Category Archives: Social Media Services

Getting Social with Kina Grannis

In this post, I discuss some highlights of an interview I had with the fantabulous, highly popular and gorgeously talented singer/songwriter Kina Grannis. What does this have to do with social media, you say? Actually, it has everything to do with grassroots marketing, with social media and being… well, “real.”

Kina Grannis In Your Arms

You may have only just recently been introduced to the beautiful talented Kina Grannis. Perhaps you’ve seen her YouTube video In Your Arms, which is rapidly approaching 4 million views! Recently, Kina appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show and was featured in In Touch Weekly. She’s won numerous awards including MTV O Music Award for Best Web-Born Artist & Doritos Crash the SuperBowl contest.

Kina has done all of this on her own, without the support of a major record label, using social media – YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and yes, even now Google+.

Here is my social media discussion with Kina:

KBJ:  Kina, thanks so much for joining us. Let’s start at the beginning. What made you decide to get online in the first place?

Kina:  I had MySpace, but to be honest, I don’t think any growth ever came out of having the MySpace. But, the first really useful one I started was my YouTube channel. At the time, I didn’t know it was going to be such a powerful tool. I just started it because I was in that contest (the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest), and I wanted to give people a reason to come back every day to vote. I decided… to put up a video every day. Then… [the audience] can come back and watch a new video each day. I kind of got started like that.

I was doing probably half originals – half covers. Pretty quickly, I realized that somehow people were getting to my music that I did not know. So, YouTube is where the most organic growth came from, because people can accidentally find you if you’re doing cover songs.

Then there is a very human aspect to YouTube… when you are talking, being yourself and explaining your story. People really connect to that and feel like they know you as a person and they’re with you and working on your side. I found that the people that were coming from the YouTube to my website were really involved and really believed in me, not just a fan of music. Facebook came around later and [I] could actually use it to help keep people’s attention. I think it’s a good way to collect, but Twitter…I think between Twitter and YouTube, those are the two most powerful ones for me.

Like you were saying in our conversation earlier, talking with people is incredibly important but you can’t just start talking to people and make people appear. You have to find the people and I found them on YouTube. I can talk to them via Twitter. That’s where I can have discussions and have people vote or do Q&A sessions and things like that to really connect with them. I think those two are definitely the strongest for me.

KBJ:  Okay. So where do you think your Facebook page comes into play? Do you just have it because you’re supposed to?

Kina:  Well, I would say it’s really important. I guess Facebook and Twitter are kind of similar in that some people will be on Facebook all the time. Some people are tracking their Twitter all the time, so when I update people I update on both. A lot of people respond on Twitter, and a whole bunch of other people respond on Facebook… that’s a job, I guess. My part is a little harder because it’s more difficult to respond to each person individually. You can send a private message but it’s not…

KBJ:  Yeah, it’s hard to interject into the comments, right? They’re set. Most people like that. Most typical users on Facebook like the fact that it’s threaded so they can see the conversation in one place, but to individually respond to people, it doesn’t make sense the way Twitter does.

Kina:  Exactly. I’ll attempt to sometimes. I’ll post a comment and I’ll be like: @Megan: Thanks. @Timmy: Cool. I’ll be there in August. But it’s kind of crazy looking.

KBJ:  You mentioned covers so I want to ask: You said it’s a really powerful thing to do covers. If somebody was getting started and they’re just starting a YouTube channel and trying to get their music out there, would you think it’s a good idea for them to do covers? Can you explain more about why you do covers on your YouTube videos?

Kina:  I definitely think it’s very important to do covers. A couple of reasons from my perspective: Number one, it’s a great way to keep challenging yourself. Whenever I do a cover it’s: ‘Okay, here’s a song that has nothing to do with me and it’s produced with whatever crazy production it has… how can I make this mine?’ It’s a good challenge and I’m trying to find more sound and trying to make other things sound like that original song and connect to the audience like that song did. It’s a good challenge musically.

But other than that, if you’re just putting up original after original after original, even if you brilliant, people are still not going to find it. It’s unfortunate but people aren’t searching on YouTube for random song names to see who’s out there or up and coming artists. They’re searching what they’re hearing on the radio and if they come across you, it’s because of that original song.  But then, they like you for you and then they go and listen to your originals and they like your originals. That’s how you really find people.

