What is a Hashtag?


what is a hashtag


Hashtags are used all over the Internet…..

But what the heck are they?!

 

Check out this video for a visual explanation of a hashtag’s uses and strategies.

What is a hashtag? – Click here to view on Youtube

 

Here you’ll learn:

  1. What a hashtag is
  2. How hashtags are used to search for content
  3. How to use a hashtag to promote your brand and grow customer engagement
  4. How to effectively use your business’s hashtag on Twitter and Instagram
  5. Popular hashtag trends
 

 Why do businesses use hashtags?


Hashtags have grown in popularity and are now used across social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. You can’t ignore them anymore. “What is a hashtag?” is one of the top questions that we get asked from those new to social media. Enjoy!

   

Hashtag

Instagram Vs. Vine Video: What is the Difference?

Video in 15 seconds or less seems to be emerging as the new trend in social media. Twitter launched Vine a few months ago, which allowed users to create short (6 second videos). While Vine was launched by Twitter, Vine is a completely separate stand-alone social network. Vine is an application that has to be downloaded separately from Twitter. Recently Instagram announced their micro-video application, Instagram video. Instagram video integrates directly into Instagram, so it is simply another recording option for users. Instagram videos are 15 seconds in length, and they allow users to add filters, similar to Instagram images.

Which Will Win Out? Instagram Video or Vine?

It is too early to say, but in my opinion, Instagram video seems to have a more robust features set and execution. Some of the things that I like about Instagram video vs. Vine are:
  • Integrated into Instagram – I don’t have to add ANOTHER new social network
  • Use of filters
  • 15 seconds allows me to actually say something….
  • I hope they make them embeddable soon

What are the Differences?

This chart from TechCrunch summarizes the differences: Instagram Video vs. Vine Video

The Top 5 Brands You Should Follow on YouTube

YouTube is the most popular video sharing website and the second most used search engine next to Google. With over 1 billion unique users a month, YouTube users are more engaged – spending on average over 5 hours a month watching YouTube videos. Through YouTube marketing training, you can learn how to take advantage of what YouTube can do for your brand and how you can use it to market your business. Here are some of the most successful brands who know how to do YouTube right.

1. Red Bull

red bullRed Bull, established in 2006, has quickly built its success in many ways, but its strong cross-channel branding has made Red Bull a social media sensation. With almost  3 million subscribers and just under 600 million views of their 3,000+ videos, Red Bull is one of the top brands utilizing YouTube successfully. A key to the Red Bull YouTube channel’s success is the quality and content of the videos uploaded. Maintaining its “extreme” tactics with the tag line “Red Bull gives you wings,” a majority of the videos show people doing unique and amazing things – implying you can do anything you put your mind to, with Red Bull.  

2. Apple

logo Apple has obviously done well with branding techniques to build a strong brand loyalty. The Apple YouTube channel provides a place for followers to stay on top of Apple-related news as well as view many TV commercials. When Apple is ready to release a new product or operating system, formal introductory videos are uploaded onto YouTube to introduce the product and show the features and benefits. This channel is incredibly successful with its 1.4 million subscribers because – aside from being informational – the videos create a trusting relationship between viewers and the Apple brand. 1 2 3  

3. Pepsi

pepsi1Pepsi’s YouTube channel has 620 thousand subscribers and over 118 million video views. Pepsi’s branding technique is unique because as new tag lines and campaigns enter the market, a new stream of videos is uploaded onto YouTube as well. Pepsi’s success on YouTube comes from its consistent branding across the products, although each videos also differs slightly based on what product it is about (Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi NEXT, Pepsi MAX). Overall, Pepsi aims to keep their audience entertained and interested.  

4. Dove

Dove LogoDove became an internet and YouTube sensation when its Real Beauty Campaign launched in 2004. Appealing to people’s emotions, Dove set out to show women that they are beautiful and don’t need to look like models seen in magazines and ads. The Dove YouTube channel has shocking videos ranging from how magazine photos are photoshopped, to an emotional comparison of how women view themselves as opposed to what others see. Through this campaign and series of videos, Dove has gained a place in the hearts of many women across the country and helped them find real beauty in themselves.  

