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Social media making you money yet?

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Tim WilsonSocial media making you money yet?
by on Jun 9, 2011 at 12:31:52 am

What platforms are you using (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), and how well are they working for you? Assuming they are....

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Shane RossRe: Social media making you money yet?
by on Jun 9, 2011 at 12:42:12 am

I landed a gig editing a History Channel show because of Twitter. The assistant editor of the show was following me, saw that I tweeted about editing those types of shows, found my website, recommended me to the producer.

But it only happened once. And LinkedIn is so useless to me that I cancelled my account. Nothing every came of it, even when I was looking.

BUT, Facebook has Production Notices for production work notices, and I use that...I "follow" them.


Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def

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Scott SheriffRe: Social media making you money yet?
by on Jun 9, 2011 at 4:07:01 am

I would generally agree with Shane that linkedin is useless, and only worth doing the free version. Free is free. Although as we speak I'm printing an invoice for a small editing job that came to me through linked in.

I'm not seeing the gigs come in through social media, but it is good for finding out about new free plugins, updates, industry gossip.

Scott Sheriff

I have a system, it has stuff in it, and stuff hooked to it. I have a camera, it can record stuff. I read the manuals, and know how to use this stuff and lots of other stuff too.
You should be suitably impressed...

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Mike CohenRe: Social media making you money yet?
by on Jun 9, 2011 at 2:01:32 pm

We have recently been evaluating new e-mail marketing providers, and they all have this huge focus on "social" with all the buzzwords that go along with it. Granted, the focus of these vendors is mass market retail (national retail chains, catalogs etc) who are all doing big social media campaigns. It turns out, through these e-marketing platforms, you can track the performance of your social media links down to the individual users, automatically post messages to FB, Twitter and other less used services, and while not actually monetizing any of this, at least you can see who the movers and shakers are who help to promote your brand.

All of this is retail based, of course.

If you provide a service as most of us on this board do, then social media has different uses.

I follow a few shooters and editors whose work I like - they do post the same links on FB, LinkedIn and Twitter as well as their blogs, so there is some redundant information if you follow all sources. However I am a media pro just like the folks I follow - I am following them because they post some useful links, they talk about their own activities, and they in most cases are not trying to sell me something. Like Shane said, if I want to hire someone perhaps I will look to the folks I follow first, or at least get a recommendation from them.

But how many people are following these people who are potential customers (such as small business owners, marketing directors, ad agencies, etc)? Probably not very many unless they specifically searched for, say "video production atlanta."

And that is the challenge with social media. Let's look at the FB page for a brand - most people who "like" the page are either current users of the brand or perhaps they have liked the page because of a friend liking the page. In my FB world, I only "like" a product or service if it is useful to me. For example, a friend's feed includes his comments in response to a naturopathic physician - the posts were interesting and useful (not overtly trying to sell me something) so I have become a follower. Will I become a patient of this guy? Seeing as he does not accept my insurance, the likely answer is no. But I am getting some value from the information.

Now take a national brand. Lately I have been flying Southwest a lot, so I followed them on FB. About 90% of their posts are either promotions (ie, Father's day is coming up, why not fly to see dad" with a link and a sweepstakes entry). In fact many of their posts have to do with contests. They are also celebrating their 40th anniversary so they post old photos and get people talking about their own memories. So they are getting some good will and giving people the chance to win prizes.

But all of this is aimed at current customers. Certainly getting repeat business is important for any business. But would they get the same amount of repeat business without FB? Good question.

That being said, if you show all comments on the Southwest wall, you get the flip side of social media - the backlash. A few months ago when they changed their frequent flier program from number of legs to points, their fan base erupted in complaints, some laced with some salty language.

Do the Southwest leadership read and/or respond to these posts? Another good question.

Same goes for most national brands. Sure there are wingnuts who like to complain about everything, but some of the complaints are probably with some merit. Best Buy's forums on its own website are notorious for attracting the ire of disgruntled customers, but the company has made a habit of making good with selected customers.

So am I making money off social?

Here is what we have tried so far.

A few years ago we started a YouTube page and posted brief clips of some of our more popular videos (we are also a retailer of medical videos). Some videos eventually got thousands of views. One in particular got nearly 75,000 views. And the product it was promoting had good sales as well. We then removed this video, and sales of the same product were unchanged.

