Using Vine for Video Marketing

Vine is an app (acquired by Twitter) that helps you create, post and share 6 second embeddable video clips. Forget about video production crews, video rendering and other technical edits. If you like animated-GIFs, you can think of these short videos as a fun way to use different content in your current social media campaigns. Here are some some things to remember if you’re thinking about using Vine for your business:

Simplicity: Keeping it simple is always a good rule of thumb. But this matters even more when you’re dealing with 6 seconds of video! Whether you’re doing a quick product demo, office/staff intro, event announcement etc. make sure that your video showcases and achieves one main purpose.

Brand awareness: Vine is an awesome way for a business of any size to strengthen their online branding on social media. Whether it means showing your logo in a creative way or just literally showing your best products,

Shareability: The popularity of Vine videos are growing, even off Twitter where brands can now embed their videos on their website or blog. The flexibility of sharing these videos makes it appealing for businesses who want to grow their social media presence.

Personality: Even when using these short videos, it’s an easy and quick way to showcase the personality of your brand and employees and to give potential customers a brief look inside your company. Remember, you can also utilize the sound function to add music or quick voice-overs.

Read more about “The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Vine for Marketing” here and let us know what you think of Vine if you’ve tried it. Comment or contact us for any questions about video marketing.

4 Visual Networks for Social Sharing

look at me

Are you tired of Pinterest yet? If you’re looking for other sites for visual sharing, you’ve come to the right place. Take a look at these 4 picks and you’ll see why you can benefit from other, niche social networks:

1) Behance – This is a great place to showcase your online portfolio and organize collections. Use popular categories as you grow your profile for some awesome link juice. This site is an excellent, profession forum to review peers, show off and have some fun.

2) Snapguide – This site is like eHow (or similiar tutorial sites) …BUT it’s more visual appealing as pictures are front and center. Instead of relying on text that can be confusing/boring, you create guides using with chunks of text and easy to follow visuals. From “How to Get More Followers on Instagram” to “How to Keep Bananas Fresh Longer”, you’re sure to find a relevant category that you can contribute to.

3) Jux – When you visit Jux, the pictures literally take up your whole screen. Join to immerse yourself and share pictures, articles, slideshows, block quotes, videos and top 10 lists. This may seem like a lot but all these categories are based on big,beautiful pictures. Whereas sites like Pinterest can be overwhelming with endless pictures and thumbnails, Jux zeroes in by allowing you to only focus on one piece at a time.

4) Story Wheel – Instagram pictures, stories and nostalgia. What more is there to want? This site allows you to curate stories into neat little slideshows using your own pictures. Sometimes, words just aren’t necessary.

Whether you’re looking for more external link building resources, social media advertising inspiration, or just a place to connect online with peers, these sites are sure to be helpful. Let us know if you have any other favorite sites for sharing visuals!

Microsoft Gets So.Cl

microsoft so.cl

If you heard that Microsoft has launched a social networking site, the first idea that comes into mind that it’s a competitor to Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus. Wrong. In their own words, Microsoft So.cl is an “experimental research project” and the goal is to help users search for, express and share ideas through collages.

So.Cl’s Quiet Unveiling
So.cl actually launched in December of last year and was aimed at students. No surprise here – So.cl is powered by Bing, which pulls visual content that can be added as a story to the community. Like visual and viral trends seen on Twitter and Pinterest, So.cl is meant to be a place where the stories are amplified and classified by specific interests. Of course, this social community isn’t for just any user and it’s completely self-aware of the fact as it still clearly touts a “Microsoft Research” banner under the logo.

The Power of Visuals
Looking through the site, you’ll see a common theme of discussion, sharing and discovering. Instead of the me-centric attitudes of other social networking sites, So.cl is interest-based. And it’s not just about finding and sharing pictures, you can also post news articles and video. Speaking of, another interesting feature is Video Party where you can group chat with your others while watching YouTube videos. Again, these video parties are based on a specific topic, so you’ll be watching and commenting in real time. (Kinda reminds you of the early, good-ole AOL chatroom days, doesn’t it?)

What’s Your Impression?
While I appreciate So.cl’s subtle introduction and differentiation from other social networks, it’s not really clear if this site can hold it’s all against the giants. But then again, So.cl doesn’t claim to be a game changer. I guess we can only wait and see what direction it takes on next. Like with many social media sites, privacy is a concern. Did you know what your friends are able to view your search history? Be wary of your questionable searches! Besides that, nothing else really stands out in my mind. What do you think of So.cl?

