Will Facebook Live Replace the Press Release?

We'll Do It Live

Live video is one of the most exciting innovations of the information age. With just a cell phone, anyone can go live to share their perspectives on a wide range of topics. During a recent walk in Santa Monica, California, I came across a group of young men from Germany playing music in the street.  What was unique about their performance was the presence of a cell phone mounted on a tripod nearby. The lead singer of Denmantau was addressing the audience in front of him, and the audience tuned in live on Facebook. I stood there listening to their feel-good vibes admiring their ingenuity.

Denmantau going live from Santa Monica on Facebook

Denmantau going live from Santa Monica on Facebook

Major consumer brand takes a bold step going live

The creative way Crayola delivered news the color Dandelion was going to retire wasn’t lost on marketing expert Jay Baer. As Jay remarked in his Jay Today video, Crayola’s plan to retire Dandelion on National Crayon Day wasn’t done through the usual press release alone.  Instead Crayola made the strategic choice to go live from Times Square with the news. Laurie Schacht from The Toy Insider  introduced Smith Holland, the president and CEO of Crayola and Melanie Boulden, SVP of Global Marketing to share the news. During this playful live stream Crayola referred to Dandelion as an “adventurous color”, and explained how “Dande” was about to embark on an extensive retirement tour.

Never let them see you sweat

Before going live it’s important to be prepared for the potential of things going wrong. There were a few glitches which prevented the stream from going perfectly, like TV screens not working during Dadelion’s retirement video,  and we could not hear what Dandelion was saying when he strolled in to meet the kids. But going live carries a certain inherent risk.  So far, the nine-minute stream has been viewed an incredible 256,000 times, received 3300 likes and 900 shares.  During the technical glitch, Melanie Boulden kept smiling and listened as the audio track from the video played.

The key point that Jay made earlier is, if you are working in public relations of any kind you need to be familiar with all things live video,  because it’s a medium that’s rapidly replacing traditional PR tactics as a means for delivering a message to the marketplace.

Live video is the equalizer

Every Friday Michael Stelzer and his team at Social Media Examiner go live on Facebook, Periscope, YouTube at the same time with Social Media Marketing Talk. The show format is brilliant, invite on experts with knowledge in a wide range of social media platforms to discuss the very latest announcements and enhancements, and discuss how marketers can use these tactics to reach their audience. The shows are extremely well organized, and despite a few occasions where bandwidth hasn’t been ideal, or a guest speaker can’t go live at that moment, the shows have been excellent. Michael always makes a point of reminding the audience, in a cheerful, no-stress manner that we are live and occasionally some technical issues will interrupt the flow. Expectations have been set, the audience understands that we are in the pioneer stage of live video, and to expect the unexpected.

For me live video represents a great opportunity to share perspectives on marketing and social media with the world. I’d like to learn as much as I can about it.  I want to be a practitioner who can produce excellent live content for myself, my company and others. So, I will be listening to Jay Baer and Michael Stelzer and anyone else with expertise on this topic.

Do I think Facebook Live will replace the traditional press release?  I think there is a distinct possibility. How many of you still use a Fax machine?  How many of you receive email from friends more often than you do say comments or Snaps on Snapchat or status updates on Facebook?  I know that I receive  a lot less personal email. So my thinking is, we are seeing a great new way to reach a mass audience emerging, and if done right, why would you continue to use traditional means over digital and live?

What are your thoughts? Are you as excited about live video as I am?

Social Tactics: Peoplelinx Social Selling Mobile App


In this post I am kicking off a series of social selling videos.  In these videos. In our first episode I thought I would share about a new app I discovered for social selling, and it is from PeopleLinx.

If you are unfamiliar, Peoplelinx is a content amplification platform designed for organizations with large sales teams. You can use it to curate a repository of pre-approved articles and add various 3rd party content from RSS feeds, or simply ad links on the fly to useful articles related to your industry. Those articles then show up in an Article library for your team to share. You can even prioritize important articles and send notifications to your team. The benefit of using applications like this is it enables sales teams to share content, build stronger social profiles, make new connections and eventually grow a pipeline of business. Until now, Peoplelinx has been primarily a desktop application so when I discovered they released a mobile app I was quite excited.

All around it is a very solid app.The ability to share approved content has never been so easy. The interface is intuitive and extremely easy to use with it’s uncluttered layout.

