Promoting video via social media can seem like an easy option – after all, it’s free, easy to use, and gets you an immediate audience of millions, right? Well, in my experience, if you do it properly, it’s hard, continuous work, but can prove rewarding.
When I was offered the chance to be the social manager for vidmeup.com – I jumped at it. The content to be promoted and shared is almost exclusively great video content. I already had a personal social media presence, the challenge was to build a brand profile, using my own personality.
So after 9 months, I have a modest social media presence via my vidmeup.com social accounts – at the time of writing: 934 twitter followers, 244 FaceBook friends, and a Klout score of 45. These figures are always on the increase, day by day.
My small yet ever growing network has been built up entirely by a commitment to promoting good quality video content from users of vidmeup, or that of my friends and followers. And I believe that’s an important factor – having genuinely interesting and original content.
5 Top Lessons Learned while Going Social with Video
Here are a few hints and tips based on my experience so far, mostly based on trial and error. I also looked at what others were doing, or interested me, and what seemed to work. But above all I found that personality and reciprocity has been the key to rewarding social media success so far.
Learning 1: Keep it Going, Measure & Adjust
Social media marketing does not have a ‘set it and forget it’ option. Not only do I have to keep my video posts interesting at all times, topical where possible, and engaging for receivers. I also try to keep a focus on how much influence and impact I am having every day. This allows me to adjust my strategy accordingly, often on a day-to-day basis.
There are a variety of tools to measure ongoing success: I have a preference for Klout. It gives a handy breakdown of social media tools and their effectiveness over the preceding 90 day period. For example, right now I can see that my Google+ influence is lacking, whereas FaceBook is by far the strongest – so I could either refocus on Google+, or concentrate on video promo on FaceBook: a conclusion I could never reach if I simply logged on, posted a video, and logged off.
It also has the benefit of allowing me to give a K+ to those who have influenced me, or who I would like to engage with – it’s another avenue for making contact and strengthening existing connections.
Learning 2: Business and Pleasure Never Shall Meet
keep these separate from my brand building. Easy in Google+, but requiring a greater sense of self-regulation on other platforms. Combining the social aspect with the corporate looks unprofessional and messy, and can be confusing for receivers, unsure if yours is a personal account or not. It’s just the old maxim, updated for the world of social media: in the real world I wouldn’t want to bore my buddies with quarterly analysis, or show serious corporate clients pics of my brother’s birthday party – so I don’t do it on social networks.
Learning 3: Quality, not Quantity
I have never bought Twitter followers, or ‘likes’ on FaceBook. It’s an empty stat, a false economy with little or no return. My experience is that it’s better to build your following by sharing relevant video content, interesting news, and an occasional marketing message. Not a single individual in my network has been ‘bought’. This means I know they are all there willingly, out of interest, and because they like what I do.
I also endeavor to bring some color to my video posts by showing my personality in the comments I attach to them – obviously there’ll be some promotional element – but I try to make it personal, by having conversations, ‘liking’ or re-tweeting the video posts of others, and commenting on interesting videos and views. I find I usually get a response in kind.
Also, I find showing that you are an individual by making it topical is important: breaking off from the my usual posts to use a twitter trending hashtag, or comment on something newsworthy. Not only does this make it interesting for receivers (and potentially expose me to a much larger audience), it makes the whole process more interesting and varied. If you look at my tweets you'll see what I mean:
Learning 4: Reciprocity is Key
Even something as simple as thanking another user for a retweet or mention can start off a productive relationship, and will make them more likely to be aware of, and take note of, my future video posts. I’ve found such actions make it much more likely that my posts will be included in online magazines (e.g. http:www.paper.li), which I then re-tweet and post to further mine and their coverage - so everyone’s a winner.
Reciprocity and communication has helped me build up useful friends and allies, who add to my online experience and my content. For example, this is true to the extent that some social network friends have been involved in- discussing their view on what makes a video go viral, or being quoted on the benefit of having a vlog for their business.
I’ve had several interesting twitter-chats with the good people at Forbidden Tech. A quote from Canadian artist Retrophiliac added some color and a personal touch to a vlogging article. And I’ve been added to various people’s Twitter and Klout lists and FaceBook groups, ranging from ‘tech’ to ‘video’ and ‘interesting people’; this wouldn’t have happened if I had only ever popped onto social media, thrown a promotion at people, then left. Who’d want to talk to me or include me then?
Learning 5: It’s a Two-way Street
I personally find it annoying when other promoters using Social Media don’t engage, but simply ‘post and leave’. Whatever the platform being used, I always remind myself that it’s a community, not a free billboard. When users only log on to promote, taking no interest in what I'm doing and failing to interact, I see through it straight away.
So whether it’s a re - tweet, a positive comment or awarding K+ on Klout, I’ve found it will almost certainly be gratefully received and often returned at some point by those who follow me. Even when, out of the blue, an individual ads a topic to my list on Klout, I don’t mind – it’s not an imposition, and it gives me a sense of how I am influencing people - and where I’m failing to.
Be Yourself & The Golden Rule
To sum up, when promoting video via Social Media, I've found it best to be myself, give credit where it is due, and do unto others and you would have them do unto you - and being civil is key. Put simply, I interact online just as I would in person with a potential client, friend or a total stranger. So if you'd like to interact and offer any tips or suggestions that could enhance social media effectiveness – let me know!