Mark Grimm

 

The Hole in Social Media: Video That Makes You Shine

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what is a video worth?

The use of video in our social media platforms presents enormous opportunities and, so far, too many are not taking full advantage of it.

YouTube essentially offers you your own TV channel at no cost. Unlike Facebook, whose user-friendly credentials are questionable, YouTube does a number of things to make your channel easy to use and effective.

Firstly, you don’t really need to host video on your site. You can place them all on YouTube and embed the links into your own website, into Facebook or LinkedIn, or link to them from Twitter. YouTube also deals well with the complexity of various types of video files by converting them to a format people can view on their computer. Your YouTube videos can also be found in searches offering more exposure at no cost to you. Over 800 million unique users visit YouTube each month. More video is uploaded to YouTube in one month than the three major US networks created in 60 years.(1)

There are special features that are quite helpful. For example, if you find a YouTube video you wish to share, but the really good stuff doesn’t start until 3 minutes and 12 seconds into the video, you can set when you want the video to start when someone opens your link (hit the “share” button and then “options”). You can also add text to the video under annotations.

The fight for people’s attention has never been more challenging. Social media has made nearly everyone a “publisher.” We are consuming information at an unprecedented rate. And so much that is distributed is ignored. Video is a tool to grab and capture attention and to tell a story better.

There are some cautions, however. Your video reflects on you. Blurry video, poor audio, harsh lighting and weak graphics send a message, too. The wrong message. Investing in professional help —- producers, videographers, on-camera/voiceover talent — is money well spent for your signature videos (here’s mine, for one example). However, that’s not realistic for all your videos given the need to produce content on an ongoing basis. Video cameras and software are more affordable than ever before. Take advantage of their use. Remember, though, a video is about telling a story, not communicating a bunch of data. So before you prepare a short video (and be sure to keep them short), ask yourself, “What is my story here?” Be yourself, be conversational, and avoid talking heads. Make it as visual as possible. If you do, a video will be worth more than a thousand words. It will move you one step closer to your dream!

The writer is a former TV anchor/producer who now provides insights and training to dramatically improve how people communicate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CEO Social Media Holdouts: Swim Now or Drown Later

Many CEO’s have been reluctant to jump with both feet into the social media pond for a variety of seemingly good reasons:

1- They made it to the top without it and would prefer to rely on the things that got them there.
2- They see it as one more infringement on their admittedly valuable time.
3- It feels like the constantly changing landscape makes it impossible to have a structured plan anyway.
4- By virtue of their position, they do pay a higher price for posting something that could come back to haunt them.
5- Some feel young people have embraced it, but more senior people have not.

…And Kodak executives felt digital photography would never rival film.

There have been two revolutionary developments in mass communication in the past six and half centuries. The mid-15th century invention of the printing press created one-way mass communication. Social media made mass communication interactive, instantaneous, and global. Social media isn’t a fad, it’s the new tapestry where relationships, business, politics, and culture will be placed. And it’s not just for the young. The average age of a LinkedIn user is 44 years old.(1)

The clock is ticking. Social media is about building relationships and that takes time. Business and life is about building relationships, too. Those resisting social media now will find it even harder later to join the game. Swim now or drown later.

The real question is how to use social media. Every executive needs a plan. It must be guided by customer and prospect behavior, be full of compelling content, and subject to the same return-on-investment test that any other activity would face. It’s a big challenge for CEO’s. There’s no denying that. But isn’t meeting challenges what CEO’s do best?

The writer is a communications consultant and head of his own company.

P.S. For an outstanding white paper on convincing CEO’s to embrace social media, view this link.