Monday, September 23, 2013

Social Media and your business–Part 4

image

Social Media and your business – Part 1

Social Media and your business – Part 2

Social Media and your business – Part 3

So far in this series I’ve provided an overview of what social media in business is (Part 1). I’ve looked at business to business social media (Part 2). Finally, I’ve talked about business to consumer social media (Part 3). Now I want to talk to you about what I believe is the most powerful social media site for your business. Any ideas?

I believe, without a shadow of doubt, that the most important social media your business should invest time in is YouTube. Why? Simple, if pictures say 1,000 words then video says 1,000,000 pictures, it is that powerful. Most people don’t have time to read so using video is a sure way to capture and interact with an audience.

So how can you use video? Before I tell you my story let me show you two excellent examples of what can be achieved with some imagination and creativity.

Will it blend - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRr7N7A4Wc0

Want to prove how strong your blender products are? Make a video blending just about everything.

Dollar Shave Club - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUG9qYTJMsI

Selling something for only a $1? Tell people why your product is so much better than what they use now and they will come.

Both of these are excellent examples of what can be done with a little creativity, humour and a focus on your product. Sure, not every product video goes viral like these but how do you know if you don’t give it a go?

I think that apart from the product videos the other huge opportunity YouTube offers you business is creating informational videos.

Here’s a random one on guitar lessons I just found. Remember that YouTube the second most popular search engine in the world. You should see creating informational videos like these as a way of building trust with your ‘tribe’. Again, people are much more likely to buy from you if they trust you. So anything that builds trust is a positive.

YouTube also provides the ability for viewers to rate videos and have conversations around them that you as the author can also contribute to. Thus, you could post up an informational video, viewers could ask questions and you could answer. Again, generating more interaction, brand awareness and an opportunity for your business to engage.

My journey with YouTube started when I wanted to show people how to reboot their servers. They’d always be calling up asking how to do this. I’d create individual emails, but they’d still call. I created a document and emailed to them, but they still called. I uploaded that same document to a web site and provided a link, but they still called. However, when I created a video and posted it on YouTube they generally didn’t call back.

So that solved my initial issue but I didn’t count on the power of social because my video was used by other tech companies to help their customers reboot servers. They embedded it on their website, send customers links and from there it grew. Users also found my server reboot video by simply searching the Internet. When all these avenues of referral started to gather momentum, I then began to understand the power of the network effect. I began to understand how critical YouTube is to your social media strategy and growing your business.

Creating videos is dead easy these days. You can use just about any mobile, webcam or PC to capture something. You can get screen capture software like Camtasia to record what you do on a screen. Once you have recorded something you can upload it to YouTube and share with the world. You can embed the video in you web page, you can send it as a link and more.

As with any social media you need to think before you act. You need to understand the audience you are targeting and what appeals to them. You need to understand how to drive business from your videos to the bottom line. However, there is no doubt that YouTube is probably the most powerful tool you have at your disposal when it comes to this. My advice is don’t delay. Sit down today and develop a YouTube strategy for your business. You won’t get it right the first time  but keep at it and give your audience what they want.

Did I also mention that you can monetize your YouTube videos so that you receive income when people watch them if you want? You have this option as the creator of the video but if the video goes viral then that too may be a good money spinner.

I hope you can begin to understand the benefits that YouTube can bring to your business. You obviously need to do it right but you need to be doing it. Once you have a few videos you can create your own channel and drive even more business there. Have a look at my channel:

http://www.youtube.com/directorciaops

and see what I upload. Look at the different type of intros and extros I’ve used. It is a constant experiment to find what resonates with an audience. Like me you’ll be surprised when people actually subscribe to your channel for updates and start asking you to do more. It is a monster, I’m telling you so get into it today! I could go on for days about YouTube in your business but I hope you get the picture.

In the next part I’ll tell you why using emails is NOT a good way to communicate with your customers.

Social Media and your business – Part 5

If you need some help with your social media strategy or would like me to speak about social media at your business or association please don’t hesitate to contact me (director@ciaops.com).