Oh! Um…I moved.

Hello everyone! I’m currently helping a client build out a free Wp template, and it’s been so long since I’ve looked at the Wp CMS that I had to log in to this here “old” blog of mine to reacquaint myself. Then I realized I never posted an “I Moved!” message. I just…up and left. So, yeah – mea culpa. I should have told you, a LONG time ago, that I’m no longer publishing on WordPress and this blog is now inactive. I have my own domain, a kick-ass custom designed website, and new hosting. I’ve been there for…over a year now. But, hey! Better late than never, right?! Please come find me at http://www.dianeecurtis.com. Thanks!

This Poor, Neglected Blog…

Who’s minding the shop?! Not me, apparently…wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve published anything! But much is happening behind the scenes. My consulting business is really taking off and I’ve been busy posting and blogging for clients – which is great! Unfortunately, it means my own Social Media presence has taken a dive over the last two weeks. Which doesn’t help my professional image much, does it? I’m like the dentist who has a cavity!

Shortly I will have an updated Portfolio to post with lots of exciting new material, if I do say so myself. If you have a wp shortlink to my Portfolio (either from a resume/cover letter or a post on a LinkedIn Group) you may get an Error 404 message. The Portfolio is still there, but because of the pdf format I have to remove the old and upload the new. This changes the URL. Simply click on the “Digital Portfolio” link in the right hand column. This will take you to the new and improved Portfolio.

Also, new website and blog coming soon! I have secured http://www.dianeecurtis.com and there is a place-holder template (this same WP template, actually) there now. I am working with a hot-shot web designer on my personal branding, and I am really excited and pleased with the way the site is shaping up. I can’t wait to launch it and invite everyone to my new home!

And now that I’ve spent three paragraphs “complaining” about all this new work I’ve secured, I’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to add to it! Do you need a Social Media Strategist? Or, just need someone to manage your online community? Drop me a line and let’s talk about what I can do for you…

Oh, and here’s your Monday Morning Funny: Cows…and a RC monster truck. Enjoy!

Monday Morning Funny

Afraid of Change

Is this you? Are you afraid of change in your work environment? You had better get over that fear rather quickly. The world is moving at the speed of light these days. Technology has saturated every environment, and changes – like voting in Chicago – come early and often!

For most of my followers that means keeping up with changes in the world of Social Media where new platforms, changing rules, and trending topics bombard us on a daily basis. How do you separate the wheat from the chaff? What do you adopt and what do you ignore; and how do you decide which is which? You can’t do “ALL THE THINGS!” and then expect to be an authority on anything. Choose…and choose wisely.

I can help with that. Identifying priorities, organizing strategy and using Social Media mindfully in order to mitigate the chances of becoming overwhelmed and discouraged in this noisy world is my goal as a Social Media Consultant.

For more information on what platforms are right for your business, keep up with my ongoing Series on the topic:

Or contact me for a custom social media strategy package: diane.curtis<at>att<dot>net.

Do YouTube? You Should: The Value of Video for Building Your Business

This article is Part II in a Series. Click Me for Part I: Facebook, twitter, Google+.

YouTube

Now that we’ve covered the basics, and the most widely-used social media platforms Facebook, twitter and Google+, we turn our attention to YouTube. Video content is the fastest-growing segment of social media marketing with new sites like Vine, and Instagram’s new video feature generating industry buzz. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, behind only its parent company Google and it’s not hard to see why. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on YouTube there’s a very good chance that thing doesn’t exist outside your own mind. In which case, you should create it and upload it to your Channel!

You may be thinking YouTube is only for music videos, pirated TV shows & movies, stupid human tricks, and LOL Cats. While those can all be found in abundance, YouTube is also for independently-produced documentaries, open source idea sharing, tutorials, and yes…advertising. According to EMarketer Inc, “the video-ad market is projected to more than double to $9.06 billion in 2017 from $4.14 billion this year,” as reported by  Bamboo Innovator.

Video is driving content across the web. Most websites have some kind of video clip, whether it is produced in-house and specific to the company or brand, or is an embedded video of relevant content from an outside source. Video adds a dynamic element to your site and if linked properly to YouTube, your site can now take advantage of that second-largest search engine.

If you have spent any time on my blog you already know I am very fond of video. I feature a video every week on TED Talk Tuesday. I have a Playlist on my YouTube Channel titled “TED Talks” and in the descriptor I link back to my blog. In doing so, I make sure my searchability is covered both ways. If you find my blog, you’ll see the videos I like. If you search YouTube for me, you will find the TED Talk Playlist and ultimately my blog.

Video for All the Things!

You can do the same for your company or personal brand by embedding videos on your site that link to your YouTube Channel. And yes, you should have embedded videos on your site. If you are at a loss as to what kinds of videos you – the owner of something other than a video production company – could include, I encourage you to think outside the box. Obviously, if your company has produced TV spots, they should be there.

But beyond that is a whole realm of possibilities if you start to see the world through a wider Social Media lens. You don’t even need equipment other than your basic Smartphone, which most likely records in 1080p HD by the way. In fact, your Smartphone is ideal. It provides instant video that is ready to be uploaded immediately. No need for importing, editing and rendering.

Take a day to explore your office, your work process, your colleagues, and your product or service through the lens of your Smartphone. Take silly videos. Run wild with it. Play. Upload the video files to YouTube and fiddle with their basic editing tools. In doing so you will gain skills and confidence in shooting, uploading and editing video but you will also open yourself up to new video content possibilities.

You may decide that instead of a static, ho-hum About Us page with thumbnail pics and brief bios, you cajole everyone in the office to sit down for a brief (2-5 minute) interview. Ask them serious, on-point questions about their title, job description, and approach to customer service but also have some fun with it. Ask them about their first car, their most memorable college hijinks, the best concert ever, or favorite pizza topping. One you begin to think beyond the traditional and stuffy, the sky really is the limit. But please remember to stay within the bounds of your company’s HR guidelines regarding appropriate behavior and conversation!

Testimonials & Tutorials

If your firm is service oriented you need testimonials from satisfied customers. Why not a video testimonial? Launching a new product that requires some orientation to begin using? Create a tutorial. If you’re a regular follower of my blog you know I preach the Gospel of Testimonials & Tutorials – the new TNT.

In Part I of this series, I shared with you some pretty impressive numbers: only 14% of the general public trusts advertisers. 90% trust the recommendations of a friend. There’s a reason Angie’s List and Kudzu.com are wildly successful. As a regular practice, you should be asking your clients to write reviews for you on those sites as well as Google+ because in addition to providing promotional consideration from trusted sources, it also increases your reach and SEO. But having those testimonials directly on your site – and in video format that is also on your YouTube Channel – you’re double, even triple, covered.

In marketing, this much is a universal truth: building brand recognition and trust is essential. People have to know who are and what you stand for before they will buy. Social Media provides countless platforms to do just that. You get to tell a story and share your service or product with the community in a conversational manner. You also have to give them something for nothing, at least initially. A well-rounded Social Media Strategy will include news/education/information, lifestyle tips, shortcuts and life hacks, and content just for fun that is all relevant to your service or product. This includes tutorials. Teach them something that enhances the product or service you provide.

With the ease of use and quality of Smartphone cameras getting better all the time, it’s not hard to see why sites like Instagram and Vine are becoming increasingly popular. YouTube is still the Big Daddy for video-centric sites and that’s not likely to change any time soon. Once you’re under the Google umbrella, life is golden.

Everyone’s a photographer/videographer these days. As such, video has become the norm. It is expected that marketing professionals will have some kind of video production experience. For your company to remain relevant, and certainly for it to remain cutting edge, a YouTube Channel and at least a couple embedded videos on your website are essential. So go ahead – “Broadcast Yourself” and watch your SEO soar.

Coming soon… Part III: Pinterest.