Are you at all confused by the term "Social Video?" It's become a bit of a buzz word recently and I thought it would be worthwhile to ask the question, "is "social video" just another internet marketing buzz term or does it represent a Reel trend? For some debate on that, I interviewed social media expert Jason Falls, and co-author of the book, "No BullShit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing". Suffice to say, he has strong opinions about video and social.
My No-Bullshit Social Video Interview with Jason Falls
Is "social video" a bullshit term?
"I think that social video is a little bit of a bullshit term, and here's why: Video is something you can put it on social media channels like Facebook, you can use it for conversation's sake as oppose to one way broadcast sake, but it's still video. It only becomes social if it causes any action from people, and that's the only label or the only requirement for it to be social.
If people will share it, it's social. If people will comment on it, it's social. If they will respond to it with other videos, then it becomes social. So to me, social video is anything that illicit a response. Quite frankly if you're doing any type of video that doesn't illicit a response, stop because you're wasting your time. Every video to me needs to be some sort of social video.
Now in a more specific description, how do we use video within social channels – whether it be on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, links and so forth? I think video has to be done at a tactical level at that point. It is an execution strategy that's helping you accomplish something greater – whether it be to enhance brand awareness and positive sentiment, to drive on sales, to build community, and so on and so forth. You're using videos to supplement, or to activate around, your strategy; and to both approach and appeal to an audience. That's simply because there are going to be people out there that will respond to, and will be more responsive to, video – than they would to written copy or other kinds of media.
So to me the term "social video" is kind of almost assumed and implied; because if the content is good enough in video, it's going to "go social" to a degree. It's just a matter of what type of social you're trying to produce? Do you want people to share it? Do you want them to comment on it? Do you want them to create their own content around it? Then it becomes business-driven, which can be a little more harder to figure; but it's really only harder to figure if you don't really have that goal in mind of what you want to use it for.
That begs the question: what types of responses should we really care about? It seems too easy for people involved with social media campaigns to get fixated on the low-hanging metrics that don't necessarily have implicit value to their business.
Well, that's true. I would only add that if your goal is branding awareness and reach, then getting more eyeballs is going to be one of your metrics; and so the number of shares, the number of views, etc. matters in that sort of equation.
But in the same time, if you're trying to draw out the bottom line – a straight solid line from what you're doing in social, especially in video, to how much money you're making – then you have got to have clear engagement opportunities beyond that. You've got to have a cause-to-action with the video, you've got to have links around it to drive people to purchase or to provide you with contact information so that they become a lead, a new track that lead to your system, so on and so forth. You've got to have measurement techniques in place if you are trying to literally measuring return of investment of that video project through that video effort.
While views and shares and "likes" may demonstrate some kind of audience interest, that alone isn't enough to demonstrate tangible value for most business goals; or at least, not without a clear call-to-action to take advantage of that sentiment or buzz (and be able to measure the results).
Yes, and here's my own example which directly relates to that: I'm doing an event in Dallas this February called, "Explore Dallas Fort Worth" and I'm using video marketing, or social video. Partially that's done to drive awareness of the event, but I'm also measuring performance from these videos, which are split-screen recordings on Skype (just like we're doing here), of me talking to my fellow speakers; sort of not talking about the event really, but picking their brain and getting some expertise from each of them as a little preview of what attendees can learn from at Explore Dallas Fort Worth.
I'll post these videos on my blog, and then in the video I'll say something like, "by the way these questions going to be at the Explore Dallas Fort Worth conference, where we're both speaking at;" and viewers can click on a link on the video or below the video on the landing page on my own site, socialmediaexplorer.com/exploredallas, where they can register for the event, or watch my other videos. That way, I'm tracking how many people register from those video pages versus other mechanisms of where we're advertising that particular event. So that at the end of the event I can say something like, "I drove hundred and fifty tickets sales from those video blog posts." Now that's how I can do a social video campaign to setup measurable sales goals, and adjust it based on how people respond.