What Can Your Business Learn from 2012’s Super Bowl Ads?

Did you catch the big game this weekend? Whether you’re in it for the actual game, the food or the half-time show, the advertisements have become a spectacle of their own. Here are 5 commercials and some lessons you can learn from each:

Doritos
Doritos is known for making funny and memorable commercials and this one doesn’t disappoint. Well, unless you’re more of a cat person… This ad combined humor with product placement in all the right places. Lesson learned: Keep your ads short and to the point – customers will remember!

Samsung
Samsung has made fun of “urban camping” before, it what others have called their anti-iPhone ads. This latest ad showcases a larger screen and some cool looking stylus pen, all celebrated in an over the top style. The down point of this product highlight is that they should’ve shown more about then pen and show viewers that it’s not just a regular stylus. Lesson learned: You can make fun of the competition but make sure that your product can stand up to your talk!

Honda CRV
Nostalgia, anyone? This ad received a lot of buzz and mostly positive reviews. It showcases some pretty cool car features, as well as a possible Ferris Bueller sequel. Lesson learned: people love the 80’s and familiar faces.

Toyota
While this commercial tried hard to push “reinvention”, the ad itself did very little to show viewers what was so new about the car. I think ads like this spend too much time on the creative aspect and not enough on sealing the deal with hard facts… or even product details for that matter. Lesson learned: A commercial can’t be considered effective if it does little to remind customers why they should use your product.

Go Daddy
According to critics, this ad ranks dead last. When these commercials first came out, the point was to be sexy, shocking and provocative. But for the past couple of years, this schtick isn’t doing it for viewers anymore. Lesson learned: Don’t beat a dead horse. If your edgy angle is no longer working, it’s time to think of something else. Nowadays, I think these commercials make the company look very lame and outdated. Anyone else with me?

What were your favorite and least favorite commercials? Check them all out here on Mashable and feel free to share your favorite online viral marketing campaign with us.

Optimizing Your YouTube Videos

The American Dream film

There’s nothing worse than the misconception of, “If you build it, they will come.” Of course, this also applies to your website video marketing. YouTube views don’t just add up by themselves!

Just like Google’s search engine algorithm changes on an everyday basis, YouTube’s search engine also has a system for ranking your videos as it applies to related terms and keywords. So, in order to make the most out of the hard work you put into making a great video, it’s important to look at a few different ways you can improve your YouTube search rankings.

Titles, descriptions and tags – When choosing these keywords, remember that you’re not just appealing to the YouTube search engine but more importantly, the viewers. It’s important to use interesting terms that people would actually want to click on when your video shows up in their search results.

Positive user interaction – YouTube considers the number of views, comments, subscribers and ratings of your videos. Make it easy for your viewers to comment on and rate your videos. (Depending on the nature of your video, you’ll also have to keep a sharp eye out for YouTube trolls.)

Encouraging clicks – Make sure to add your site URL in your video descriptions and main channel info. Keep your viewers engaged with a call to action such as “Visit our site” or “Support our cause”. Also if you receive video responses, you can accept the links to also help increase the visibility of your videos.

PS) Remember to also optimize the technical aspects of your YouTube videos and don’t forget to check out The American Dream Film.

Social Media Gives ‘The Walking Dead’ a Hand

Last night, Conan O’Brien made his triumph return to late night television on the debut of his new show on TBS. Not only did Conan beat David Letterman and Jay Leno, but he also managed to pull in more viewers than Jon Stewart’s Daily Show! Perhaps, this wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the 1 million+ devoted fans of I’m with Coco.

Let’s take a look at how social media has also helped one of my new favorite shows, The Walking Dead:

Home to Mad Men and Breaking Bad, AMC brought life to the comic book series in 6 episodes for the first season of The Walking Dead. After just 2 episodes, it’s been confirmed that the network as OKed 13 episodes for the second season!
How exciting can zombies really be? Check out some fan feedback: “This is the best zombie show ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and “This by far is one of the best made series, ever, I truly can’t wait to see what you do next. Thanks.” Note how the Page updates frequently with Q&A, conversation and extras to engage their fans.

The marketing team hasn’t just stopped at their Facebook Page though. Fans can also Spread the Dead, which is a way for them to generate a unique URL to share on their social networks. This is a great way to generate buzz and encourage conversation. Meanwhile, more clicks = more points. The contest ends Nov. 19th and prizes consist of $5000 and other Walking Dead memorabilia. Check out the leaderboard to see who has exposed the most friends to the undead.

