Posts Tagged 'YouTube'

The New Paradigm-Everyone has a Voice

The new paradigm. Everyone has a voice. The new reality? Even a 12 year old has the power to make things happen, quickly. Everyone has the ability to create buzz. Everyone has the chance to tell a story. Everyone has the platform to have something go viral.

Case in point: 12-year old Maddi Jane — who has been lighting up YouTube with covers that have racked up over a 145 million total upload views on her YouTube channel. Not limiting herself to just YouTube, Jane, back on Sept. 10, crossed the threshold of 400,000 fans on Facebook-with 500,000 not too far off.

As I tweeted yesterday” You can’t plan viral. Viral is an accelerated manifestation of itself. It’s something that takes on a life of its own”

 

About these ads

What does Viral look like?

Do you know who Rebecca Black is?

Rebecca Black  is a 14 year old singer. She started attracting attention this month after a single she recorded and produced was released on YouTube and iTunes. The song’s video was uploaded to YouTube last month and received roughly 1,000 views in the first month. No big deal right? Then something happened. The video went viral. Really viral.  In mid-March it started acquiring millions of views on YouTube in a matter of days, becoming a top trending topic on Twitter and getting both good and bad media coverage. The operative word there being, coverage. As of yesterday, first-week sales of her digital single were estimated to be around 40,000 by Billboard, and the video had over 38 million views on YouTube.

38 Million Views

That’s what we call Viral.

Corning Creates an Impactful and Viral Video

Watch this video from Corning. When I first saw it, I was amazed at what was possible with glass and then what caught my eye was the number of views-5.8 million views in less than one month. This is isn’t a funny video. It’s not scandalous or malicious or of someone getting hurt. It’s simply about the many uses of glass. Something to ponder the next time your company wants to create a video. Was it Corning’s intention that it garner close to 6 million views, 14,000 likes and almost 3,000 comments? I don’t think so…

 

The Biggest Trend in 2011? Our Continued Laziness.

Why do you think YouTube is the  #2 search engine in thw world? Did you know that it was? Some of you might not know but are you surprised by that statement? Did you know that as of March 2010, 24 hours of video  is uploaded to YouTube every minute? Here’s some perspective for you. Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance video has been viewed over 328 million times since it’s release. Why do you think that is? Entertainers aside, there is a reason we like to watch videos. Here’s another story for you.

Awhile back, Alex Iskold wrote about a conversation he had with a friend about his son, he mentioned that his son accesses the web through YouTube. At first, he thought he was joking.  But then realized he was not. Whenever his son needed any information, he would open up YouTube, type in the search term and then just watch the videos that showed up as matches. He never Googled anything; he never went to any other site; his entire web experience was confined to YouTube videos. YouTube as a search engine. Video as a search result. Video as a trusted search result.

“A whole channel for sharing and connecting to the biggest word-of-mouth platform in the English language.”-Time Ferriss

Why does YouTube work? Because we’re lazy. We would rather someone entertain us with information than have to sift through search results. I know it sounds crazy but sifting through search results requires more reading, more computation of the results, more of an understanding of what you’re looking for. With Video,we don’t need to turn a page, we don’t need to keep reading and clicking for the “real result”, all we have to do is look at a screen grab, a title that’s compelling to us and go. slim to none of brain power.

Kids no longer learn about the world by reading text. Like the television generation, they are absorbing the world through their visual sense. But there is a big difference. Television was programmed and inflexible. YouTube is completely micro-chunked and on demand. Kids can search for what they need anytime. This is different, and powerful-YouTube is the next Google

This isn’t really about laziness but there is a degree of truth to it. You see we are an entertainment obsessed culture, we like our senses piqued. The endorphins it releases. We dig 3D, we like our content packaged. Words are boring, text is bland, black and white sucks and video rocks; and adding a gaming element to it just makes it that much better. I don’t think anyone anticipated YouTube being known primarily as a search engine, let alone the #2 search engine behind Google, but clearly the masses have spoken. Google buying YouTube awhile back might have seemed curious to some but now it looks like a brilliant move. Who knew?

