Social Media Basics: 5 YouTube Tips

YouTube and Social Media

Get Started on YouTube

In honor of today’s online workshop, which is YouTube for Small Business: Getting Started, let’s  cover a few YouTube tips to get you rolling.

1) Do it or be left behind:   USA Today noted that “If you’re one of the estimated 25,000 small businesses in America, then – whether you realize it or not – video is in your future.”  It went on to quote  Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey who said that, “Whether you’re a hot-dog vendor in Boston or design firm in Santa Fe, you will be producing video for the Web, video is how your customers will find you.”

2) Get over yourself: The best videos aren’t slick, super-produced videos. They are videos that meet a need, give information, are entertaining and are authentic and real. Get over thinking that it’s about you and it has to be perfect. Grab your iPhone or your Flip camera and get with the program.

3) Consider audio and lighting: Yeah, I know that I just said you don’t need to be Steven Spielberg…but the video does need to be clear and audible. Informal videos are fine, indeed, but be sure that the resulting upload is clearly lighted, easy to see and the audio is understandable.

4) Be passionate: This is particularly important for small businesses. I suspect that if you are one of our nonprofit or ministry clients, you can easily find something passion-worthy about your cause or outreach. But, what if you sell radiators? Or fertilizer? Listen – social media is still for you. You just need to be a little creative, that’s all. For example, is the fertilizer used to grow the biggest pumpkin at the state fair? Maybe it’s used in a garden to grow produce for a homeless shelter.  Take a look at your product or service in a fresh way and find the passion that will connect to your audience.

5) Keep it short: No one wants to sit through 10 minutes of video on YouTube or Vimeo.  No matter if it’s part of a conference, informational, an event, how-to – whatever – keep it to less than 5 minutes unless it is spectacularly engaging. 

Get motivated and get your small business or nonprofit out on YouTube now.  If you need assistance planning and executing on a strategy, online training to get your started right, an updated web site, or cost-effective monthly group mentoring to keep things moving, let us know.  
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Facebook: Top Questions Revealed!

Professional Mojo answers your top Facebook questions

Lee & Rachael answer your top Facebook questions.

I’m proud to say that we’ve trained hundreds of folks who prefer the do-it-yourself route when it comes to social media.  Yes, we have other clients, too, with whom we develop a strategy, build or upgrade their website…but there are those independent spirits out there who are determined to tackle the social media universe on their own.  It is in their honor that we reveal what Professional Mojo has found to be the top Facebook questions (both non-techy and techy).  Enjoy!

Top Non-Tech Questions

5)  Isn’t Facebook for youngsters?:  Nope. In fact, if your current prospects/clients/vendors/partners aren’t on Facebook right now, they will be soon. The fastest growing demographic is the 35+ crowd.

4) How much should my personal profile and the business stuff overlap?We routinely recommend that you keep your personal stuff private. Trust me, posting pics of you or your spouse on vacation in Bermuda will do more harm than good – no matter how good looking you think you are.

3) Isn’t Facebook a big black hole sucking up all my and my employees’ time? Well, that depends on if you think developing relationships with prospects and customers is a waste of time, too. Remember, it’s not about the platform, it’s about how  you use it, track it and monitor it. If you think your time is wasted…honestly, friends…you’re not doing it correctly.

2) Why can’t I get any fans/members to my page/group? You need to see #3 because you’re probably not executing on a good plan.  When we evaluate social media  efforts, we find that a failed Facebook presence is usually a symptom of these ills:
                  * Poor moderation/administration: Not asking questions, not responding to comments, not updating regularly, spewing unilateral sales-y propaganda
                  * Not reaching out: Not friending/fanning others, not commenting on other pages or groups, not asking your contacts to be your fan
                  * Poor or little integration with your site and other marketing: Treating Facebook like a stand-alone silo, not promoting it on your site (prominently), not promoting it in your other marketing efforts
                  * Bad content: making it all about you and your organization, not having fun, not being a resource for your fans, not giving them relevance and useful info

1) Do we even need to set up a Facebook page? Do you care whether or not you are left behind when your competitors reach more and do more? Then, yes, you probably do. NOTE: If you are unable to commit to it or create a plan that fully leverages Facebook, then don’t do it.

Top Facebook Tech Questions

5) How can I save time? Use both Facebook and third party applications to quickly and easily integrate your Facebook info into your site and your other social media assets (blogs, Twitter, etc.) into your Facebook fan page.

