Why?

Jay Baer on his show Jay Today went on a rant last week about ads promoting social media accounts for no apparent reason. And now thanks to Jay, I’m seeing examples of this waste of advertising space everywhere I go. It’s haunting me. I saw three just today. Thanks a lot Jay.

The point Jay was making is that too often brands are just slapping their social media accounts on their ads without giving us any reason to connect with them there. Jay’s assertion is that the brand needs to tell us why? Why should I connect with you there? Spot on.

But it goes further than that. That “why” better be based on what you know about me. Not why you (the brand) think I ought to connect with you. Tell me why the connection will be valuable for me. Not what you want me to realize as value.

After all, isn’t that the difference between social marketing and old school in the first place?

Social Media Usage Among Business Professionals

The vast majority of social media usage data and analysis we’ve been reading over the past year has been focused on trying to guess what the next big platform will be.  More recently, a lot of the information has been based on age demographics (e.g. the shift of teens away from Facebook to SnapChat).  For the most part, the primary purpose of the research seems to focus on helping marketers better understand how to allocate future social media marketing spend most effectively.

In collaboration with my friends Jared Romanski and Seth Goldstein, we developed this research survey to better understand the shifting preferences of business professionals with respect to their social platform use. This research is not for marketing purposes.  Rather, it is intended to better understand where business professionals are realizing the most value from social tools and their use.  With your input, we are eager to understand the following trends:

  • How has one’s use of social platforms evolved over time?
  • Where are business professionals spending their time on the social web?
  • For what purposes are business professionals leveraging social (eg. Content sharing, consumption, networking personal branding or selling)

We would be grateful if you would take just a few minutes to share your input on this topic by taking this short survey.

If the link above doesn’t work, you can cut and paste the link here into your browser:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Q6LS2XY

We’ll be sharing the results here and every social network on which we can.  Thanks in advance.

Microvideos. What Are They Good For?

This week’s guest post is from my good friend Seth Goldstein.  Seth is an Internet and social media marketing pinoeer based in the Philadelphia area. You can find him online in most places, but mostly on Google+ and Twitter.

imgresInstagram Video and Vine are locked in a massive battle for the hearts and minds of social media users.

Both services offer the ability to record small clips of video and post it online via their individual apps. Instagram Video gives its users 15 seconds, about the length of a short commercial, and Vine allows for 6 seconds. Now you’re probably wondering what you could do in 15 and 6 seconds respectively. A lot. You can do stop motion videos, you can do quick tips, you can record memories and even current events.

But, despite these possibilities, what are microvideos really good for? I was a bit a bit skeptical when Vine made it to Android and Instagram soon followed. I saw some neat stuff being created, but I also saw a lot of really boring, dull and stupid stuff. It took me a few weeks of seeing the good, the bad, and the ugly to finally come up with some good uses for microvideos.

Instagram Video, with it’s 15 seconds recording time, is just enough time to engage with users. It allows for a complete thought in bite sized chunks. I’ve seen it being used by photojournalists in North Korea, giving outsiders a look into this reclusive society. I’ve seen videos of the protests in Egypt. I’ve also see stupid videos of people’s cats sleeping.

There are definite uses for these services. It’s how people use then that either makes or breaks their brand.

Speaking of brands.  Both Vine and Instagram Video are great for brands to branch out and show their customers and potential clients what they’re all about in a bit sized chunks of multimedia.

Companies can use both services to show their creative side, events, offices, and personality.

Vine is better for stop motion videos. So brands need to think about what they can do that will make their Vine videos pop. On Instagram brands can expound more and can because of that be less disjointed. You can tell more of a story.

Regardless of the service, microvideos are here and will probably be around for a while as a tool for both the marketer, journalist and average user to use and build on.