Why Use Videos In Your Marketing? And Why Now?

YouTube is the second largest search engine used daily throughout the world. If you’re making an effort with your marketing to reach audiences on Google, why not reach them on YouTube too? Utilizing videos in your marketing plan can get your brand in front of a larger, more engaged audience. You might be asking yourself why video and why now? Here’s the reasoning behind this switch:

First of all, videos are fun – much more fun than reading a white paper. Reading requires an extended amount of time and much more brain-work than sitting and watching a video for a few minutes. And that’s why customers love videos. They are easy to comprehend and are often much more interesting than written content.

IPad_in_Case

It’s also easier to spread a message through video than text. A good, short video can obtain thousands of views on YouTube or Facebook whereas the same content, just written out will receive only a fraction of that audience. Seeing a person on screen captures attention. Having an employee using a product or telling a story isn’t just shareable but also persuasive. Utilizing video as a method of training, such as a “how to” video can easily capture and hold the viewers attention.

Thanks to YouTube’s huge network of viewers, creating and publishing videos gives you and your company a chance to reach a way larger audience than ever before. You aren’t limited to your Twitter followers or database of emails; you can reach thousands and millions of potential customers that you never had the opportunity to interact with before.  Combining YouTube with the fact that more users are now watching videos on Facebook makes this a sound marketing decision.

Videos that you create don’t have to just stay on YouTube either. They can be repurposed and put into emails, embedded on your website and even using for video advertising on Google, YouTube or all of your social channels. One video goes a long way and can help reach your target audience whether they are browsing the Internet or are searching directly on your website for a product or service.

Short, interesting videos are also the perfect content for reaching decision makers that delete emails and click through 30+ page white papers. Presidents, owners and CEO’s don’t have an extra hour to read a white paper or articles let alone 3 or 4 to think about it, analyze it and discuss it with the team. Luckily, all of this information can be served to them in a short, quick and easy-to-digest video that they just sit back and watch (very little thinking involved!).

Take some time to explore this marketing tactic and see how your company can take advantage of it in 2015. Remember to keep videos short (between one and two minutes) and include a call-to-action driving customers to your website. Videos don’t have to be perfect, in fact imperfections can make viewers feel more connected and interested. As long as your message is delivered and your brand is well represented, you’re off to a good start and a successful year of honing the benefits of using videos in your marketing.

Is It Really That Important To Have 500+ Connections On LinkedIn?

500. That’s the golden number when it comes to LinkedIn. Pretty much every professional on the site is trying to get to that number connecting with friends, family, coworkers, even coworker’s friends and families. LinkedIn has set the bar that 500 connections makes you a great networker and someone with influence on their website. But how much weight does that 500+ on your profile really hold?

Image source: Flickr

Image source: Flickr

Well, none if you don’t do anything to interact or take advantage of those 500 plus connections. Having that distinction on your profile is just that, it’s just a status symbol that only works as hard as you do. Those 500 connections could be the key to your next job, client or referral. Are you taking full advantage of them?

Sharing interesting articles with your network is a great way to communicate and stay on connection’s radars. Best-case scenario, they share your article and spark more connections with people in your industry. When your connections share a good article, engage with them. Comment on it, thank them for sharing it or even share it with your connections. This is a great way to start a conversation with a former coworker or potential hiring employee at a company you would love to get the chance to work for.

Look through your 500 plus connections to see what groups they are a part of and what they are saying. Don’t go crazy joining hundreds of groups, join just a few that are interesting to you and that you could realistically interact within. Then actually spend time each week interacting, not selling, with the group members. There is a group for anything on LinkedIn so whether you’re a member of the C-Suite or an entry-level marketing assistant, there’s a place for you to meet and network with likeminded professionals.

Having 500+ connections on LinkedIn is just the beginning. Staying connected and influencing through communications are what really make those 500 plus connections worth the time and energy it took to get them in the first place. There’s no doubt that out of those 500 people you have connected with, at least a few could help your professional or personal goals.

How often do you connect and communicate with your LinkedIn connections?

