Today I got a notice that 12Seconds.tv was shutting down. If you had never used this service, it was basically Twitter on video. You created a short (well, 12-second) video message using your webcam or mobile phone and it went out to your friends. There were many people who spent a lot of time crafting and creating thousands of these short diddies and many people who created at least a few of them, and now… bye bye. They are allowing folks to download or pull their videos off of the 12Seconds.tv site until October 22. I had signed up for their service when they first launched 3 years ago but never actually used it (that’s probably what did them in! They would have had WAY more traffic had I just gotten on board!)
It is sad to see an innovative company close their doors but it is a good reminder to all of us who post great juicy nuggets of our content on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and any other site other than our own… that your content is not your own unless it is on your own site. Sure you can post to Facebook and Twitter and every other social site in the universe, but let it also have a home on your blog. How many people thought there would never come a day when MySpace wasn’t king? Who can imagine a time when we wouldn’t be loading all of our treasured memories and content on Facebook? Your photos…your videos…your content. Be sure you have a back up plan just in case Mark Zuckerberg decides to pack it all up and move to Farmville!
A good friend of mine is an expert in his field. He is a great guy and is booked regularly for speaking engagements. He jumped on the social bandwagon over a year ago with a Facebook page and a Twitter account. The problem is he has outsourced the posting of content on his pages to someone who obviously does not know how to LISTEN to the community he has tried to engage.
There are regular info-dump posts with tips or links to his site with information about where he is speaking next, but you never see comments on the Facebook PAGE or replies in the Twitter feed. There is no conversations going on. Why bother? Your website is already playing the role of stagnant information dumping ground (assuming there is no blog). There’s nobody home.
Social engagement tools like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and your blog are about conversations and building relationships. Part of a good conversation is listening and responding to the people you are wanting the relationship with. If you don’t believe me, try maintaining a healthy relationship with someone (significant other, children, co-worker, etc) without responding when they speak to you. That relationship won’t last long.
Here are 3 tips for making sure the lights are on and people know you are home:
1. Mix in questions with your tips and information that get posted. Asking questions shows you care about what your community thinks. For example, your Twitter profile and Facebook PAGE should be sprinkled with great content and conversations.
2. NOW LISTEN and respond to the answers your community posts. Yes this means replying to every single comment. You can bundle your reply to several people at a time but show you heard them.
3. Look at what your community is saying (this is made easier by using a tool like Hootsuite or SproutSocial to filter the flow of information) and jump in on the conversation occasionally with a comment, a LIKE, a ReTweet, or a reply (shoot for 5 times a day to start).
Be sure you are applying these tips to all of the places you have hung your SOCIAL sign out–your blog, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, etc. Remember, don’t leave your lights on if no one is home!
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world (just behind Google) and since over 85% of Americans watch videos on-line, you want to make sure you are taking advantage of this power-social marketing tool. Do you have tips you could provide via video? Can you teach something in 5 minutes? Don’t worry about the home-made look~ That’s the beauty of YouTube. Using a handheld video recorder or even a cell phone, you can record and upload tips and messages for your fans and have them all collected on your very own channel. You might be asking,”Why do I need a channel? Can’t I just upload my videos without setting up a channel?” Well yes you can , but if you’d like a central place to collect your videos and allow people to subscribe to any new video that is loaded, you need a channel! And besides, it is easy enough that you can be set up in under 15 minutes. Here are the 4 steps to set up your channel:
1. Log into YouTube or sign up if you have never done so. Click on the CREATE an ACCOUNT. If you have a Google account, you can use that same log in information without having to start over (Google owns YouTube).
2. Take some time to fill out your profile and tell folks about your business. You can add links back to your website, blog, Facebook page or anywhere else you’d like to point them. You can customize the colors and choose how you want your videos displayed.
3. The next step is to decide if you want everything shown to the world or if you will keep a playlist designated for family or private videos. Not only are YOUR videos highlighted here, but anytime you see a great video on YouTube you can save it in your playlists or mark it as FAVORITE which will be displayed on your channel.
4. The last step is to tell the world about your channel. Like Facebook or Twitter, your URL is the website with your username following: http://www.youtube.com/GinaSchreck From here you can link your videos to your website, your blog, your Facebook page and more! So what are you waiting for, get that camera rolling!