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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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Viral Videos: How do they Become Viral Anyway

viral happens by Will Lion

viral happens by Will Lion

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have watched a lot of viral videos, some are good some bad. They have even started TV shows based entirely on viral videos (Right This Minute) and it got me thinking, how do these videos become viral? Why do people flock to watch them? Then I went on a quest to find some level of explanation, for myself and you of course.

So many hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute and only a handful becomes viral. In 2011, Kevin Allocca, trends manager at YouTube mentioned three things that make videos viral:

Tastemakers are people that introduce the larger audience to new and interesting things. These are people that are well known or in a position that they already have a large audience and when it’s picked up, the video/message spreads. for instance, Jimmy Fallon tweets a video, then all his followers start watching the video which then spreads across the social platform.

Creative communities of participation are a group of people who share the video as a big inside joke or just as a conversation piece and start talking about it and doing things with the video, like mimes. The audience is not just enjoying the videos anymore, people on social media are beginning to participate in what they watch which is leading to more of the video getting lots coverage.

Unexpectedness means that no one could predict it. It might be just a weird old video one day and then a year later, it could become the most viewed. I will say it’s all luck, just plain being lucky.

All these things mentioned earlier points to one major thing: “The audience defines the popularity, (Allocca)”. I have personally came to a conclusion that viral videos come about just as the name implies, like a virus. You don’t’ know when you are going to catch it (virus) and when it hits you, it hits you hard plus it might linger for a while.

Enough with my long virus analogy; what I’m I trying to say? Don’t aim for your videos, blog post or any other social media shares to go viral. Aim to share great and entertaining content and who knows who might catch it.

Please comment with any ideas or what you feel are some of the reasons videos go viral


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Star Wars Kid Ghyslain Raza

Original Star Wars Kid

Star Wars Kid, Ghyslain Raza

My first experience with “Star Wars Kid” was on a favorite show of mine, Arrested Development. George Michael was embarrassed as his video was accidentally shown to the Bluth family. Arrested Development had spoofed many things, but I wasn’t aware of an original “Star Wars Kid” until now.

“Star Wars Kid” was one of the first videos to ever become viral. Canadian Ghyslain Raza recorded himself as he wielded a saber against imaginary antagonists in his school’s recording studio. He forgot to take the 8mm recording with him when he left for the day, and months later, it was later found by classmates of his. They thought it would be funny to post it on Kazaa, a peer-to-peer file sharing site that originated in 2001. (As of August 2012, the Kazaa website is no longer active). This was in April 2003.

Original “Star Wars Kid” video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPPj6viIBmU#t=56.

Almost as soon as the video hit the internet, people began remixing it, adding sounds and glowing light-saber-like effects to the stick Raza brandished in the video. The original and remixed videos began appearing all over the internet on popular humor sites. As soon as classmates at his school found out about the video, Raza was humiliated to no end. They harassed him by saying he should just kill himself because he was such an embarrassment.

In July 2003, the students who originally posted the video and hundreds of other fans of the video raised over $4,000. As a way to say thank you, they bought Raza a 30GB iPod and a large gift certificate to an electronics store. But because of the mortification Raza faced, he had to drop out of school and seek psychological help. His parents sued the classmates’ families for emotional and psychological damages, seeking a quarter million dollars. This was the first time privacy invasion became a concern on the internet, and has been a hot topic since.

Since Ghyslain Raza’s portrayal of Darth Maul was first uploaded to the internet in 2003, it has been estimated that the original, unmodified “Star Wars Kid” video has accumulated well over one billion views. Even before social media as we know it today, interesting content found its way around the internet. Raza’s original and remixed versions of “Star Wars Kid” still receive views, although interest level has waned.

Today, Raza is the president of Patrimoine Trois-Rivières, a company dedicated to the conservation of his hometown. He also studied law at McGill University in Montreal. Raza has recently been inspired to come forward to speak out against cyberbullying. Because of the rise in suicides resulting from bullying, he is taking steps to do something.