Facebook Privacy Basics

In an effort to make their terms and policies easier to understand and to control, Facebook is rolling out Privacy Basics on January 1, 2015.The post, in it’s entirety is featured below.

Updating Our Terms and Policies: Helping You Understand How Facebook Works and How to Control Your Information

10734305_363107773856141_188010835_n

Over the past year, we’ve introduced new features and controls to help you get more out of Facebook, and listened to people who have asked us to better explain how we get and use information.
Now, with Privacy Basics, you’ll get tips and a how-to guide for taking charge of your experience on Facebook. We’re also updating our termsdata policy and cookies policy to reflect new features we’ve been working on and to make them easy to understand.
These updates take effect on January 1, 2015. As always, we welcome your feedback about our policies.
Privacy Basics
Privacy Basics offers interactive guides to answer the most commonly asked questions about how you can control your information on Facebook. For example, you can learn about untagging, unfriending, blocking and how to choose an audience for each of your posts. This information is available in 36 languages.
Along with our privacy checkupreminder for people posting publicly and simplified audience selectors, Privacy Basics is the latest step we’ve taken to help you make sure you’re sharing with the people you want.
Helping you get more out of Facebook
Every day, people use our apps and services to connect with the people, places and things they care about. The updates to our policies reflect the new products we’ve been working on to improve your Facebook experience. They also explain how our services work in a way that’s easier to understand. Here are some highlights:
Discover what’s going on around you: We’re updating our policies to explain how we get location information depending on the features you decide to use. Millions of people check into their favorite places and use optional features like Nearby Friends (currently only available in some regions). We’re working on ways to show you the most relevant information based on where you are and what your friends are up to. For example, in the future, if you decide to share where you are, you might see menus from restaurants nearby or updates from friends in the area.
Make purchases more convenient: In some regions, we’re testing a Buy button that helps people discover and purchase products without leaving Facebook. We’re also working on new ways to make transactions even more convenient.
Find information about privacy on Facebook at the moment you need it: To make them more accessible, we moved tips and suggestions to Privacy Basics. Our data policy is shorter and clearer, making it easier to read.
Understand how we use the information we receive: For example, understanding battery and signal strength helps make sure our apps work well on your device. We ask for permission to use your phone’s location when we offer optional features like check-ins or adding your location to posts.
Get to know how the family of Facebook companies and apps work together: Over the past few years, Facebook has grown and we want to make sure you know about our family of companiesapps and services. We use the information we collect to improve your experience. For example, if you’re locked out of your Instagram account, you can use your Facebook information to recover your password. Nothing in our updates changes the commitments that Instagram, WhatsApp and other companies have made to protect your information and your privacy.
Your information and advertising: People sometimes ask how their information is shared with advertisers. Nothing is changing with these updates—we help advertisers reach people with relevant ads without telling them who you are. Learn more about adsand how you can control the ads you see.
Giving you more control over ads
We’ve heard from some of you that it can be difficult to control the types of ads you see if you use multiple devices and browsers. In the past, if you opted out of certain kinds of advertising on your laptop, that choice may not have been applied for ads on your phone. We know that many people use more than one phone, tablet or browser to access Facebook, so it should be easy for you to make a single choice that applies across all of your devices.
That’s why Facebook respects the choices you make about the ads you see, across every device. You can opt out of seeing ads on Facebook based on the apps and sites you use through the Digital Advertising Alliance. You can also opt out using controls on iOS and Android. When you tell us you don’t want to see these types of ads, your decision automatically applies to every device you use to access Facebook. Also, we’re now making ad preferences available in additional countries, beginning with Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and the UK.
We hope these updates improve your experience. Protecting people’s information and providing meaningful privacy controls are at the core of everything we do, and we believe these announcements are an important step.

So what does this mean to the average Facebook user?  More simple controls over your privacy, right at your fingertips. This has needed to happen for some time now, and Facebook is finally responding to requests for a more simplistic and easier to understand policy system.  BUT, as with all terms of service within the digital world, these privacy controls are only as good as the user. So take this opportunity to review Privacy Basics and to review your own privacy settings on Facebook and other social platforms.