At thend of the day we still do ALOT of searches on everything. How that search result comes back though, determines action. The less work we can do the better. Let’s click on a video instead. Does video still give us the search result we need? It’s debatable but it’s changing. Why do you think WOM as an accelerant works so well in the context of search. Less work. If a user can be spareed the leafing through of 10 “gamed” search result pages in lieu of asking someone who “knows” or watching a video of someone who knows-all the better. Laziness?

Or is it being more effective and efficient with our time?

You watch…

5 Reasons Why Social Media is so Explosive

Given that we have been punked by the dry erase girl it has become apparent to me a few things about our new social transparent world and why marketers want to tap it.

  1. We love to share stories where good triumphs over evil
  2. We love to talk and tell others about train wrecks for companies and people
  3. We can be easily punked
  4. We love watching video-and then sharing it-it takes no effort, none. zip. zilch.zero.
  5. We are suckers for top ten lists

I know there are more, but these were the first 5 that came to mind..

If You Could Use Only One Social Media Solution, Which Would It Be?

Given that most of us claim to be too busy to do anything anymore-and it is somewhat true. Traipsing in and bellowing to anyone who will listen, that the tranformative nature of social media will change the way you do business for the better, is a lofty claim.

Let’s do a hypothetical. What if you could only use one “social solution”? Which would you use? and why would you use it? Let’s say you’re a consultant, which social media solution would you suggest and why? Which one is going to have the largest impact on your company? On your business? For your client? What if you’re boss said, “Pick one”, and given that that’s  a minor miracle he said that-which will give you the firm footing to do more later on down the line? The most impact? Results?

This is kind of important for a number of reasons-not the least of being that some solutions are just not a good fit for some types of organizations.  The reasons could be limited resources, limited time, money or whatever-but you just don’t go and jam a generic social solution into every company just because they want one. You’re going to set yourself up to fail if you do that.

Just because a company can set up a Facebook fan page for example- does that mean that it will give them the biggest bang for their efforts? Maybe, maybe not. What is going to give them the biggest return, the biggest impact? You can only choose one.

Let’s short list 11 high level social media solutions and tools right now.

Each of the above have specific bells and whistles that allow you to do certain things.  Remind me again, what’s the goal of social media? To have conversations? To sell stuff? To grow the business? To enrich Customer service? HR? Competitive intelligence? PR? Collaboration? Which one could do all of those?  I got a better idea. Maybe you should just concentrate on one  specific social “thing” that will make your organization better?

Ahhhh haaaaa…  That’s it! Which one can do one thing that can make your organization better at what they do? You don’t need to try or “do” every social media solution to be successful. Just one-Doing one thing really, really well, will work.

Print Campaign vs. Social Media

So which would you do?

Is it still the most effective way to reach your audience?

Protecting Children from Social Media

How can you protect your children from social media?

One might say, “Do we really need to”? and another would say “We have to”.. and still another will say, “We’re all overreacting”.. and you know what? All three opinions are in a certain way, correct.

Do some of the following questions and comments sound familiar?

“I’m on top of it, I know what this social networking thing is all about”, “My child doesn’t really use it”, “Does it really matter? It hasn’t been a problem yet”, “My kids are good, they’re responsible and know what they are doing, nothing has happened, nothing ever will”.  “Facebook seems harmless”, and besides, all they do is text”.

Your children, and for the sake of this post I will keep it to those children that are under 18, are exposed to so many different forms of media and channels of communication, that one has to wonder…

How do you shield them from the dark side and at the same time allow them to explore, absorb and learn without acting or being perceived as the enemy?

Right?

Before we dig into the what to do, let’s review something real quick that may help you to understand the landscape a little bit.

