Gigya Socialize

4 01 2010

Spending lots of time embedding lately – it’s annoyingly excruciating 98% of the time as I pour through all the instructions of how to install this/that, but also exciting 2% of the time when I actually get it to work. Hopefully my success rate will increase over time!

Gigya Socialize is the latest widget I’m gonna try and toy with – anyone have experience/success with it?





Checking out Amazon Associates on Blogger

19 12 2009

Just heard that Blogger has integrated Amazon Associates and I’m trying to test it out.

So far it works pretty good – when is WordPress going to follow?

See in action here.





Tweet Deck + Tweet Later + Bit.ly + Tr.im = Hoot Suite and More!

4 11 2009

Great video by Steve giving a shout-out to Hoot Suite – a kick-ass free web platform for serious Twitterers.

I’ve taken a look at several other platforms and Hootsuite is my favorite because of how user-friendly it is. I can manage multiple accounts from a single location, schedule future Tweets as well as review sent ones, and browse various accounts for DMs and mentions. In short, Hootsuite rocks.





Twitter 101 for Businesses

24 10 2009

twitter101
Twitter takes a while to get your head wrapped around, but if you’re interested on behalf of your business, a great place to start is Twitter 101. In case you’ve been stuck under a rock for the past year, Twitter is a real-time communication platform that enables businesses to stay connected to their customers. Businesses can quickly share information with prospective clients/employees, gather real-time market intelligence and feedback, and build relationships with customers, partners and other people who care about your company.

Download the deck and discuss it with your boss; it’s good stuff.





Integrating Videos Into Your Social Media

14 10 2009

It’s funny that the migration of ad budget from TV to online isn’t because people don’t like watching TV. I would argue that traditional TV categorization is simply too limiting for your average online user who wants to watch what they’re interested in and now. It’s not so much an issue of the content being better online, but simply that users can more efficiently search, locate and watch video online than through their cable box TV guide, the only constraints being availability. This explains the continued growth of sites like YouTube and Hulu.
youtube-com_uv_1y
hulu-com_uv_1y

For social media marketers, video arguably is much more efficient and effective in eliciting responses from the audience (especially when done well). Many large brands have figured this out and moved quickly to export their very expensive commercials online, as well as taken steps in certain instances to create specific videos meant primarily for online consumption. For small companies however, online videos can be even more powerful and effective as compared to a traditional TV spot. Two of my favorites are below:

TOMS Shoes


BlendTec

I chose these videos because they very effectively elicit strong responses (TOMS Shoes: inspiration/charity; BlendTec: Humor, WTF?), but also because they look to have been produced with very doable budgets. No fancy special effects or celebrity spokespeople, just good ideas that translated to engaging video.

It’s no wonder that both of these have became phenomenally viral; TOMS Shoes video has been viewed 150k times and BlendTec’s video as of this post has been viewed a staggering 7.3m times.  Ah, the magic of free promotion!

It shouldn’t be that much of a surprise really; people loved what they saw and what makes social media so powerful is that it’s MUCH easier to share online videos (forward the link, retweet it, post it to FB, digg it, etc.) compared to TV spots which only become viral with word of mouth – when’s the last time you loved a commercial enough to record it and show it to your friend later???

I’d encourage folks to check out the YouTube profiles of both Tomsshoes and BlendTec for examples of great use of video in the marketing mix.

I’ve recently begun conversations with some folks that do video production and hoping to pick their brains on how to create effective videos on the cheap so I can share it. Until then, it’s clear that you need to be at least thinking about how you might go about getting videos up about your product/service and incorporating it into your strategy. Brainstorm it, come up with a good idea, bounce it off some friends to make sure it isn’t terrible, consider how you’d produce it yourself, then get a real quote and try and do the math on value vs. cost. Good luck!

More reading:
Macktalk on video integration.
e-Commerce guide on unleashing your inner video producer.





Hootsuite Video Tutorial

12 10 2009

Hootsuite is the professional platform for professional Twitter clients and it is UNBELIEVABLY useful. Not only does it let you schedule future updates, it also allows you to manage multiple Twitter accounts and even provides you with statistics. What else do you need?





Twitter Tips for Newbies

8 10 2009

Great video by Chad where he explains how to use Twitter in a simple and easy-to-understand fashion.

Here are the quick take-aways:

1.) Define your purpose – what are you hoping to use Twitter for?
2.) Start following people, because many of them will follow you back.
3.) Start tweeting immediately – the sooner the better – but don’t overdo it!
4.) Use the @Reply function to engage in conversations.
5.) Don’t send spammy messages.