be gold on your website.

Ouch illustration, success, likeable content

IV. Humor

What about sharing funny memes that relate to your customers’ interests and your industry? No-brainer.

While it’s true that not everyone has the same sense of humor, some topics are universally appealing:

  • Silly animals
  • Cute kids
  • Happily surprised customers
  • Industry-specific comics and memes
  • Spoofs, lip-synching, spontaneous dance contests

NOTE: Try to avoid random posts that don’t match your social strategy and marketing goals. But humor is virtually always appreciated.

Consider posting a humorous GIF once a week when most of your customers are likely to be online (remember to include an engaging caption).



It should go without saying that an offensive attempt at humor can have a negative effect on your image, so always run ideas by other team members before clicking the “post” button.

V. Inspiration and Motivation

Motivational quotes and inspirational stories are some of the most shared content on social media.

Even better, once followers start liking your inspirational meme or quote, you can take it even further by investing a few dollars towards a Facebook boost.

If you play your cards right, a timely quote with your logo can get your name in front of thousands.

Inner Bliss, Instagram quote, likeable content

Image Source: Inner Bliss

Likewise, a customer’s or staff member’s uplifting story will make people feel good about your business and show that you care about the individual. 

Now that you have some great content ideas, it’s important to post regularly. A website with 200 or more social media posts will generate five times the leads than those with just a handful of posts.

Every step you take toward more likable content helps generate more online visibility for your business.


Need more social media tips? Sign up for Banyan’s Social Assistant. It’s free!


Industry Update: Google My Business Rolls Out App Revamp

By now, you may have heard about Google’s latest version of its Google My Business app, which promises to give Facebook a run for its money in the social media space.

What’s behind the GMB change?

This anticipated update came about for several reasons. In short, Google paid attention to feedback from local businesses and took a hard look at user engagement on Google My Business.

As a result, the updated version of GMB starts to look a lot more like a social engagement platform for small businesses and consumers.

P.S. You can read more about Google My Business updates here.

What’s New in Google My Business?

If you’ve been following Google with any regularity, you probably already know about the new ‘follow’ button in Google Maps.

Similar to Facebook, GMB’s ‘follow’ button makes it easy for customers to follow your business updates, promotions, and news via your GMB listing.

“(This move makes) Google’s business profiles more of a direct competitor with Facebook Pages.” – Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

What other new features can you expect?

For one thing, the GMB customer tab makes it even easier to track reviews and respond to customer input. The updated GMB will also notify you whenever you receive a new business connection.

Google My Business, app update, reviews

But wait, there’s more to the Google My Business update

Along with the features discussed above, Google has included a new posting tool that helps you create and publish content directly to your business page.

That’s big.

Right now, your GMB listing probably shows a photo of your business and a few other related photos. But with the new Posts tab, you can upload photos and content directly to your business profile.

Even better, you can change out and refresh content so your listing is always relevant and engaging to customers.

Google My Business, Google updates

Let’s say you want to advertise a new sales promotion for your business. Or, maybe you want to create some buzz about an upcoming event.

Just use the Posts tab to publish new content and visuals. Boom.

Guess what? You can also use the Posts tab to view performance insights on any post(s).

Can I Post to GMB from the Banyan App?

If you use the Banyan Social app, you probably know that you can already share a photo to Google My Business. Here’s how:

  1. Connect/authenticate your GMB page to your Banyan account (via the Banyan web app).
  2. Post a photo to GMB directly from the Banyan mobile app.
  3. Log in to your GMB page to customize your photo and write a GMB post.

In upcoming days, it will be even easier to connect to GMB from the Banyan app. Keep watching the Banyan newsletter and blog for details.

Meanwhile—happy connecting!












User-Generated Content: Why You Need It—and How to Get It

What do YouTube, Wikipedia, Instagram, and Quora have in common? They all depend on user-generated content to exist.

“User-generated content, or UGC, is any contribution to a site or campaign that an individual outside the company has created.” – Jeff Bullas

For businesses, user-generated content could be anything from a website video testimonial to a customer’s photo on Facebook.

Most people associate UGC with social media. But there’s more to the story.

Why User-Generated Content Matters

Ask any social marketing expert why user-generated content is a big deal for businesses. Without fail, the word authenticity is mentioned.

Truth is, most consumers are bored by heavy-handed sales pitches and glossy product photos. Overall, they care less about production values and more about credible content.

Surprised? Think about your own consumer behavior for a minute.

How often do you read Amazon reviews before purchasing a product? Or talk about a service provider on Facebook?

Facebook product review example

If you’ve done either of these things, you’ve engaged with (or created) user-generated content.

UGC Is Everywhere

The genesis of user-generated content goes back to the dawn of the Internet and the decentralization of traditional media.

Remember when blogs—the ultimate UGC—first started popping up back in the day? Then, MySpace became a thing. And as more people purchased cell phones, anyone could share a newsworthy photo.

Soon, user-generated news articles were the norm and traditional news outlets had to adapt. Along with everyone else.

Now, user-generated content is so pervasive, it’s hard to imagine an online experience without it.

User-generated content, consumer influencers, Crowdtap infographic 2015

Image source: Crowdtap

Business as Usual?

Why do consumers love businesses that share user-generated content? Again, it’s about ‘authenticity.’ We tend to trust businesses that celebrate customer input.

“61 percent of people would be more likely to engage with an advertisement if it contained user-generated content.” – Reevoo

Content strategists at Curata list additional benefits of user-generated content:

  • Cost effective timesaver – UGC can boost your marketing effectiveness when your budget is tight and staff members are busy.
  • Greater social reach – The more user-generated content you post, the better your social following and reach will be.
  • Boosted brand awareness – As your UGC brings in more likes and shares, your brand message will spread.
  • Effective SEO – Every time you create a new user-generated campaign or get new reviews, your SEO ranking climbs.
  • Audience feedback – As you pay attention to the most-shared UGC, you can make changes and drive more conversions.
  • Unique viewpoints – Customers’ UGC provides different points of view, which helps your followers stay engaged.
  • Personalized campaigns – Effective UGC campaigns will show you the way to targeting smaller segments of your audience.
  • Improved customer relationships – This may well be the most important benefit that keeps customers with you for life.

