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Karl Soehnlein
Social Media
on Jan 17, 2009 at 7:48:19 pm

After a search on the cow, I was surprised to find very little discussion about social media websites.

As of today, Myspace.com, Facebook.com and LinkedIn.com are the #2, #5 and #47 most popular websites in the U.S., respectively (according to Alexa).

I have been a member of several social media sites for years and found two (Facebook and LinkedIn) to be surprisingly good for business. Used right, I think these websites are hugely underrated tools that can not only promote your business, but help brand yourself or your company.

I've never received any new business through these sites, but it keeps others aware of what I'm doing. As a young freelancer, this is big for me. Facebook, for example, allows you add a "fan" page for your business where you can add videos, post photos, use discussion forums, etc.

Many (75%+) of the video professionals in my market (Madison, WI) are a member of at least one site.

I'm curious how others are using these sites to promote themselves or their business. And...if you're not a member yet, why not?

Here's an interesting article about 2009 social media trends: http://www.betatales.com/?p=262

Karl Soehnlein

Reel Wave Media, LLC


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Social Media
on Jan 17, 2009 at 8:06:56 pm

[Karl Soehnlein] "I have been a member of several social networking sites for years and found two (Facebook and LinkedIn) to be surprisingly good for business. Used right, I think these websites are hugely underrated tools that can not only promote your business, but help brand yourself or your company."

[Karl Soehnlein] "I've never received any new business through these sites, but it keeps others aware of what I'm doing."


Speaking as one of the founders and directors of Creative COW, we think that huge generalized social networking sites are fine but real value comes as things get more specific and focused.

This logic is seen when comparing the value of LinkedIn to Facebook for a business owner. Most would agree that there is more value in LinkedIn than in Facebook. The reason is that Facebook is for everyone, whereas LinkedIn is for business people.

Following this logic to the next step, as things get more and more focused in your industry that your business is in, the value escalates further.

Real "social networking" grows in value when it is done with those of like mind and focus.

Because of this, we have been adding more and more social networking features in the COW and have many more planned for the first six months of 2009.

One of the most obvious of these is our "Services" link in our orange navigation bar, which lets you advertise for free your studio, services and company focus.

Less obvious but, to many, more valuable is our linked profiles pages wherein people can dig in and see who people are from within their posts and answers offered. We know of many members who are working on projects together, and making money doing it, that didn't come from the Services directory or from the jobs board -- rather, they came from people liking what was said and wanting to work with that person.

We also know of leaders -- one here in this forum that springs to mind is Mike Cohen -- who has gotten job offers, etc., because of articles he has written and the ideas he has offered in the magazine, the blogs, the library and elsewhere in this site.

Social networking does not have to be done face to face and can be done using the Net. But our belief if that the more focused you can get it, the more value it brings.

It is sort of like direct mail. We could advertise Creative COW to all of the people here in San Luis Obispo County, California where we live but only a small number would really be interested -- most, would scratch their heads and wonder what this is all about. But if we targeted a mailer by industry code and classification, the numbers of mailers would drop radically but the potential value in each prospect would grow just as radically in proportion.

These are the kinds of thoughts we have been addressing with many of the social networking functions we have been adding to the site and we hope that you find them valuable.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom
creativecow.net


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cowcowcowcowcow
Mike Cohen
Re: Social Media
on Jan 17, 2009 at 8:57:17 pm

Social Networking = a buzz word. Buzz words such as "green", "energy independence" and "change" are fairly vague and only time will tell if their is some use.

I agree with Ron that focused networking sites like this one are useful. Whether intended to be "social" or not, I have a few COW friends who I have never actually met face to face - social indeed.

Let's not forget that people have been communicating on message boards since the early days of the internet, long before some guy on Madison Ave came up with the phrase Social Networking. The BBS circa 1985, Compuserve and the once popular Usenet were precursors to today's choices.

There are other media production specific boards that get people of like minds communicating.

Then there are the "popular" ones - however these are popular because they are broad.

Facebook - I admit to checking my account 1-2 times a day - it has been good for contacting old mates from school and there is a Creative COW appreciation group - not to mention some fellow COWs - to me this site does have some promise

MySpace - too broad - good if you are a rock band or a stalker

LinkedIn - I only use this when I get a new link - only thing is, I find that I am linked to people who I already know - not very useful - yet.

Craigslist - this site has been quite useful - I have hired numerous freelancers off their classifieds, and a recent full time hire. Truth be told, I have gotten some freelance weddings there also. There are some creepy areas of the site, as there are in your local paper for that matter.

