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The Grand Social Media Experiment. We learn by doing.


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13 Ways to Increase Your YouTube Views

YouTube-icon-full_colorThere are a few simple things you can do to make your videos stand out and get more views. The next time you get ready to upload a video, follow these tips:

  1. Quality is quintessential
    If you want your video to do well, it… Has. To. Be. Good. The more interesting your content, and the more creatively you shoot and edit your video, chances are better of viewers liking and sharing it.
  2. Titles, tags, and text
    Use keywords in your titles, and also include them in the video’s description and tags. This will make it easier for your video to show up in searches. In addition, you can caption your videos (YouTube can do this automatically—sometimes with very funny results—or you can do it manually. You can even edit the automatic captions). Anywhere there is text, it is searchable.
  3. Timely topics
    Upload videos about current trends or news topics. Videos based on world topics, parodies or covers of popular songs, spoofs of celebrity gossip, and product tutorials or demos are a few examples of view-worthy videos.
  4. Create continuously
    Your subscribers and viewers look forward to your future videos. Create content regularly. The more videos, the more views. They don’t have to be lengthy; approximately 80% of online videos are less than one minute long.
  5. Authentic concentric
    Commit to authenticity from the start of your video to the final edit. Your video should reflect what you consider to be important. You can’t predict what will resonate with others, but you will have a style and content your viewers can rely on and you can be proud of.
  6. Produce playlists
    You improve your chances of getting views by putting your videos together in a playlist. After one of your videos finishes playing, the next one in the playlist will automatically start. Also, playlists make your YouTube channel more user friendly, as videos are organized into logical groups.
  7. Sharing is caring
    Use Facebook and Twitter to tell your friends and followers about your new video. Post something interesting about its content in the message. You can do this more than once—just be sure to change the message content.
  8. Respond rapidly
    When you receive comments, respond as soon as you can. Thank viewers for watching, answer questions. Respond to all comments, both good and bad. Engage with your viewers.
  9. Advise the audience
    Tell your viewers to take action. Ask them to leave a comment, like your video, share it on Facebook, or do whatever you want them to do. State it in the video, or write it in the description.
  10. Add annotations
    Take advantage of YouTube’s annotations feature in the editing area. You can use annotations to let your viewers know of additional information important to your video, make something more clear, or give a call to action (like subscribing). You can put annotations anywhere you want on the video.
  11. Location, location, location
    Post announcements of your new video (see tip #6) everywhere you can online, and embed your video on your blog, website, etc. and allow others to do the same. When a video is embedded, it plays on the site where it’s located, but it’s played through your YouTube channel.
  12. Game on!
    People love contests and being rewarded for something easy—like watching a video. Let your fans know that when your video reaches a certain number of views, you’ll release a follow-up “secret” video or other exclusive content. You can even involve them in coming up with ideas for your next video.
  13. Google+ presence
    What you do on YouTube ties into your Google+ profile. Videos you upload show up here, as well as your replies and any comments you make. If you want to develop good YouTube viewership, you should be active on Google+. Add new people to your G+ circles, follow some pages, and start interacting. The more people you connect with, the better.

 

YouTube is an amazing community! Good luck to you and post great videos!

—Laura


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7 Days of Blogging – #6 – Social Emotion and Grief

deathI have been thinking a lot about how we deal with death and grief on social media, and this can be viewed as a kind of Part 2 to my 7 days of blogging #5, Five Equals Robin. A friend of mine just recently lost her husband. Within a year of discovery that he had inoperable brain cancer, he was gone. Gone. She decided early on to share their experience and her emotions, and now also her grief, very openly on Facebook. She gave the option to “unfriend her” if you felt it was too much. Too many posts, too much reality, too much emotion, too close to home, just too much. I opted to stay and experience her and her husband’s journey. It was raw and it was visceral and it was real… and it was a beautiful journey. It was (and is) never too much.

It taught me much about community coming together to help in time of need and about collective mourning. These were not our “best” friends, nor people we hung out with on a regular basis, but they needed us to come together as a community to help, and were brave enough to ask for that help. We helped as much as we could (I’m not sure it is ever enough, but I do know we will still be there in the months to come.) Utilizing various social media sites they set up a network of people to help wherever needed.

Caring Bridge is a site giving support to families when they are experiencing health issues and is a great place for information exchange on what is happening without the phone ringing off the hook. Another great site they utilized was Food Tidings, which is a place where they listed needed food items and preferred recipes. We could then schedule ourselves for whenever we could pick something up for them or bring them a warm meal. It may not seem like a big deal, but when going through this, feeding oneself can be a struggle.