Banyan Facebook contest, Facebook post, UGC

Clearly, the benefits of user-generated content are compelling. The trick is getting your customers to participate.

How to Inspire More User-Generated Content

It’s one thing for a big company to spend lots of money on creative UGC campaigns. But what if you’re a small business with a modest budget?

As we mentioned earlier, user-generated content can actually save you time and money. But you still have to be creative to make UGC work.

The ALS Association is proof that creativity doesn’t have to be expensive to pay big dividends. Remember the #icebucketchallenge?

Wiki Commons photo, ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, User-generated content

More about that epic challenge:

In 2014, Jeannette Senerchia’s cousin Chris introduced her to an ice-bucket challenge unrelated to ALS.

Coincidentally, the ice water stimulus mimicked the rigid muscle response so common to ALS sufferers like Jeannette’s husband Anthony.

And just like that, the ice bucket challenge became a cause for ALS research. The rest is history.

Creativity Is Key

As you can see, creative ideas often come about accidentally.

To jumpstart your creative approach to UGC, hold a brainstorming session with your team. Talk about your values and your unique sales proposition.

Next, determine your primary goals for user-generated content. Do you want better brand recognition? More social interaction and shares? Better customer reviews?

Pursue your goals one at a time with a targeted UGC campaign.

Applewhite Dental Partners, Facebook post, contest

Social Proof

It’s a given that your business wants great reviews and customer recommendations. So, why not turn those opportunities into events?

Maybe you offer discounts to customers who volunteer with you at a Habitat for Humanity building project.

At the event, you take loads of photos and videos. Then, you email the best photos out to customers on the spot so they can tag you on social media.

Or, you invite customers to a Fall carnival where a professional videographer is present.

Customers take home visual mementos; you get customer testimonials for your website or social pages.

Jordan Rowland photo, Unsplash, cotton candy, social event

Product Publicity

Getting ready to launch a new product or service? User-generated campaigns can be a fun way to create some buzz.

To tap into UGC, ask customers to guess what the new product is. Share a mysterious photo that hints at the product without showing it completely.

Several days before the big reveal, invite followers to enter a contest or giveaway by submitting some form of UGC—possibly a video showing how they’ll use the product.

Aaron Agius of the Content Marketing Institute puts it this way: “A (customer) given something of value will feel a subconscious urge to repay the favor.”

In other words, don’t be afraid to offer incentives for user-generated content.

Invisalign Instagram post, incentive for user-generated content

Brand Recognition

What if your following is still pretty modest? You can still recognize customers individually and grow your brand.

Charity events and sponsorships can also stimulate brand recognition and customer participation, especially if they’re part of a long-term strategy.

Also, if your business sponsors an organization, you’re already one step closer to great user-generated content. Encourage photo and video sharing that includes your branded hashtag.

“When your brand shares something a customer or fan created, that external recognition not only strengthens the customer or fan’s affinity with the brand, it encourages that person to share the content further with his or her friends (and your brand benefits vicariously).” – Aaron Agius, CMI

Starbucks has no trouble with brand recognition. But could part of its ongoing success come from creative UGC campaigns? Judge for yourself.

Starbucks, #redcupcontest, user-generated content

This contest is an especially effective UGC campaign: it’s simple (fans do something creative with Starbucks’ red cup and share a photo), it’s seasonal, and it offers the chance at a gift card. Win-win.

Customer Trust

What about customers who aren’t yet following you on social media? They can still offer UGC in the form of reviews. After a great experience with you is a great time to ask them to review your business.

You can also build customer trust by responding quickly to reviews when they come in (Banyan users can do this via their user dashboard).

Banyan reviews dashboard

If there are complaints about an issue, address them and/or invite your customer to contact you directly.

If someone comments on one of your social posts, start a conversation. Send an emoji. Show followers that their input matters.

And of course, if a customer raves about you on Facebook, thank them right away. Want to go above and beyond? Send them a freebie or a discount to show your thanks.

“According to research by Halfords and Bazaarvoice, people (who) read and/or take part in the writing of reviews wind up converting at a rate that’s 82% higher than users that don’t participate in this actions.” – Jeff Bullas

The fact is, customers want businesses to notice them and reward their content. How will you do this?


We’d love to see your best UGC campaigns. Tag us @banyansocial so we can help spread the word about your business.



What’s New in the Banyan App? Social Posts for October

It’s October—time for crunching through piles of leaves, enjoying fresh apple cider, and making spooky plans for Halloween.

At Banyan, our designers have been busy creating new social posts for October and beyond. Want to share a health-related tip during the month—or get your fans excited about Halloween? We’ve got you covered.

Fresh Social Posts—Readymade by Banyan

Recently, we uploaded new pre-made social media content to the Banyan app. You can check out the full line-up on your own device and look below for several examples.

Inspire your followers with this timeless quote by Aristotle:

Aristotle quote, "Quality Is Not an Act, It Is A Habit," Banyan pre-made social post, October 2018

Hard day? Motivate your team and your customers to do hard things with this fun post:

Social posts by Banyan, Frog looking in a mirror, "I Can Do This"

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Use the following post to inform your customers:

Think Pink, Banyan, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2018

“Edutain” your fans with this whimsical factoid, delivered just in time for Halloween by Frankenstein’s monster:

Frankenstein's monster, did you know, Halloween, social posts

Want more fresh content on your Facebook page? It’s all in the Banyan app. Happy October!

To learn more about the Banyan app, visit our social product page.


Client Spotlight: Advanced Dentistry South Florida

At Banyan, we hear a lot of inspiring stories from our clients.

This is the story of Advanced Dentistry South Florida—a bustling practice in Delray Beach. It’s also the story of Kelli Carter, three-time cancer survivor and innovative practice administrator for ADSF.