Though the above graphic refers to adults, children are not too far off from this model.  This graphic by Forrester Research, refers to the types of people that hang out in communities and what they do in those communities. Your children hang out in communities, both online and offline, and all of those communities have their own sets of things to do, their own sub cultures and their own cliques; and within those groups there is as well, unwritten rules and what not.

But more importantly, aside from the breakdown of percentages in that graphic above-look at the number of ways that people can consume and create content. It’s just the tip of the iceberg in ways that a child can communicate with their peers and others. We are, and they are, consumers of media and creators of it.  We are, and even more importantly they are, in the digital age.

They can:

  • Text with their phone
  • Online Chat via AIM
  • Create video on YouTube
  • Comment on YouTube
  • Create a blog on WordPress
  • Comment on any blog anywhere
  • Create a song
  • Create a network via Ning
  • Upload music and comment on the music
  • Upload an audio podcast
  • Tweet on Twitter
  • Create hundreds of profiles on hundreds on networks
  • Update their status on Facebook
  • Share images on Flickr
  • Share music
  • Share audio
  • Share content
  • They can use a desktop computer
  • They can use a laptop, ipad or itouch
  • They can use a smartphone
  • They can use a mobile device
  • They can use someone Else’s device or phone
  • They can use someone Else’s account
  • They can rate someone
  • They can vote for someone
  • They can create a poll or survey
  • They can use a Webcam
  • They can build a website from scratch

All of these forms of communication are just that, forms of communicating-with context and without. And… the majority of these activities have incredible SEO ( search engine optimization) ramifications. Simply put, when this content is created and uploaded or shared, if it was not done in the ever dissolving walled in garden of Facebook- then it is essentially waiting to be found by someone. Good context and bad.

I repeat, Good context and bad. Simply put, If I create or write something about Thomas Jones being a jerk-There is a high likelihood that it will be found in search. The problem? Thomas Jones might be a great guy, but you don’t know that. You just read that TJ is a jerk and so you decide to tell someone else…and so it begins. It goes viral in a social network and people get hurt.

Your digital footprint has never been more impactful than it is now, here in 2010.

So how, as a parent, do we deal with the firehose that is electronic communication, that is social media? How can we at least protect, shield and monitor our children from this new media evolution but still allow them to enjoy all that is has to offer in a positive way?

The first determination is the degree of involvement if any. If there is none, and they say there is none, don’t assume that. If it’s not happening in your house, don’t assume that it is not occurring next door, or in the school library or on the playground.

Assuming participation in social networks is going to happen and or is happening, then you need to take an active vital role in education, in creating policies, and creating ground rules for participation.

Believe it or not, even at the small business level as well as the corporate level, two things that we implore companies and businesses to do from the outset is to:  1) Start listening and monitoring to what is being said about you, your company and your industry and 2) set up and create policies, rules and guidelines for participation in social media. If they didn’t do #1, they won’t know what is going on and, #2, just like children, adults will take advantage of the  zero social media policy and the situation and zero work would get done. So the same applies to children.

So I mentioned education. Do you know who needs the most education? You the parent. That’s right. You need to educate yourself on what the social networking landscape looks like and the texting landscape looks like.

u ned 2 kno what asl is as much as idk, wtf and omg…

The more you know, the more you will be able to understand. What do you know and how much do you know will be critical; but more importantly, how much of what you think you know and is it accurate, might be crucial.