These sites make things so much easier, but this is not a new concept. Meghan O’Rourke writes about how a century ago, we were more communal about our grief. The town or community of neighbors would come together to help in times of need, or of grief. This changed during World War 1,

“partly because the sheer numbers of dead made it hard to properly mourn all those who had passed, and partly because psychoanalysis was placing new emphasis on the internal aspects of grief… Americans came to view grief as a private and a psychological function rather than as a communal one. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ “stage theory” of grief, with its emphasis on tidily achieving “acceptance,” became our script for mourning. Death began to take place in the remote hospital, instead of at home; wakes were outsourced to funeral homes; and children lived longer, making sudden death more unusual.”

This man in his forties was blessed to have the option to pass away at home in the arms of his loving wife, and with his beloved pets. Sunlight streamed into the windows, and he could look out to view the garden they had grown together. He got to visit and commune with his loved ones and friends before he passed. Although we may not have been there in person, we were able to experience it with them online because of her ability to share those private moments in such a unique way. Perhaps some felt  the need to “unfriend,”  but for me personally it was (and still is) a privilege to share this reality with her. This is a prime example of how social media has helped to restore the concept of communal mourning.

After his memorial, my husband actually had a hard time with the fact that he’d never really gotten to hang out with this person whom he’d never met but was so similar to, and now he was gone. Luckily there are many stories online to keep his memory alive forever and others will get to know this man as so many of the rest of us have.

“I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life.”   ~Jack Kerouac

 

Please remember, it may not “be for you”, but please respect that there may be others who need to grieve within an online community, and that it happens to be good healing for them.

 

~Christine Dietsche


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The Social Media Effect

1D facebook

With the advent of social media, artists and musicians have taken to social networks to promote their brand. Even record labels are using our preferences on social networks to find stars. Every time we watch and download things related to artists online we help direct things a certain way, good or bad.

According to Dereck Thompson, senior editor at The Atlantic, “New artist are more likely to make name for themselves on twitter…Instagram mentions, and other traces of digital fandom forecast breakouts”. The perfect examples are the artists from One Direction or 1D, for all you fans out there.

After failing to progress as solo artists they formed the group and finishing third in the seventh series of The X Factor in 2010. ID was thrust to international success by social media. They have won several awards so far and even now represent over $50 million business empire. Not to mention a very loyal fan base.

Take a good look at their twitter and Facebook pages and you will see the type of support they receive from their fans.

1D

You might be wondering if I’m a fan of 1D or just plain “Why are you talking about 1D?, give me social media”

Hold on just a minute! This 1D story is to show you how powerful and effective social media can be. When you have something good to offer to people, and people want it, you would be surprised how much they will seek and gobble (sorry it’s almost Thanksgiving) what you give them. With a little elbow grease of course. You have to put in the work to get any type of result on social media.

Overall point??, offer great content, do your work on social media, improve and promote you brand and don’t forget to give it some time, and with a little bit of luck on your side, watch your brand catch the social media effect.


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7 Days of Blogging – #3 – Dog Blogging

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Zelda and Juno (Zelda on left)

Today I am going to blog about dogs and how they are everywhere on the internet and, most importantly, in our lives. This is my “#3” in the series because for a week we had three pets instead of two, since we fostered a little puppy named Jesse (now known as Juno.) In the past we have had more four-legged family members (up to 5 at one point) and in the future I certainly foresee more four-leggeds in our life. I won’t be the crazy cat lady today (but I’m sure I will be in the future!) since I am concentrating on Dog Blogging.

This past week we helped a wonderful puppy find her home through social media and many phone calls. I discovered that my family (my husband, myself, our dog Zelda and our cat Zaepfle) can be good foster parents. Not easy to not become a so-called “foster failure.” We learned we got to be a part of this special girl’s story, and help her find the right future.

As you can see, our family took in this little friend and adored her. We then made sure she found the right home. Through photos posted on social media, many stepped forward, and she found the right place to call home for life. We got extra lucky in that her new family is close to us and there will be play dates together!

Dog rescues have figured out in the past few years how important it is to tell the story of each individual animal. There are so many stories out there on social media, and videos, including news reports, of dogs found in desperate and near death situations and because of social media they become “miracle” stories.

There is much knowledge available regarding the No Kill Movement.  Our family member, the little ambassador dog, Zelda, was rescued from a kill shelter in Kentucky with nine (yes nine!) puppies in her belly. All ten of them found homes through the tireless efforts of a No Kill rescue called Safe Hands. It was her photo  and story that captured my heart!

