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Ideas to Engage your Audience with YouTube Videos

If you’re keeping up with things in the social media world, you’ve probably noticed that YouTube has become one of the most popular platforms! As business owners, we’re always looking for new and exciting ways to reach our audience and YouTube has made this possible in a whole new way! While each social media platform gives us great opportunities to share our story, YouTube is the best place for uploading and sharing your videos. As we all know, people are visual creatures, so you can imagine the kind of wonderful doors this could open for you!

One of the best ways to get your audience engaged and talking is to simply share what you’re all about in a creative way! No really. It’s that easy! Write out a script or speak from the heart about your products and/or services and you’re sure to see a rise in traffic to your website and other social media profiles. People appreciate when you take the time to film something worth while and edit it properly. It may seem too simple to be true, but having a video that almost serves as your “mission statement” can really do wonders! Just remember to speak about why you believe in what you do to really make your point hit home!

Another great way to connect with your customer base is to add a little creativity into your videos! I once saw a business upload a news-like video to their channel that highlighted all of their new products that they had available. I thought this was brilliant! Instead of droning on about a list of new things, they made it fun to watch and even poked fun at themselves and the news stations that we all watch each morning. Something as simple as this can really resonate with the people watching. Make yourself known for creating fun and inviting content and your YouTube fans will do the rest!

Also, make sure to ask your viewers to “subscribe” if they’d like to hear more. You’d be surprised at what a difference this can make. When people subscribe to your channel, they will receive notifications on their smart phones and through their email. Now that everything is digital, they can easily share this information with their friends and family on their own social media sites. If you’ve created something fun and/or full of good content, your viewers will take notice and immediately share this with their own followers. It only takes one person sharing a video to gain hundreds of new followers.

To piggy back off of that last statement, you must remember that sharing is caring! If you want people to take notice, you have to make sure your video is everywhere they will look! We’re so proud that Sociamonials allows people to do just this! We created our platform so that people can easily record and share videos to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to save time. You can also track how much traffic, leads and revenue your videos are generating. With seamless integration like this, you’re bound to create a lively YouTube audience!

Do you have a YouTube channel? If so, leave it in the comments below and we’ll make sure to connect with you!

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The Importance Of Social Media Management

by Kelly Jamison

We all know and understand that social media is a huge part of the business world as we know it today. Being on social platforms can often mean the difference between a Company’s success or failure. I’ve heard many people’s resentment over this, but, when it comes down to it, they just simply aren’t embracing change. If you think about it, so many changes occur each year in the world. 2014 certainly isn’t the same as 2015, and that trend will continue over the years. So, my question to you is: why isn’t everyone embracing social media for the amazing gift that it is? I feel like people see social platforms as this scary uncharted territory, but fail to see the amazing uses behind it. Social platforms are free advertising, a fun and easy way to connect with people all over the world and simply the best way to connect with a younger generation.

So, now that we’ve stopped viewing social sites as a chore instead of an amazing tool, let’s talk about why it is so important to have a social media management solution. This, of course, can be several different things: a myriad of disparate tools cobbled together to post messages to social media, or a platform that has everything in one place. The possibilities to management solutions are widely available to you, but, surprisingly, not everyone takes advantage of this fact. The bottom line is: people don’t want to work with a business that doesn’t seem organized, and this includes your online presence. After all, the first thing we do when looking at a new restaurant or doctor is read the reviews other people have left online for us. Why wouldn’t this be the same for your business? If you want people to know who you are and what you have to give, a well- done online persona is imperative.

No matter which management solution you choose (I mean, we have a pretty good all-in-one solution. We had to put at least one shameless plug in here), you need to understand that you and/or your team are using it as a way to keep your online business world organized and of value to your customer base. Think of it not as a chore you have to uphold, but as an incredible way to show people you are worth all the hype. The internet allows us to connect with others that we may never have had the chance to otherwise, so why wouldn’t we do everything we could to make sure what they are seeing of us is top notch? To me, it seems like the logical thing to do. Make sure you have an incredible team and system in place so that the online world is getting the best possible view of you. After all, the internet is here to stay so we might as well use its incredible tools to further our business ventures!

Which Social Media Management Solution do you use?

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Coordinate your Content Marketing Strategy with a Content Calendar

by Kelly Jamison

As the new year approaches, you may be starting to think about how to better your business. We all start out with big resolutions that we plan to implement but somewhere along the way we get derailed. Why do you think this is? I’ll tell you in two words: no organization. If you want to be successful for the year ahead, you need to put yourself into a position that will allow your goals to flourish. For business, developing a good content marketing strategy is one of the biggest challenges that we face. One of the best ways to do this is to coordinate your content marketing strategy with a content calendar.

