Our next eLearning series is devoted to social media. I’ve resisted chasing after the buzz of social media for a while, because in many cases a lot of time, money and effort were being wasted on things that didn’t really contribute back to the bottom line. Now that the space has matured a bit, I’ll focus on case studies and examples of how companies are listening to their clients, driving more sales and generating results with social media.
The reality is that print, radio and TV advertising aren’t generating the same response that they once did. Less people are reading the newspaper. People with iPods and iPhones carry their music around and aren’t tuning into radio like they did in the past. And if you’re like me, most of the TV that you watch is digitally “taped,” watched “on demand,” or watched on the Web via a site like Hulu or YouTube.
Where did all of the people go? In a lot of cases, people are spending more and more time on social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs and more. This series will focus on the tried and true strategies that make sense for businesses and organizations that want to better interact with their customers. I won’t focus on things that are just “cool,” but instead look at how companies are strategically using social media to leverage their brand and sell more stuff. Another way to put it: “Pioneers get the arrows. Settlers get the land.” Hopefully, this series can help you avoid the mistakes others have made in social media. Enjoy!
Social Media Tip #1: Video If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s a video worth?
6.6 Billion Videos Watched In January 2010 in US This January, 112 million US Internet users watched 6.6 billion videos from the YouTube site – or about 59 videos each during the month. Why do people like to watch video? An email message like is a low-context medium. I can throw in a photo or graphic, but things like voice inflection, smiling or frowning aren’t usually conveyed through a written message. A video, on the other hand, allows the end viewer to see and hear a real person on the other end of the screen. TV is easily a hypnotic, addictive medium. According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day (or 28 hours/week, or 2 months of nonstop TV-watching per year). In a 65-year life, that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube. With the Web, short video segments can build trust and confidence in your organization, and help with both retention and acquisition marketing campaigns.
Will It Blend – Viral Video Success. Probably the best-known example of viral video success was the “Will it Blend?” video series. If you’re like me, you’ve been frustrated that your expensive blender can’t chop ice. This viral video series showed how their blenders could chop and blend through really tough things like garden hoses, rakes and even cell phones. According to social media researcher Christian Briggs, the series of viral videos started when then-new Marketing Director George Wright found out that CEO Tom Dickson and the R&D team had a practice of blending up wooden boards to test product toughness. Wright had an idea to shoot video of the operation and post it online. He invested under $100 in supplies and convinced Dickson to blend up other things on camera. 186 videos later, Blendtec’s retail sales are up a reported 700 percent, its YouTube site has 200,000+ subscribers, and it has been featured on major mainstream media outlets like The Today Show, The Tonight Show, The History Channel, The Wall Street Journal and others. Among awards, Blendtec has won a bronze Clio in 2008 (Interactive category) for their interactive efforts. Video Testimonials
Not every company can pull of a Will It Blend series. A lower budget approach taken by one of our clients, Liz Canavan of Alchemy of Order, was to invite a few of her favorite clients in for a quick video session to talk about their experiences. She runs a company that helps people organize their homes, offices and lives. We’re in the process of adding these photos to YouTube as well as her website as a way to get new prospective clients to find her and understand how she can help them. Reciting Prayers For a non-profit, it might be demonstrating how to do something difficult. Many Hebrew school students struggle with learning the Jewish prayers, so we helped Rabbi Jamie Korngold, the Adventure Rabbi, video some of the more common prayers on top of Copper Mountain. As a result, thousands of people have searched YouTube, watched her videos, and used it as an educational tool. Many have clicked through to the AdventureRabbi.org website to learn more, and some have signed up for trips or asked about other lifecycle services, such as Bar or Bat Mitzvahs.
Summary: Vidoes can be a compelling way to engage customers and prospects and increase awareness of your organization.