In summary, I like walks on the beach, candle light dinners and...oh wait, wrong web site.

Mike Cohen





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walter biscardi
Re: Social Media
on Jan 17, 2009 at 9:58:45 pm

I've gotten my two biggest clients as a result of my work here on the Cow. So for a video professional, I find the Cow to be the most useful for both letting other professionals know I'm out there and for finding talent to work in my offices. Just by answering questions here, writing articles, providing tutorials, people see firsthand what I can do. Either directly or indirectly I get a ton of work through my affiliation with the Cow and I can directly corralate the growth of my company through my expanded association with the Cow.

Facebook is enjoyable as I'm finding friends from school that I have not connected with in years so I really enjoy that as purely a social environment.

Myspace, I have a page there, but it's mainly dormant. That really is not much use to me.

LinkedIn I have a lot of very good contacts and especially as we move towards selling some new television programming, I've picked up some good connections there.

Craigslist I have no use for whatsoever.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

Read my Blog!

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!


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Mike Cohen
Re: Social Media
on Jan 17, 2009 at 10:00:51 pm

I should mention that I used the original pre-internet social networking site, AOL, back in the early 90's. While I did not do anything business related on AOL, I did find one lasting relationship - my wife!

Mike Cohen


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Social Media
on Jan 17, 2009 at 10:12:41 pm

[Mike Cohen] "While I did not do anything business related on AOL, I did find one lasting relationship - my wife!"

I met my wife elsewhere, but did meet Walter's wonderful wife, Rebecca, through the COW.

Does that count, Mike?

:o)

Ron Lindeboom


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walter biscardi
Re: Social Media
on Jan 18, 2009 at 2:04:50 am

[Ron Lindeboom] "I met my wife elsewhere, but did meet Walter's wonderful wife, Rebecca, through the COW. "

And she gets lovelier by the day......



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

Read my Blog!

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!


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grinner hester
Re: Social Media
on Jan 18, 2009 at 3:39:40 pm

I am on all three of those sites. I set them up for networking and listed that in my profiles but never have I gotten a gig as a result.
MySapce is a place for youngans to pretend to be other people and facebook is a place for middle aged single moms to try to wrestle down a new daddy. Linked sems to be more profession but man, how boring is that?
lol
in a nut shell, social networking means too lazy too lazy to get laid.



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Arnie Schlissel
Re: Social Media
on Jan 19, 2009 at 5:30:25 pm

[Karl Soehnlein] "I have been a member of several social media sites for years and found two (Facebook and LinkedIn) to be surprisingly good for business."

[Karl Soehnlein] "I've never received any new business through these sites, but it keeps others aware of what I'm doing."

I find these statements to be at odds with each other. "I've never received any new business" says all that most people need to hear about it. If you want to keep people "aware about what you're doing", you can create your own website, and use it to promote yourself as a brand.

Even with my somewhat crappy website, people are sometimes surprised to learn that I'm just some schmuck working out of my apartment, not a full fledged post facility. But the first impression has already been made that that I can provide them with a level of service that they wouldn't expect from my situation.

If I sent them to a Myspace or Facebook page, they'd just assume that I'm a schmuck working out of my apartment, and leave it there.

Arnie

Post production is not an afterthought!
http://www.arniepix.com/


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walter biscardi
Re: Social Media
on Jan 19, 2009 at 5:38:05 pm

[Arnie Schlissel] "Even with my somewhat crappy website, people are sometimes surprised to learn that I'm just some schmuck working out of my apartment, not a full fledged post facility."

Ah, but a very talented schmuck. If you were a lousy schmuck working out of an apartment, even a great website wouldn't help you. :-)



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

Read my Blog!

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!


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Arnie Schlissel
Re: Social Media
on Jan 19, 2009 at 5:50:14 pm

Thank you, Wally. You're very kind.

Arnie

Post production is not an afterthought!
http://www.arniepix.com/


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Karl Soehnlein
Re: Social Media
on Jan 19, 2009 at 6:49:49 pm

To clarify a couple of things: I consider my Facebook & LinkedIn pages to be a supplement to my website. I agree that social media pages by themselves aren't sufficient enough for online marketing.

I think social media sites are "good for business" because they keep me connected (as a freelancer) to my clients and staff at other production companies. Instead of hoping that "Production Company A " will visit my website to watch my latest demo reel, I can post it on my Facebook page, which will then channel that link into others' news feeds. Since most of the people I know visit Facebook or LinkedIn at least once a day, there's a good chance of them seeing it on their home page.

