Talking Heads Are Awesome

Whew!  Hi!  I feel like I haven’t looked up from work in days.  Things are busy, busy, busy over here and we are loving it!  Every day, it seems, we have new clients, new projects, new missions, new platforms, new techniques, new knowledge and new wisdom. 

In the spirit of newness and ever-changing technology, today we offer you this:  Talking Heads.  No, not the band.  A talking head video is basically a small person who walks onto your website and tells your viewer something really important.  You know how important and popular videos on websites are right now, and a talking head video is even more interesting and even more engaging!

Aside from just being really cool, talking heads draw more attention than a basic video because they’re still fairly unique.  They also start playing immediately, gaining the audience of those visitors who might never press play on a standard website video.

Want to see one in action?  Visit America’s Business Management, one of our recent clients, and check it out!  Then, come back here and tell us what you think!

Why Should I Blog?

“Why should I blog?  Who reads blogs, anyway?” 

We hear these questions fairly regularly from our clients.  There seems to be a feeling that blogging was SOOOOO ten years ago, and that advanced social platforms have rendered it obsolete.  That is simply not the case.  In fact, blogging is more popular now than it was years ago.  Perhaps that’s because more people are online than ten years ago.  Perhaps it’s because the evolving and cutting edge blogging platforms — like Tumblr and WordPress — are exciting and fun.  Or perhaps it’s because through the years, people have realized just how useful blogging is.  In any case, we always suggest our clients use blogs.  Here are some of our many reasons.

  • Share your passion. You do what you do because you love it.  You’re passionate about it.  And blogging is an excellent way to share that passion.  Your passion will ignite your readers’ passions, and that’s all good for you.
  • Share your knowledge. When you create a blog and write about something you know, you are positioning yourself as someone who is knowledgeable about your industry or topic.  When you write consistent, solid blog posts that are interesting and accurate, you will quickly establish your validity as an expert.  And who would you rather take advice and buy things from — an expert or just some guy?
  • Attract different readers. Many blogging platforms — WordPress and Tumblr included — are actually a social network all their own.  That means people go to WordPress or Tumblr just to be on WordPress or Tumblr and browse around.  On these kinds of blogging platforms, you will get readers who otherwise might never have found you.  And, if they like what you have to say, many of them will visit your website or convert in some other way!
  • Create more content. All the content you create links back to you.  You might say, “All roads lead to Rome.”  Blogging is a great way to generate deep, interesting content.  Even SEO optimized content.  And all that lovely, juicy content is indexed and searched by things like Google.  So, blogging becomes yet another way that you can make yourself easier to find.  And that, in itself, is enough of a reason to blog!

Facebook Is Changing Again!

Yep, that’s right!  But, I mean, would the world seem right if Facebook wasn’t shaking up one thing or another every week or two?

As of last week, Facebook has begun rolling out the new Facebook Pages.  So what’s new?  And what does this mean for you?

The new Facebook Pages look quite similar to the new profile layouts.  You’ll see the now familiar strip of photos at the top of the page, as well as the navigation in the left column.  The layout isn’t the only thing that has changed, though!  Perhaps even bigger than the layout changes are the functionality changes.  By default, you’ll now receive email notifications whenever someone posts or comments on any page you admin.  Also — and this is the big one — you now have the option to use Facebook as your page.  That means you can go out into the Facebook world and comment on your friends’ statuses and anything else as your page, rather than yourself.  The opposite is true, too.  You can now comment and interact on your page as yourself, rather than your page.

While the new changes can be a little daunting, they’re actually great news for all of us who use Facebook Pages.  Why?  Because the new changes allow us to interact more like a person with a dynamic profile than a business with a static and separate page.  And, as we know, anything that can increase and improve our interaction in the social media world is good news for us!

The new Facebook Pages are rolling out gradually now and will reach everyone by March 10th.  If you’d like to switch now, just navigate to your page and click the button that appears to get the new layout and functionality.

What do you think of the new Facebook Pages?  Sound off in the comments!

What’s Hot In Social Media

We are always growing over here, in lots of ways.  As we continue to get bigger, we’re always thinking of new ways to reach you, our stellar clients, in ways that are even more convenient for you.  To that end, we’re starting an email newsletter! 

Our newsletter will highlight some of our most interesting social media posts from the month, as well as contain exclusive content about social media and online marketing.  So, if you follow us on our social media channels, this will be a great place to get even more content.  If you don’t follow us on our social media channels, this will be a great place to find a digest version of the amazing social media and online marketing news and information you’re missing otherwise.

Signing up for our forthcoming email newsletter is simple — just head over to our website and use the handy sign up form that appears on our homepage!

How Long Is This Social Media Thing Going To Take?

Otherwise entitled, “Where Are My Sales Already?  Yeesh.”

We have the amazing opportunity to work with so many incredible clients.  It’s part of what we love most about this kind of work.  Many of our clients are new to social media, and so we’re often asked some variation of the same question:  “Just how long is this social media thing going to take?”