Kelli Carter, practice admin for Advanced Dental of South Florida, with her dogs

Kelli’s Story at Advanced Dentistry South Florida

Several months after Advanced Dentistry South Florida was introduced to Banyan, Kelli Carter watched a video about Banyan CEO (and fellow cancer survivor) Carine Clark.

“I know exactly how Carine felt,” said Kelli. “If you’ve been through enough medical obstacles, you know that bathrooms are always hiding somewhere (in a practice). We show our patients where the bathrooms are on their first visit. We hug them, know their names, know about their family members, know about the trips they go on, and know when a family member is ill.”

But that’s just the beginning of Kelli’s—and ADSF’s—story.

Check-In for Charity

During a phone conversation in August of 2018, Kelli Carter talked to Banyan about a unique initiative that’s making a big difference for patients and staff at Advanced Dentistry South Florida.

Kelli calls this initiative “Check In for Charity.”

Banyan: We’re thrilled to talk more about the cool campaign you have going there. How long have you been working on this particular idea—Check In for Charity?

KC: We started it around March or April of this year (2018).

Banyan: Pretty recently, then.

KC: Pretty recently. And I’ll tell you where I got the idea: from my gym. Every time we went to the gym, they would say, “Hey, check in and use the hashtag (whatever hashtag it was) and we’ll make a donation.” They were a very new gym and they’d just opened.

Banyan: That’s amazing.

KC: Yes! So, someone would say, “Oh, my friend goes to that gym. And they’re doing something—we don’t know what it means—but they just checked in there, so hm, let me go too.” And then, it spread like wildfire.

Banyan: Wow.

KC: So, I got to be friendly with the gym owners, and I asked, “Where did you come up with this?” They told me about a company that helps them manage the whole thing.

Banyan: That’s such a great idea! Tell us how you adapted this for ADSF—and how you manage these campaigns day by day.

KC: Well, we have a group of five people in the office who volunteered for this position (in addition to their regular duties at the practice). Anyway, they’ll do things like wearing our t-shirts when they go out. They also get other extra-cool swag to promote our office when they’re out and about. For instance, they have beach towels with our name on (them). So every time they go to the beach, people will notice the towels and say, “Oh, that’s a dental office!”

Banyan: Right.

ADSF team, Delray Florida, Banyan blog, client spotlight

KC: And so these five people get to decide every quarter which charity we donate to.

Banyan: Mm-hm.

KC: And we do have some guidelines as far as our office having non-profits we’ll support (we don’t do anything political)—and we’ll support those. Our team also comes up with different ideas. For example, they’ll have internal contests like “I’m going to get more photos than you will!” and “This is MY charity!” and they’ll even have their friends and families come here when they’re in the area. Just to stop by and take pictures at the practice. It’s fun.”

Banyan: Yes, absolutely. That’s perfect for social media.

KC: Plus, we keep it fresh—because every quarter (the charity) changes. And so you have kind of a cheerleader for each charity who reminds us during morning huddle to ask patients about our campaign. We even have little buttons that say, “Ask me about Check In for Charity,” with a banner in our waiting room.

Check-In for Charity, Banyan blog

Banyan: That’s wonderful. So, how has it gone this first little while, especially in terms of how much you’ve been able to raise for charity?

KC: So, our first quarter we raised over $500 for Joe DiMaggio Children’s Cancer Center. The team was so excited about the campaign! Of course, we tried other things in the past. Like, ‘For every review, you’ll be entered to win an iPad or TV.’ But sometimes that all got a little old.

Banyan: Right. Been there.

KC: So, instead of patients being asked to do something for a prize, we asked them, “Would you like to be part of a great cause?” That got them curious. Once we told them about Check In for Charity, they’d say stuff like, “You’re inviting me? Um, of course! Do I give you money?” and we’d say, no no no—all you have to do is check in or do a review, and we’re going to make a donation.

Banyan: How inspiring. Wow.

KC: Right—it started a whole chain reaction. People would get excited about the causes we were supporting and would say things like, “I’m going to see you guys because you’re the best dental office, and you guys really care.”

Banyan: Oh, that’s so wonderful. I was going to ask if it was ever a challenge to get your team to buy in, but it sounds like when it became their choice, then the whole situation was different.

KC: Exactly! Before, it was a chore—an absolute chore. We had one person in the office that was incentivized to get online reviews. She was a greeter, and she got online reviews. But after a while, that wasn’t exciting for her anymore. We also didn’t want patients to hate it, so after a while, we stopped. Later, when I asked our team about what they thought of the charity idea, everyone got on board.

Banyan: It’s easy to see why.

KC: The team also volunteers a lot. We’ve done a lot of crazy things. One time, we took over a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop to raise money for kids’ cancer. And with all these events, I’ve told everyone, “We make this happen as a team; it’s not just me.”

Banyan: Yes, team buy-in is everything. What else have you done?

KC: We’ve fed people at soup kitchens, held beach clean-ups, built homes with Habitat for Humanity, and done other volunteer work. After a while, even the kids who were used to getting everything they wanted began donating their allowances to charity. That’s better than anything you could ask for!

Advanced Dental South Florida, Habitat for Humanity

Banyan: Absolutely! That’s what it should be about.

KC: When we started this practice, we wanted it to be the best dental practice around, and we knew we’d have to do certain things to make that happen. We also get patients involved in some of our projects. For instance, this November we’ll be doing a veterans’ build with Habitat for Humanity. And we’re inviting patients to help us. Dentistry is the vehicle that gets us where we want to go. But, the things we’re doing along the way are also important.

Banyan: Of course. And how does Banyan fit into things?

KC: We’ve been using Banyan for a few months. I kept seeing wrong business profiles for our practice but every time I changed the information online, it was always wrong somewhere else. I thought, why is this happening! Anyway, I reached out on Facebook and asked, “Does anybody know of a company that (fixes) this?” I got the names of a whole bunch of companies, and I spoke with the people. Quite frankly, they weren’t very nice. And then I spoke with somebody at Banyan and they said, “Oh yeah—we can do that!”

Banyan: Sounds like you’re using One Listing, then.