Once you have a firm footing it’s time to create policies, rules and guidelines for usage. It starts simply with no computers in the bedrooms. Having the computer in a medium traffic area can be a game changer. Next as part of your rules, policies and guidelines, you will want to know, have or have done the following:

20 point checklist for letting your child engage in social networking

  • Know all social sites that your child is a part of it
  • Have access to all content pages that your child has created
  • Know all user names, passwords and profiles that your child has created
  • Know all email accounts with user names and passwords that your child has created
  • Create rules of engagement on social sites that are built on being “accountable” to you for their actions-A 3 strikes rule is not a bad idea.
  • Create your own accounts in these networks
  • Explain that though you will have all this information, you will only access it, should there be a need to.
  • Establish Trust.
  • Understand that that trust may be breached
  • Review the privacy settings in your child’s social networks and map it to their profiles and then review their profiles
  • See who is following of “friending” your child and vice-versa
  • No adult, unless it’s a family member should be in any network that your child is part of.
  • Explain the dark side of social networks to your child, there’s nothing wrong with being scared straight.
  • Periodically evaluate the content they are sharing and consuming.
  • Know what they are searching for
  • Don’t forget or ignore texting and email. Establish usage guidelines for those as well. Never assume they are harmless or easy to manage.
  • If you feel the need to establish time constraints for computer and phone usage, do it.
  • You’re not trying to be a friend here- we’re trying to be parents.
  • If you have to shut it down-don’t feel guilty. Do it without remorse.
  • The computer is not a babysitter. Talk to them.

In closing here are some things that you need to know that I told a group last week and it’s something that I have seen first hand. For the most part  young children could take or leave using social networks and in my honest opinion-the usage of them, from a learning and sharing and creating standpoint in high school can have great value. But the usage of social networks for those below the age of high school freshman and possibly sophomores, I see no need.

For parents, knowing what your child is doing on a day to day basis is normal, but adding the dynamic of social media and social networks to the mix is definitely a challenge. especially without a road map.

Understanding social media, becoming educated about it and learning how to use it and monitor it are things that companies of all sizes are currently wrestling with. Take heart parents, you’re not alone.  It does get better though once we all are on the same page. Just remember that you need to be controlling the technology, not the other way around and certainly not by your children; and though we call  it a fire-hose, that fire-hose can be turned off.

10 Blended Social Media Marketing Strategies A Company Might Want To Consider

prism

We have been talking a lot lately about… talking. When we should be doing a lot more… doing. So the thought for this post, interestingly enough, bubbled up from a client request, that I should supply a document that mapped out the ways that you can blend social media into your marketing mix. So what I’ve done is supplied the tool or the platform, how I used it, what was the time suck and what were the results. Hopefully this will shed a little light on what the heck we’re doing and why we talk about it so much. Keep in mind one thing though- I do not get into the number of hours I put into meetings, documents, strategy docs, client objectives, client objections, proposals, pitches, the number of clients I pitched, the number of proposals rejected, the number of times I’ve been told that it doesn’t work, the number of times there is no response and the number of times I’ve educated the client and then have had them put into action on their own, what I have told them they need to do and why they should use us…So this is also for them. If you’re going to do it, at least do it with some knowledge of what you’re doing!

1)      Twitter. You’ve heard of Twitter but why use it? Twitter helps you monitor conversations about anything that might be relevant to you and your company. You don’t even have to actively participate to monitor it.

Time suck rating: Depending on how much you want to monitor and participate. Give it a rating of 5/10

Use case: Created structured conversations around hashtag to create community, market under the radar, build credibility and lead source. Monitor clients,products,industry,city,state,region. Ex: hashtagsocialmedia.com

2)      Search is not going away soon. Universal search is looming larger and larger by the day. Universal search blends listings from news, video, images, local and book search engines as well as social media elements compiled from Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, and YouTube. By understanding the value of Search and it how it plays into the overall strategy of your company and it’s goals and objectives, the better you will understand the importance of having more than just a “cup of coffee” type of presence with each of the above listed elements and sites. There is such a direct correlation between search and everything that people do on a day to day basis that to underestimate or devalue it is a grave mistake.

Time suck rating: Extensive. 9/10

Use case: Created reputation management program built on all elements of search using Flickr micro-websites, robust white hat SEO tactics and product specific blog sites. Results were reduction in negative websites and mentions. Increase in traffic and visibility.

