So You’re Not Steven Spielberg

YouTube and Social Media

Get Started on YouTube

Let’s say you’re not Steven Spielberg, award-winning director and producer of Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, and over a hundred more memorable, entertaining films. (That is, unless you really are Spielberg, in which case you’ve just proved, by reading this, that you’re also a savvy marketing strategist). We at Professional Mojo aren’t Mr. Spielberg either (in case you were wondering).

But you’re probably not Mr. Spielberg, and maybe you don’t know your way around today’s video cameras. Technology changes fast, and many of the new cameras offer features that can seem unfamiliar and confusing.

But no doubt you’ve also seen plenty of YouTube videos, so you know that people are using these cameras to shoot and upload footage. Some of the videos out there are simply intended to be cute and funny, like the ones with kids and kittens.

But there’s a lot more to YouTube than kittens.

Did you know that approximately 85% of the total US internet audience now watches online videos? Of those videos, about 43% come from YouTube. Think of it: when you create a video for your small business, YouTube gives you the potential to reach thousands or hundreds of thousands of consumers, customers, and clients.

Statistics show that YouTube hosts around 144 million—that’s so impressive, let’s say it again—144 million UNIQUE visitors each month. That’s about one-third of the U.S. population. Since Google purchased YouTube, YouTube has also overtaken Yahoo as the second most popular search engine, which is great for search engine optimization words.

See where we’re going with this? YouTube is a powerful, exciting marketing and social media tool.  If you aren’t using it, it’s time to start.

You don’t have to be a Spielberg to shoot a 30-second clip that promotes your product or service on YouTube, which is free, easily accessible, and unbelievably popular.

YouTube has features that allow you to cross-promote your small business and build communities. Users and viewers can share videos via Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, and other networking platforms.

YouTube is instantaneous. With a few clicks, you can send a video promoting your business to all your contacts at once, immediately reaching your target audience and, if you wish, everyone in your personal, social network.

In our next post, we’ll tell you how to choose a video camera wisely, to get you on the way to recording your own YouTube content. As they say, see you at the movies.

 

 

Source for YouTube statistics:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFTHOkCj0-I

 

Advertisements

Douglas residents use blogs to communicate ideas and information – Douglas – Neighbor Newspapers

Douglas residents use blogs to communicate ideas and information – Douglas – Neighbor Newspapers.

Marketing, Advertising and PR: Oh, my!

In the good ol’ days, public relations was public relations, marketing was marketing and advertising was advertising. But, this isn’t the good ol’ days and the times are a’changing.

As the online and offline communication channels continue to mix and mingle like a pile of spaghetti on my plate, organizations are finding that it’s the

From FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Communication and marketing roles are mingled like spaghetti on a plate. Are you ready?

communication that matters – not who does it or what department it originates from. Has your organization gotten the message yet?

A new breed of communications Zen-master is emerging (we like to consider ourselves doyens, too~) and exhibits some key characteristics:

1) A keen understanding of public relations: Good press still matters. In fact, given the prevalence of crazy, anonymous bad reviews out there, it matters maybe more than ever. You are what the Internet says you are, and a good public relations partner who understands the nature of the offline/online relationship can make a world of difference.

2) A strategic marketing gift: Living inside your company’s print or online marketing bubble is no longer an option. Every marketing channel affects the other.  Your offline objectives and online objectives should inform each other. Integrating that with a whip-smart PR plan is a no-brainer. And it takes a big brain to see the big picture.

3) A flair for advertising: Most folks don’t know the difference between advertising and marketing anyway. Advertising is a single component of a strategic marketing process. As a friend of mine said, “If marketing is the pie, then advertising is a slice in that pie.” It includes ad development, placement, and more.

Your online and offline portfolios are made up of all of these areas, and your partner should understand how they fit together to create an irresistible story for your prospects.

Professional Mojo is a full-service marketing company specializing in telling your story irresistibly and consistently across all channels. We specialize in creating compelling online portfolios. Contact us for more.

In online reputation management, you get what you pay for.

ProfessionalMojo Marketing - Trusted Partner

Choose your social media partner wisely. We can help.

While doing some research, I recently came across a company who said they were specialists in “protecting your online reputation” and “managing your Twitter, Facebook and blog assets”.  Then, they pointed the website visitor (in this case, me) to their Facebook page and Twitter account as evidence, I suppose, of the quality of their work.

