Archive for the ‘YouTube’ Category

Brands have evolved from asking “Should we be on Social Media?” to “How can we improve our Social Media activities?” At the same, they want to understand “What is the value of Social Media?”  That simple question of value transcends company size, industry and focus.

Three months ago, Awareness set out to answer the question of uncovering the value in social marketing by conducting research and meeting with social media practitioners and experts alike. During the interview process, they asked the group to tell them what advice they would provide Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) as they set out to design, manage and measure their social marketing strategy.  Here are their insights:

  1. Have a plan! – Jason Falls, principal of Social Media Explorer:
    “Go into social with a plan. Social channels are like other marketing channels – treat them with the same diligence. Don’t just test the waters – commit to social. It is the way of the future.  Test and iterate. Integrate social with your marketing and business initiatives – social marketing cannot exist in a vacuum.”
  2. Passion is contagious – David Berkowitz, senior director of Emerging Media and Innovation for 360i
    “Don’t think of social only as a way to drive leads and sales.  Social is about passion – Oreo has over 22 million fans because the brand has given voice to the passion of its consumers.”
  3. Focus, test and learn – Paul Gillinauthor of “Social Marketing to the Business Customer
    “Focus on a limited number of tools initially and build your portfolio where you see tangible traction.  Develop a center of social marketing expertise to avoid repeating the same mistakes other brands have made.  Consider hiring social marketing experts to help you develop that expertise.”
  4. Think like a publisher – David Meerman Scott, marketing strategist and author of “The New Rules of Marketing and PR
    “In the world of social, companies need to think like publishers. The first thing that companies need to do is understand where they rank in search engine results. Smart companies know what their prospective customers are searching on. They then create social content – blogposts, YouTube videos, webinars, etc. that leverages key words to improve search engine rankings.”
  5. Integrate social into your business – Nathaniel Perez, head of social experience at SapientNitro
    “If your level of maturity with social marketing is low, rely on agencies and consultants to help you succeed. You will need carefully integrated content, processes, and governance in order to succeed. Social is not media-centric, it is customer-centric. Once you have gained experience, work towards integrating social deeper within your business. Plan your resources around the following key functional areas: research and insight, engagement and community building, media planning and integration, and data and analytics.”
  6. Understand your goals and tie into existing business processes – Andrew Patterson, manager of new media at MLB Advanced Media
    “Start with understanding your goals with social. Where and how you want to participate is a business decision. Look at your industry and beyond for best practices.  Choose a social media publishing and monitoring platform that serves your specific needs. Social requires full integration with your current analytics systems – make sure you partner with your vendors for success.”
  7. Budget and prioritize – Jeremiah Owyang, industry analyst with Altimeter Group
    “Allocate your social marketing budget based on your level of social marketing maturity. In our February 2011: How Corporations Should Prioritize Social Business Budgets, Altimeter reported that the average social media annual budget in 2010 was $833,000, but that figure fluctuated based on annual revenue and social marketing program maturity. Use industry benchmarks to allocate your budget.”
  8. Commit to social long term – Jonas Nielsen, co-founder and managing partner of Mindjumpers
    “Go in for the long haul, and don’t put social in the hands of junior brand managers.  Social is one of the one important channels of the future – your own media that will position you to spend less resources over time – for marketing, customer service, and product development.”
  9. Start by focusing on existing customers – Erik Qualman, author of “Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business
    “The best companies understand social touches every aspect of their business. Start with answering why you want to run social programs and what success looks like.  Remember: only a portion of your social efforts can be tracked directly down to sales.  Most of social is relationship-based – it is a longer-term investment in your brand. Focus with your existing customers – they will spread the word for you. Welcome to the world of mouth.”

The headline isn’t meant to mislead. There is actually a very good parallel between the two. Just as the over-abundance of foreclosed homes lowers the property values in a given neighborhood, a preponderance of Social Media “experts” in a given job market cheapens the value of the labor pool to potential employers. While this may seem like a good problem on the surface, as we dig deeper, we find that the reality of this situation is fraught with caveats. As businesses start to recognize the reality of SMM and make the decision to buy in, many are tempted to go after bargains. The potential for failure and frustration facing these companies is enormous . . . the effect of this trend on gifted candidates is the devaluation of their earning potential.

Like realty signs on foreclosed properties, we see business owners displaying signs of their cluelessness, caving in to the idea that Social Media Marketing is something “simple” that can easily be added on to an existing employee’s duties. I recently talked with a successful business owner who was looking at hiring an SEO expert as well as an SMM expert. In our conversation she declared that “Social media is easy, so I can probably just do that myself.” Easy? Really? I wonder if she has ever tried to attract fans to a page that has limited sex appeal or name recognition.

The signs are also showing up on job postings where the oxymoronic “Social Media Marketing Intern” title is thrown about as if it was something relative to anything. It is not. An intern may be able to set up a Facebook page or a Twitter account, but when it comes to making that account viable, they are a recipe for imminent disaster. And if you plan to trust your content, message and interaction to such inexperience, you will not get my sympathy.