Lunch N Learn with ZAAR Design Center

One of the great aspects of social media is the opportunity for strangers to connect through a shared interest, platform, hobby or need.  My plans to speak at ZAAR Design Center, as part of the Spring High Point Furniture Market is an example of a need, someone reaching out and plans set in motion thanks to social media.

Ruth Olbrych, the owner of ZAAR Design Center contacted me on February 12th after her friend, Alicia Connolly forward to Ruth a conversation I had on Twitter with Dana Helms, Social Media Manager at Social North. Dana is also involved with an amazing organization, WithIt.  Due to our open conversation on Twitter about WithIt, Alicia mentioned to Ruth that I may be interested in speaking to a group at the Spring Furniture Market in High Point.

544354_586647614687398_2030576553_n

The subsequent emails and phone conversations with Ruth, has led to the ZAAR Design Center hosting a Lunch and Learn on Sunday, April 6th at their showroom in High Point. I will talk with their guests about How Best Maximize Your Social Media Presence as a Designer.  You can pre-register for the event here:   Lunch N Learn + Jewelry/Accessory Sale

How Do I, as an Interior Designer, Maximize My Social Media Presence?

The Social Media map changes at such a rapid pace it can be daunting to know where you should be focusing your energies for maximum impact for your Interior Design business. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Houzz, Google Plus, Linked In. Which portal serves you best?  Hint: Might not be what you think. What are the keystones for a Social Media plan? Yes, it can be manageable.

For me, this Lunch and Learn is an opportunity to talk about my passion, social media, as well as network with professionals within the furniture and design industries. For Ruth, it is an opportunity to showcase her Design Center and to provide the Designers in attendance with valuable information that can help their business and industry.  Truly a win-win; something I see every day within social media.

If you are attending the High Point Furniture Marketing this April, we hope you can join us for our Lunch N Learn at the ZAAR Design Center!

Thank you, Teddy Burriss

One of the most exciting aspects of  social media is how a connection can lead to a friendship, a business opportunity or just the ability to connect with someone that has shared experiences and abilities.  Teddy Burriss would fall under the categories of friend, colleague and in some ways a respected mentor.  I have been friends with Teddy for a couple of years now, after initially connecting virtually on Twitter.  Thankfully, we have expanded our social media relationship to one that has included meeting face-to-face whenever possible.  I encourage you to do that as often as you can; meet face-to-face with your connections.

Earlier this year, Teddy reached out to me and asked if I would share a social media success story for a book he was authoring.  I am no fool, of course I said YES to his request!  What followed was a book I highly recommend; and its not because I am featured in it, but because it is a valuable resource on social media and networking. Success Using Social Media hits the nail on the head:  Start By Building Relationships! 

BRSM-Front-Cover-199x300

 

Click the link, buy or download the book and start building those relationships!  I encourage you to start by connecting with Mr. Burris.

Power to the Online People

Where were you when news of the tsunami hit Japan in 2011? How about when Michael Jackson died? Probably online, according to many experts who claim that social media has become the main media source for hundreds of millions of people. Not just in the U.S., either; Facebook alone has more than 900 million users spread across the globe as of 2012. Other social media giants like Twitter have facilitated revolution against unjust leaders and warned people of impending natural disaster. In fact, so many people regularly interact online that if the Internet were a nation, it would exceed the Americas, Europe and the Middle East combined in population. No wonder more than 13 million members of the online community used Reddit and other media platforms to protest SOPA, a proposed Internet censorship bill. Keep this graphic in mind next time you log on, because knowledge is power — and a little knowledge goes a long way in the Internet Age. [Read more…]

You Can’t Please Everyone….So Stop Trying!

During a recent weekend getaway, I received a Twitter DM from a follower that stated, “Bye u ignore me so gone.” My first reaction was lthe same as most people, scratching my head and wondering why they felt like I had ignored them Since I was away for the weekend and taking an unsual break from Twitter, I decided to not respond until my rest and relaxation was over; and until I had time to think through my response to this person. In pondering how to respond, I decided to not respond at all. Why? Because if that person felt like I had ignored them, were my words going to change their mind? Probably not. At least in my opinion.