As you already know from reading our blog regularly (wink), 2010 was the first year business as a whole completely embraced social media, spending more on digital advertising than print advertising for the first time in history.  So, there’s a lot of hype about social media right now.  The rumor is spreading like wildfire that social media is the be all and end all, easy and free marketing technique that will not only save your business in this questionable economy — it will bring you lots of customers and big bucks while you just sit back and watch it all roll in.

While we are obviously the first in line to tout the benefits of social media marketing, those are not them.  It’s just not true that the simple act of creating a Facebook page or Twitter account is like a giant “ON” switch in the Cloud, opening the flood gates of effortless financial and entrepreneurial success.  Here’s what is true:

1) Social media and online marketing are just like any other form of marketing. Would you put a bare-bones advertisement in the newspaper, then proceed to sit by your phone waiting for it to work?  Absolutely not.  This is no different.  Social media and online marketing must be an integrated part of your overall marketing strategy, and they must be engaging.

2)  Social media is only successful if you act like you’re creating a real relationship with your consumers. Because, in fact, that’s exactly what you’re doing.  There’s a reason it’s called “social” media.  In real life, would you think it reasonable to meet someone in a public place for the first time, then expect them to immediately give you all their contact information, follow you around and be loyal to you at all costs?  No way!  It’s no different on social media, but if you’re expecting immediate results with minimal effort, that’s what you’re asking from your consumers.  Connecting with your consumers on social media is just like being in a real life relationship.  There must be a reason for you to connect to begin with, then you must prove that you’re an engaging, trustworthy and worthwhile friend.  That takes both time and effort.

3)  Trial and error are the only way to find your sweet spot. Every business is different, every market is different and every consumer is different.  So, the social marketing techniques that work for one business will not necessarily work for another.  It takes time to find the perfect online marketing recipe for your business, because you are unique.  You have to try one approach, give it time, measure results, then adjust your efforts…and then rinse and repeat until you’ve achieved perfection.

So, just how long will this social media marketing thing take, anyway? As a general guideline, expect your initial social media marketing efforts to take at least 6 months before you see any kind of response from your consumers.  Obviously, this number can vary greatly, and the more you promote your social media in real life to your current and prospective customers, the better.

Have you found these things true in your business’s social media efforts?  Let us know in the comments!

Must Love Dogs

People are often surprised to discover that we’re a dog-friendly workplace.  That means, on any given day, you might find a dog or two lounging about the office or investigating what’s happening on our computers.  We love it, but you might wonder why we’ve decided to hang out with dogs at Social Kaboom

The first and obvious answer is — we have dogs.  We love our dogs, and we’d much rather have them hang out with us at work than be left at home alone all day.  They like it better that way, too.

The less obvious answer is — our dogs remind us to think outside the box.  Just as about 99 percent of the time dogs aren’t allowed at work, more often than not, social media isn’t allowed at work.  In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that social media was never allowed at work.  And before that, most employees weren’t even allowed online during office hours.

What’s allowed in the workplace in terms of the internet is constantly changing.  With each new dissolution of anti-internet policy in the workplace, we have an even bigger opportunity to effectively market your business in the online world.

And so our dogs become our mascots for remembering that what is or isn’t happening in this industry is temporary, and, as such, we must think outside the box so we are always ready for the next new and exciting development in online marketing.

Is your workplace dog-friendly?  Tell us in the comments.

We Want Video!

One of the things we love most about this business is that things are always changing.  Recently we’ve seen a shift toward online marketing trends that focus on videos.  Videos are an amazing way to connect with people online, because, oftentimes, people would rather watch a video than read something online.  Additionally, it’s easier to effectively share a video online than it is a website.  When you share a video on Facebook, for example, you post it, and people can watch it right in Facebook.  If you post a link to a website, people actually have to go to the site and then figure out what to read.  Even though visiting a website isn’t that hard, in terms of what folks are willing to put effort into online, it’s a world away from just pressing play. 

So how can you take advantage of these increasing video trends?  Get yourself a web cam, then try one of these ideas.

  • Create a YouTube account for yourself or your business.  This will allow you to check out what other people are doing in the world of video, as well as give you a place to post your videos where people will be able to find them.
  • Start a Vlog.  You’ve heard of a blog, right?  Well, a vlog is simply a video-based blog.  Rather than writing posts, you use your web cam to record videos of yourself talking about things.  While this can be a personal vlog, it can also just as effectively be about and for your business.  You can then post your vlog on YouTube, your website, or both.  As with any text-based blog, remember to post regularly to maintain and increase your readership.
  • Teach people.  You’re an expert at something — everyone is.  Figure out what you do really well, then teach people how to do it.  You can record your “how to” videos with your web cam, or, if you’re teaching something computer-based, you can use a service like Screenr to record your screen while you talk (that’s called a screencast).  Post your videos on YouTube.  For examples, check out our video feed or Howcast.
  • Entertain people.  Sing, dance, be funny.  Record your pets singing, dancing or being funny.  If you’re looking to go viral, the zanier the video, the better chance you’ll have of getting people to watch and then share, share, share.  And remember, always post these kinds of videos on YouTube, because that’s where your audience is!
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