Here is what waited for me on those pages:

  • Bad grammar, typos and misspellings galore: How can a company possibly represent your brand when they can’t even utilize correct grammar and use the spell check?  The type of syntax reminded me of what you find in those spammy emails from foreign countries, which made me suspicious if the “posting” was being done off shore.
  • A propaganda stream: While one of the blog posts talked about social media being a dialog, there was zero indication that they lived by what they preached. There were few retweets, few replies and a steady stream of nonsense and propaganda.  At Mojo, we pride ourselves on tight messaging and relationship-building.  Again, they didn’t know what to say on their own stream, how in the world could they represent someone else’s brand?
  • Inappropriate comments: Would you want folks to see curse words and, um, racy remarks?  Well, whoever was posting to this stream sure did.  What if that was your brand? Your B2B dialog with partners, vendors, alliances, customers would be at risk…ugh.

Look, in this economy, we are well aware that the “new normal” isn’t really normal at all. As business people we are looking for ways to maximize revenue, increase profits and decrease expenses. It’s as simple as that.  However, you should not cut corners where your brand is concerned.  Putting your online reputation, one that is potentially cached forever, into the hands of companies who don’t speak the language well, don’t understand your business and have no proven methodology is just plain craziness.

Before you decide to contract with a provider, take a hard look at what they are doing.  Unfortunately, there are quite a few companies out there like the one I mentioned above. They decided to set up shop to capitalize on social media, not to create a long-term client relationship built on real results.

Be careful and vet them thoroughly:

  • What is your methodology?
  • Who else have you done work for?
  • What were the results?
  • Will you show me your own streams and community?
  • What testimonials do you have?
  • Who is doing the work?

Your reputation is easy to mess up and hard to fix.  Just sayin’.

If you are interested in vetting Professional Mojo, we welcome it.  Our Mojo Messaging Methodology is tight, we have over 20 years of marketing experience and we know how to develop an online portfolio, website and print suite that works for your business.  Contact us for more.

Three Tips to Evaluate Your Marketing Mojo Now

Professional Mojo Marketing Mojo

Now's a good time to evaluate and calibrate.

I know the feeling.

Small businesses are consistently pressed for resources, especially in today’s economy. But, the BEST time to invest in marketing is when the economy is down. Why? Because then you are well-positioned to take advantage of the upswing.

In fact, most of the successful businesses were started during a depression, recession or economic trough.  It’s only the short-sighted business owner who cuts marketing first.

So now’s a good time for you to assess your marketing strategies, revamp your messaging, develop your portfolio, freshen your brand, and update your print and digital assets.  Here are a few tips to get you started:

1) Now’s a good time to invest in your current and past customers. You know the metrics – it costs more to get a new customer than to keep the ones you have.  Your current customers are struggling in a down economy, too, so why not reach out to them and see how you can help.  Newsletters, social media campaigns, contests and more can keep them engaged and buying.

2) Make sure your messaging is tight.  Folks have a lot of choices now and less money.  The flowery, ambiguous language you use in your print collateral and in your digital assets won’t get the job done.  We routinely rewrite copy and revise websites and print collateral to tell a more compelling story of WHY they should buy from you.

3) Evaluate the engagement with your community. Are you engaging with your community on every front? Do they hear about you via podcast? See you via video on YouTube and learn about your thought leadership and industry expertise via a blog?  Are you conveying a consistent message each time? Are you offering them relevant, value-added reasons to be a member of your Facebook page or Twitter community?  Would YOU want to be a member of your community?


Take a step back and get a fresh look at what you’re doing, what the ROI is and how much time it’s taking. Is it the highest and best use of your time? Is it working? What help do you need?
Then, contact ProfessionalMojo.com if you'd like a little mojo.

Social Media Policy: It’s Sexy After All

Professional Mojo Social Media Policy Toolkit

Policies protect your business.

I know what you are going to say.  Policies and procedures? Ick.  In fact, I recently gave a talk to a group about policies and procedures and posted about it on Facebook.  The only comment from our fans:  Sounds exciting.  Heh.

Say what you will, but it has never been more important to have clear, written policies and procedures in place if you are going to use social media marketing to grow your business.  Let me count just three of the reasons why:

1) Social media is informal:  Because people tend to treat social media communication as an informal channel of conversation, they are more likely to say something they shouldn’t. They use it like conversation at the watercooler…but…with social media it’s instanteous and often permanent.  Real life example:  Suzie sees Tom emerging from the HR office and he’s upset. Suzie tweets out, “Tom just left HR. Upset! Bet he got the whack!”.  Panic among the ranks ensues.