3)      Social Bookmarking- In recent years, social bookmarking has become more sophisticated, somewhat diminished and yet no less important. Important to what? Social bookmarking adds a great deal of efficiency to your searches-That’s right, SEARCH, for useful information on the web. That information will be about you and your company. Not only are resources easier to find, but your company is easier to find as well. This means additional promotional opportunities for you and your brand by being able to better target people who will be interested in what your company is about. Example sites of Social bookmarking are Digg and StumbleUpon and Delcio.us

Time suck rating: Not bad 3/10

Use case: Created corporate profiles on the top social bookmarking sites, seeded each site every day with a new blog post or link revolving around relevant product, service, company, or industry. Resulting in hundreds of links, tags and bookmarks relating back to corporate and product. Results were seen in less than 6 months in the SERPS.

4)      YouTube-Video is permeating our lives. It had been for awhile, but we just didn’t call it video, we called it TV or we called it,”the movies”. Today we call it online video. You don’t have to look farther than YouTube, and Hulu to see the value of it. But did you know how much video is tied into search? That’s right we’re back to search again. As another channel to push out content you’ve created, which search engines love, to tag that content, which search engines devour, and to find ways for others to take your content and embed it on their sites perhaps, means that video is a perfect vehicle to take your message further than any other content that you might have, short of a widget. What does it require? A $30 webcam and some creativity.  The payoff? The chance that your content can go viral. Example: Musician hoping to get a million views in one year of his music video appeal to United airlines about his damaged guitar-gets 4.5 million in less than a month.

Time suck rating: Pretty easy 4.5/10

Use case: Created and embedded Youtube videos on client site and blog with relevant  tags and keywords resulting in continuous and steady traffic every day to blog site. Blog site links back to product site resulting in sales growth of 11% directly attributable to video.

5)      Flickr- We all have cameras embedded in our phones now right? Digital cameras are dirt cheap and you have products, employees, conferences, meetings and content just waiting to be tagged and… searched upon. Understand this, “every digitized element that you have in house, now has the potential to be searched upon”!. What makes that point more important and relevant, is that there are now more social sites than ever before to accommodate and house those elements. For what it’s worth, and or until the top SE’s change their algorithm, there is a very strong tie between search and social networks. Which means that your Flickr photos and their associated tags, will show up in image searches as well in some standard searches. What does this mean to you? A chance to push out more content about you and your company…Again.  Requirements? Your ability to understand the upload function of social sites and how to manipulate and tag your pics.

Time suck rating: Nominal 5/10

Use Case: Created  Flickr product accounts for CPG’s with relevant tags and keywords all pointing back to product/e-commerce page as well as to customer forum; and additionally corp. blog site. Results were direct and indirect traffic, as well as image sharing requests with requisite track backs to product and growth in the SERP’s.

6) Facebook- Facebook cannot be ignored. Does this mean that it becomes the primary focus of your organization? Not necessarily. But Facebook fan pages are a great way to market to people that are not registered with Facebook. Which means that fan pages are indexable. i.e. show up in search! The difference between fan pages and group pages are that with fan pages they are, for the most part, better for a long-term engagement with your fans, brand champions, and customers because the barrier for entry is low and the ability to push out information is real time and quick and easy to manage. Group pages are generally better for attracting quick attention but can be tough to sustain, though group members have the potential to become recruiters of the group site and can take it viral quick.. The requirements? Some type of comfort level of the tools, bells, whistles and apps available for the administrators; as well as and this important to note: The Privacy settings. FYI read them and understand them.

Time suck rating: Above average 6.5/10

Use case: Created fan page and group page sites for CPG, and Twitter site, which resulted in ongoing growing list of targeted brand champions, evangelists and new customers, as well as placeholder for announcements, offers and polling and 2-way messaging.