As for Twitter and FB, we post links to new products and events, but we are really just getting started. We include FB and Twitter links in our e-mail marketing messages, although I suspect the target audience of doctors perhaps have other things to do besides look at Facebook.

I have my own Twitter page which I have used to engage with some public figures, some video pros, and also post information about company products and services. I have about 150 followers - it is interesting to see new followers appear depending upon what keywords appear in a tweet. Apparently some people automatically follow you if you use certain words.

As for LinkedIn, I have used it to find leads - it is amazing all the free public information that is listed. I have been contacted by a couple of physicians who I already know. From them I could connect to many people I don't know, but I have found at least anecdotally that working people are either too busy or reluctant to provide the introductions LinkedIn seems to think people are willing to provide. And then let's say I do connect to potential customers on LinkedIn - then what. I certainly am not going to send them sales pitches. It seems to come down to what Shane suggested - if someone is looking for a service, and they are either following you or they search for a service that matches your criteria, they might or might not contact you. Reminds me of those things they used to call search engines!

Let us not forget Creative COW - the social media website designed for our industry. Certainly ad agency and small business owners are not going to say "I need a video made, I'd better go to the creative cow." That would be like me saying "I need my toilet replaced, I'd better got to International Plumber's Local" - no I am going to do a search.

So if someone searches "surgical video production" they get a link to Creative COW on the first page of results. That's pretty good. I have gotten a few leads from my activities here.

Making money?

We make money by going out and pitching services to potential customers, doing direct mail marketing for our products, having relationships with industry and medical societies, and having an e-commerce website. Social media may one day help attract people, but it does not necessarily have a direct measurable effect for non-retail. As of this writing.

Mike Cohen

I would be remiss if I did not ask you to follow us on Facebook

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grinner hesterRe: Social media making you money yet?
by on Jun 9, 2011 at 2:23:53 pm

Lots of good points in there.
It's easy to measure ROI when it comes to networking. Sometimes it's not easy to put a value on the exposure proper social media offers.
I think today, many just put little blue icons on their web pages as a way to say I'm contemporary. I can admit that to a certain extent, I mean, my social networking sites often act as literal demos. Often, I find myself creating turn-key ad campaigns for small businesses... who usually have never dabbled in social media. I can skip television media buys and quote them a flat bid for the spot(s) and the creation/maintenence of youtube, twitter, and facebook presences... and have sent new clientele to existing client's sites and my own as examples when pitching.
Bottom line, I feel I at least need to be able to offer clients complete fullfillment and today, that includes social media. This is a wonderful thing. It's today's easiest way to remain top of mind with that client on an on-going basis rather than shake a hand and await another phone call.

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Patrick OrtmanRe: Social media making you money yet?
by on Jun 9, 2011 at 7:14:02 pm

I got in an article in USA Today thanks to social media (LinkedIn), and I got in a book and we got a decent lead through Facebook and Twitter last year. So social media is worth pursuing, but it's not a huge moneymaker for us at this time. It's just another way to promote what we do and keep in touch with people we like.

One of our former social media clients got a $40K job through their Facebook page. That's a small services company, by the way, so the $40K was a big deal.

I personally don't have a lot of time for Twitter, I spend most of my "spare" time (read: project rendering in another window) on Facebook and occasionally LinkedIn. Just like most SMBs do.

PatrickOrtman, Inc.
Los Angeles Digital Agency and Video Production Company

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David Roth WeissRe: Social media making you money yet?
by on Jun 10, 2011 at 9:46:49 pm

I can actually point to a number of great freelance gigs that have come my way directly via the combination of social media sites, Creative Cow, Google, and my own website, which all function together.

I think that by building and constantly maintaining a consistent presence across all of the various sites, over time one can create credibility and a reputation that come through almost instantly whenever someone "looks you up." It may be difficult to quantify in terms of actual monetary value, but I think it pays off every day of the week in one way or another, and over time it almost certainly translates into dollars.

That being said, the trend toward paying less and less for services in this industry makes it more difficult than ever to make any "real" money for most. So, while social media may add to one's bottom line, it's not going to pay the bills for most in this industry.