5. Old Spice

old spice logoWith its over-the-top comical commercials, the Old Spice YouTube channel has almost 300 million views in total and was the number 1 viewed brand on YouTube in 2011. The branded channel led to a 107% sales increase in 2011 alone and a traffic increase of 300%. Combining comedy and sex appeal, men want to be “that guy” and women want their man to be “that guy,” or smell like him at the least. These brands have achieved huge success by marketing themselves on YouTube. With the right training and strategy, you can build up your brand too. Start with our new YouTube marketing training program – available live and online!

15 Awesome Social Media Stats in 2011

Everyday you can find new surprising social media facts and stats.  There are a number of companies who constantly share their latest research, studies and infographics about social media.  In this day and age people have a general understanding that social media is powerful.  When we take this understanding and couple it with data, the argument for why companies should be using these tools in their marketing strategy becomes indefensible.  A lot of times these numbers and facts come in very handy when we are putting together a presentation, writing an article or creating a blog post.  Below are some of the freshly updated statistics on social media with listed sources.  Enjoy!

1. 33% of Facebook posts come from mobile devices. HubSpot

 

2. Facebook claims to have more than 750 million users now.  Facebook

3. Facebook is more effective for B2C businesses and LinkedIn is more effective for B2B business when looking at customer acquisition. HubSpot

 

 

4. LinkedIn attracts 33.4 million U.S. visitors, which is more than Twitter’s 27 million and Tumblr’s 10.7 million. Mashable

5. In 2011 Facebook reaches 73% of the U.S. Internet population each month, while MySpace has lost nearly 50% of its audience in the last year alone. Mashable

6. US marketers will spend $3.08 billion to advertise on social networking sites this year. eMarketer

7. Just Twitter itself is expected to attract $150 million in advertising this year and $250 million in 2012. eMarketer

8. More than 30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each day. SocialMediaToday

9. Twitter is estimated to have around 200 million registered users who are sending now 200 million Tweets per day.  TwitterBlog

10. Wikipedia is one of the most visited and trusted websites in the world.  At the turn of 2010 the site played host to over 14 million articles from over 85,000 different contributors.  Browsermedia

11. More than 70% of Facebook users come from outside the United States.  Facebook

Top 10 countries on Facebook by SocialBakers

 

12. Facebook should be able to hit 1 billion users between June – July 2012. 1 billion, that will be 1 out of 7 people on planet earth. SocialBakers

13. YouTube has 490 million unique users worldwide per month, who rack up an estimated 92 billion page views each month.  Mashable

14. On average there are more than 400 tweets per minute containing a YouTube link.  Mashable

15. 65% of U.S. adults use social media and say they have received a positive benefit as a result. Harris Interactive

Do you have any interesting social media statistics to share?

Mariya Newman

 

 

 

How YouTube Can Benefit Your Company

It seems so hard to believe that YouTube is the world’s second biggest search engine.  YouTube, the search engine?  Really?  Think about it, how many times have you:
  • Utilized a short tutorial to help you understand how to use a product
  • Watched a video that explained to you step by step how to apply special effects to your image in photoshop
  • Received free guitar lesson
  • Seen a slide show on an interesting topic set to music
YouTube is much more than pure viral entertainment.  It definitely can be used as a place for merging business and humor, but it’s also about education, YouTube enables us to answer the “how to”, “why” and “could I” questions in creative and personal ways.  Posting useful videos about a company’s products or services or showing reviews from real customers can open HUGE opportunities for many different businesses.  Here I’d like to share 3 main ideas on how YouTube can be used as a very effective tool for your business.

Real faces behind products

With today’s social media popularity it became a fact very quickly that people like to buy from people.  It’s naturally interesting for us to know some real, personal details about the company that we work with.  Creating a video with actual employees will add authenticity to your brand and make it more appealing for the job seekers.  Zappos found out that by using regular employees in product description videos they improve the level of trust to Zappos brand.

‘How to’ videos

Another way to present your company on YouTube is to create video tips on how to use products or services that your company offers.  Give your prospects and present customers valuable information without over selling yourself and they will respect your company.  Eventually this will be a buying factor for them.  You can answer any existing question related to your industry or business by making an informative video or sharing a demonstrative presentation.  The key to success here is to do it short and to the point!  Not only will your company receive appreciation for helping out, but it will also gain recognition as an expert.  Home Depot is one of the most famous examples of posting helpful videos about how to use their products on YouTube.