So, where do you begin? The first thing you need to do is go month by month and write down on your content calendar any big events, holidays or important points that you need to remember. This will give you a starting place when looking at your content for the year ahead. It’s also important for you to clearly write out all the goals you have and your initial plan to make them happen. By doing this, you can clearly see what to expect in the next year and start to think about what you want your individual content to be like.

When thinking about your new content to write on your content calendar, keep in mind who your audience is and what they would like to see. Without considering you audience, you may as well not have a content strategy to begin with. Take some time to get to know your audience and feel free to ask them what they would like to see in 2016. After all, what’s the point of having content at all if you have no audience to view what you’ve worked so hard on? Be sure to brush up on your social media listening skills so you to quickly learn what is important to your audience.

Another point to consider when making a content calendar is working on gaps in your schedule. You’re probably busy planning for all the big events and product launches but don’t forget to plan for everything around those. It’s easy to get caught up in what feels like the most important dates of the year, but each and every day needs to be considered. After you’ve taken time to think about all the big dates, make sure you are also taking time to decide what information you’ll be sharing in between those important days of the year.

One of my favorite parts of creating a content calendar is planning for special themes. It’s something that I find people get really excited about, and it looks even better when you’ve taken the time to make something a little more special for your audience. Not only will these themes make it easy for your content curators to develop ideas and posts, but they are also helpful for advertisers and guest contributors.

Finally, before you’re finished getting organized for this year’s content calendar, think about how you plan to release this information. Timing really is everything in the online world and this is something you need to consider if you want your business to be successful. Knowing when your audience is online and the best times of the day to release content can mean the difference between a smooth year and a rocky time ahead.

What does your content calendar for 2016 look like?

By tuning in and watching what is important to your audience, you will most certainly find places where you could better your Company

A Guide to Social Listening for Improving your Marketing Strategy

By Kelly Jamison

Can you believe we now have so many opportunities to engage with our customer base? Before the arrival of Facebook, Twitter, and the various other social media networks, we didn’t have the option to become so close with the people that use our products and services. Now that we have such powerful online tools, it stands to reason that we should do anything and everything that we can to use them properly. After all, social media is about connection and consistency. Without these, we can’t expect to fully understand what our targeted audience is really looking for from us.

So, why is it so important to actually listen to social media? There is a lot of information behind why marketers do what they do, and this week I wanted to go into these points with you. Believe me, the advertisements and blog posts you see each day aren’t just random. If a marketer is doing their job, they are gathering information with every comment, like and re-tweet.

One of the most important issues you can become aware of through social media are the problems that your customer base is facing. By tuning in and watching what is important to your audience, you will most certainly find places where you could better your company. Take a look at any complaints that are being made and use this time to not only assure your customers that they will be fixed, but also that their input helped bring this issue to your attention. By doing this, you are being provided with very important information while addressing issues that will ultimately make your customers appreciate what you do.

Did you know that there is always more to learn about your brand? It’s true! Even if you think you know your brand backwards and forwards, there is always something more to be said and more to find out! What are your customers saying about your brand and what are their thoughts surrounding your products and services? Leveraging this information will improve your content marketing, SEO and PPC strategies. Pay special attention to who is talking about you the most and where they are from.

Finally, I want to address this last point which is that you’ll start to build a community. With social media, this is really the end goal. You want to get the word out while connecting with millions of people who find joy, help or significance in any way out of your product or service. By listening to their needs and being active about fixing issues, you are showing your new community that you are listening and ready to take on more! No one wants to work with an organization that doens’t seem to care about their customers. Show your audience that you can by listening in the one place you know they’ll be talking- online.

On which social media network does your customer base talk to you the most?

Your Social Media Strategy Doesn’t Work Anymore

facebook reach declining new algorithm changeBy Craig Sherman

This is a must-read if you or someone you are paying is spending more than an hour per week on your social media efforts

Let’s face it, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are making it increasingly difficult for social media marketers to reach an audience with their content. Even your own fans & followers are only exposed to a small fraction of the posts you labor over in hopes of tapping into what you were promised when social media became a billion-person party. As paid advertising is rolled out across social networks, we can expect this trend to continue. Does that mean the era of earning a return on your time and money in social is dead? Not by a long shot. You just need to tweak your strategy a bit. Read on for your new road map.

OLD METHOD. (Does this sound familiar?)
Most social media marketers (agencies and brand marketers alike) fall into this category and most are struggling to see results as they fight the current. These marketers have pinned the majority of their hopes and efforts on direct community engagement, which looks like this:

brand to prospect social media marketing doesn't work

The idea is, figure out the most compelling content your prospects are searching for and push it out to them at a time when they are most interested in consuming it. This content frequently comes in the form of a blog post followed by a series of tweets and status updates driving traffic to the blog post.

To accomplish this, these marketers have amassed an arsenal of tools, like Hootsuite, Buffer, Bitly, Google Analytics, and a host of others.