For more info: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/star-wars-kid.

Arrested Development’s George Michael recreating the Star Wars Kid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-EouZi1mvQ

“Star Wars Kid” picture from: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/story-behind-the-star-wars-kid-20110805-1ie0k.html.

—Laura


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World’s Ugliest Woman

 

Be STRONG when you are weak. BRAVE when you are scared. And HUMBLE when you are victorious.

Be STRONG when you are weak. BRAVE when you are scared. And HUMBLE when you are victorious.

Lizzie was a sweet little girl, born to two very excited first-time parents in Austin, Texas. She was very small at birth—she was born four weeks premature and weighed less than three pounds. Lizzie was nurtured and cared for by her loving parents and grew to be quite a precocious child. She was blessed with two younger siblings, many relatives, and had a very charming, very normal life. At least that’s what she thought until she went to school.

Little Lizzie was very excited on her first day of school. She had a pretty dress, new hair ribbons, and a snazzy lunchbox. She couldn’t wait to make new friends in kindergarten, but when she got to school, things didn’t happen as she thought they would. No one would speak to her. When she talked to them, they backed away. She had a very bad first day.

When Lizzie got home, she told her mother what happened at school. It was then that she discovered she was not like other children. Her mother told her they would learn to like her and they quickly did. Throughout Lizzie’s school years, there were those who stared and were mean and insulting. There were also those who were very good to her—who loved her and stood by her side when other kids mistreated her. Through all of this, Lizzie remained positive and kind.

Lizzie was very smart and had a great sense of humor. Whatever she wanted to do, she did and was successful at it. Lizzie prospered in school, joined lots of clubs, and was on the cheerleading team. One day, while distracted and not wanting to do homework, she listened to music on YouTube. Lizzie saw a video on the side that looked familiar to her and had over four million views. She clicked on it and was horrified to see her face in a video titled “World’s Ugliest Woman.”

This is how I discovered Lizzie—I was watching something on YouTube, a news program or something, and saw a video on the side where Katie Couric interviewed the ugliest woman. I hadn’t ever seen Katie Couric but was familiar with the name. I was curious to see who she was more than I cared about seeing an ugly woman.

What I saw made me sad and happy at the same time. Lizzie Velasquez is an amazing young woman. She is funny, upbeat, kind, and adorable. She was born with a disease so rare that it doesn’t even have a name. She has no fat cells in her body and cannot gain weight. She is also blind in one eye. Lizzie has put up with so much—wherever she goes she is stared at and treated as if she is a monster. But Lizzie is a special beauty with many loving friends and a wonderful family.

I was so moved by her story that I wanted to learn more about her. I watched a few Ted talks she has done. Lizzie is an inspiring motivational speaker and encourages people with her story. She has decided not to let the bullies win—the video that made fun of her made her even stronger. She vowed to not let it get her down and speaks out against cyber bullying. Lizzie lives every day to the fullest.

I found Lizzie at a time when I needed to hear her story. I was very stressed and things were going poorly for me. Lizzie is so strong! If she can move forward with all that is against her, I think I could too. Lizzie has a website and uses Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumbler to share her story. Lizzie’s story has appeared via broadcast, on-line, or print media all over the country and internationally. She has written three books, of which I now have two. I’m so glad I was distracted that day and virtually met this amazing, inspiring young woman.

You can hear about her story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1tydA1MraE. Just don’t read the comments—they will make you sick.

PS: I screen-captured the beautiful pictures of Lizzie from http://lizziebeautiful.tumblr.com/post/98397430713/be-strong-when-you-are-weak-brave-when-you-are (top) and http://ryantowephotography.com/blog/lizzie-velasquez/ (bottom).

—Laura

Lizzie Velasquez

Beautiful Lizzie

 


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Kmart Gets Smart: Social Media Listening and Monitoring for the Win!