4) Can I set up a business page without a personal account? Yes, you can. Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and choose your settings. At the end of the process, Facebook will ask you if you have a profile and you choose No.  Then, simply enter your email address and your birthday. That’s it. No profile set up. CAVEAT: you can do all regular admin tasks this way, but if you want to notify others to be a fan or search within Facebook, which we recommend, you will not be able to do that without a personal profile.

3) Can I customize my page with cool graphics? Yep, you sure can. Although Facebook is notoriously persnickety about customization, you can use various HTML and FBML third party apps to add links, graphics, and a general customized look and feel. Keep it simple, though.

2) I have a group. I want a page. What do I do now? This is related to #1.  Again, Facebook isn’t use friendly on this count, but you can follow these steps: a) create your biz page, populate it b) go to the group and begin messaging them to move over and fan your new page (I let them know that the group will be closing in X days) c) after your group members are fans of the biz page, then manually remove every group member. When you remove them all and then yourself, the group goes away.

1) Should I set up a group or a page? This is the #1 question and the answer really is based on your social media strategy (please tell me you have one). If you need a private, invitation-only, members-only area, then a group is for you.  Many NPOs have had great success with groups.   On the other hand, if your strategy is to promote, engage, and build community in a broader sense, improve your SEO rankings, use ads to promote your page, etc., then a business page is the way to go. 

What are your top questions?  Let us know and we’ll collect them for another edition of Top Questions Revealed! Starring Lee & Rachael.

Interested in online workshops, website design, social media monitoring and content creation? Then give us a ping.

What’s with a Wiki?

A wiki is a useful social media tool that can be used to preserve corporate knowledge

A wiki is a useful social media tool that can be used to preserve corporate knowledge

Once upon a time, back in the pre-Internet highway days, people documented business knowledge on things called paper. Or in items called books.  Or, held critical information in the round thing called their head.  Then, came the computer. Businesses rapidly adopted knowledge management systems, which Wikipedia itself describes as “for supporting creation, capture, storage and dissemination of information.”  These systems preserve business continuity, so if someone is hit by the ubiquitous bus, the knowledge of what they do and how they do it can be transferred to others.

Then came the wiki.

A wiki is a free or cheap browser-based web platform that allows your employees to contribute information based on their expertise and knowledge. They can edit content within the articles, too. Together, this material creates a knowledge base for your organization that relies on the integrity of the additions. 

Many companies are using a wiki to create their own knowledge management systems for retaining corporate knowledge, training and collaboration.  Used correctly, it can be a very valuable free resource that helps create a central repository of knowledge for your organization.

Here’s some wiki wisdom:

  • A wiki relies on the integrity of the author, so there is the opportunity for mistakes or even sabotage. Fortunately, wikis are designed to make it easy to correct errors and have a “recently changed” feature so admins can quickly determine what’s been done and by whom.
  • Some training might be required. A wiki promotes meaningful topic association so the user can easily navigate to related ideas.  Be sure to show your employees how to make the links.
  • A wiki is an interactive, living and breathing tool. It’s only as good as the involvement of your employees.

Interested in saving time and not having to reinvent the wheel every time an employee leaves? A wiki might be for you.  Check out this site to find out more about wiki software and how to get started.  A few tutorials are listed below:

Slide Share tutorial on creating an educational wiki using pbworks 
Using Wikispaces

For more information on Professional Mojo and how we can help you create a better website, integrate your social media and drive business success, contact us.

Create a Better Social Media Plan: 3 Quick Tips

3 Quick Social Media Tips from Professional Mojo

3 Quick Social Media Tips from Professional Mojo

I know it. You hear us really harp on planning when developing a social media plan. That’s because the more clients we work with and the more websites we develop, the clearer it becomes that organizations are often doing these because they are afraid not to…not necessarily because it makes good sense.

So, once again, I’m devoting this post to a few planning tips.

1) Training and Retraining:  Consider your current employees. You will need to communicate to them the new social media marketing effort, the objectives of it, how it will improve your organization, what their roles will be, and the policies they are expected to follow. Remember, people think they know social media because they can Tweet or post on Facebook. That’s not true. Business rules and processes should apply.  Consider offering webinars or online training to ensure they understand their concrete tasks and the consequences of not following social media protocol.