 THE PROBLEM WITH THIS STRATEGY

  • Facebook reach has declined significantly following a recent algorithm change
  • Twitter & LinkedIn are rolling out new paid channels that make it more difficult for your organic messages to cut through the clutter and hit the mark.
  • It takes a significant amount of time to create fresh content, juggle all these tools and keep track of what is or isn’t working

THE NEW WAY TO OBTAIN BUSINESS RESULTS WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

Here’s an import thing to realize if you want to recapture your Facebook mojo: Facebook reach didn’t go away with the new algorithm update, it just shifted away from brands and into the hands of the friends of your target audience. Facebook decided that people want to see comments from friends instead of status updates from brands that they have ‘liked’. As a marketer, your job is to figure out how to capitalize on this shift. One way to do this is to make it easy for your existing customer base and prospects to share your brand’s information and recommendations with their friends, family and colleagues via social media. Your strategy will now looks like this:

customer to prospect social media marketing
You are going to need a new set of tools to accomplish this, or get yourself a social suite to keep everything neat and tidy under one login. Here are some innovative tactics brands are using to generate peer-to-peer sharing results:

  1. Use your social suite to integrate sharing applications throughout your website and all customer touch points that incorporate an incentive for your customer and their friends:
    a. Replace all your share buttons with custom share buttons that add a special offer to the share, like a coupon or white paper link.
    b. Add short URLs or QR codes to the bottom of all your white papers, sales collateral & business cards prompting a social share along with a coupon or white paper link.
    c. Add video and text testimonial widgets to key pages of your website and your fan page that allows customers to share their recommendation on all social networks along with a coupon or white paper link
    d. Run mobile optimized photo contests on your fan page that award something to the photos with the most votes to encourage sharing. Add a coupon or white paper link to all the shares
    e. Be sure your social suites add users of ALL of the above activities to a social CRM database so top influencers can be identified and cultivated into brand advocates
  2. Continue to publish to Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn, but integrate customer generated content into your scheduled posts.
    a. Link your testimonial campaigns from step 1 to all of your social media accounts, so when you approve the video or text testimonials, they are automatically posted to your social accounts and YouTube channel in addition to your customer’s social accounts
    b. Link your contest from step 1 to all your social media accounts, so when you approve a photo submission, it is automatically posted to your social accounts in addition to your customer’s social accounts
    c. Make your brand posts more engaging through the use of video content. Use your social suite to record a ‘talking head’ video to break that hot news story versus the same text post all your competitors are pushing out. Your social suite should be able to upload the video to your YouTube channel automatically so you are adding to your SEO machine with every post
    d. Publish to all of your social accounts in one step, but add calls to action that are appropriate for each network. Your social suite should allow you to add a different call to action to the end of your Facebook and LinkedIn posts as well as customizing your tweet with hashtags and @mentions
    e. Schedule your posts based on your objective. Your social suite should be able to schedule your post based on the optimal time for clickthroughs, purchases or white paper downloads

CONCLUSION

The Facebook algorithm isn’t the end of organic social media marketing. It just provided an opportunity for you to get your brand into the news feed of your target audience while your competition works twice as hard and barely keeps their nose above water.

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Craig Sherman is the founder and CEO of Sociamonials based in Elk Grove, California.

Why Your Company is probably an Epic Fail at Video Marketing and what you can do about It

mobile video testimonialBy Craig Sherman

Here are two reasons why your company is probably failing to get decent results from your video marketing efforts.

According to a recent report:

1. More than 50% of the videos published by the top 100 global brands got fewer than 1,000 views meaning most did not reach their audience.

2. Fewer than 5% of videos produced by the same group receive 100,000 to 1 million views and less than 1 percent achieved more than 1 million views.

The study looked at more than 1,000 verified channels and it included a variety of industries like financial services, luxury, cars, B2B and B2C technology, food and beverages and media.

The same report goes on to say that the top brands and marketers understand YouTube and treat it differently to get awesome results.

The ones who don’t understand video might end up wondering why competitors are getting the lion’s share of video views on YouTube as well as probably increased market share.

In this age of video, striving to understand video marketing especially as it relates to YouTube is as crucial to the success of your business as learning how to compile an accounting sheet.

YouTube is the largest video platform by far. It has 154 million monthly viewers in the U.S. It’s also the world’s second largest search engine.

If you are not achieving 100K+ views on a regular basis like brands like the Discovery Channel, here is one thing you can do now to jump start your results.

Start with the right on-line marketing software which can analyze what works and what doesn’t. It can also help you put together winning campaigns.

Maybe you are using HootSuite, which works well for some tasks. But going beyond that level, look at Wildfire, or my product Sociamonials which is a full marketing suite that makes it fast and easy to inject corporate produced and user generated fan videos into social marketing programs with the touch of a button.