7)      LinkedIn- Personally speaking, not only should each person within yours or any organization have a Linkedin profile, but even from a professional standpoint as well. What can you do with Linkedin? You can, in short order, join thousands of groups and associations, ask and answer questions associated with you and what your company does, create your own group or organization, find people and groups that do what you and your company do, and link to them and research the people or company that you are getting ready to hire or work with. If they are not on Linkedin. It is now an immediate red flag. The requirements: A little time to set up.

Time suck rating: Below average 3/10

Use case: Created interactive Q and A series resulting in  corporate branding exposure, development of database of contacts, companies and potential partners. Also created Linkedin group resulting in over 300+ contacts.

8)      Blogs- Don’t think their importance is diminishing just because of the advent of micro-blogs. They are still very relevant, very link friendly and can be integral to the success of some organizations. As well, they are not just place holders for the written word. They can now hold video, audio, podcasts, images, widgets and more.

Time suck rating: Blogging can be somewhat time intensive if the intent is to create another relevant, visible, and valuable vehicle for your message: 7/10

Use case: Created multiple corporate blogs to create 2 way conversation between customers and company, push down negative press and improve a tarnished corporate image as well as criticism stemming from negative public sentiment. Also created CPG blog to support product launches, latest consumer information as well as provide tips, links and resources to consumers and tire kickers.

9)      Microsite development- Developing small relevant websites that revolve around your products, your company and your keywords is a great way to drive links, push out content and otherwise add to the search results for your product or company. They don’t need to be robust. They can be text heavy, link heavy or even video heavy, but creating content laden sites is a way to not only you’re your main site, but also as a way to amplify your message. If you are adept at HTML or if you prefer to use a CMS to fire up your micro-sites, either way is effective.

Time suck rating: Fairly laborious on the front end 7/10

Use case: Able to create multiple micro-sites for multiple clients resulting in positive search results, reputation management success and increased product and customer awareness as well as positive SERP results.

Note: Short of coining a new phrase I decided to call this blurb “macroblogging.” Twitter is called microblogging and the next step up would be these next 2 sites. Tumblr and Posterous. These 2 platforms are redefining what it means to blog. What these 2 sites/platforms are providing is a more, if that is possible, streamlined way to push out content to the masses in lieu of using a traditional blogging platform like wordpress or typepad. The upside? You guess it, search. They are simple to fire up and easy to Market, share and build. I have not yet used them extensively to provide a use case.

10) Community development- A number of years ago I started an online community to support a very popular consumer product at the time. To me it just made sense from a communication standpoint. It also made sense because we had a built in sounding board for new product releases, customer support and polls. Not only was the community an immediate success, it gave us insight into our typical customer’s mindset. We were able to test and float ideas before we took products to market. For the people of the community, all who were very passionate about the product, it gave them a place to hang out and bond. I’m not saying all products have that potential but there are numerous ways to create online communities around your brand champions and evangelists and customer service initiatives. They can be done via Facebook groups, Ning, Groupsite, Google groups and half a dozen template based sites.

Time suck rating: Can get labor intensive 8.5/10

Use case: Built, managed and recruited online community to support CPG. At its peak, it had 5,000 members contributing hundreds of posts and comments per day.

So as you can see from this list, these are only 10 scenarios of what has worked for me. There are other smaller examples that I have employed with a minor degree of marketing and branding success from podcasting, creating a nationally recognized personal blog, co-authoring a book, creating successful email campaigns, and personally building close to a 100 web sites. But let me reiterate This is what has worked and works for me when working with clients. I am comfortable with these 10 activities and their associated tools.  I know there are more, and I’m learning more as I go, but I thought I should share what has worked for me so that others might learn as well. If you want to specifically explain how to do it, let me know and we’ll go from there!

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Transparency-Where are you drawing the line?

tweet

Susan (Kang) Nam, aka @pinkolivefamily in Twitter asked the following question late today on Twitter: Point of transparency = where do u draw ur line? I said, The line has been drawn in the sand.  It’s changing fast.  Don’t believe me? Read David Armano’s latest post.


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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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