2) Organizational Representation Consistency:  The front-facing personas of your organizational brand need to be on the same page, creating consistency across all web platforms.  What I mean is: authenticity and transparency are key. You are developing relationships and using a pull approach, as opposed to a push approach. The look, feel, and tone of all parts of your web presence should be similar.

If you are an edgy organization, that should be reflected. If traditional, then every front-facing persona and social media channel should reflect the same. It has to pass the sniff test.  Even though you will be targeting different groups and will want tailored messages, it all comes down to your brand, so there still needs to be some consistency

3) Informational Flow:  Companies routinely forget follow-up where social media is concerned.  That two-way relationship and dialog means, uh, that you should respond to customer, vendor and prospects questions, praises and criticisms. 

We recommend creating a process that shows your front-facing personas what to do when certain kinds of comments are posted or certain types of questions are asked.  Give your employees, or outsourced partner, the research tools they need to not keep the community member waiting.

If you’re looking for a partner to help you create a strategy, provide online or onsite training, upgrade your website or even take on your social media roles, contact us and let’s chat.

4 Tips to Better NonProfit Website Copy

Better website copy is right around the corner. (photo from FreeFoto.com)

Better website copy is right around the corner. (photo from FreeFoto.com)

Today’s guest blogger is Lindsey Patten, who is our special guest speaker at the July 28th online workshop, Learn to Write Better Nonprofit Website Copy.
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Writing for the web is easier said than done. It’s easy to extol the virtues of great copy, but that much harder to get right down to business. See, writing is something that everyone knows how to do, but everyone doesn’t know how to do it well. So what are some first steps for sitting
down and getting it done?

1. Know your Limitations

If you are in charge of writing the web copy, ask yourself this: Are you up to the task? It’s nothing shameful if you aren’t. It’s more important to assess your writing capabilities and determine they aren’t up to snuff then not and go ahead with the writing anyway. Maybe you are good at one type of writing but not the other. Perhaps you can write the technical side of the issue, but not the emotional side? Whatever the case, know your limitations.

2. Secure your Environment

By this I mean, determine which is the ideal environment for creative juices to flow and make sure you have it. If you don’t wish to be disturbed, shut your office door or go somewhere else entirely. If you are interrupted during writing it can break your whole train of thought and leave you frustrated. Then assess what you do as you write. For me, I like to stand up and pace, running my thoughts through my head before I write them on the page. Some people like to listen to music, others like complete silence. Some like to eat as they write, others don’t. Whatever your perfect environment is for writing, try to replicate it.

3. Spit it Out

Staring at a blank piece of paper or a blank computer screen can be daunting. It’s important to get words, any words at all down on paper/computer just to start you off. It doesn’t matter if its gibberish, you just need to start writing to get into the flow. And then the real words will come. I promise!

4. Get an Editor

Get an editor. A good one. One that will show no mercy on your copy. Yes, sometimes it can sting when you receive back a piece of writing with track changes or red lines all over it, but ultimately this will help you create a better piece of content. It’s important to put your ego aside and at least consider the editor’s suggestions, even if you don’t accept them all.

So there are a few tips for getting started. And remember, writing good copy takes time so don’t frustrated if it doesn’t come to you in the first minute. Or hour. Or even day.

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For more information on Professional Mojo’s online workshops or to find out more about Lindsey Patten, please contact us.

Search Engine Optimization Tips: Today’s iTunes Podcast

Search Engine Optimization Tips - Register for the Webinar/Workshop

Search Engine Optimization Tips - Register for the Webinar/Workshop

 

Social Media and Nonprofits: Share This!

We have been continuing our discussion about donor engagement and specifically how social media and other tools can amplify your reach.

Once you have decided that social media should be part of your strategic plan, what’s next? What will you say?

Consider these three key areas:

1) Organizational Impact: Donors want to know what good you are doing in the world. This is no surprise, I know, but consider how social media can help you extend that message. A simple Tweet may say: One new well just drilled in middle of town to provide fresh H2O!

2) Successes: Share them often and across distribution channels and stay on message. For example, building on the Tweet above, your blog post that day should be from the field, complete with audio and video. You should also Tweet out those pics.

3) Inside Organizational Scoop: This is the most overlooked area, and yet many donors crave info on the who, what and how of any organization to whom they give their money. Consider posting congratulations on your Facebook fan page to employees who excel, sharing goals met, etc.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can more effectively use social media to improve your donor engagement, consider joining us on 6/25/09 for our online workshop featuring a special guest..

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