KC: Yes, that’s right. We also use Banyan Social and love how easy it is to the sign the HIPAA/Media release right on the iPad and post pictures right away. That was always such a hangup before.

Advanced Dentistry South Florida, Banyan

Banyan: Especially because your practice is already so socially minded with all those initiatives like Check In for Charity. It’s frustrating if you can’t get a media release quickly. Speaking of checking in, what does that typically look like at your practice?

KC: People usually check in on Facebook (most of our patients use it). We’ll have a few people on Instagram. Sometimes we’ll take advantage of a fun moment in the office—like when we did the Floss Dance—

Banyan: (laughs)

KC: A patient came in, and I saw on the screen that he wanted to be an actor; that he was in acting class. If anyone would do the Floss Dance, it would be this guy! So I asked, and he said, “Hey, great!” Another patient happened to be standing in the same area, and she asked, “What are we doing? I’ll do it too!” So, I held out my phone and just started taking a video. And that’s how it all happens. You just have to be aware of little moments around you.

Banyan: We call those “moments that matter.”

KC: As for tracking our numbers, here’s basically what we do: I’ll go and look through the analytics and say, “So this is how many reviews we had this quarter, how many check-ins through Facebook’s analytics, and then we also get helpful information in our Banyan portal. That pulls from different places as well. It probably takes me—I don’t know—maybe two hours a quarter. Which is not much time at all.

Banyan: Not bad! So, are you the person in charge of tracking all the data on your campaigns? Do your team members also help figure out the number of shares, posts, and reviews?

KC: Yes, absolutely. I’ll check things to make sure the numbers look right. One month, our brand ambassadors said we only had 6 reviews, but I knew we had more. It turns out that they were looking at Banyan’s weekly view rather than a monthly report. The numbers may not always be 100%, but if we can be in the ballpark, then we know where we stand.

Banyan: What other strategies do you use to spread the word about your practice?

KC: We have little signs in the operatories and at the front desk that say what our charity is, and little directions about how people can participate. One thing we had to do was shut off our wifi when doing reviews, otherwise, our IP address would interfere with the process and reviews wouldn’t post correctly.

Check In for Charity, Advanced Dentistry South Florida

Banyan: That’s smart. It’s great that you can sidestep those typical problems and get your reviews up on Google and other platforms.

KC: Many people in our area use Comcast, so we just tell them to log in through their Comcast account. It took some adjustment, but our reviews go through better now.

Banyan: That’s good news. We’re glad Banyan can be a part of your process, too.

KC: Absolutely. Banyan is a tool that helps us in our mission to help others. If we take a picture of a patient when they can sign right there, that’s easier for us. We can grow our practice, which helps us make more of a difference for everyone. We can give back to more people.

Three years ago, we had three doctors, seven operatories, and maybe twelve total staff members. [Editor’s note: ADSF now has nine doctors, 18 operatories, and 35 staff members.] The reason we’ve grown is that we do the right thing. We DO care. Some people say that dentistry is all about money. We say, “No, it’s not.” Money helps us do more things for others. It’s what we can do for our community and the people that are here. That’s the biggest difference.

We didn’t go through all this growth just for ourselves. We went through it for our families and those in our community. We want people to be better because of their time with us; the human factor is so important.

Banyan: That’s so wonderful to hear. In your initial letter to us, you mentioned your status as a cancer survivor. How’s everything going these days?

KC: Well, cancer is a kick in the pants that makes you re-evaluate every single thing in your life. That’s what I’ve done. We don’t live forever, so the time that we have really matters. We better be impactful with it.

Banyan: We all need to remember that advice. Our hat is off to you for being so courageous and for all the great things you and your staff are doing for ADSF patients down in Florida.

KC: It’s not hard! Really, it’s not.

Banyan: Thanks to the entire team at Advanced Dentistry South Florida. You inspire us!








10 Quick and Easy Videos That Spotlight Your Boss

Every day across the world, people are viewing and sharing videos. A LOT of videos.

In 2017, the online advertising company WordStream reported that video watching makes up one third of all online activity. In the United States, 85 percent of us watch videos online. And on social media, videos generate a whopping 1200 percent more shares than static images and text combined.

If those numbers aren’t impressive enough, consider this:

Including video on your website and Facebook page will also drive more organic traffic to your business—on average, over 150 percent more traffic than no video. That means more leads, new customers, and greater engagement.



So, how can your business create and share more video content today? Get your iPad or phone ready; we’re about to show you.

The Perfect Video

Think, for a moment, about the kinds of videos you enjoy watching on social media. Although the topics may vary, these videos probably have one thing in common: they’re short.

On average, the most popular videos last two minutes or less. In an age of information overload, this is hardly surprising.

“Videos between 16 seconds and 120 seconds generate almost 50% of all views on YouTube. The most successful videos are almost unanimously below two minutes.” – William Miller

How can you follow this trend and create a short, interesting video at your business?

First, consider your human subjects: business leaders, employees, and customers. At a healthcare practice, that’d be your doctor, staff, and patients.

No doubt about it—these are busy people. You may feel intimidated approaching them about a video. However, all of the video ideas listed below purposely take next to no time to create and post.

Start with just one idea and before long you’ll be sharing video gold on Facebook.

Why Video Your Fearless Leader?

Did you know that over 60% of social media users trust their doctor’s posts over the social content of any other group? And a video is the most effective way to share your story online.

We’re all busy. Luckily, the following ‘Ask Your Boss’ videos are quick and easy to make.

Need proof?

Here’s a sample video we made at Banyan, using just a cell phone. We commandeered one of our co-founders, Steve, and asked him a question.

How to do it

Grab your boss and tell him/her you’re going to ask a question on video. Then, record the whole thing in 30–45 seconds, using any of the following prompts:

Favorite Class

“What was your favorite subject or class during college? Why?”

What’s New

“What new business (or medical) trend are you the most excited about?”

The FAQs

“What question do you get the most from customers/patients?”

Good Advice

“What common-sense advice do you think people most ignore?”

Happy Workplace

“What’s your favorite part of a typical workday?”