KBJ:  I think that’s brilliant because I work in an industry where we’re always telling people to be relatable and to think like the customer even if we’re trying to sell a YouTube video or something besides music. For me this is a hard and fast example of you thinking like myself and the other people that buy your music. It just proves a point that is hard for people to understand. Say you’re trying to sell bandanas or you’re Joe’s Coffee Shop–How can Joe’s Coffee Shop be successful on YouTube? It really is to ‘think like your customer’. But how do you actually do that? This is a perfect example. I’m just kind of geeking out on that from a strategy perspective.

Kina:  (laughs) Yeah, it’s definitely a cool thing. It’s unfortunate because you do eventually get some flak for it. People will comment: You’re selling out. You did this cover. Why do you need covers? You should just do originals…blah, blah, blah. The thing is the people who have supported me for two or three years will now comment back and say: ‘I love Kina’s originals. That’s why I support her, but I would never have known about her if I didn’t find her Regina Spektor cover.’ So, it’s definitely powerful…

KBJ:  If you know how “search” works on YouTube, it’s a fairly easy thing to understand why that would be so powerful. Considering the way both “search” works and the way “related videos” work, it makes a huge difference.

I don’t know if you even have a comment on it or not, but a lot of what we’re seeing right now is this exact process as a result of the Rebecca Black video. People started creating covers of her video to try to get subscribers, basically capitalizing on this exact process that we’re talking about.

Kina:  Yeah. I’ve definitely noticed that. It’s in the same way that any huge song on the radio can get people views on YouTube for doing covers and whatever is going on socially whether it’s the double rainbow or socially viral videos, right? This is my world so it kind of takes over everything, but it’s like the Rebecca Black thing exactly. It becomes a huge Internet thing and everyone says: Okay, need to make a video [on this topic] if I want to get views.

KBJ:  Maybe if I was a musician I might really want to do a cover or if I was a videographer I might really want to do a cover just because it’s funny, but I think it’s more about the strategy of trying to get attention than it has to do with trying to making a parody of somebody.

Oh and here’s just kind of a fun question…have you ever been Rickrolled? Speaking of Internet memes?

Kina:  I actually haven’t. Is that still going on?

KBJ:  It’s happening with QR codes now. Do you know about QR codes?

Kina:  Oh. That’s hilarious.

KBJ: My friend, Ori, was doing that the other day and I’ve seen some other people doing it: Scan the code! Everyone is so excited about scanning codes now. Ohhh, where is it going to take me? It’s the perfect little thing to go Rickroll people.

Kina:  That’s so funny.

KBJ:  It’s funny that no one’s ever Rickrolled you. I’m going to have to remember that and see what I can do about it.. So what would you tell a new musician, a new artist, or a new songwriter that wants to do their own thing? Let’s just assert that you felt strongly that they had talent or that they needed to get their music out there. What would you tell them?

Kina:  I guess the first thing would be to cover all your bases and get a YouTube, get a Facebook, get a Twitter, and a MySpace account…and whatever other ones you want to get, but those are the main four for me….just so that anyone that could be looking for you can find you. Then I would say to get on YouTube and start posting originals and covers as often as possible. Make sure that the songs are ‘yours’ and be as genuine as possible. I think it’s really powerful to talk in your videos so that people know that you’re a real person and you’re willing to share what’s going on with them as a part of the conversation. So be real. Be genuine and then utilize that on all the other networks. On the updates keep the conversation going whether that’s letting them know about new videos you put up or just engaging them in what you’re doing and asking them how they’re doing. I think it’s a get out there and give as much content as possible. Be genuine and connect.

KBJ:  That’s awesome. Thank you. Now that you’ve gained so much popularity, do you have an issue with volume in that you can’t reply personally to everything? How do you handle that?

Kina:  Yes, that’s been one of the harder things. On Twitter, I try to respond to everyone. Some days it will be four days late. But when you get into all the Facebook messages and all my accounts and MySpace and emails, it gets to a point where I can’t get to everyone. It does really bother me because one message is as important as another, but if I did answer everything I would have to stop being a musician. I wouldn’t have time to write and do videos.

KBJ: Yeah, and that’s the reason that they’re writing you. Well, it is a testament to the power that you have moved people with your music. You are a real person so they feel like they’re going to get a response. That’s what I thought when I emailed you. Oh, probably her publicist or somebody else is going to get this. But then I actually got a response from you and it was really awesome. So you just deal with it as best you can, or do you have people that help you with that kind of stuff?