I use these sites as more of a tool to connect with those professionals I already know and keep them aware of what I'm doing (big projects, awards, etc). There have been several times where producers or business owners will come up to me (at MCA-I meetings, for example) and ask about my latest project. They didn't hear about it from others or see it on my website...they saw it on Facebook.

I'm not saying these social media websites are as beneficial as something like the COW. But they are a lot more popular and people are surfing them constantly (at work and at home). Businesses (even local and national video production companies) are starting to pay for advertising on these sites. I wouldn't go that far myself, but setting up a free "fan" page on Facebook or profile on LinkedIn seems like a no brainer.

Just my two cents...

Karl Soehnlein

Reel Wave Media, LLC


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Mike Cohen
Re: Social Media
on Jan 19, 2009 at 7:44:19 pm

Saying "Facebook is more popular that Creative COW" is like saying "Apples are more popular than Oranges" or "Cars are more popular than bicycles."

In other words, you can't compare the two.

Out of my 75 Facebook friends, about 7 of them are in production. However assuming these 7 people are connected with 10 or more production people each, that still doesn't do anything for my business, because my customers are not other production people.

Networking is good, of course, which is why I am on these sites. In fact someone I am Facebook friends, have never met in person, started reading my COW blog, so there is some connection there.

I guess it depends on your business.





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cowcowcowcowcow
Bob Zelin
Re: Social Media
on Jan 20, 2009 at 3:38:56 am

I find it funny that someone is trying to compare Creative Cow to MySpace or Facebook - or even LinkedIn. Creative Cow is a specific forum for professionals in our lovely industry. I dont' think anyone has ever gotten a date (or got laid) from being on Creative Cow. With that said, it never ceased to amaze me how many people I run into read these forums. Everyone from students (hey I saw you posting on Creative Cow), to company presidents (I was shocked to get called by one today, discussing something I said about their product on the SANetworks forum).

If you want to get a job (or get laid), you have to GET OUT THERE and solicit yourself. These forums can give you credibility, but you have to actually MEET THE CLIENT (or meet the girl) to "seal the deal". Getting rejected by potential clients (or getting rejected by women) is part of the human process. Those that refuse to deal with either subject will remain in their cave, starving, and alone.

Rejection is good for your soul. It toughens you up, and makes you succeed.

Bob Zelin




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cowcowcowcowcow
Timothy J. Allen
Re: Social Media
on Jan 20, 2009 at 10:12:27 pm

Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter... there's one major mistake that I think most people have when they plan to use these sites for "marketing".

The sites are intrinsically designed to make it easy for you to tell people about yourself... what you are doing, your interests, your rants and raves. Some people think that's what marketing is... telling people about yourself.

But marketing isn't about YOU. It's about the customer. It's about their story. Your part is just a supporting role. If Marketing were "Star Wars", you want the roles of "Obi Wan Kenobi" or even "R2-D2" - not Luke Skywalker. It's the customer that should be playing the starring role, not you.

I use all the sites mentioned above (well, I don't tweet so much, but I have a placeholder account anyway). But I don't expect Facebook to be my main tool for marketing, just as I don't have any family members as LinkedIn connections. I don't expect any of my clients to care that "Tim is taking the kids to McDonalds" and I don't expect my family to care that "Timothy has 14 years of experience in high end corporate media production".

You can get gigs as a result of your online presence, particularly when it's in a virtual space that is focused on a specific subject matter. I have deposited checks that prove that point.

But like any marketing effort, smart entrepreneurs don't rely on just one avenue or "channel" to get their business message out. And if you really want to use social media to draw business, it's all about finding the right mechanism to get to the right message to the right audience.

Find out where your target audience is and what they want, then go there and give them that.



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grinner hester
Re: Social Media
on Jan 22, 2009 at 2:53:34 am

truer words were never spoken.



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Kris Simmons
Re: Social Media
on Jan 22, 2009 at 7:40:12 pm

My vote is still out on social media. LinkedIn is allowing me to "connect" with new people but so far it hasn't translated into any one-on-one meetings or phone calls for my video business. However, I have gotten calls and emails from other video professionals. I like networking with other pros in this industry but I can find that here on the COW among other industry sites. My purpose for spending time on social media sites is to cultivate new business leads and to convert them to paying customers. LinkedIn looks promising but time will tell if it ends up being the best marketing tool in the world or another tactic I can write off as a huge time and energy waster.