Dental social media illustration (Banyan, 2018)

Bucket List

“What’s at the top of your bucket list?”

Seeing Double

“Do you have a celebrity double or actor that you’d like to be compared to?”

Your Superpower

“If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?” (invisibility, time travel, mind control, etc.)

Second Choice

“If you didn’t have your current career, what would be your second choice?”

Your Hero

“Who do you admire most, and why?”

Remember, these videos don’t have to be professional. The goal is to be personal, friendly, and authentic on your social media pages.

Pro Tip: Consider sharing a new social media video every week on the same day. Invite customers or patients to send in questions for your “Ask Our CEO” or “Ask the Doctor” series. Each time you post a new video, write a caption that includes the first name of the customer or patient who asked the question.


Check back next week for part two in our 3-part series: “10 Quick and Easy Videos That Spotlight Your Co-Workers.” And happy filming!



Facebook Posts That Get the Most Comments and Shares

You’ve seen them on your personal Facebook feed—those posts that everyone seems to talk about and share.

Maybe it’s the weirdly hilarious YouTube video. Or the latest cartoon from The New Yorker. Either way, you know a popular post when you see it.

Unfortunately, that kind of engagement isn’t always easy to reproduce on your Facebook business page.

You want to be true to your brand while motivating your audience to comment on and share your posts. Why is that so hard?

Banyan and Facebook

Recently, we audited just shy of 700 posts on Banyan’s Facebook page. Our goal was simple: we wanted to see what our followers (that’s you) were engaging with most—or least.

Here’s what we learned.

Engaging posts take work—and persistence

First off, great social content requires effort. Also, just because you think something is fun and engaging doesn’t always mean you’ll get lots of comments and shares on Facebook.

Case in point—back in September 2015, we shared the following photo post from one of our Banyan clients:

cute kid, first cleaning, dentist, Banyan

Although we chose a great subject (e.g., a colorful photo of a cute kid, authenticity instead of a generic image, and a pithy caption), this post only captured 33 likes, four comments, and two shares.

While some engagement is better than none, we also knew we could do better.

Here’s a post from early 2016:

3D Dental Facebook post

Ka-ching! This post hit Facebook gold, netting 507 likes, 26 comments, and 35 shares.

Like our first example, this post showcases real people in a real situation. But its unique content and abundant good humor also ensured more likes, tags, comments, and shares.

So there you go. Humorous posts will always be more engaging.

Video is (still) king

You’ve heard that “content is king”—especially if it’s video content. This surprises no one at Banyan, or probably anyone else in social media marketing.

According to Sprout Social, “Facebook alone gets over 8 billion average daily video views”—and 20 percent of those are live streams.

Likewise, Statista reports that “58% of global internet users were uploading and sharing video content online” as of September 2017. People clearly can’t get enough video.

At Banyan, we love the engaged responses whenever we post a video to our Facebook page. Here’s a video by Lincoln Pediatric Dentistry that we shared in 2016:

This video has received 5,000 views since we first shared it to our Facebook page. And with 40 shares, it also reached a lot more fans (and their friends) than with likes or comments alone.

We’ve also shared plenty of fun Banyan videos in the past. Here’s our mannequin challenge:

This peek into the Banyan culture didn’t take long to make, but it still grabbed 9 comments, 37 shares, and over 13,000 views. Not bad!

Customers like authentic photos

We often talk about celebrating moments that matter on social media. Whenever possible, that means celebrating customers.

What’s that? Your favorite customer just drove up in a new car? Hm—sounds like the perfect photo op.

Once you post the photo on your Facebook page, your customer notices it immediately and shares it on his own page.

Here’s another authentic photo we shared two years ago:

future dentist, cute kid photo, Banyan, Facebook

Pretty adorable, right? Look below to see how this photo performed on our page:

future dentist, Facebook post, Facebook comments

Not only were our customers sharing and commenting on this photo, they even tagged a few of their friends in the comments!

Once we saw how well this post was performing on Facebook, we decided to boost it for a few days. The result was over 1,666 likes, 16 comments, and 65 shares.

The takeaway

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: share engaging photos of your customers so that they want to share them with their friends. That’s how to expand your social reach.

Also, if you need to share photos of yourself, be creative! Here are two examples from our 2016 Cupid challenge:

Cupid challenge, social media, Banyan

As you can see, our invitation prompted plenty of likes and shares. It also showed one of our team members just being himself.

Here’s how this social challenge played out:

Cupid challenge, February, social media

Silly? Sure. Engaging? You bet. Authentic photos will always be a Facebook win.

Your Comments, Please

You probably look first at overall reach (i.e., how many eyes are on your posts) when you browse Facebook Insights. But what are your customers actually saying? Here’s where comments enter the picture.


Facebook comments, Statista

Most Facebook users like to talk and give free advice. If you doubt this, just post a burning question and wait. A response will probably arrive within seconds.

Answer this question

Generally, Facebook users enjoy question-style posts, especially if the question is easy to answer.

As Social Media Examiner puts it, “if fans can relate to the question and you find a way to leverage (their) interests or needs, they’ll find it hard not to answer.”

Consider asking questions that:

  • Ask for advice (e.g., “We’re remodeling! Which wall color do you like best—light blue or lemon yellow?”)
  • Get philosophical (e.g., “What advice would you give your 10-year-old self?”)
  • Have fun with pop culture (e.g., “Who is your celebrity doppelgӓnger? Comment with a GIF)
  • Appeal to adventurers (e.g., “If you won a free ticket to anyplace in the world, where would you travel?”)
  • Show your whimsical side (e.g., “Pumpkin spice—all year round or just during autumn?”)

Related tips: choose a great visual to accompany your question and get more eyes on your post.

It’s also okay to answer your own question just to get the ball rolling (e.g., “We like pumpkin spice in just about anything. Just try to sway us!”)

Caption this photo

This tried-and-true approach also prompts commentary from your fans, but only if your photo is funny or unusual.

