youtube

YouTube to Debut New Features for Content Creators

YouTube-Optimization

With Yahoo actively trying to lure content creators away from YouTube, Google’s video streaming platform is doing its best to outperform the competition. Now, YouTube content creators have a few more newfangled features to help them make the most of their channel.

Here’s what YouTube has up its sleeve:

  • Greater transparency: the team at YouTube says it wants to announce updated features ahead of time so they can get feedback from site users and see if they’re on the right track.
  • Creator App: this new app will give content creators a way to manage their channel from their mobile phone
  • Crowdfunding: YouTube wants its hand in the popular way to fund raise online. Instead of going through third-party sites like Subbable and Patreon, YouTube wants to make its own virtual tip jar so content creators can have access to funds directly from them.
  • Improved site functions: YouTube says it is streamlining contents, closed captioning capabilities, adding to the audio library and giving creators the ability to monetize cover song videos.

Watch the video that explains the new features here.

What do you think of the new features? Which one are you looking forward to the most? Leave a comment below to continue the conversation. 

Advertisements

Google’s Social Media Definitions

If search engines were given earthly authority, Google would be king.  However, even with that impressive standing, Google isn’t the dictionary. A king aspiring to be a comedian? Yes. An engine of accurate descriptions? No.

Here are some of the best auto-fill descriptions for popular social networking sites. Enjoy!

FACEBOOK

fbdef

Quick! Somebody call the paramedics. The most popular social network seems to be losing consciousness. That, or it’s possessed…we can’t tell.

LINKEDIN

indef

Wow, such pessimism over the world’s only professional social network. If only they knew how much this platform is growing and thriving, especially in the world of online marketing.

 

 INSTAGRAM

instadef

Don’t believe anything Instagram says. Our guess is that it’s probably a bold-faced lie.

 

 PINTEREST

pinterestdef

Just because you can’t log into Pinterest doesn’t mean it’s stupid. That’s not nice.

 

YOUTUBE

ytdef

Houston, we seem to have a problem with the YouTube.

 

TWITTER

twitterdef

Oh, poor stupid, useless Twitter. #LifeIsMeaningless #TwitterProblems

 

FOURSQUARE

4squaredef

We refuse to believe Foursquare is dead. Especially in Istanbul.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

smbizdef

Such bitterness and angst. Are we sure Google auto-fill search isn’t run by teenagers?

 

GOOGLE

googdef

Here’s what we know: 1) Google is your friend with evil tendencies that 2) may or may not be Skynet and 3) is looking for minions. Sounds legit.

 

Have you experienced any Google Auto-Fill Awesomeness? Share it in the comments!

Social Media Boot Camp: Deciding which account needs help

socialmediabootcamp new

All right, social media users, it’s time to get down to business. Welcome to tCloud Social Media Boot Camp, where inadequate social accounts are whipped into shape by our experts and molded into the best possible platform for your business.

In our first installment of the tCloud Social Media Boot Camp blog series, we’ll show you how to determine which of your social media sites need to shape up. After all, your social networks are meant to extend the voice of your brand to consumers and if your pages don’t even show up in search results, something needs to change.

So, how does one know which social network is under-performing? The answer lies within Google’s search algorithms.

According to HootSuite, one of the easiest ways to figure out which of your platforms isn’t up to snuff is by typing your name or business’ name into Google and taking note of where your social platforms rank.

Taking that into account, we did a Google search for tCloud Solutions, and this is what appeared on the first page:

google search resultsSo, using these listings as a basis for how our social sites are performing, we see that:

  1. Our LinkedIn profile has the highest search ranking, followed by our Twitter page, FourSquare and Facebook.
  2. We also have a Google + and YouTube account, but our Google profile isn’t shown until the second page (if you disregard the link under our main website entry) and our YouTube account is buried in the search results.
  3. This blog is also on the second page of Google search results.

What does this really mean?

While the exact algorithm is somewhat of a secret, we do know Google ranks search listings by a variety of criteria, the most common being:

  • Recently updated content
  • Keyword location on the site (SEO)
  • Hyperlinks to and from your website
  • How long the site has been in operation

Theoretically, social media sites that take these aspects into consideration will have a higher ranking. From our previous Google search, it’s safe to say our LinkedIn page and Twitter account are doing well. We post content on those sites nearly every day and make sure they have links to our main site as well as other social media sites. On the other end of the spectrum, our YouTube page is lost in the mix partly because we just created the account and don’t have any videos up just yet. It also has the lowest amount of traffic and no referral traffic to our main webpage, because we haven’t started publicizing it. Therefore, the account we’re checking into Boot Camp is YouTube.

Which one of your social media accounts is last on Google search? That site is boot camp material. Go ahead, take ’em to Boot Camp by leaving the URL in the comments.