Photo

[Read more…]

Bring Back the 40 Hour Work Week

Are you happy in your job?  Do you feel fulfilled by what you do each day for a living? A lot of people do not. We have all heard the advice “do something you love and you will never work a day in your life,” but how many of us can say that we love what we do?  Studies are showing how our unhappiness and our overworked lifestyle is having an affect on our sleep, our health and our relationships. Maybe it’s time to ponder a career change.  

For the record, I do love what I do!  This sponsored Infographic points out some scary statistics about the state of our work week. 

 

Bring Back the 40 Hour Work Week Infographic<br />Source: OnlineMBA.com

Be BOLD!

When was the last time that you did something bold?  Something completely unexpected and out of your comfort zone?  If it’s been a while, or if you cannot remember the last time you made a bold decision, now is the time to make it happen!I have recently made two bold steps myself, and I can tell you that I have no regrets surrounding either of these actions.  The first bold step I am referring to was my decision to be a full-time, self-employed consultant. I had previously handled marketing duties for a local restoration company in addition to my consulting business, but  now I am all in working for myself.  This has been the second best decision I have ever made.  I do set my own schedule; I am responsible for finding my own clients, booking my own speaking opportunities, and managing my own business.  I love what I do and I wake up every day excited to get started! Can you say that about your career?  If not, maybe it’s time for a bold decision of your own.

Media_httpjohnlusherc_pwzak

The second bold step is the decision to fire my hair!  You read it correctly, I have fired my hair!  It had been abandoning my head and retreating for years, so I as the owner of the head, I decided to fire it!  The hair gene came from the Lusher side of my family, and let’s just say we are not known for old age and a head full of hair :)  This again, was a great decision for me.  I feel better about myself and my appearance and everyone has accepted the new, bold look.  I have even received compliments on the shape of my head!  That is a new one! I also removed the goatee, so the grey hair is gone from my head.  Bonus:  looking younger!What does firing my hair have to do with business or more specifically the industry in which I work?  Simple: as a small business owner, making the decision to incorporate a social media plan into your business is a bold step.   For many business owners, it requires a leap of faith into a medium they are not familiar with.  But, as with my career move and my hair, taking bold actions can and will be rewarding if you approach it with careful planning and implementation as well as partnering with the right consultant or team.So, how can you be bold today, this week, this month, or this year?  What bold steps can you take?  Let me know, and let me know what you think of my healthy scalp!

Insignificant? Not at all!

I was blessed today to have another morning on this earth, and to be able to enjoy a cup of coffee on my deck as the sun started it’s journey across the sky.  I snapped this photo of the moon agains the backdrop of the blue sky and clouds and started pondering our significance in the universe.

Media_httpjohnlusherc_omehk

         Watching the final Space Shuttle mission and the landing of Atlantis took me back to my childhood; like most boys, I wanted to be an astronaut!  I still want to fly into space and look down upon the earth.  That would be so cool! Alas, that is not an option at this point, so I will just keep looking towards the Heaven’s and keep that dream alive!Looking to the stars and the vastness of the universe, or even our own lives, it is easy to feel insignificant, but that is not the case. We all touch countless lives as we live our life.  The people we see each day and interact with, our family, friends, co-workers, we impact them all.  Are you impacting those lives in a positive manner?  Am I?  That is the constant question.Working in and spending a considerable amount of time in social media, I communicate with thousands of people. I am always aware of this and strive to make a positive impact in those lives.  I hope I do.  If you spend time in social media or social networking, you have a similar opportunity.  You have the opportunity to  make a significant impact or difference in the lives of others. Before you send that next Tweet or post something to one of your profiles, think about that.  Think about how it will impact your friends and followers, as well as your own reputation.  Will it be positive and supportive or negative?  However you choose to impact others, just know you do, and treat those “virtual” relationships with care; these are real people on the other side of the screen.How do you make a significant difference in the lives of others?