Kina: I have some sorting going on. I have my inquiries at my Kina Grannis email so that goes to me and my manager to address business-related people asking about a show or a CD or whatever. As far
as all the other messages, I do my best. I have my iPhone on me at all times. I can scan them really easily on the go. I’m constantly looking through them and marking them as unread in hopes that later I’ll be able to go back and respond. But if it’s something really pressing or really moving, I’ve seen it and I try to respond to it first.

KBJ: Correct me if I’m wrong,but the whole Justin Bieber effect…that’s what everybody is looking for now…that they’re going to get on YouTube, build a following, and then they’re going to get signed by a major label. I think you have chosen a different path with it. What you are doing is so real.

I thought it was really cute in one of your videos where you’re: “Oh, so go buy the CD.” I also love the video where you’re unwrapping all of your presents that people have sent to you because that’s one more way of making people feel like they’re part of the conversation. It’s as if we’re there with you on Christmas while you’re opening your gifts, which is not something we really get to do but we have the virtual experience of it.

One of the things I’m always harping on people on is in social media we say: Don’t sell stuff; just be you. But when people love you and your music, it would be natural for them to want to go buy your CD or download it. Do you think you’ve been able to grow organically because you have such a solid fan base and because you’ve so well connected with your fans?

Kina:  I don’t think the end goal ever needs to be a label nowadays. There are many ways that labels can be extremely helpful and for the right person a major label could be great. For another person it could be the worst thing ever. I don’t think the label should be the goal. I think the goal is just to have the tools and use them to find your own following organically and not about hoping some day to get this big giant company to shove you down people’s throats. It’s going to be something that lasts because people know you, care about you, and want to support you.

KBJ:  Perfect. That is a perfect note to end on. It’s not about the big payout at the end. It’s literally just about being you, connecting with people and creating relationships. Whatever the end goal is, positive things will come from it if you’re just a real person and you simply engage with people. Yes, you have a message to share. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

Kina:  You’re welcome.

Quick Start: Setting Up a Google Plus Business Page

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

UPDATE:

This is part 1! I later added:

- My Bio

- Contact Information

- My photos – I used the same one’s I had made for my KBJOnline Facebook Page – but they don’t fit just exactly right.

iframes overview

This is an OVERVIEW… not a detailed training…
I did this video for a group of marketers, and thought – hey! I should share that :)
Enjoy, y’all!
P.S. More DETAILED videos coming soon. Very, VERY soon :-)
…oh and say hi to @Frankie_dogg
Part 1

(watch iframes Part 1 full screen)

Part 2:

(watch iframes Part 2 full screen)

There are other resources -
Unfortunately, Fan Page Engine has only released their iframe solution to existing customers.

Lujure has released an FBML to iframe converter, and it looks like any new custom tabs created there are already iframes… so that’s awesome news!

You could, of course, create new web pages anywhere (not just on WordPress) and install by creating a new application!

COOL TIP: You can change the name of tabs now (see screenshot)!

Effective Ways to Land Your First Social Media Management Client

One of the most important things that you can do to land that first client is to always be on the lookout for the next opportunity. There are countless opportunities around you. Everything from a short conversation with the diner owner that you visit for coffee each morning, to a few of your online friends can lead to a new client and a new opportunity

While it is important not to always talk like you’re trying to make the sale, keep in mind that a simple conversation can sometimes lead to great results. Keep your possibilities and your mind open.

Of course, landing a new client is not only about being in the right place at the right time, or making the opportunity happen for you. It is also about how the potential client sees you.

  • Do you present yourself as someone who is capable?
  • Do you demonstrate expertise and knowledge in your area of specialization?

By demonstrating that you are plugged into what’s happening, people are more likely to start seeing you as the go-to person for their social media needs.

With your newly acquired skills, and of course the ability to learn new ones too, all that is left is to be your natural friendly self. Be positive, be friendly, and present yourself with the confidence and professionalism that you would come to expect from those around you.

While how you present yourself and looking for opportunities is important, it is also vital to know how to accomplish those tasks. Always remember to do the necessary research. Make use of online tools such as Google Alerts or the search function on Twitter to seek out new possibilities.

One way is to start getting notifications or alerts for search words in areas that you have a special interest in. For example, let’s say that you have a special interest or knowledge in Sicilian cooking. Why not set up a Google Alert for those ideas as well as social media management? That way, when you find people searching for those terms, you’ll be able to quickly tailor what you do to fit their needs.

Also be sure to set up general searches for social media assistants or social media management as well. You never know what you’ll find on the end of the line – maybe a partner, a subcontractor, or even a client just waiting to find you!