We are so blessed to have Zelda in our lives. She has given us more joy than I can express in one blog post. Thanks to her rescuers’ efforts, she has even been able to connect with some of her pups and their families, and their stories will continue with the help of social media.

There are so many rescues out there and many have learned that a good photo will find the right home. There are many resources to explain the facts. This was not possible before the internet and social media. Families and individuals take the time to foster animals instead of animals being left in a cage to await their fate. We have a long way to go because so many only know of a place that has an ad on TV or because they have been around and their name is “known.”

I certainly encourage you  that when you are ready for a pet for life, to look into the local, “smaller” rescues. Check out their social media sites like Facebook, Twiitter and Instagram and see who they are posting about that needs a loving home. Learn and understand what the No Kill Movement is all about. Understand the importance of fostering. An animal in a foster home will most likely be healthier, more socialized, and you will be able to know more about their personality and special needs. Support, donate, volunteer and/or foster. You will make a difference in this world that is immeasurable and become a better human for it.

~Christine Dietsche

 

 

 


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Twitter Tips for All

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Tweet! Tweet!! A little birdie told me…

Thinking about using Twitter? Not sure why you would or if it’s even worth it? Twitter is many different things to many different people. It’s a great place for keeping in touch with friends and family, staying current with what’s happening in the world, and informing others about your business’s products and services.

Twitter is like blogging (it started as a micro-blogging service) and instant messaging combined. It is the ultimate in social messaging, as you can connect with lots of people whenever and wherever you want. It is an event coordinator, a business tool, a news reporting service, and a marketing device.

In order to effectively use Twitter, I’ve put together a list of things to keep in mind as you enter the world of Twitter and get ready to “tweet” (or post) a brief message:

MISC. INFO

  • Maximum length of username is 15 characters—the shorter the better. It will be easier for people to find you.
  • Maximum number of characters per tweet is 140. Leave at least 20 characters free as space for people to retweet you.
  • Twitter shortens links with their internal shortener, or you can use bitly.com. Each link uses up 22 or 23 characters.
  • Starting the beginning of a tweet with @username is a reply. It will only be seen by that person and people who are following both of you (it will also show up on your profile page and in Twitter search). If you tag a username anywhere but at the start of the tweet, everybody following you (including the user) will see that message. This is called a mention.
  • Images dramatically increase social media engagement. A picture on Twitter uses up 23 characters.
  • If you make an error in a tweet, to fix it, delete it first and then re-submit. You cannot edit tweets.

USING TWITTER

  • To be social, when you are mentioned (@username), you should respond to that tweet.
  • Retweet, reply to, and favorite other people’s tweets.
  • People who tweet frequently attract more followers. An active Twitter presence can help a business generate more revenue.
  • Link your tweets to interesting articles you find.
  • Hosting a creative contest or sweepstakes is a great way to improve engagement for businesses.
  • Join a worldwide public conversation by participating in Twitter trends (#hashtags). Twitter provides a daily list of trending topics near the top of your Twitter page on the lefthand side.
  • Behind-the-scenes info and photos are a great way to humanize your business.
  • You can live-tweet anything that would interest your followers and friends. Concerts, low gas prices, Elvis sightings, etc.
  • Quotes are always popular no matter what social media platform you’re on.
  • Create an original meme that fits with your company or product. Everybody loves memes and they often go viral.
  • Use one to two #hashtags per tweet for maximum engagement.
  • Become an expert: inform, talk about your company and other things your audience is interested in.
  • Use Twitter daily—search, lurk, post, retweet.

ADDITIONAL TIPS

  • To grow your community, add your Twitter ID to your email signature and other content, both online and off.
  • It’s OK to schedule tweets, but don’t automate anything.
  • Don’t be a salesperson on Twitter. Instead, be informative, entertaining and social.
  • Don’t ask people to follow you. They probably won’t. Some may unfollow you.

REMEMBER

  • Everything you say can be seen by anyone, right from the start.
  • Your tweets can be found in Twitter search and also by Google and other search engines.
  • Search your company on Twitter. See what people are saying about you. Respond whether good or bad—make things right!
  • Follow 20-30 good users.
  • Google search companies doing well on Twitter and check out what they do; follow them.

Don’t be nervous! The best way to learn is to jump right in and as Nike says, “Just do it!”

—Laura

Liz Lemon saying, "What the what the?"


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Is Cursing Taboo, Blase or OK?

If the Internet hasn’t made our culture more profane, certainly it has diminished our collective shock by curse words. According to a study reported in digitaltrends.com, one in every 13 tweets contain profanity (nsfw, but in case you are at work and curious, you may be as surprised as I was that the C-word ranks 16th). Now, one in 13 is not a shocking figure when you consider anyone with opposable thumbs has a media platform. But for those of us who believe there is more to writing than the ability to navigate a keyboard or message chat acronyms on a smart phone, our audience and message determine the words and language we use.