To ramp up interest, combine a caption prompt with a giveaway (e.g., “Caption this photo for a chance to win a day spa gift card”).

pirate hat, caption this, Banyan blog

Fill in the blank

If you’re sensing a trend by now, you’re right.

In a nutshell, it should be EASY for your followers to comment on posts. A fill-in-the-blank post is the perfect example.

First, come up with a great photo for your post. Then, try your hand at an engaging caption:

  • Fill in the blank: “I could eat ______  every single day and love it.”
  • Fill in the blank: “Dr. Jackson would look fantastic in a _______ – colored shirt.”
  • Fill in the blank: “We should put a cool new _______ in our waiting area.”

Take our poll (or quiz)

We talked recently about why you should be using Facebook’s poll feature to engage your customers and prospects. Once you’re on your page, just click the ellipsis shown below to access the polling feature.

Facebook poll, Banyan

Not only are polls and quizzes attractive generally, they can also help you gather valuable data on customer behavior and preferences.

Quizzes require a little more effort to create, but the potential payoff is considerable. Learn more about quizzes here.

Share and Share Alike

As valuable as likes and comments are to your social clout, there’s one metric that helps your business even more: shares.

popular Facebook shares, Sprout Social quote, Banyan blog

As already mentioned, videos are the most popular—and therefore, the most shared—content on social media today. Photos and articles come in second and third place, respectively.

While there’s no one magic formula for getting more shares on Facebook, try these ideas from Post Planner:

  1. Get personal. Above all, celebrate your customers’ good news and milestones. Has someone recently lost a lot of weight? Is there a new baby you can brag about?
  2. Do research. Like we did at Banyan, find out which photos are among the most liked and shared on your page—and create more posts like these.
  3. Schedule wisely. Using your Facebook Insights page, research the times of day when your customers are most active on Facebook. Schedule posts for these peak moments.
  4. Run ads. Spend a few bucks to boost some of your more engaging posts. Chances are good that you’ll get more likes, shares, and comments this way.

If your content is engaging and valuable to your customers, they’ll want to share it—period. But if your posts are always all about you, customers will quickly lose interest.

Post about your customers and you’ll be on the right track.


What are your most engaging Facebook posts? Tag us @banyansocial so we can help you spread the love!







What’s New in the Banyan App? Social Posts for August

August is upon us! What better excuse to enjoy a final burst of summer activity and maybe a few more trips to the beach before school starts?

Meanwhile, the action on your Facebook page doesn’t need to slow down one bit. Banyan’s colorful pre-made posts will help you change things up in your feed until you can take more great photos of patients and guests.

Browse the Banyan App

Each month, we upload new pre-made social media content to the Banyan app. Check out all the great quotes, memes, and visuals we’ve created, including the sampling shown below.

This peachy post reminds your fans to enjoy the last fruits of summer this August:

National Peach Month, Banyan post


Why not share a few timely ‘beat the heat’ tips with your followers?

beat the heat, Banyan meme


As you can see, August is also a great month for camping out under the stars:

Banyan, mountainscape, camping post


Planning a back-to-school event or promotion? Introduce it with this post:

back pack to school, Banyan post


No matter what’s on your list this August, use your Banyan app to make most of every minute and celebrate moments that matter.

To view more pre-made posts, visit the Banyan app.

What pre-made social content would you like to see in the future? Share your feedback with us.

hashtag post viral web network media tag business topics topic success laptop notebook content sharing concept - stock image

Hashtag Tools: How to Pick the Best of the Bunch

Hashtags may have originated on Twitter, but these days they show up on just about every major social platform. How is the average social media manager to stay on top of all that activity?

Depending on your business vertical, you may wonder if you even need to use hashtags in your social marketing plan.

The answer is a straightforward “yes.”

Think about it this way. Right now, people may be searching for a particular hashtag on Google. Or on Twitter or Instagram. If you regularly use hashtags that refer back to your content, some of that search traffic will eventually refer back to you.

Hashtag tools help you initiate, track, and analyze your hashtag across multiple social platforms. Some are simple to use. Others go deeper into tracking and analytics.

So, how do you choose the right tool?

Questions to Ask

Let’s say you’re planning a new social campaign on Instagram. You have a company hashtag you’d like to use, but you also want to choose a couple of campaign-specific hashtags to attract interest.

Do you just wing it and make something up, or do you use a hashtag tool to suss out your best options?

Maybe you’re savvy enough to pick a great hashtag out of thin air. But if you value the strategic approach, a hashtag tool is the way to go.

Before you blindly pick and choose a hashtag tool, ask yourself:

  • What do I want to do with the tool? (If you’re only strategizing hashtag ideas, a free tool may be all you need).
  • How often will I use the tool? (If it’s only a few times a year, look for a free tool).
  • What metrics really matter to me? (If you need detailed data on your campaigns, pick a paid plan).
  • What’s my budget? (Some tools give you all the information you need at a reasonable monthly cost).

Next, let’s talk free vs. premium.

Free Tools

As with any other product or service, “you get what you pay for.” A free tool won’t come with lots of bells and whistles.

That said, if your marketing budget is tight, try these no-cost options:

Google Search

Want to test the landscape before you choose a hashtag? Google your topic or category as a hashtag (e.g., #yourfavoritedentist) and browse the search results. This approach can give you a feel of search popularity, help spot trends, or tip you off to unintended uses of your hashtag.

And of course, Google search is free.

Google search, hashtag search

Google Alerts

If you’re not using Google Alerts, you’re missing a free tool that allows for quick, multi-platform integration. It’s easy to integrate with just about any smart app and get updates on keywords and hashtags in real time. Use Boolean terms to further refine your search.

Lucky you—Google Alerts is also free.

Google Alerts screenshot


Facebook Search

While Facebook does allow hashtags, searching for them is less intuitive than on platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

In Facebook, just enter your hashtag (#FridayFeeling) in the search bar at the top of your feed. A second option is to type<keyword> into your address bar, using FridayFeeling instead of <keyword>.

Facebook hashtag search

Instagram Search

Likewise, you can click the ‘magnifying glass’ icon on Instagram to search for a tag in the search bar. If you want to see the most popular hashtags, click ‘Top.’