Effective Ways to Bring Your Next Client to You Online

Running a successful social media manager business means that building a wide and extensive client base is an integral part of the program. While making use of the referrals from your clients is a great way to get started, it can’t be the only avenue that is used. Thankfully, the World Wide Web provides a number of different ways to get your message across.

Make Use of What You Know

As a social media manager, you know about or have access to just about every one of the most popular social media sites. So why not make use of them for your business? Having an up to date and topical Facebook fan page or profile can be a great way to get your brand out into the web.

Make sure that you make use other sites such as Twitter or LinkedIn, too. There are a number of software programs available that allows you to update your various social media outlets all at once, making is very easy to keep with the online conversation.

Your Blog

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to get detailed information out to the public about your services is through a dedicated blog. In a few paragraphs you can provide more insight, and more detail into what you can do for your potential client than anywhere else.Having a description of your services, testimonies, even your expert advice on the latest and greatest in social media in one location can be a great marketing tool.

Your clients, and soon your potential clients will know that your blog is the resource for information and insight, and of course, help when they need it. So take the time to write a quality blog, and contribute to it regularly. Then, spend some time linking and promoting it throughout the Internet.

Don’t Be Afraid to Step Out and Upwards

While the world of social media and blogs are a great way to self-promote, never be afraid to get help from those around you. Local newspapers and online magazines are always looking for topical interview subjects, and with the chaotic nature of the social media world, your expertise is likely to be in prime time demand.

Watch your twitter accounts, and keep abreast of what is going on in the world. Chances are you’ll be able to find another opportunity for exposure. Take what you apply to your clients and use it to find your next one!

What You Can Offer as a Social Media Manager

You’ve made the decision and are determined to help others with their social media needs.  However, you are stuck on what you should offer – the packages, prices and basically the whole set up of your online services offering. Well no worries, let’s try to break it down for you into digestible chunks.  After all, you must be able to offer prospective clients packages of services, so let’s get started.

The best way to develop packages is to figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are and how you can help your client.  Will you simply be offering social media management, which means the managing of their social network profiles or will you offer more?  By more I mean, content, content creation and distribution, strategy sessions or consulting, page creations for Facebook and/or Youtube.

As you can tell, you can develop your packages to include lots of things, but of course you need to make sure that what you offer is something you can deliver with quality in a timely manner.  If you want to offer design and you can’t do it, perhaps you can hire a team to do that part or partner with web designers, graphic designers, etc. It’s not that you have to do everything yourself, but rather that you are the person in charge of getting it done.

Once you determine what you will offer you can set up your packages.  I suggest 3 different levels and label them Bronze, Silver and Gold or whatever titles you’d like.  Having different levels will help the client decide what services they will need or can hire you for.

The packages should describe what you offer – the number of hours you will provide, the number of profiles you will monitor, if you will offer content creation. The specifics need to be spelled out. This keeps misunderstandings (and refunds) to a minimum.

Don’t forget to also offer a la carte services.  These services can include the consulting or strategy sessions as well as any extras that are not included in your 3 level of packages.

A great way to develop your packages and fees is to do some research.  By that I mean, do a google search for social media setup or social media management.  Check out what others are offering, their services, their packages and their fees.  Become their friend on Twitter and Facebook and notice how they promote their services and how they promote themselves.  It is important to see what your competitors are offering so you can develop your packages in a unique and interesting way, one that plays off your natural skills and talents. Find out who the top players are in social media management and follow them in order to stay informed and competitive.

By being engaged with your clients, competitors and the best of the best, you will always be aware of what is happening in the social media world and you’ll know about the new technologies, new applications and offers that can help your clients.  So, what’s the next step?  Develop your packages and start promoting!

Typical Social Media Service Packages

So, you’ve decided that you want to be a social media manager.  You’ve played around on the different social networks and feel that you can absolutely help others.  However, you have no idea what type of service packages or prices to start with.

To help you sort it out, here are some examples of packages you could offer. You can adapt these basic ideas to your strengths and weaknesses and of course to what the client needs as well.

A typical menu of services would include a profile setup, routine maintenance, reputation management, as well as content creation and distribution.  Now, you’re probably reading that and scratching your head, wondering what on earth I am talking about.  No worries, let’s take each one and break it down for you.

Profile setup is simply what is sounds like.  Your prospective client may not have a profile setup on the network of choice so this is where your skills will be needed.  Adding a picture, short bio, contact information, etc.  Some prospective clients may have a profile setup that they haven’t updated in months.  You will be sure that their profile is up to date with appropriate information as well as up to date email and website information if needed.

