Social Media Implementation
We are a 10 year old full service video production company in a small/mid market. More and more we are asked by other production companies if we have a staff person who implements social media strategies.
There are web companies who do that, but the clients who call us are looking for a freelancer who has some design skill, web skills and can wrap their brain around social media strategy language.
So my question is (for video production companies out there)....are you hiring social media strategy staff who can do this in house, are you hiring outside freelancers or are you sending those clients to web companies? If you have done any of these, do you find that the freelance route is a good way to go, or is the full service web company a better fit for getting it done for your clients?
Then there are clients who have started some basic social media strategies like a YouTube page and a Facebook page and need help putting the whole package together with new videos etc. I understand that this is a complicated process and one size does not fit all, but I wanted to know what specifically video production companies have tried as we move bravely into the new era.
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production and Post
We do it in-house - it is not that difficult to do and most young people out of the school system are more than capable of doing it. However, the thing to watch out for, is time... You can easily find yourself wasting your clients money on doing Twitters, Blogs and FaceBook pages etc without an tangible return even in visitor numbers. So depending on desire, it might be cheaper just to go straight for the add-words.
Obviously never give up on doing video for SEO!!! :-)
All the Best
Please don't to visit our new faceBook page here: http://www.facebook.com/MacMillionProductions
Mac Million Ltd. - HD Production & Editing
Social Media can be a huge time-suck, both in the creation and the daily maintenance of it, and I don't think a lot of potential clients really understand what it is and how to use it. My impression is that a lot of customers for this are adopting a "me too" sensibility, because this is "the hot thing now", they feel they have to get in the game any way they can, to look "hip". Just as when the Web first got hot, every company from aerospace giants to hot dog stands wanted a web page, but many didn't know what to do with it when they got it. If they don't really *get* social media, this kind of random head-first jump into dark water can lead to a lot of trouble.
Here is my take on social media for business:
1. Everyone is doing it
2. Facebook - why use it? Because everyone is there, that's why.
As an experiment we setup a couple of Facebook ads. Compared with Google Ad Words, which is based upon keywords, Facebook ads allow you to target people of a certain gender, age, interests - so potentially better results, or at least different results.
But as for doing a fan page and expecting people to stumble upon your page, it depends upon what type of business you are.
If you are an established car company, food or beverage company etc, you already have customers. But your customers are unlikely to check out your website every day, while they are on Facebook every day. So they do it because that's where people are at the moment.
If you are an up and coming company that sells anything, you have to get the word out about your Facebook page, just like any other advertising you may do. Obviously every piece of advertising, websites, tv commercials, blogs, newspapers and magazines have Facebook buttons - almost to the point of overload. It sort of reminds me of political signs that people put in their front yards during election season. There is a house on my way to work that has signs for every candidate - they cancel each other out there are so many of them.
So how does someone decide to become a fan of your company on Facebook?
1. They see your advertisement, website or word of mouth - and they become a fan. But in this case, social media is not selling itself, you have to hear about it from another method. But once you are a fan, you are a fan for as long as you are getting something out of it.
1B. They are a member of an organization, society, group, class, or they are users of a product already, etc. In this case, they are already connected, and social media is simply a more efficient means of communicating with them, and as a benefit there is the potential to make friends with other members/users etc. Not a bad thing.
2. They see another friend is already a fan. I could see this for consumer products, but not necessarily for a services company, unless both you and your friend are real life friends with someone from the service company.
3. They decide to search for things they are interested in, and find your company. Least likely scenario. I don't think people go to Facebook to search for a video production company - but they should!!
The other social media tools are Twitter and YouTube (there no doubt are others, but these are the big three (NBC, CBS, ABC, - what is the 4th representing FOX? Blogs perhaps).
YouTube is easy - upload videos about your company, your products and/or services. But then, again, people need to find your content, which is like a needle in a haystack on YouTube or even Google. So you need to use your content in blogs, posts on forums, YouTube pages etc. And people do go to YouTube to search for topics - better they should search for video production Atlanta vs music video - but like google ad words, it is luck if someone searches for a keyword that reveals your videos.
It took me a year to figure out why anyone would ever want to use Twitter. But now you cannot turn on a tv without hearing the word Tweet - it is simply another way to communicate with people. I started a Twitter account, followed a few celebrities and a few media production folks who I admire, and posted my name on my Creative COW profile.
I now have 100 or so followers, and I follow about the same number. However, I quickly learned that I do not want hundreds of tweets in my cell phone every day - that's a lot of information to manage without any real benefit.