 

Video Testimonials

Posting video testimonials on your website is a very smart marketing idea.  However, uploading video testimonials on YouTube and other social media outlets will increase the chances of finding your video online.  Recording happy customer’s experiences and their feedback about your products is one of the best ways to convince potential customers to do business with you.  Video testimonials are usually more believable and trusted than written ones.  It’s a powerful selling technique that helps to raise immediate credibility for your company. Check out how Square did it posting video testimonials on their website and uploading them also on YouTube.  Krista Neher is keeping up with the new social media trends as well adding her video testimonial on kristaneher.comVimeo and YouTube!   Mariya Newman Follow me on Twitter (@MariyaNewman) and add me on LinkedIn!

Video Marketing: How YouTube can build your business

A team at Pingdom.com conducted a recent survey and found that YouTube gets over 490 million unique users per month from all across the world.  To put it in perspective, this amounts to 92 billion page views each month!  Also, keep in mind that these numbers don’t account for embedded videos or videos viewed through mobile web – these numbers are just for YouTube’s main website. As you can see, YouTube is an excellent tool for video marketing and can enhance your business’ digital marketing strategy.

Create interesting content

A picture is worth a thousand words, but a video is worth a million! The key feature for your video marketing is creating interesting and engaging content.  What is it that makes your business unique?  Your content should highlight your expertise in your field of business. For example, if you were a real estate agent, you wouldn’t want to talk about yourself and the number of houses you’ve sold in the last 6 months. While these numbers might show you are successful, it doesn’t help the consumers who are trying to sell their house.  Instead, offer a video that offers suggestions and tips on preparing to put a house on the market or how to sell your house in 6 months or less. This type of content will show users that you know what you’re talking about and they will come to you for your expert advice.

Integrate into other social media networks

One of the great things about social media networks is that they are all, in one way or another, connected. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all allow you to share videos, upload photos and post links. When you post a video, make sure you share it through all of your social media networks. This way, you will expand your reach to all of your audiences on each network. There are also a number of article/video submission sites where you can post your material – this is a great way to enhance your SEO and share your expert advice!

What to share in your videos

Videos are a great addition to a presentation or lecture.  Make sure your videos are rich in information. In my experience providing social media training, I have found that I generate a lot of interest by providing training sample videos and interviews about social media marketing.  Let your audience know what you’re about while also providing helpful tips and suggestions.  You don’t want to appear spammy and sell yourself by talking about yourself – share what you know and show that you’re an expert. While some think of YouTube as being the source of hilarious videos of cats playing the piano or a place to see Wayne Rooney’s winning bicycle kick against Manchester United, YouTube is number two (behind Google) in being the most popular search engine sites in the world. Create a YouTube channel for your company and get started on sharing what you know!

How is your company using YouTube?

Add me on LinkedIn and follow me on Twitter (@scunn07)!

Facebook Marketing Social Media Tips & Tricks

Facebook Marketing Social Media Tips & Tricks from on Vimeo.

Want some more up-to-date Facebook training for 2012?

Don’t worry! We are now offering online Facebook marketing training to give access to our top-rated social media training to people all over the world! This training course is one of our Pin Point Programs, which are newly-launched 90 minute social media online classes about the hottest topics in social media!

 

iPhone 4 Will Change Communications Forever, Forever

iPhone 4 picturesHow will iPhone 4 change communications? Simple. Apple’s new ‘Face Time’ feature coming out with the new iPhone, set to be released on June 24, 2010, will for the first time ever provide a viable real-time mobile video chat option. With the addition of a forward facing camera, iPhone 4 users will be able to connect visually with each other no matter where in the world they are, as long as there is a Wi-Fi network to join. According to Apple, “People have been dreaming about video calling for decades. iPhone 4 makes it a reality. With the tap of a button, you can wave hello to your kids, share a smile from across the globe, or watch your best friend laugh at your stories. No other phone makes staying in touch this much fun.” Let’s not get caught up in this one feature though, Apple is finally bringing Multitasking to the iOS 4 firmware upgrade, what does this mean? It means you no longer will have to exit out of your favorite app to make a phone call or change your music playlist. By allowing third-party apps to now continue to run in the background iOS 4 Image of the new iPhone 4 side buttonsmeans you can keep you Tom Tom GPS app running all the way from Michigan to Missouri and not miss a beat. Phone call? No problem. Update your Twitter status (Hey! Look at me, multitasking on my iPhone without getting lost on a road trip.)? No problem. So the new iPhone will be out at the end of June 2010, and it is the second drastic redesign from the original iPhone, it is now more sleek and powerful than ever before. With a sleek new stainless steal frame that acts as an antenna to improve call quality and durability. Another great new feature is a new technique called Retina Display, everything you see and do on iPhone 4 looks amazing. Text in books, web pages, and email is crisp at any size. Images in movies and photos are stunning at almost any angle. That’s because the Retina display’s pixel density is so high, your eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels. Aside from the biggies (Multitasking, Face Time and Retina Display), Apple is adding or upgrading a slew ofpicture of the bottom and home button of the iPhone 4 new features. Features like Folders, where you can stack your apps into one folder that the iPhone will name based on the types of apps in the folders. The camera was upgraded to 5 mega pixels with an LED flash, and can now shoot video in HD. With all of the new features, Apple keeps refining the iPhone into an indispensable tool, both personal and professional. The iPhone 4 from Apple will be release in the United States on June 24, 2010, with the iOS 4 firmware upgrade coming three days earlier on June 21, 2010 for existing iPhone 3G and iPhone 3Gs owners. - brian tudor follow @briantudor on twitter