The truth is that there are very few real Social Media Experts in the world. There are individuals with solid backgrounds in business management and marketing that have made the effort to embrace this new culture and are willing to change their views on how to engage with their audience. These realists are finding that the ever-shifting sands of SMM are exciting, but at the same time challenging, testing the mettle of even the most gifted and experienced marketer.

We are in the midst of a new frontier, a new “gold rush,” if you will. While many hope to stake their claim on this potential windfall, only a handful will succeed. The successful Social Media Marketing Manager/Director/Consultant will not be an intern or someone who simply has a background or even an advanced degree in marketing. Rather, the new breed of SMM leaders will be those who understand how to run a business first and who are then willing to embrace and immerse themselves into this unpredictable and often hostile environment.

If you take anything from this article, let it be this; Knowing how to set up a Facebook page no more makes one a Social Media Expert than having a camera makes one a professional photographer. Until employers put an end to their foolish quest for cheap Social Media “fixer-uppers,” legitimate users of the craft who deserve more attention will continue to see their value diminished.

There is nothing peskier than posting a favorite YouTube music video to your Facebook page only to get the dreaded “Embedding Disabled” message when you or a friend clicks on it. While you can still view the video by redirecting to YouTube, many of your friends will not go through the hassle and will skip viewing the video altogether.

As Google continues in their attempt to dominate the internet (and the revenue that follows), you can expect more of this sort of issue. While Google’s acquisition of YouTube dates back to 2006, it seems that they have waited until recently to really dig in with changes. The latest changes to YouTube are intended to thwart copyright infringement for musical artists and include sampling of uploaded videos to search for unauthorized use of copyrighted music tracks. In December of 2009, VEVO was created as a vehicle to control the sharing of music videos and now makes itself home to almost 30,000 music videos.

While casual YouTube viewers are unlikely to see the changes brought on by the introduction of VEVO, those of us who like to share our favorite music videos with our friends on Facebook have found that the YouTube sharing function inevitably renders the “embedding disabled” message for VEVO hosted videos. By logging in to vevo.com, you will be able to search for the video that you want to share and post it without the embedding issue. Once you find it, simply click on the “SHARE” button at the top of the viewer and you will be forwarded to the familiar “sharing” screen that you normally get when sharing a YouTube video. Type in your optional message and post!

When you return to Facebook to check your video, it will appear just like any other video post with the standard video player screen. Click the “PLAY” button and the VEVO player will open within your post. The VEVO player does take a bit longer to load than the standard YouTube player, but it generates a larger viewing area with more control options. And, with very few exceptions, your VEVO video posts will be HD quality.

This simple workaround fix will make embedding VEVO-hosted music videos fool-proof again.

Welcome to my new blog site. I will be using this as a forum to help people develop their Social Media Marketing strategies as it relates to their businesses. Social Media is the new frontier in how we communicate and connect with each other, with businesses, with prospective employers/employees and even with complete strangers.

I believe that Social Media, by its very nature, is transforming the way we live our lives. In particular, I believe that it can transform businesses into viable and relevant entities that are personally engaged with their clients. Businesses must first transform their way of thinking when it comes to marketing. Yellow Pages advertising no longer works – perhaps never did. TV has become an expensive shotgun approach to reach customers with hundreds of channels trying to hit the right demographic in the right numbers in the right time slot. Newspaper advertising is all but history as people get most of their news electronically. Radio is expensive and only marginally effective. None of these mediums generate the return on investment (ROI) that they once did. Today’s consumers use the internet to educate themselves, source and compare products, compare prices, and finally, to select who they plan to purchase from. Businesses have advertising budgets, but are running out of places to spend them. It is no longer a question of whether to utilize Social Media or not, it is a question of “when?”

In future posts, I will explore the value of Social Media and how to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and other social media to reach out to and interact with your clients and prospects. Social Media will help you to grow your business, but not in the way that you are used to thinking. Social Media is not about controlling and delivering a carefully calculated advertising message. In fact, Social Media will require you to let go of your conventional understanding of marketing. Social Media engages your clients (and potential clients) in a living marketing organism that is controlled, in large part, by them. It is a little scary. It will leave some business owners feeling out of control and vulnerable. Trust me, it will be worth it!

Admittedly, not everyone will “get it.” Many business owners/CEO/COO’s don’t even know how to get started in Social Media. Others have tried, but with disappointing results. For that reason, Social Media Managers are perhaps the most sought after employee in America today. Since many companies cannot justify a full-time Social Media Manager, it makes sense to work with an independent consultant that can assist you or actually run your Social Media Marketing Plan. The important thing is that your company gets on-board. Not as a part of next year’s budget or even next quarter’s . . . the time for Social Media Marketing is now! Will you be the company that blends in or will you be the one that stands out in the crowd?

I want to help you to be a standout . . .

David James Peterson