Keep in mind that you’ll only see results based on who you follow, what you like most on Instagram, and who you’re connected to. For example, if someone has a private Instagram account, you won’t see their hashtags.

Instagram hashtag research

Twitter Advanced Search and TweetDeck

Since hashtags were born on Twitter, it stands to reason that Twitter is also a great place to do some basic hashtag tracking and trendspotting. For instance, anyone with a Twitter account can use the advanced search feature for free.

Not only can you enter your chosen hashtags in Twitter advanced search, you can also filter for related words (see below) or use the ‘none of these words’ field to filter out spam terms you don’t want to see.

Twitter advanced search


TweetDeck is also a Twitter off-shoot that can help you track your branded hashtags over specific social media campaigns. In fact, you can track several hashtags simultaneously. Just create a new column for each campaign you want to track.




NOTE: It bears mentioning that both Twitter advanced search and TweetDeck will only track Twitter hashtags. To track hashtags across multiple social platforms, you’ll need a tool with more features (i.e., usually a paid tool).

Which brings us to Freemium and Premium hashtag tools.

Paid Tools

Just about everyone with a smartphone has used a freemium app at one time or another. Hashtag tools work the same way. It’s no surprise that every tool has limitations, especially if you’re only using the freemium version.

Here are some of the best tools right now:


By most reports, Hashtagify offers the best freemium features if you’re searching for hashtags, trending topics, and keywords. However, you can’t compare hashtags, get influencer reports and email alerts, or perform Instagram research without a paid plan.

Hashtagify, hashtag tools



RiteTag is another great hashtag search tool that gives you instant analytics on your hashtag. You can also integrate RiteTag with other social media tools you might use (Hootsuite, Buffer, etc.) and get hashtag suggestions for both content and photos.

For the highly visual, RiteTag also offers color-coded suggestions: red for overused, blue for good, green for great, and white for unused hashtags. You can also take advantage of more pro features for a song (at press time, the annual price was $49).

RiteTag, hashtag tools, Banyan blog



Most small businesses want to see what people are talking about locally. With its engaging visuals, TrendsMap shows you the words, hashtags, and users who are trending in your area or anywhere across the map.

Both trial and regular accounts can log in via a Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram account. After the 7-day trial period, pricing begins at $25.

Trendsmap screenshot, hashtag tools



Want to track something other than a hashtag? Keyhole’s free tracking tool lets you search by hashtag, @account, keyword, @mention, or even URL. You’ll also see surface analytics on posts, impressions, reach, users, sentiment, and other categories.

However, you can’t save your tracker results without a paid plan. If you don’t care about saving those results, Keyhole might be a great freemium tool for you.

Keyhole screenshot, hashtag tool



Most of the freemium tools listed above were formulated with Twitter in mind. But with SociAlert, you can also track Instagram hashtags, keywords, accounts, and mentions. The free version of SociAlert also gives you a lot of data on sentiment, distribution, influencer ranking, and so on.

As is the case with all hashtag tools, you’ll see more details with a paid SociAlert plan, starting at $9.95 per month.

SociAlert tool, hashtags



Like RiteTag, Tagboard features great visuals for the hashtags or keywords you track. More importantly, you can use Tagboard to track across multiple social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Vine, and others. As always, expect to pay for advanced features.

Tagboard screenshot, hashtags, Banyan



If you’re looking for an enterprise tool that can help optimize your marketing campaigns, protect your reputation, track hashtags, and a lot more, consider Talkwalker. Use its text and image analytics to gain deep insights into your campaigns, tap into its hashtag analytics, or use a wealth of other tools all within one platform.

But be prepared to pay for the privilege: the basic plan starts at $8,400 annually.

Talkwalker website


Top Takeaways

When it comes to hashtag research, these tools are just a sampling of what’s out there. So it’s hardly surprising if you feel overwhelmed by your choices.

Here are a few final takeaways:

1. Free hashtag tools will probably be adequate for single-location practices or small businesses.

You may be able to choose and track your hashtags quite easily using Google search, Google Alerts, and the in-app tools already baked into Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Freemium tools can provide other insights and data. Just keep in mind that you won’t get all the bells and whistles.

2. A paid plan may work better for social marketers in charge of multiple locations.

If your social campaigns are extensive, you may benefit from a paid hashtag tool. Fortunately, many of the tools mentioned above won’t break your budget.

Take advantage of each tool’s’ free trial period to see if the features do what you need them to do. Then, narrow down your choices to the tools that most closely match your goals and budget.

Happy hashtag tracking!







social media, photo contest, customer contest

How to Set Up a Customer Photo Contest in 5 Easy Steps

You’ve probably entered a social media contest before, but have you ever set up one for your customers? What about a photo contest?

Hosting a social media photo contest can increase engagement and bring traffic to your social pages and website. Plus, a user-generated contest is a powerful way to recruit brand ambassadors who will share their experience with family and friends. The kicker is, you can attract first-time customers who come to vote on your page and end up following you online.

Just follow these 5 easy steps to set up an engaging summer photo contest.


Step 1: Set a Goal

set goal, photo contest, social media tips

You already know that engaging photos can really rev up your social page. This is especially true if your followers are the ones offering the photos! Fun and the feeling of community are just two reasons why your customers will participate in your photo contest. Along with a great incentive, naturally.

You can predict customers’ goals for entering your contest. What about yours? Just what do you hope a contest will do for your business or practice? Try these on for size: 

  • Increase brand awareness locally
  • Promote a new service, product, or technology
  • Boost social media engagement and page follows
  • Encourage greater customer advocacy
  • Get more appointments or sales

Once you’ve decided on a primary goal for your contest, you can focus your efforts on the best method to achieve that goal.


Step 2: Establish a Theme

little girl, splashing in ocean, vacation photo

When you are choosing your contest theme, be specific. Think about your ideal customer or patient and their interests. Are they nature enthusiasts? Maybe a nature photo contest makes sense. Are you targeting individuals or families? Asking for vacation photos might be a popular option with either audience. Take a look at some of the most popular photos on others’ feeds to get ideas.