About Jason Falls, Social Media Author and No-Bullshitter
Jason Falls is the co-author of "No BullShit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing. He is also of the most in-demand speakers in the social media, public relations and marketing fields today. Perhaps at best in the role of social media educator and presenter. Jason coordinates workshops on social media marketing for groups like American Marketing Association, Public Relations Society of America and International Association of Business Communicators chapters. You can purchase a copy of his book at nobullshitsocialmedia.com, and on Amazon and other major retailer sites; and his company and blog website is socialmediaexplorer.com.
"You have to be consumer-centric, not product centric. You have to have a genuine interest in the people who are consuming your product or service.” – Jason Falls
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View The Full Video Transcript:
Grant: Jason Falls, author of social media grow up, no bullshit social media, good to have you on for this no bullshit interview.
Jason: Thanks for having me Grant, it’s going to be fun.
Grant: The first thing I always ask is why should somebody who is an online video professional or any digital marketer, why should they go out and buy this book that starts with, “No Bullshit?”
Jason: Well sure – and you know I think the biggest reason to buy the book for an online video professional or any other digital marketer is the we’re going to – it’s basically going to give you I think a really good rounding for social media marketing specifically of how to wind out your goals and objectives for yourself or for your clients, have a built in measurement systems that will allow you, you know, to execute the things that you’re trying to execute and with fact and goal with measuring and producing any return statement in mind for your company or for your clients and while we certainly don’t go into a whole lot of debt with video because there are other video experts out there and if you’re doing online video, you’re more than expert than we are.
We’re helping you with the broad picture and strategic planning standpoint and I think look will be really really useful for you as well. There’s a couple of case studies in there that involve video but I think you guys in the video world pretty much got that link but we’re going to help you with as more of a broad strategy, kind of like a marketing strategy in general that will help you understand how to not only build goals, objectives and measurement systems but also maybe look at the social media marketing landscape a little bit more broader so that you can help integrate what you’re doing with online video with social video into more broad marketing programs.
Grant: So let me – let me ask you from that because – first a lot of marketers or people that can make it out on the street need someone like yourself to remind them of the big picture there in it’s reciprocal. What does social video means to you? I mean, when I can say it’s sometimes does sound like a bullshit term but I used this term as saying that blinding that video with new relationships for the co-creation of value. I’m just not saying it has to necessarily the one who’s on the content originally is responsible for the content and take a life of it’s own but on two areas is does a commercial – can a commercial up on YouTube and that has a million views, does it become a social video for what’s never meant for that audience? Sure, but can the most social video out there and nobody ever knows about it and is never shared be a social video? So these are the two opposing ideas. But what I like to ask you is what’s the use of social video?
Jason: Well I think, you know, in my end again, you know, keep in mind I’m always going to take sort of their bullshit stands on there and I almost think of social video is a little bit a bullshit term. Because I think video is video and you can put it on Facebook, you can use it for conversation sake as oppose to one way broadcast sake, it’s still video. And it becomes social if it causes every action from people, that’s the only label or the only requirement for it to be social. If people will share it, it is social, if people will comment on it, it is social, if they will respond to it with other videos then it becomes social. And so social video to me is anything that illicit a response. Quite frankly if you’re doing any type of video that doesn’t illicit a response, stop because you’re wasting your time, you know every video to me is a some sort of social video. Now in a more specific description, you know, how do we use video within social channels whether it be on YouTube or whether it be in, you know, Facebook or blogs or links from Twitter and so forth, you really use – I think video at a tactical level at that point. It is an execution strategy that’s helping you accomplish something greater whether it be to enhance that brand new winners, to drive on sales, to build community and so on and so forth, you’re using videos to supplement and or to activate around your strategy and to approach appeal to an audience because there are going to be people out there that will respond and will be more responsive to video that they would, say written copy of some sort.