Brands get in on the Flash Mob Game

According to Wikipedia, a flash mob (or flashmob)[1] is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and pointless act for a brief time, then quickly disperse. The term flash mob is generally applied only to gatherings organized via telecommunications, social media, or viral emails.[2][3][4][5][6][7] The term is generally not applied to events organized by public relations firms, protests, and publicity stunts.[4][8] Flash mobs started in 2003 in New York and caught on quickly. A new trend with FlashMobs has started – brands are creating their own Flash Mobs to take advantage of this trend and get some of the ever elusive viral buzz. Is it working? Sometimes.

T-Mobile = Success

The T-Mobile Dance got over 17 million views and “The Making of” video even has over a million views.  They also posted other videos including rehearsals and even an instructional video where you can learn the T-Mobile dance.  They also replicated the T-Mobile Dance in other cities across the UK. The video is also really engaging to watch (which is why it has so many views). What T-Mobile did right was play off the original Flash Mob concept – they shocked people in a public venue. There was also brand relevance as they showed people taking photos and videos with their cell phones.

Trident Single Ladies = Eh

The video has had almost 4 million views as the Trident Single Ladies performed in Piccadilly Circus. The dance routine is very entertaining (although I wonder why they did it in Black and White) and ties in to the brand promotion with a Beyonce concert.  The relevance ties to an offline campaign and they have callouts during and after the video to drive action. This is probably more of a PR stunt vs. legitimate Flash Mob since it lacked the spontaneous element and didn’t include a lot of reactions.  That being said, it did get them 4 million impressions.

Cincinnati Fine Arts Fund = Success

The Cincinnati Fine Arts fund capitalized on this trend by staging Flash Mobs in Findlay Market and Fountain Square (unfortunately it was raining that day).  They also used music from local artists. This was a great effort since it clearly ties back to the arts and helps build awareness for Cincinnati Arts.  Great idea and execution.  They also posted learning videos so you can learn the dances at home. There are only 27k views, but for a local effort, with a small budget, I would say this was a success.

Scope = Failure (at least so far)

When Procter and Gamble brands start to participate you know the trend has jumped the shark.  Scope recently launched a Flash Dance for Scope to the song Kiss Me.  You can definitely see the brand relevance in this video (kissing + scope) and they clearly tie the brand in (although somewhat awkwardly) with the T-Shirt at the end and the Scope Bottle Juggling guy. The video is currently 10 days old and only has 80k views (and it is being promoted by Ryan SeaCrest).  In my opinion the whole thing is a little too corporate, which is partly why it didn’t spread.  Compare the impact of the scope video to TMobile and it is obvious. They are also offering to donate $$ to charity if it gets a certain # of views.  Also kinda lame.  Donate to charity anyways.  Do it because it is the right thing to do.  Not as an incentive for people to watch your commercial.  If the video was better they would easily get millions of views.  If you have a great idea you don’t need to do force it.

Don’t they need Model Releases?

The initial Flash Mob movement wasn’t commercial – nobody was making money, do they could record reactions of people and post them since it was a non-commercial effort.  I’m not a lawyer, but I would think that the brands doing flash mob videos would need signed model releases from the people in the audience that they film if they are identifiable.  This probably somewhat limits what brands can do. Special Thanks to Matthew Dooley for pointing me towards some of these videos.

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