Regardless of your photo contest theme, you’ll need to focus your efforts on the right audience, perhaps through a targeted Facebook campaign that allows you to choose your specific audience. Using this method helps you not only market your contest theme effectively but also reach the right people.

Be specific about who can enter the photo contest (only clients, age limits, etc.) and the specific photo theme. Set a time limit for the contest. The average contest runs for 3 to 6 weeks; any longer than that and momentum may slow down.

Explain how the winners will be chosen and how voting will work (if you invite audience votes). Alternately, you can specify that winners will be chosen by a panel of experts at your company. If you go this route, offer prizes in varying categories to keep interest (and entries) coming throughout the contest.

A well-chosen hashtag can help you view all contest photos in one spot. Consider using your brand in the hashtag along with the contest theme (e.g., #XYZDentalPhotoContest, #BanyanVacationPhotos, etc.).

Still need more theme ideas? Consider these:

  • Ask customers or patients to feature your brand creatively in their photos.
  • If you offer specific products, ask contestants to include a product placement in their photo.
  • Have contestants post photos at their favorite community event or venue.
  • Go holiday or seasonal with a photo contest around St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or even back-to-school.


Step 3: Offer Attractive Prizes

mountain bike

It stands to reason that prizes are a major incentive to would-be contestants. Just remember, offering huge prizes can be risky, as you may get a lot of great photos from contestants who aren’t part of your target audience. If you want a quick and easy contest, offer prizes that relate to your business or practice. You can still offer bigger prizes a few times per year.

Overall, offering discounted products or services is always a safe bet, depending on the popularity of that product or service. You can always get creative and offer additional prizes to sweeten the pie. You can also join forces with another local business whose services/products complement your own.

Consider these prize options:

  • Feature winning photos in a calendar or ad campaign.
  • Bundle prizes or gift cards donated by partner businesses.
  • Offer free (or dramatically discounted) services.
  • Go big with higher-ticket items a few times a year (tablet devices, flat-screen TV, mountain bike, etc.). 

A good rule of thumb is to make sure your prize matches the scope of your contest. If you offer a big prize, ask contestants to follow more steps (e.g., like your Facebook page, attach a creative caption to their photo, and/or get extra chances to enter via a referral system).


Step 4: Promote Your Contest

enter, contest, social media

Now isn’t the time to be shy about promoting your photo contest. Go live on Facebook with your announcement, send out an e-mail campaign, put posters and prizes in the lobbies of each location, and regularly post about your contest on social media before and during your contest.

At the same time—don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth. Encourage your staff to hand out cards to friends, family, and prospective customers or patients, along with spreading the word on their own social media pages. If you partner with another local business, they can help cross-promote your contest to their clients as well.

Review new entries on a regular basis to make sure they conform to your rules and brand image. And plan ahead so you know how to spot those trying to game the system (all the details should be spelled out in your contest rules) before you determine contest winners.


Step 5: Follow Up Promptly

cell phone, contact list, Banyan

If possible, set up automatic responses for those who enter your contest. Keep contestants posted on social media and via email as the end of the contest approaches. Promptly send out emails, texts, and posts to winners, letting them know how they can claim their prizes. A live Facebook video event is a great way to announce contest results in real time. 

Regardless of how you announce the winners, make sure you have a contact list for all contestants. That way, it’s easy to send special announcements or offers after your contest ends.

If there is one medium with the potential to turn gold online, it’s photos. A well-executed customer photo contest harnesses the power of user-generated content, engages your followers, and promotes your brand. Ready, set, snap!


Make the Most of the Holidays with These 10 Activities

‘Tis the season to be busy. Between holiday parties and family time, dental care is the last thing on your patient’s minds. Busy patients can lead to more missed appointments and empty office schedules. At this time of year, it’s especially important to engage with your patients. A little effort now can bring great returns for the new year.

Here are 10 ways to engage with your patients over the holidays:

1. Send greeting cards or emails

A holiday greeting from you not only helps your patients feel like part of a community, but gives them a gentle reminder to consider their care needs.

2. Give healthy tips for holiday care

Help keep your patients’ holidays merry and healthy by posting tips on social media for taking good care of your teeth over the holidays by avoiding the wrong treats or focus on a service like teeth whitening. Be as creative as you’d like. At the bottom, include an invitation to request an appointment.

3. Create interactive Holiday posts

A Christmas advent or New Year’s countdown can keep your office in the thoughts of your patients. Each day you can post tips for a bright smile.This is sure to be a fun way to keep in touch with patients over the holiday season.

4. Send a “Use it or lose it” reminder

Encourage patients to take advantage of flex spending insurance dollars or an already met deductible by scheduling appointments before the year ends.

5. Make a gift list

Offer your patients a list of dental inspired gifts like whitening strips or electric toothbrushes. They make great stocking stuffers! Be sure to include items for sale at your office.

6. Invite donations to charity

Help spread the holiday cheer by partnering with a local food bank or organization providing holiday gifts for the needy. Or, collect monetary donations for organizations like the American Red Cross, Smiles without Borders, or Good Mouth. Share goals and updates with your social media followers.

7. Host a holiday themed photo contest

Ask your patients to post photos of holiday smiles or travels to your social media sites. This will create a sense of community as you and your followers track to see how far a smile can go.

8. Holiday decorations

Give your office the holiday spirit with festive decorations. Consider your patient’s demographics and go classic or fun. Get your patients in on the fun with a coloring page, paper snowflake, or gingerbread contest.

9. Hold a holiday party

Host a patient appreciation day complete with hot cocoa, entertainment like a holiday movie, and, of course, a visit from the big elf himself, Santa.

10.Encourage starting the new year with a new appointment

With each new year comes reflection and motivation. Help your patients forge a strong new beginning by making good dental care a priority. Starting good habits now, means a happier, healthier smile to come.

Avoid a solitary holiday by using these tips to keep patients engaged over the holidays. A little effort now can build a bright new year for your patients and your practice!