Be sure to follow our weekly web series for tips on how to improve your Boot Camp social site so it moves on up in the digital world.

Which Social Network are You?

newsocialquestin

Let’s pretend for a moment that social networking sites had the ability to transform themselves into people. Which one would resemble you the most?

Our Social Media Specialist at tCloud Solutions came up with a fun, sharable quiz that detects your personality and pairs it with your ideal social network.

Go ahead, take a break from work and give it a try:

http://www.playbuzz.com/katiep10/which-social-network-is-your-bff

 

tCloud’s Take: Facebook Prepares to Launch Multi-Million Dollar Video Ads

Courtesy PR Web

Courtesy PR Web

Look out, mobile Facebook users, video advertisements are coming your way.

The situation: Within the next several months, Facebook says it will roll out 15-second video ads on mobile sites. Just like videos shared by friends or sponsored pages on your news feed, these premium ads will play automatically without sound and stop if you scroll past. However, if you tap on them, the screen expands and you can watch the full commercial with sound. (Here’s what they’ll look like.)

The price tag: If you’re a business owner thinking about possibly promoting your company through these video ads, get ready to dig deep into those pockets. Way deep. Facebook says the average price for premium video ads is anywhere from $1 million to $2.5 million per day.

The result: While this sounds like an enticing way for profitable businesses to gain more exposure, there is a fear that the videos will be a turn-off to mobile internet users and cause backlash instead of a positive experience. However, many analysts don’t think so. In fact, they believe it will be great for Facebook’s stock.

Analyst Victor Anthony told MarketWatch he believes Facebook’s delay in video ads has been very strategic.

“Rollout was/is slow because Facebook wants to ensure that the user experience will not be disrupted,” Anthony said. “With this launch they are communicating that they now feel comfortable that the user experience will not be compromised.”

And, Facebook is planning on taking only the highest quality advertisements for its premium video ad program.

“To make sure Premium Video Ads are as good as other content people see in their News Feeds, we’re working with a company called Ace Metrix to help us review and assess how engaging the creative is for each ad — before it appears on Facebook,” said Facebook. “Ace Metrix will allow us to objectively measure the creative quality of the video in the Facebook environment, and highlight performance indicators for advertisers such as watchability, meaningfulness and emotional resonance. We’re taking this step in order to maintain high-quality ads on Facebook and help advertisers understand what’s working to maximize their return on investment.”

Here’s what we think: First of all, video advertising is not a new venture. Google’s been on the video ad train since 2006. Online viewers have watched promotional ads before streaming videos on YouTube and Hulu for years. However, what is new is the notion of video advertising through a widely-used social network like Facebook.

The fact is online video advertisements work. A 2010 Nielson study shows viewers had much greater brand and message recall and greater likability for online video ads as opposed to their traditional television counterparts.  Of course, the more interactive these video ads are, the better click-through and conversion rates for the represented company.

Katie Parr, Social Media Specialist here at tCloud Solutions, says she doesn’t believe these video ads will annoy Facebook users in the long run.

“I think at the beginning users won’t necessarily care for them, but they’ll adjust to the changes very quickly, just like they do for layout changes and other Facebook fixes,” she said. “As long as Facebook keeps the video ads to a minimum, which they are already planning on doing, I don’t think it’d be a problem at all.”

What do you think? We want to know. Leave your thoughts in the comments below. (Yes, that rhymed. We like to pretend we’re poets once in a while.)

Navigating the Vast Social Media Galaxy

Hand holding a Social Media 3d Sphere

Courtesy Google Images

Like our own universe, the social media universe can seem never-ending and just as mind-boggling.  It’s easy to become flustered when using the different channels for your company’s online marketing strategy, especially when the rules of social media are constantly changing. Think of it this way: just as scientists are discovering more about the galaxy we live in, social media marketing gurus are always learning more about how to effectively capture the attention of your target audience through these channels.

Thankfully, our astronauts have navigated this territory before. Here are a few tips on what to look for in some of the most popular social networking accounts and which ones can be best utilized for your business:

  • Facebook: Facebook is the king of social media. With 1.31 billion users, it has the most reach for potential customers to see your brand. No matter what industry you’re in (whether it’s food service, cosmetics, manufacturing, etc.), having a presence on Facebook is a necessary addition to your company’s website. Not only that, but it is the perfect outlet for updates, a place to share articles and visual material, hold contests, and engage your customers in meaningful conversation.
  • TwitterWhile Twitter currently comes in second for amount of users, it’s probably the most misused social media network out there. Sure, it’s a challenge to fit everything in a 140-character description, but that’s the beauty of it. The equation for Twitter is simple: one- to two-line creative teaser + a link + #hashtag = engagement. Twitter works best for news organizations and/or companies who use it as a public relations “news feed”, because that is essentially what Twitter is: a stream of intriguing updates. Many Twitter users utilize the site as the source of their daily news consumption. It’s not a blog and it’s not a place for wordy ranting. However, Twitter is apparently effective for fighting over customers, as dueling dining chains Applebees and Outback Steakhouse recently found out.
  • LinkedInThis growing social network is important to any company’s digital strategy, especially for the human resources side of things. Polish your online presence by creating a sleek LinkedIn profile with information about your company, photos and service or product offerings. Frequently post your blog links on LinkedIn to establish your voice of authority to potential customers, employees and network connections.  This network is also a great way to advertise job openings and get the most out of recruiting.
  • YouTubeYouTube is one of the most important social networks to help your SEO strategy as well as connecting to the 18-34-year-old audience. Check out what we have to say about YouTube here.
  • PinterestIf your marketing strategy has a lot to say via photos, Pinterest is a perfect network for your company. Whether you’re in the business of baking, interior design, photography, or basically anything that sparks inspiration, taking advantage of this social network is ideal. Pinterest is also a great platform on which to host contests. (PS. we can help you with your next “Pin-to-Win” contest) It’s also a great way to connect to women, as the majority of Pinterest users are female.
  • FourSquare: Interact with local customers by taking advantage of FourSquare. This network is most often used in its mobile app form, as users “check-in” via FourSquare to various restaurants, shops, and other points of interest. The network gives points for visiting different types of businesses and also provides users the ability to take photos and leave tips for future visitors. FourSquare is also unique in that it uses GPS signals to detect when a user is in your store, which gives you the perfect opportunity to talk about daily specials or other events.
  • Instagram: Like Pinterest, Instagram is a way to share your message through photos and visual material. Unlike other networks that encourage broadcasting a message, Instagram is a great method to open up that two-way conversation by engaging your followers and encouraging them to share photos. Instagram is perfect for clothing companies like H&M and Aeropostale, both of which encourage their brand’s wearers to post photos of themselves while wearing or even trying on the company’s clothing in stores.

Bottom line: You do not need to sign up for every social networking site that exists. That’s like posting a flag with your business’ logo on every planet you land on but not spending enough time to build an outpost to attract the locals’ interest.  Instead, pick three channels that magnify your company’s marketing goals the most and build these networks before expanding your reach with other social media sites.

Need further advice on deciding which channels can promote your message the strongest? Let us help.

How YouTube is Taking Over the World

youtube logo

YouTube: it’s a treasure trove of searchable and sharable content and the gold mine for search engine optimization specialists everywhere.  The social networking site brings in more than 1 billion unique users each month, has millions of subscribers each day and is now very close to surpassing it’s own parent company, Google, in search queries.

Say what?

While this isn’t necessarily new news, the fact that social networking sites are now driving more traffic to source websites than traditional search engines is a unique situation.  It means video content is powerful when it comes to brand awareness. It means marketing strategies are dead without social networking, particularly YouTube, in the mix. It means connecting to the coveted and hard-to-reach 18- to 34-year-olds is now easier with a YouTube presence.

YouTube is critical to any’s business’ outreach plan. According to OfficingToday.com, social search (searching terms on a social networking site) is increasing at a steady rate. Ultimately, not being a part of social media could actually hurt your company, because if people aren’t finding you on social networking, they’re probably not finding your website in the thousands of search results on Google.

So, how does one start and effectively maintain a presence on YouTube? Here’s just a few recommendations to get you started:

  • Develop a content strategy: What will you be making videos about? How will you use those videos to promote new services or products? For instance, home-improvement chains are already finding success with Do-It-Yourself how-to videos and cosmetic companies are getting attention from their makeup tutorials. Target your niche audience by coming up with videos that would intrigue them and convince them that what they’re watching is sharable material.
  • Come up with a workable posting schedule: Videos should be posted often but not so frequently that they clog up your viewers’ subscription boxes. A rule of thumb is to post at least one video per week.
  • Keep videos short: You’re not in the business of creating epics, just short, information-filled, entertaining pieces. Viewers may not have a lot of spare time on their hands, and they’ll lose interest if your video is five minutes or more. Keep your videos to around three minutes or less.
  • Link back to your website: Make sure your viewers know where to find you. Put your website link in the video description box, create an internal link in the video or have your subject actually mention how to find you online. After all, the whole reason you’re creating videos is to get the word out about you and your product/services.

YouTube is literally taking over the world of user searches and SEO. It’s a social media powerhouse that can get your company into the public eye and people who matter most: your customers. Trust us, it’s worth investing in. If you need more in-depth strategy and insight into YouTube, we’d love to bounce some ideas off you.