The lax on the taboos of profanity goes back farther than the Internet and has been happening for decades. It’s been almost ten years since Vice President Dick Cheney told Senator Patrick Leahy to f*** himself, and even though it probably wasn’t the first time that suggestion was offered on the Senate floor, it would have been far more shocking 50 years earlier. It would be even less shocking if it happened today. Perhaps social media and the plethora of smart phones are simply revealing that we were always a culture of potty mouths. But back when a virtual conversation meant something tweeners imagined having with the latest heartthrob on the cover of Tiger Beat, profanity was considered taboo in “mixed company,” meaning when both genders were present. I’d have to try pretty hard to fain shock by the use of “naughty language” today, even though I was raised where my permissible threshold for cursing stopped after darn and before hell (outside its religious context). Mom said the use of profanity demonstrated not only a lack of cultural civility, but a lack of an abundant vocabulary. And even after I rattle off a string of profanity that would prompt Chelsea Handler and Roseanne to rise for a standing ovation (mostly when no one’s around), I remind myself that Mom was right. Words matter.

Whether defining your own voice or that of the organization you represent, the right words will always matter. Broadcasting through social media offers greater freedom but also a greater opportunity to cause damage to your brand if you don’t choose your words carefully. It pays to think before you post because no matter how fleeting your messages may be in the world-wide web of words, remember all posts are permanent and will come back to haunt you if they can. If using one of George Carlin’s famous seven curse words you can never say on television is right for your brand or the audience you want to reach, use them, But the S-word or F-word can be just as dull or jarring as using a fancy, multisyllabic word when it’s not the right word. Using the right language or even inventing new words and phrases will attract the people you want to your site. Think how popular Thirty Rock’s Liz Lemonisms, like blergh, myirt, whuck and jagweed have become.

Recently the AP stylebook, the journalist’s bible, defined “N-word” and “F-word” as the proper style rule when writing those words in print. But Jesse Sheidlower, author of  “The F-Word, The Complete History of the Word. Yes, That One,” contends that the media should reflect the real world and use the actual word when reporting. After all, everyone knows what those acronyms mean, so you could argue substitutions are silly or, at best, only there to protect the innocent. But I doubt there are many children over five who haven’t heard or seen these words many times before. Are the acronyms any less ugly than the words themselves? Would using them shine more light on their vulgarity or are they too offensive for that experiment?

Time will tell whether social media changes the bleep-word practice or other current language mores, like it seems to be changing nearly everything else. And were he alive today, Carlin would agree social media has blurred the lurid language line and he’d have a new, brilliant riff on the subject. WWCT – what would Carlin think – or tweet? SB

 

 

 


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Knee Boots Aren’t Just for Fashion!!!

Bootstrapping is the act of building a business with little or no outside funding. Most all of us are familiar with this as 95 percent of small business owners struggle alone, typically relying on savings and early cash flow to get things going. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There’s no better feeling than becoming a self made success, elevating one’s self by grabbing the straps of our boots and pulling with great intention. The phrase implies achieving the near impossible. The reality is that we know it can be done. Bootstrapping is akin to “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” When the situation becomes difficult, the strong work harder to meet the challenge and elevate their professional expertise. You can use SOCIAL MEDIA to start your own business; the clients are already there…it’s called a ‘friends list’, ‘fans’, ‘followers’…you get the point!

Be smart about what you are putting on Facebook and treat it as a valuable business tool. If 20% of your posts are how great your business is and then 80% of your posts are for venting and complaining (regardless of what you’re complaining about), you’re making a bad business move. I think about it like this: why would anyone want to work with me and build a business with me if I constantly complain and post negative comments? Be aware of what you’re posting, but don’t be so hyperaware that you don’t post at all. Practice posting different kinds of updates, like photos from events or shout outs to new team members, and see what kind of response you get. Teach your team that social media can be a powerful tool, when done correctly. Your goal should be to post updates that give your friends a taste of where you are going, not where you’ve been (in relation to business).

That being said, keep in mind that even if you “keep it positive” on your profile, using your page to sell, sell, sell is also bad business decision. Your friends can spot a sales pitch a mile away and won’t take you seriously anymore. Your posts will begin to annoy them, and they may go to the extent of defriending you. Use social media to be social, not to sell. Remember Facebook is a way to get conversations started…now strap on those knee boots and get to work!!   -Sweetlaw