So to me social video is kind of almost kind of assumed and implied because if the content is good enough in video, it’s going to social to a degree, it’s just a matter of what type of social you’re trying to produce? You want people to share it? You want to comment on it? You want them to create their own content around it? Then it becomes a little bit more, you know, harder to figure but it’s really only harder to figure if you, you know if you don’t really have that goal in mind of what you want to use it for.
Grant: And again it comes back to that idea of No Bullshit it’s still of how is this ultimately going to benefit my business as long as you have some real ten, twenty goals there, I mean there’s a lot of social video out there that are shared but ultimately doesn’t reach a business call or and it might b fun to do but it’s base on how you have – what we have extra amount of shares, it’s successful, to me that’s bullshit, it’s something more than sharing itself, it’s a minimal level of social activity but it’s just because a lot of people Twits on it, it doesn’t mean that ultimately helped you has it?
Jason: Well that’s true, I would only add that if you’re branding awareness then reach, you know, getting more eyeballs is going to be one of your metrics. And so the number of shares, the number of views, etc. matters in that sort of equation but in the same time if the way if you’re trying to draw out the bottom line, straight solid line from what you’re doing in social, especially in video to how much money you’re making then you got to have clear cause to action the video, you’ve got to have links around it to drive people to purchase or to provide you with contact information so that they become a lead, a new track that lead to your system, so on and so forth. You’ve got to have measurement techniques in place if you are trying to literally measuring return of investment of that video project through that video effort. But at the same time some of those quote and quote, you know, hippie treat over metrics like number of views, etc. they can be useful, but ultimately no they’re not going to show you on a lot.
Grant: And I think there are some good point to be made is that when I – even though I might sound harsh with people who are good at making creative video and other shares, who have the money, who have to see jive, who have the talent, who have a distribution model, they’re good at getting awareness and attention and shares. You know, they’ve reached that first point brand awareness. They where talking about, okay you guys we need to be practicing some no bullshit here and going further than that. Because there’s so much more that is expected to be successful because there are so many social/viral videos out there and the stakes have – have been raised, it’s not a television advertisement anymore.
Jason: That is true. Let me give a quick example for your guide, I’m doing an event in Dallas, Texas in February called Explore Dallas Fort Worth and I’m using video marketing social video to drive some awareness and even some – in measuring some art array from these videos and how I’m doing this is I’m doing Skype recording just like this, you know, split screen, me talking to the speakers about the event. And sort of not talking about the event really but picking the rating and getting some expertise from them as a little preview of, hey this is a small part that you can learn from at Explore Dallas Fort Worth.
And I’ll post these videos on my blog and then in the video I say, by the way these questions going to be at Dallas Fort Worth but once you come, you know, you come ,down below the video on social media explorer and click on the link and all that good stuff. And that link that I have there where the ticket and bad forum that I had on blog, I’m tracking how many people register from those video pages versus other mechanisms of where we’re advertising that particular event. So that at the end of the event I can say, well I drove a hundred and fifty tickets sales from those video blog post. So I know what my heart allow on what video project is gong to be.
Grant: That seems to me an ideal social business video that everyone can do, I mean Skype, Split screen, you record it, cross marketing two audiences where people are also passionate follow this once with a call of action there that you can results. There is your example, No Bullshit Social Business Video. And then – let me just get – I thank you for a stop or giving me excuse to say no bullshit, probably more than I’ve ever said in this interview with purpose. So the last thing for our audience is when are we going to see you in January 2012, where can people find you at?
Jason: Oh I’m all over the place, lets’ see, socialmediaexplorer.com is my company and my blog website, I’m also Jason Falls on most social networks, it’s falls like Niagara, but if you want to look at the book, blog 42, nobullshitsocialmedia.com has links to your favorite retails there so you can order if you’d like. And that’s pretty much where you can find me.
Grant: Well thank you very much Jason, I enjoyed this very much. Thank you for being social with me and being with you let’s see how the results that cover it.
Jason: Absolutely, send me that metrics report at the end of the month Grant, l appreciate it.
Grant: Roger on that.