Kristopher G. Simmons

http://www.MindYourVideoBusiness.com

http://blog.mindyourvideobusiness.com


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Franklin McMahon
Re: Social Media
on Jan 28, 2009 at 8:38:10 pm


Social media does one thing very well, it amplifies and emphasizes your persona, your personality, your individuality.

I feel marketing these days is not about equipment or talent or skillset. Because with all the great tools we have now, just about anyone can get a copy of Motion and do dazzlng effects, get Acid Pro and make beautiful music, etc. As skilled as anyone is, there is someone else who can ramp up to your skill set. So what is the main difference? You.

Personality is taken for granted these days, but the truth is, you get more business if people like you, trust you, connect with you. Social media greases those wheels exponentially. Upgrading your circle of influence with social media is just like upgrading your equipment. Yeah you can get by with techniques and technology from 3 years ago, but lots of people may zoom past you.

Social networking you have to work it, the more you do it, the more muscles you can flex with getting your brand out there (the brand being you). Many creative artists have a website..which never changes. But they forget people are passing it often, checking in. Imagine a boss passing by an office where the worker is still and never moving. It's like..what do they do all week? Social media allows a flow of info on what you are doing, organic information, projects, opinions, new info found, with a very personal twist.

Years ago I started my photography business and I was one of the first people in my area to shoot digitally. I breathlessly pitched the miracles of digital to clients, as opposed to my competitors "still shooting film". I discovered something...they did not care about digital. They just wanted good pictures. And they chose me often over others, well, because they liked me. It was then I started drumming up the personal aspect, less the equipment, and its paved many great paths of success. Creative people are not wired this way. It's often about the reel. But I discovered its more than that. There are a lot of rock stars on the Cow, you know their names. Sure they know the info, but the key is you know THEM because of their personality. And I think the Cow is already a powerful social network, yes adding some features would be cool, but I think its going great as is. Networks that are more focused can be uber powerful.

Getting back to social media...its just fuel to get you..as in YOU out there. As for my likes, myspace is pretty passed it prime, facebook is a great smaller network of friends, family and fans, more fun. But linked in and twitter are powerful ones to focus on if you have the extra time (not that any of us do). I've gotten a lot of work from linkedin and twitter as well, although twitter has connected me with global resources I did not know existed. I have friends who have tried social networks and it did not gel for them, that's OK, I get that. But others I know who never dive in and feel "social networks..who cares..its just a big waste of time" are missing a real big picture.

Frank







___________________________


Franklin McMahon / Host

CreativeCow.net PODCAST


Creative Cow Podcast Page /

Creative Cow Podcast in iTunes /

FranklinMcMahon.com



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Mike Cohen
Re: Social Media
on Jul 8, 2009 at 9:12:35 pm

I have revisited this thread as I consider adding Twitter and Facebook accounts for my company's online presence. I think the moral of the story is social media should be an extension of your official website, in the hopes that people you know will get people they know to link to you, and eventually back to the master web site.

But don't expect people to stumble upon anything.

Mike Cohen


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Todd Terry
Re: Social Media
on Jul 8, 2009 at 9:29:24 pm

[Mike Cohen] "I consider adding Twitter and Facebook accounts for my company's online presence."

Just a slightly funny aside that happened the other day...

We've had three edit suites spread over two floors in our building for years now.... mine is on the ground floor, the others are upstairs. We just added a new HD suite up there, and my senior editor Joey has been bouncing back and forth between the new one and his old suite next door to it.

I never seem to know where he is working and I'm constantly calling up to him (because I'm too lazy to climb stairs) and am almost always ringing the wrong room. Ergo, he drops what he is doing to scramble and catch the phone in the other suite.

I said "I need to put a bell on you, I never know where you are."

He dryly replied, "Obviously you're not getting my Tweets."

Now there's usefulness!


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Karl Soehnlein
Re: Social Media
on Jul 8, 2009 at 10:44:12 pm

Social media continues to play a huge role in the Madison market, with more professionals joining every day. One of the larger production companies created a pretty substantial Facebook page last month with pictures, staff profiles and multiple videos.

Our MCA-I chapter put out a survey three weeks ago to see what topics people were interested in learning more about. Out of the 25 options, social media tied for third.

I continue to use my Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pages to supplement my website. One of my clients uses Facebook exclusively to contact me. I've had a couple other sucessful (although small) projects that started with Facebook posts.

The jury's still out on whether you can attract new or additional business using these sites, but it definitely doesn't hurt to have a presence on them.

Karl Soehnlein

Reel Wave Media, LLC


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