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This course was created and produced by Rich Harrington. We're honored to host this content in the lynda.com library.
- What is social media and why should I use it?
- Cutting through the hype
- Understanding trends in Internet usage
- Showing a genuine you
- Knowing what to post and how often to post
- Scheduling posts
- Protecting your reputation
Skill Level Beginner
What sort of stuff should you be posting? Well, you make content for a living. This shouldn't seem hard, obviously, photos and video, right out there. If you are a video pro, post pictures, behind the set pictures from the set will go a long way, images or frame grabs of progress that you're making on a new project, again though, make sure you have permission to share the project. If you are photographer, try video, behind-the-scenes clips from your latest shoot. Pop up a GoPro camera or a DSLR, get some clips of you making your latest images and people will watch.
But don't be afraid to write either. A few short posts sharing your thoughts or some technique you've discovered will also help you gain relevance in a very noisy world. Remember, Social Media is all about content, taking your material and getting it out there for friends and peers to find. You'll build a community around your content or you'll go to the communities that exist to share that material. You want this material out there and discoverable, having the website in the blog will get the content out where people need.
So if you are going to write, a couple of things to think about. First off, People do not read everything, they tend to scan through the post just looking for some of the key words and going top to bottom, always put the important information first. In journalism school we call this the Inverted Pyramid. You start out with the best stuff first and realize that people tapered off as they got through the story. Lead with the juicy bits. Don't go for the big payoff at the end. Get the important stuff up there first and if you can do it in a succinct way, do it.
If you can make it shorter, make it shorter. I still believe in books and longer material, but when it comes to Social Media, if they have scroll more than a screen or two, they are not going to read it. Take advantage of things like headlines, and subheadings, this will make it easier for people skimming to find the content, and the use of bulleted list or boldface will make it easier. Just avoid underlining for emphasis, because this often gets thought of as a hyperlink. Remember, the use of bold means important or keywords, and of course, don't forget about outbound links and images.
The outbound links are your chance to give back to the community, as well as it could increase the ability for your site to be discovered as people return links, and the use of images make it much more likely that there are going to stop and look at the post. Now I tend to post when any of these things happen: If I have a new blogpost, there is a new post. In fact, it goes to all my social networks. If I have done something with an app or a new project, I share it. You'll want to post quick tips related to your industry, news and information that you could share with your colleagues. Try asking open-ended or provocative questions.
Encourage people to give a little bit of interaction, but don't be disappointed if only a few or even none respond. But mostly, share good news and accomplishments. This isn't a chance to brag, but it is a chance to share the work that you're most proud up. Letting people know what's going on in your life, goes a long way. When I see things that my friends are doing and my colleagues, I congratulate them. It raises my professional opinion of them. A lot of times you get busy and people don't realize all the things that you actually do.
Sharing what's going on in your professional life and letting them take a glimpse, will let them have a deeper understanding for who you are as a professional. Remember, share your creative works and it will lead to new opportunities to do more, and be sure to engage others as you come across post that they're doing, respond. Comment on their works, taking the time to not just be all about yourself, will definitely help. The more you look at other people and comment on their work, the more likely they are to click over to your page and see what you've been up to.
Now one of the sites that I highly recommend you look at is Vimeo. If you have video content to share, this is a great site. It makes it very easy to get real-world feedback from others and it's a good use of a strong player that's broadly compatible with social networks. You can take a look at their plus plans, which is about, $60 a year and this'll give you plenty of space for uploading, as well as unlimited high definition uploads. What I really like though is how the video player is customizable.
You can put your company logo, as well as a link back to your website. If you use a service like YouTube, which is free, all it's designed to do is to pull you back to YouTube. But if you're looking for a video player that you could brand with your own colors and logo and links that go to your website, or your social media accounts, Vimeo is where you want to be. Now what's also nice is the ability to have a really good privacy controls. So you could Vimeo to only serve up to your blog, or to specific pages or users that you give permissions to.
The use of Groups, Channels, and Albums also make it easy to interact with others around specific content that you curate. If you are a full-blown business however, you're going to want to step up to the Vimeo pro account. The Vimeo Plus account is only supposed to be used for individual artists or small studios. Everyone else will want to take advantage of Vimeo Pro, if they belong to a larger company. These two offer great players that are fully customizable and a very nice service, whichis the ability to have Video Review Pages.
These allow you to create a page where people can login and leave comments, and see your material. I like this as a private screening room. Vimeo is also offering the ability to sell your work, both with a tip jar and the ability to sell digital downloads. If you're into professional video or you have content you want to share, and you haven't switched over yet, I'd still put a few things up to YouTube, but I'd strongly look at Vimeo for a lot of reasons. One of them being, the terms of service, the other being the fact that it's just a higher-quality video file.