Most of these tools are reasonably priced and could save you from having to hire a team of people to do the same tasks. Just make sure that whatever solution you implement “gets” video.

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Craig Sherman is the founder and CEO of Sociamonials based in Elk Grove, California.

Why Video Testimonials Rock the Customer Experience

mobile video testimonialBy Craig Sherman

There are three reasons why video testimonials rock the customer experience right now:

1. Peer recommendations can quickly turn prospects into buyers.

2. People trust others like themselves.

3. Video is the most shared brand content type on Facebook.

Social networking has grown at a crazy fast rate. There are more than a billion people on Facebook and more than 225 million on LinkedIn.

What has also grown quickly is the popularity of video on these and other social networks. In fact, video is the most shared brand content type on Facebook according to a recent study by Zuum.

A whopping 75 million people in the U.S. watch online video every day, streaming nearly 40 billion videos every month. YouTube accounts for the vast majority of this activity. More than a billion unique users visit there every month, watching four billion hours of video.

People from a variety of backgrounds globally are now comfortable viewing, sharing and shooting video with their smartphones. Some people in third world countries might have a phone with video capability even if they don’t have a computer, TV or landline.

Many social networks like Instagram and Twitter are leveraging the popularity of video. Both just added easy-to-use video features, like Twitter’s Vine, recently and consumers are already becoming addicted to them. Additionally, there is social marketing software called Sociamonials that makes it easy for a marketing manager to approve and upload fan videos to his company’s YouTube channel and several social networks at once by just clicking one button from a smartphone.

Now that the technology has caught up to consumer adoption of social video, companies need to kick it into high gear and focus on pushing more videos, especially fan testimonials out to prospects on-line.

Don’t think that every testimonial has to praise a product. It can also praise a company’s integrity or customer service. As you probably know from either your own personal experience or from managing a customer service department, people will switch vendors due to bad customer service.

If a client is about to switch to a competitor sees a credible compelling video testimonial of someone talking about a great customer service, she is more likely to stick around thinking that maybe the bad experience was one-off and won’t happen again. And everyone knows it’s easier to keep your current clients then to get new ones.

So talk to your marketing department or community manager about super charging your video testimonial program. The time is right and your chief financial officer will thank you.

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Craig Sherman is CEO and founder of Elk Grove, California-based Sociamonials, Inc. which offers a full social marketing suite with an easy to use video testimonials feature. His blog can be found at http://www.sociamonials.com/blog

8 Fast Facts about Social Media To Help You Increase Profits this Year

social media tipsBy Craig Sherman

The verdict is in and all signs point to a stunning increase in on-line marketing efforts by all businesses, most likely including your own.

This includes faster adoption of innovative new technologies and services and doling out new job descriptions like chief digital officer and community manager.

And it’s not just the hip companies like MTV getting more social. A WalMart executive was recently quoted in an article giving tips on social.

But the trend now isn’t to be social just to increase a brand’s exposure, get people to like you or to look cool.

Marketers are using social media to generate sales leads to the end goal of higher revenue and profits.

Here are eight facts and tips from a variety of respected experts like the CMO Council that will help your company increase its brand exposure and profits this year.

1. Social can increase sales. Not too long ago, IBM reported that they saw a huge 400% surge in their sales after launching their social pilot sales program. (Source: IBM)

2. 72% of marketers think that branded content is more effective than magazine advertisements; 69% say it’s superior to direct mail. No doubt a nice plug for people who produce content that sneakily pitches product. (Source: Custom Content Council)

3. 27 million pieces of content are shared each day. Sixty percent of it is branded. Your competitors are probably producing valuable freemium content. You should too. (Source: AOL & Nielsen)

4. People spend more than 50% of their time online looking at content. This one even surprised me. I would have guessed more like 25%. (Source: AOL and Nielsen)

5. Salespeople using social on the job outperformed peers not using it by 73 percent. They surpassed their quotas 23 percent more often than their colleagues who were not social. This includes following prospects to know personal likes and keeping tabs on the competition. (Source: Aberdeen Group)

7. Know thy testimonials.  Gather them by asking your customers via email or personal note. Entice them with freebies.  Save thousands of dollars per year by increasing user-generated videos and decreasing those that are professionally produced. (Source:  my company, Sociamonials.)

8. 87% of business people who responded to a survey said that online content plays a major or moderate role in influencing vendor selection. They valued professional association research and whitepapers most. The least valuable was vendor content, with 67% saying they don’t trust it. (Source: CMO Council)

So roll your sleeves up and get your social act together in organized efficient manner this year, with the right tools and people on board to help. Your chief financial officer will thank you.

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By Craig Sherman, CEO and founder of Sociamonials, the only full social marketing suite with fully integrated user-generated video feature. @Sociamonials

7/31/2013