So the best way to manage Tweets is on a Tweet aggregator. But that is yet another website to check every day. And a lot of people Tweet links to their blogs, and post blog entires on their Facebook pages. And there are folks who have Creative COW blogs, about the only site I go to several times a day - whose COW, blog, FB and Tweets are all the same. Too much repeat information.
So maybe someone else could reveal how you are supposed to use Twitter as a follower.
In Summary, here are some real world examples of trying to figure out what social networking is good for. Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts.
1. Facebook Fan Pages
We started a company fan page. But people need to know about it, and we have not started promoting it. However given the fact that thousands of nurses and doctors are on FB every day, it can't hurt.
I "like" several other related fan pages - one from a society of nurses, posts their news, links to related articles, and encourages basic conversation among its members and other fans. So likewise, they know that their members won't go to their website every day, so this is a better way to communicate non-vital information.
I have a friend who works at the Norman Rockwell Museum - their fan page has daily links and news about upcoming events. Short of subscribing to an email newsletter which I am unlikely to read, or visiting their website periodically which I am also unlikely to do, it is actually a good way to get interesting links and news.
I think I am getting it!
I clicked the fan page for Biscardi Creative Media. While I read Walter's blog posts here on the COW, I will admit I do not read them every day. And I do not go to his website or blog every day either. However I do go to FB every day, and lo and behold, Walter usually has an update for me. At the moment I am following the construction of his new facility.
As an experiment I became a fan of Artisan Lettuce - a unique lettuce brand I recently tried. I figured, if a lettuce company is doing social media, then everyone should! Their updates consisted of recipes, surveys and tips about healthy eating. Interesting, but kind of useless.
So after all this, I have come to the conclusion mentioned at the top of this post. Why do social media? Because everyone is doing it, but also because that is where the people are at this point in history.
I can see how Twitter is useful for celebrities - as if they need another way to get publicity. There was a good example on the show Entourage. The main character was convinced to endorse a new kind of beverage. He Tweeted that the product would be available on a certain day at a certain store, and his 900,000 followers got the message and bought a lot of the product.
But most of the Tweets I get seem to be links to blog posts or pyramid schemes! LOL.
Ok, I have just demonstrated my non-hipness by using LOL.
So Tweets are becoming a replacement for the press release for people in the public eye, but not necessarily for people or businesses who are not known to the general public. So if BP Tweets "all the oil is cleaned up and we are giving free houses to everyone" their message will be received, because they have lots of followers and they are under scrutiny.
But if Joe Smith of Joe Smith Bait and Tackle Tweets "we have nightcrawlers - buy a pound, get a pound $4.99 - get em while they last" only people who may have subscribed to Joe's Tweets will get the message. Maybe that is all Joe cares about - the 50 people who get his Tweets. I suppose people vacationing in Joe's town might search Twitter for nightcrawlers (or google if google searches Twitter) but how much does this actually happen?
So maybe what I am getting at it:
Just because all this social media communication is happening, is it actually working?
I'll stop here.
How dare you type a longer answer than me?!?!?! :-)
Ha! I was thinking the same thing! Great stuff guys.
I have learned the caveats of Social Media but was really wondering if anyone has forged a strong relationship with a freelancer or who found that working with a full service web company was the smarter route.
Also, by saying that you are implementing it in house, was there already some website acumen that you had cached over the years and felt comfortable, or did you just jump in Zelin style and go for it?
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production and Post
I think Mike just wrote a new article for the COW magazine here. Or the start of a good one, anyway. I noticed the COW now has a social media forum, but I got more out of Mike's post just now than I did the forum.
Thanks Mark. I had been planning to post something similar to this as a blog, but it seems right at home here.
Really, there is a social media forum?
Maybe we should post a link to it from this thread -
Ah yes, LinkedIn is perhaps the 4th tier of the Social Media Landscape.
This actually has some business uses for researching potential new customers. Facebook for Grown Ups!
We've managed some social media stuff for a handful of clients. Basically, the ones that work are companies and organizations that inherently involve a lot of social interaction.
For instance, the ones that have worked are a Water Park and a College. The ones that don't are more business to business type companies. Remember, Facebook started as a way for college students at Harvard and other Ivy League colleges to communicate...it's called "social media" for a reason.
With most people...if they get so much as a whiff of a company trying to blatantly "sell" them something on Facebook or Twitter or even YouTube...they're put off by it. So our mantra to companies is, give people something of value.
The other thing we preach is, if you're going to do it, commit to it and keep your account updated and provide relevant, timely information. As for who we get to do it, we mostly hire it out to local internet hosting companies (who all seem to offer the service), and we then mark it up. Or we consult with the company and they assign it to someone in-house.
Magnetic Image, Inc.
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