By now we’ve all seen Kmart’s “Ship My Pants,” ad that went viral (17 million views on YouTube) and then aired as an ad on TV.  Well, they’ve created yet another ad that’s become a viral hit:  “Big Gas Savings!”

Kmart really had nothing to lose by running ads like these—the store has been left in the dust by Target, and Walmart, especially, over the years. So ads like “Ship My Pants!” and “Big Gas Savings!” help to change the perception of Kmart as irrelevant; getting people talking about the store again is half the battle, the second half is to promote its goods. These ads accomplished both:

The company was looking to promote its integrated retailing approach, one where customers can seamlessly decide whether to have items shipped for free to their homes or to any store they choose. It’s a fairly dry topic–if very important for the retailer–and Kmart wanted to bring this to life in a memorable way.

How did Kmart do it? According to Bill Kiss, Kmart’s chief digital marketing officer, they employed social monitoring and listening to test the waters first online:  “[we] build some content and put it out there, and let America react…We’re very nimble and when we push something out there we watch very carefully how America reacts to it. We were tallying sentiment, which was overwhelmingly positive…We did that deliberately. We wanted to make sure that this wasn’t off-putting to our customers,” explained Kiss.

Kmart took a chance on a sensational ad, monitored the flow and patterns of data, and then listened to the reactions and feedback to see the ad was doing what they hoped it would do: shake up their brand and deliver the message of free shipping….and now big gas savings! Kmart employed a smart media strategy of monitoring and listening and thus are enjoying their first win in decades.

Having said that, I do think it might be wise to change up their ad campaigns now. The reason why these two ads were a success is because of the element of surprise. Both ads go against the grain of Kmart’s image. But over time, the jokes run thin…and…..ah well, who am I kidding?! Anyone care to guess what body part/bodily function will be punned in Kmart’s next ad?


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How to Handle Positive & Negative Comments on SM by Sierra Leone K. Samuels

For most of my blogs I will be blogging from my own experience, as I do manage a non-profit’s SM sites, along with my son’s SM sites. For this particular blog I am going to use a good example from one of my son’s, Jamal “Shango” James professional boxing matches against Corey Rodriguez. In MN this was one of the biggest fights of the year. There was a lot of hype for this fight on various SM sites, positive and negaitve. It was extremely hard for me to take some of the negative comments that were posted before the fight, as well as after the fight. Jamal won the fight in the 7th round due to a TKO (it was scheduled for 8 rounds). There was a lot of controversy on social media sites after the fight from Boxing fans regarding theoutcome, including many negative comments about Jamal. Here is one blog with comments that took place, some good and some bad, including my own comment regarding remarks that were being made about the fight. Icould no longer keep my mouth shut, but I did my best to do it tactfully and respectfully: MNBoxingLeague.com. Here is the video from the fight as well (for those that would like to see for yourself).

When I first read many of the negative comments, I automatically was angry and frustrated and my initial reaction was to respond in a negative and disrespectful way. However, realizing that professional boxing is a business and you cannot take things personally when dealing with business I had to learn self control and really analyze the situation and respond in a way that was intelligent, factual, and respectful. On socialmediatoday they list “12 Priniciples for Responding to Negative Online Comments,” which I find to be extremely helpful and good advice.

OAN – I’m trying to hang with the published Paige Elliot when it comes to these posts. Following one of the best in our cohort 😉


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The Content Concept

Attracting customers and building brand loyalty is the heart of a business. The content you create like websites, blog, social media post, whitepapers etc.. help build brand loyalty take a look at this infographic by ContentPlus.co.uk.  They explores just how successful content marketing can help small businesses grow online. Read the post exploring this infographic in more detail on the Content Plus Blog http://blog.contentplus.co.uk/2012/02/anatomy-of-content-marketing-heart-of.html – See more at: http://visual.ly/anatomy-content-marketing-heart-online-success#sthash.4rWSVFtL.dpuf. TT