Routine management will involve daily monitoring of their specific profiles.  If they are active on more than one social network; you will be responsible for filtering of friend requests, personal messages, private messages and responses to their tweets or updates.

Reputation management and monitoring involves keeping up to date with their names and keywords.  This will involve a bit of research on your part but will be useful for your prospective clients.  Perhaps they will want to know what their competitors are doing or sharing and you can help them keep up with the pulse of their specific industry.

Finally the content creation and distribution is another service you can offer your prospective client.  This entails sharing their content across the different networks.  It can also involve researching the latest trends in their particular industry.  This research can then be used to create blog posts or shared with your client to create a video, audio or podcast.

The services you offer will depend on your skill set and your comfort level at providing the service.  The next obvious question is the break down and prices of packages – be sure to come back for more information on setting up your packages because that’s coming!

Why the New Facebook Questions API Might Help Your Business

Facebook will soon have another advanced social feature. This new feature is called Facebook Questions. But, will Facebook Questions become the new marketing tool for your business? Short answer – maybe.

So, what is it? Well, Facebook Questions (now in beta testing) will allow its now over 500 million users to ask questions and get answers from users. At first look, it’s much like Yahoo’s Q&A. Users can ask questions and the community can respond. Answers are rated or voted on for quality. With some other unique features, a user can follow specific questions, tag questions and explore based on subject matter.

According to Mashable, the biggest advantage of Facebook Questions will be the sheer size of the Facebook community. PC World calls Facebook Questions, “…arguably the most forceful thing Facebook has done to bring users outside of their social circles, because you cannot make questions or answers private.”

However, is this new feature a business tool? Because it’s in beta, Facebook Questions has not setup functionality to integrate with brand pages at this time. Yet, the use of this application as a business tool is most definitely in high demand. The ability for an organization to answer user generated questions and have those answers visible beyond the limits of their own fans is pretty sweet. Who wouldn’t want that, right?

The key with Facebook Questions will be not to advertise, but instead to be the expert, sharing the cool stuff you already know to engage your target audience. This gives you a chance to engage a community that you may have had a hard time trying to reach before through other means.

I will take a wait and see approach to Facebook Questions. The application has amazing potential as a marketing tool. Many issues will be answered by the beta test and if Facebook Questions can engage, entertain and educate on a personal and professional level, then it’s probably worth putting on your social media to-do list.

The Key To Success Is Communication

One of the biggest constructive arguments that I have heard against outsourcing social media tactics is a concern that a Social Media Virtual Assistant might make mistakes in the online world because he or she does not understand the business. It seems like too great of a risk to lose complete control over the brand message.

Yet, in having complete control, we actually lose more control. We become so mired in managing the little details, taking away our ability to engage in conversation, research and understand our customers. The need for control actually removes our ability to be efficient and understand the wants and needs of those that pay our bills every month.

In any organization this risk of having someone make a mistake will be present. A customer service rep, salesperson or even a secretary can say the wrong thing or send the wrong message. Typically, it is not the fault of said employee, but rather a lack of communication between employer and employee. And any new hire takes a little amount of time to get to know the business and its culture. Thus, in reality this is a perception issue and a need for control.

The key to being in the social media realm and having a Social Media Virtual Assistant, just like any other employee, is communication. The better we as employers communicate with our staff and align our communications with goals for serving our customers, the more profitable we all become.

When Do You Know You’re Ready

So, you’ve decided you want to help others in the social media arena, but you’re still not sure if you’re ready. Before you go to the large corporations, try answering these questions:

* Do you have a presence online? Via social media?
* How will you be able to help this corporation?
* Do you have your script in place?
* What questions will you ask them?
* Are you prepared for the questions they will ask you?

Once you are comfortable with the knowledge base of social media and are up to date with the ever changing rules, then you are ready. Will you have all the answers? Probably not, but don’t ever let them see you sweat. You must go in confident in your skills and knowledge. After all, you are there to help them.

You main goal should be that of the client and how you can help them increase or at least create an online presence. Once you have that confidence and the conviction behind your words, the client will sense that and want to work with you. Ask for the business and be ready to hear a yes.

The question of whether you’re ready to take on the social media management world is truly up to you. Are you ready? No? Keep learning, perfecting your approach, increasing your skills. Remember that even once you have the skills you may still feel some fear. The trick is to jump out there. Just go for it!

If your answer is “yes I’m ready”, why are you still here reading a blog post? Go get some clients and get to work!