Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I will never sell you snake oil!

Lately my schedule has been wacky crazy, and so has Nick's (TMISW). So, to help find time to spend together, we've started combining work and quality time. We now have a rule that every time we sit down for a meal together Nick will ask me about social media and I will answer his questions. Yes, we've basically become client and consultant, but I promised I wouldn't charge him my full rate ;-)

So, yesterday's question of the day was "Okay, so now there's Pinterest, and Tumblr, and Google+, why should I be on all of these?" And my answer was simple "You shouldn't be".

I am on all of them, and so many more (check out the incomplete list here) but I don't suggest anybody try to be everywhere.
First you need to decide what message you are trying to send, what results you want and who your market is. Then you talk to someone like me to discover which networks are where your clients are and how you should be talking to them there.

Second, even if you decide you need to be in 3 or 4 or even 5 places you should only do a couple of them at a time. Start with one or two and master it, then move on to the rest. It takes roughly 21 days to form a habit, so commit fully to one network at a time for 3 weeks until it stops being work, and becomes second nature, then move on to the next network. If there is any other marketing that gets results in less than 3 weeks please share it with me. I'll buy immediately.

After having this conversation with TMISW, in which he gave me exactly 60 seconds to respond, I listened to an old episode of Marketing Over Coffee which basically says the same thing. This is definitely my favourite marketing podcast I've found. I've been going back a few months and listening to some older episodes. Loved hearing them talk about the exact 1 minute speech I gave last night.

Don't create another internet marketing graveyard! You don't need to be everywhere, but you do need to be where your customers are and you need to be present.

John and Chris quickly moved
right on to the Snake Oil salesmen of internet marketing. You know, the ones who charge you a ridiculous amount to set up your pages and post a certain number of posts a week. I never recommend hiring someone to do the job for you, unless it's a community manager who actually works in your company. There is nothing wrong with wanting a little extra help while you get going until it becomes a habit, but you are the best representative of your company. You have the knowledge, the passion, the personality. Nobody can duplicate that on your behalf. Please don't think using social media is some specialized skill that only some can master. You can do it, I promise.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

How To Make A Viral Video*

Turns out I have close personal ties with someone who has the secret on how to make a video go viral. Also turns out I have close personal ties with someone who gets to spend two nights watching Marvel superhero movies and call it work.

The man I sleep with (see first footnote here) was asked to make a fan trailer for the new Avengers movie coming out on May 4th. And in that moment the balance of who had the cooler job switched. So he spent some time and cut up a 2.5 minute trailer that I really enjoy.

And it turns out a lot of other people really enjoy it too! As of today, 3 days after it's been posted, it's received almost 10,000 views. Granted that's not huge, but just imagine if 10,000 people paid attention to what you were doing. That's roughly 100 times the people that would ever give a crap about you.

I've learned two key points here, on making a video that goes viral.

#1 Partner with someone who has already laid the groundwork. Screen Rant is an online film news site that has been around for 9 years. That's roughly how long it takes to become an overnight success. Screen Rant has a heavily trafficked site with lots of committed fans who comment and share their content everywhere. By having that committed group of people watching the trailer and sharing it that multiplied the number of views significantly.

#2 Don't be afraid to be bold or controversial. Reading through the comments on either the original Screen Rant post, or the actual YouTube video you will see a general trend to either hate or love the music. There are next to no comments on the actual content of the video itself, save some quick comments like "Loved it!", "Best. Trailer. Everywhere." The longest and most well written comments are on how the music either did not fit the trailer or was epic.

*these are not guaranteed to help your video go viral, but really they can't hurt right?