Improve Everwhere’s Mp3 Experiment # 7

Tomorrow night, Improv Everywhere is set to carryout their 7th Mp3 experiment!

It will all take place in Manhattan, NY and you can read more about it here. The goal is to have as many people as possible download an Mp3 file that contains instructions – everyone will listen to that file for the first time tomorrow night at 6PM. As the crowd gathers, hilarity will ensure! Last year, the crowd imitated popcorn, followed strangers, and participated in a friendly game of Bats vs. Hammers.

Take a look for yourself in the clip above. Does it remind you of one of your favorite online viral campaigns?

I think they should bring it to Los Angeles!

Arcade Fire: Social Media and a #1 Album

As Katy Perry, Drake, Eminem and Lady Gaga dominate the summer music charts, it was nice to see a change at the top spot. Congrats to Arcade Fire! But what really helped them get there? Good music, unique live performances, loyal fans or a focused social media marketing plan? How about all of the above? Earlier this month, the band even played a live show from New York’s Madison Square Garden, which was streamed in real-time on YouTube.

A look at Arcade Fire’s social media profiles reveals that they are effective because they are so well-maintained. It’s also refreshing to see a band expand beyond just using MySpace. All the profiles are linked to their main site, where fans can find tour information and buy the new album. Over 97,000 digital sales have also helped Arcade Fire secure the #1 spot.

The ease and shareability through social media has given Arcade Fire (and tons of other bands) an opportunity to reach new fans that they wouldn’t have otherwise. A new Arcade Fire fan reveals, “I just found out about this band today and I must say, I’m quite impressed. They are amazing.” Isn’t this glowing review an example of what any band or business would like to have said about them?

‘Modern Man’ is currently my favorite track off the album. Check it out!

Online Viral Marketing Catches Sports Fever in 2010

Doodle Jump and the World Cup
I’m not a huge sports fan, so I never got the fervor that fans feel during the finals, championships, etc… until this year! I’ve also been paying more attention to online viral marketing and internet memes that come from these events. Soccer is the most watched sport in the entire world and Doodle Jump is one of the most popular iPhone apps, so it’s no wonder that these would go hand in hand for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This addicting game features creatures that represent team Italy, Norway, Japan and more. Instead of shooting regular balls, our beloved Doodle shoots out a fountain of soccer balls.

Death to the Vuvuzela

If you tuned into the World Cup, you’ll notice a distinctly annoying horn noise in the background. Half-sheep baaa and half-bee swarming, the vuvuzela is a South African stadium horn. Fans like to use it to show their enthusiasm, distract the opposing team, or just to make A LOT of noise. Sports officials have even made attempts to ban the instrument as they are so loud it can even lead to hearing loss. Check out Mashable’s wrap up on the vuvuzela. Someone has created a Twitter account with updates that mimic the instrument’s sound while another vuvuzela-hater has even uploaded an Ewok remix.

Social Media Stats: Lakers vs. Celtics
With the LA Lakers and Boston Celtics tied at 3-3, it’s winner take all at Game 7 of the NBA Finals tomorrow. While the Celtics have home court advantage, Laker fans are sure to riot whether the team wins or loses. Let’s take a look at these long-time rivals and how their social media stats compare:

  • Facebook – Celtics: 827,550 fans | Lakers: 1,272,429 fans
  • Twitter – Celtics: 57,447 followers | Lakers: 1,559,464 followers
  • Twitter mentions via TweetVolume – Celtics: 1,620,000 times | Lakers: 4,130,000 times
  • Google search results – Celtics: 18,800,000 results | Lakers 26,600,000 results

With that in mind, we’ll see who the true winners are after tomorrow night … go Lakers!

Photo credit: Doodle Jump in the App Store

Successful Social Media Advertising Provides Value

Most people can agree that the most effective social media advertising campaigns are the ones that provide real value. With this in mind, more companies are creating resources that solely exist to provide customers with information and help solve their problems. I came across this link on Twitter and thought that the Visual Economics site is a great example.

You’ve probably seen these infographics passed around on social media sites but did you know that it’s owned by Credit Loan?


From using ice cream to explain certificate of deposits to visual maps such as this, Visual Economics is an informative site whose sole purpose is to inform. It’s not until I went to check out their Twitter and Facebook Page that I noticed the affiliation. This is a great example of shareable content but it obviously takes a lot of time and effort to compile a whole different site for consumers.

What are some other sites that you’ve found helpful and who are they affiliated with?