2) Social media is forever (almost): One of the reasons that social media marketing is so powerful for your business is because it creates a digital portfolio of who you and your business are.  An online picture of your products, services, people and culture begins to emerge.  Much of that content is cached, which means that even if you delete it, someone has already seen it or Google has it stored somewhere.  More importantly, an online faux pas may be very hard to undo. It’s like weight: easy to put on, really hard to lose.  Once you’ve made an online reputation management error because you didn’t have good policies and training in place, it’s difficult to undo the damage.

3) Social media requires experience:  Mhm. This is one of my favorites.  Businesses routinely put the digital portfolio and online reputation in the hands of inexperienced folks because they are afraid of the technology (which in my humble opinion is secondary to the business case).  Does Johnny have the experience to deal with negative comments or positively represent your business as the front-facing persona? What if someone presses Johnny for an answer or a competitor masquerading as a prospect asks for proprietary information? Is Johnny more likely to yield that information because he’s on Facebook or LinkedIn?  You may be surprised.

Here are few things to keep in mind when planning a policy:

1) Understand your culture, industry requirements and philosophy:  There are some edgy, loosey-goosey organizations that are fully embracing the best and worst of social media. Their policies are limited. If you are taking a more limited approach, then your policy should reflect that.

2) Inventory and define what could be considered confidential or proprietary information: You probably already have these things in place, but ensuring that you extend it to the social media realm is key.

3) Create examples and role-plays for your employees:  There is no better way to learn than to look at the various situations that could arise from engaging in open, authentic, transparent conversation with prospects, competitors, vendors and customers.  What is the next step if Johnny Tweets something he shouldn’t? Who does he tell if a negative comment is posted? How do we respond to information requests that seem out of the ordinary? How do they know if they are sharing personnel information they shouldn’t?  Often, the communication lines are blurred in social media between personal and professional. You’ll want to help them to define those, too.

I could talk and write about this topic for days because I feel strongly that while social media is a boon to business, it carries inherent risk and having a solid, written policy is key.  Here at Professional Mojo we were asked to create a policy toolkit for that purpose, one that would include templates.  Rather than create something from scratch, we did the research and have partnered to offer one that has the basics to get you started at a reasonable cost. We like to provide value.  If you’d like, check it out.

Hey, we’re happy either way – just as long as you think through what you need to do to protect your business.  Now, isn’t policy sexy after all?

Are Your Social Media Eggs in One Basket?

Are your social media eggs in one basket?

Are your social media eggs in one basket?

Finally. The craziness surrounding all things social media has died down a bit, and businesses are finally getting down to the task of evaluating platforms and evaluating results in a disciplined way.  Those of us who are not new to this rodeo and have grown businesses are elated to see this change in the climate. 

Part of the discplined approach to planning is investigating all platforms to see a) who their users are b) how the users actually use the platform and c) if the technology supports your business objectives.  Over the last several months, all the attention has focused on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. Yes, yes…those are the big dogs, but there are other platforms that may be of use to you. Before you put all of your social media eggs into one basket, do your due diligence.

Check out FastPitch!FastPitch!: FastPitch! focuses less on the social aspect of networking and more on the actual business of business.  Some of the unique aspects of FastPitch! is its ability to distribute press releases, classifieds, newsfeed, letters and more.  In fact, I would characterize it as more about your business than about you.  The new look and feel, which was just unveiled, gives you better control over your social media assets, too.  Like most networks, there is a subscription fee to get to the cool stuff.
What about Ning?

Want to create your own social network?

 Ning: Ning is an online social networking service – with a twist. Unlike MySpace or Facebook, where you join one huge network, Nings networks are “independent” and you belong just to that social group.  You can create your own social network that other folks can then join. Additionally, Ning allows users to customize their social network, as well.  If you wanted to created your own, private network for customer service, internal communication or even based on your product or service, Ning could be an interesting choice.

There are a number of options in the marketplace, so take your time and make wise choices about which technology will give you the results you desire. It’s all about your business.

If you are using either FastPitch! or Ning, leave us a comment and let us know how you’re using and if it’s been effective for you.

Unsure about your next step or would you like to update your marketing to position your organization for 2010? Consider the Monthly Mojo Mentoring Package. It’s a cost-effective way to get a once-month reality check on what you’re doing right and what you could be doing better. Contact us for more information.

%d bloggers like this: