In the 1800s, there was the Wild West, a land of unclaimed riches and crazy risk. In the 2000s, there is social media, a land of unclaimed riches and crazy risk. Does this sound like a weird analogy? Absolutely not. Just like the Wild West, the online world is filled with thousands of cowboys competing with one another to tap into that precious gold. The only differences are that nowadays we call the cowboys, “companies,” and the gold, “attention.”
“We’re competing for everybody’s share of throat.” – Gary Vaynerchuk on discussing his first client meeting with Budweiser. He goes on to explain that Budweiser didn’t think Heineken or Coors were their competitors; bottled water and every other product out there were.
That above quotation perfectly showcases the opportunities and pitfalls of social media today. Can you make lots of money through social media for very little money? Absolutely, but it requires skill. Why? Because literally every other company is trying to do the exact same thing. We don’t just mean your direct competitors. We mean every business. On top of that, you’ve got all the non businesses, all the news sites, all the everything posting. You could spend ages perfecting a project, only for it to be ignored by people trying to guess the color of a dress!
If you’re thinking, “Why bother if there’s so much other stuff?” think differently. This isn’t some kind of glass half full, glass half empty matter. This is just a case of looking at social media in the long term and realizing how easy it is to make it pay off for you.
“This is the land grab of the internet […] This is the land grab to establish yourself as the personality, the authority, the organization, the service in your industry still.” – Gary Vaynerchuk.
The above two quotations come from a talk for real estate agents. The talk is a masterclass in how real estate agents can climb to the top of their industry with social media. But the stuff that Gary Vaynerchuk, the CEO of VaynerMedia, talks about applies to literally every business, non-profit and freelancer in the world. And there are millions of ways to discuss how you can use social media to benefit your brand. However, we’ll just focus on the best.
This is how you do it:
- Make Lots Of Video Content
Ok, we’re a video production company. Of course we’re going to say professional video, filmmaking, editing, sound design and other things will benefit you. And this is true, but it’s also a question of quantity as well as quality. As Gary Vaynerchuk says, “this is the great land grab of the internet,” so get grabbing! Adding videos to your pages increases conversions by 80%. So put a video on every web page! At the very least, they’ll boost your SEO. And not every video has to be a beautiful testament to filmmaking. Soap operas have crappy visuals, but they get millions of viewers, because they tell a story quickly and compellingly. Apply the same thought process to your video content. You can make a video every day with your phone. If you come up with an important observation, talk to your camera, post it to YouTube and link it to your social media. It may not light up the internet, but if one member of your audience thinks you’ve made a point, it’ll have more than paid for itself. If you then want to make a professional video of your point with a media production company, like Flagship, then that’s great. In fact, this quantity based approach to video production doesn’t have to counteract with your more impressive looking corporate videos. You can use these phone videos to test what your audience likes, and then make some longer, more professional videos, based on the earlier videos, to promote yourself to the world.
- Make An Effective, Adaptable Strategy
Another point that Gary Vaynerchuk makes is that strategy is the hardest part. Oh how we wish every company would listen to that statement! Producing social media content, whether it’s a professional video or something else, isn’t just about putting one thing out and waiting for the cash to pour in. It’s about planning, testing and improving. Let’s say you’re starting from scratch with your social media and video production content. There is no reason to be stabbing in the dark to see what works. If you have any expertise in your industry, you’ll know some of what you need to be producing. What worries do your customers have? – Make some video productions and blog posts about them. What tips and tricks do you know? -Make some video productions and blog posts about them. What should your customers definitely avoid? – Make some video productions and blog posts about them. From those initial suggestions, you can literally make a ton of content cheaply. Your audience is guaranteed to be interested in some of it. That’s the foundation for a strong strategy. Once you’ve made your initial batch of content, see what plays best, and find out how to talk about it in new ways. You’ll build up a dependable audience.
- Zero In On The Best Platforms – Capitalize Like Mad
In the Gary Vaynerchuk video linked above, he talks a lot about how he should be spending $100,000 to $200,000 a month on Instagram ads. Realistically, you won’t have that kind of money (yet.) But this is no reason to not make the most of your platforms. Everyone can profit off of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google advertising, if they do a little research and play it in the best possible way. Going back to the Wild West analogy, this is where social media production can start to sound a little like snake oil, because you’re spending money! But it’s your business and you only have to spend what you’re comfortable with. The great thing about social media paid advertising is that there are so many possibilities for customization. You can cater to location, age, income, political beliefs and about a million other things. If you’ve created some unpaid content that you know works well, then you can bet that it’ll work through paid advertising. Just promote it to the audience that liked the unpaid content, and it will pay off.
At the end of the day, we’re living in a social media golden age of opportunity for companies. It’s vital that you take advantage of it in the right way and the most cost effective way. With the three simple tips above, it’s easy to become successful- if you put in the work.