David Roth Weiss
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.

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walter biscardiRe: Social media making you money yet?
by on Jun 11, 2011 at 1:47:58 pm

Creative Cow has honestly gotten me more work that Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn combined. It really built my business by showing me as someone who is knowledgeable in the field. And I can honestly say it's directly or indirectly led to the growth of our company to where it is today.

But with Twitter, I maintain two accounts, one personal, one for the company. I do enjoy that I can communicate directly with tons of industry folks on a daily basis and very often we help each other out so that's cool. But as far as directly related to getting any work? No.

Facebook, again I have two accounts. One is just my personal account which I restrict to friends only. Then we have a Company account which is off to a bit of a slow start, but I do have not really been updating it enough. That will change shortly with many more behind the scenes videos and tutorials ready to start hitting that.

Same with our YouTube and Vimeo channels, we'll start to hit that more with a larger video presence.

Will those bring us more work? Not sure, but we're just going to have fun with those sites. If they drive work, great, if not, we're going to have fun anyway.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Blog Twitter Facebook

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Kai CheongRe: Social media making you money yet?
by on Jun 11, 2011 at 4:34:21 pm

I have had 2-3 inquiries that came to me through my (not-very-updated) personal blog because of my very amateur "SEO attempt" (Google 'Singapore final cut editor' and 2 of my blog pages are on the first page - the only relevant search results).

Too bad I'm not exactly freelancing :P

The blog I've set up for my day job is also doing well with my amateur SEO attempt (Google 'Singapore production house' or 'Singapore TVC production' and it's on the first page; 'Singapore corporate video' has our YouTube channel on page 2).

We've had a few leads come through our blog (we have not developed our website since starting out 5 years ago... but the blog is bringing in better hits on search engines and is doing the job pretty well).

Personally, Twitter is my very specialized newsfeed for all the most relevant and updated industry news, tips and updates. Tried doing something for my production house but have kind of dropped off - currently lacking real drive or direction for that.

Facebook remains a personal 'hobby' - but I keep in touch with some industry acquaintances through that.

I know for myself, whenever a new contact, be it a freelancer, client or company get in touch, I immediately turn to Google. So for that reason, I'm finding it pretty important to maintain a credible online presence.

FCP Editor / Producer with Intuitive Films
Now 'LIVE'! Check Out The Intuitive Films Blog @
At Intuitive Films, We Create: TV Commercials, Documentaries, Corporate Videos and Feature Films
Visit us @
MacBook Pro 2.4GHz | 4GB RAM | FCP 5.1.4 | Mac OS X 10.5.7

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Mike CohenRe: Social media making you money yet?
by on Jun 18, 2011 at 1:41:50 pm

Just read an article in a B2B trade suggesting that while 80%+ of businesses are using social most have trouble determining ROI. In other words everyone is doing it because everyone is doing it. Links seem to be one of the primary reasons. If you have valid links from social to you corporate site Google takes notice.
So while there is a ton of buzz about social being the second coming a lot of that buzz is comung from people in the business of social media. Look at your own business and see if it is right for you. You can spend a lot of time and resources and find you get nothing for it. We spent good money on pay per click advertising. Then we stopped and our sales stayed the same. You need to look at the big picture. Social is just obe part of marketing.

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Kai CheongRe: Social media making you money yet?
by on Jun 18, 2011 at 2:01:57 pm

Mike, your post reminds me of a recent hoo-ha about Malaysia's Tourism Board spending RM1.8 MILLION just on creating/maintaning their Facebook accounts:

Sounds pretty exorbitant but apparently, the Filipinos and Australians are spending even MORE on their FB campaigns:

FCP Editor / Producer with Intuitive Films
Now 'LIVE'! Check Out The Intuitive Films Blog @
At Intuitive Films, We Create: TV Commercials, Documentaries, Corporate Videos and Feature Films
Visit us @
MacBook Pro 2.4GHz | 4GB RAM | FCP 5.1.4 | Mac OS X 10.5.7

8-Core Intel Mac Pro 2.26GHz | 8GB RAM | FCP 6.0.6 | Mac OS X 10.5.6 | 3.0TB CalDigit VR | 2 x 24" Dell S2409W

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