Friday, July 15, 2011

Research shows links, not conversation, lead to high Twitter follower counts

According to research by Dan Zarella – a social media scientist at Hubspot – engaging in thoughtful conversation with your followers on Twitter does NOT result in more people following you. (For more on Zarella’s research, click here) For many, myself included, this is somewhat earth-shattering information. For years now, we’ve been preaching a strategy of “engage, engage, engage and social media success will be yours!” Were we all wrong? Does consistent conversation not help, but actually damage your overall social media value? Not necessarily. I believe there is a fatal flaw in reaching that conclusion from Zarella’s research (especially from a fundraising standpoint).

In a related post about his link/follower/reply ratio data, Zarella says…

“If you are a marketer, there is no point in pursuing a twitter strategy that doesn’t include getting as many followers as possible.”

No point in pursuing a strategy that doesn’t lead to the highest follower count possible? So 5,000 people who don’t even remember they’re following you is better than 500 who talk about you on a weekly basis to their friends and family? If that’s the case, there are plenty of snake-oil salesmen who’d be happy to help you reach your goal of attracting “10,000 followers in one week!”

Make no mistake, providing quality content is an essential tactic to any successful social media strategy. I would surmise that’s the best takeaway from Zarella’s numbers. It is, after all, solid data and that’s something that should never be ignored or carelessly discarded. But we’re not talking about an “either/or” scenario with social media. Do both. Provide quality content via links and then talk about those links in meaningful conversations with the followers who engage you. High follower counts are something we all want, but the quality and influence of each follower is something that can’t be ignored. Those quality relationships are the ones which will be most impactful in helping you and your organization achieve its goals via social media.

For more on how a strategy of engagement leads to increased giving, please read this previous post that includes a Q and A from Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Black Bean Burgers (Whole Foods Recipe)

Grill season is back! If you're looking for a tasty treat to please every member of your patio party - veggies included - I recommend the Whole Foods online recipe for Black Bean Burgers.

In addition to the ingredients listed in the recipe, add one chopped jalapeño and a TON of hot sauce (Tasbasco, Frank's, etc) to the mix before you form the burger patties. Don't go light on the hot sauce. I can't give you an exact measurement, but copious is the best way to describe the amount I added and it wasn't too much.

Bon appétit!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How to Produce Simple, Quick Video for YouTube

Do you have a Flip camera? How about a cell phone? It doesn't take much to produce simple, high quality video these days IF you know the basics of videography. The following video has some tips to get beginners started in the right direction.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Making YouTube Video Work

A recent video Warehouse Media produced is having a solid first 24 hours on YouTube - 340 views after day one. As is often the case with successful YouTube videos, the strong early view count was no accident. Yes, cats on keyboards and crazy dance moves can make for amazingly popular YouTube videos, but relying on a cute video leading to viral success is to YouTube strategies what relying on the lottery is to investment strategies. This video is working, because of a well-thought out team approach that included excellent work from Kelly Sayre (@SportKelly) and Ryan Ott (@IamMNnice).

Kelly works with the St. Cloud Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and wanted a couple YouTube videos that would promote everything there is to do in Central Minnesota. She worked with Warehouse Media to produce the videos and together (Kelly, Ryan and myself) worked out a strategy to get those videos watched. Here are the key components...

Involve people in the video who will help get it seen
  • The woman interviewed for the cross-country skiing section will be sending the link to her friends and members of her ski club
  • Those who had venues featured and contributed media (photographs) shared the video with friends
Work with your friends
  • Local radio station WJON had a strong existing relationship with Kelly. As a result, the station posted the video on their website.
  • WJON also allowed us access to their sound-proof booth for recording the audio (thanks!)
Help those who help you
  • As part of the total package, Warehouse Media provided a half-day video training session to the St. Cloud CVB. Kelly invited friends and colleagues as a way to say "thank you" for their help throughout the year and with the video.
The video below is the finished product. Hopefully, the strong early showing is just a start. Either way, it serves as a great example of how YouTube is one of the most "social" sites of them all ...and is a reminder of what it takes to have success in the medium (other than being extremely lucky:)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Skiing Blackcomb Mountain

Took out the Flip™ cam and grabbed some video on top of Blackcomb Mountain on a recent trip to Whistler. Which got me wondering ...would a ski hill be willing to trade a free trip for some significantly-reduced (or free) video work? (Much higher quality than what is shown below, of course).

If you are a ski hill and want to add some video to your marketing, click here. If you just like looking at pretty footage from on top of a mountain, check out the video below!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Arizona Massacre

Blame for this shooting doesn't rest solely on one extremist's PAC. It goes to all those who make a living on dividing Americans by making us fear and hate each other. This shooting is the result of a mentality that says we shouldn't tolerate those with different political views than our own. That is wrong and it has to change.

For a sadly ironic story that says so much about where we are as a country at the moment, click here.