I think it could benefit from improvements to the search tool, enabling users to do more advanced searches. Also the ability to share to Facebook directly from within the app would be beneficial. Facebook understandably is mostly a consumer social network, but I am seeing more social sellers gravitate there as more of their connections become more comfortable connecting with business contacts. The ability to add my own URL on the fly would be another thing to consider. We have been encouraging our reps to share more of their own content, and the mobile app would seem like a good input to help in the curation effort. Lastly, I hope they are developing an Android version. Not everybody prefers iPhone so giving Peoplelinx users that choice would help greatly.

So, what are you waiting for, if you are a Peoplelinx subscriber, go to the app store and download the app to get started, or go to peoplelinx.com for more info.

Do leave me a comment if you have feedback or have a social selling tactic of your own you would like me to talk about in a future episode. Hit me up on LinkedIn or twitter, or follow my updates by subscribing to my blog. Thank you and I look forward to sharing more with you in another episode of Social Tactics.

Is Content Marketing Dead?

Michael Stelzner and Mark Schaefer participated in a panel discussion with Mitch Joel during Social Media Marketing World focused on the question “Is Content Marketing Dead?” Here are my key takeaways from the discussion.

So i just sat through a powerhouse session with Mitch Joel, Michael Stelzner and Mark Schaefer “Is Content Marketing Dead?” I think they answered that question decisively.

Key Takeaways:

  1. It’s about really driving content for the “right” audience. Audiences (engagement) is dwindling, yes, but the key take away for me is the audience is shrinking to become the right audience.
  2. Focus on your strengths,  if you’re not good at Snapchat, keep blogging.  Keep building that audience for your blog.  Keep building great content and your audience will find you.
  3. To drive traffic do some re-marketing.  It is paying big dividends for Social Media Examiner.

On the flip side of that last one, Mark Schaefer doesn’t spend a dime on advertising and why should he, he’s got fantastic content, building up his audience over time on the Grow Business Blog. It also took him five years to make the decision to progress on to doing a podcast.  So, expand out yes to reach other audiences, but only after you have honed your core audience.

Michael Stelzner touched upon the fascination marketers have with bright shiny objects at the expense of what works. Schaefer is doubling down on content, his growth is all being fueled by content.


Traditional Media Recruiting from Social Media to Boost Ratings #SMMW16

Here is a quick recap of the keynote address on the state of social media marketing delivered by Michael Stelzner on the first day of Social Media Marketing World.

First up – traditional media is recruiting from the world of social media. Michael talked about a case study for the CBS Television show The Amazing Race, which has seen declining ratings for the past five years, and has now reached out to the world of social media recruiting all cast members from the likes of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, to making up a social media cast with a combined reach of over 33 million. They had actually broadcast segments of the show live on Facebook for the first time. Facebook is also giving priority to Facebook life video in the feed. So we are seeing lots of change there in terms of reaching out to social media to boost traditional media.

Michael also talked about his first experience with Facebook live, and within two minutes had over 400 people watching him. Facebook live is a major factor now in social. Brian Fanzo (@iSocialFanz) later provided an excellent discussion about how he is leveraging live video, how to get the most out of live video.

There is a fully produced show called The Daily Burn. It has got multiple cameras, and they are going in big with TV-like production quality and they are doing this on Facebook live.

Facebook is still huge with marketers, 67 percent of marketers will increase the Facebook marketing in 2016 up from 62 percent a year ago. 55 percent feel that Facebook is the most relevant social platform, and that’s up from 51 percent last year, so Facebook is continuing to power along. Pay-toPlay is officially here and people are investing in Facebook advertising. Facebook said they have grown the number of advertisers by 50 percent.

Michael talked a little bit about Snapchat, and this is a major competitor to Facebook that receives over 8 billion views of videos per month. This is a competitive threat to Facebook. He talked about a case study with a Snapchat personality from Australia named Chocolate Johnny and how he was able to develop an audience very quickly using the platform by sharing personal stories about his recipes and his chocolate business in Australia.

And how to connect with people in amazing ways – networking is big at the conference, we have a number of workshops on networking and connecting with others, and how to get the most out of the conference. It’s very well run, I was very impressed with the way the conference was managed by the organizers.

I met a young woman named Rania from Egypt. She is here visiting Social Media Marketing World for the first time. She earned her PhD in England in online marketing and is studying social media very closely now. She said that Facebook and Twitter were the two dominant platforms. She had not heard of Blab which I found quite surprising. I’m not sure if Blab is available yet in Egypt.

So those are my initial takeaways from Day 1.

Live Video: Why the future of marketing is going live #SMMW16

A quick update from Social Media Marketing World 2016 in San Diego.

This morning we had a keynote hosted by Joel Comm, Joel, of course is the author of Twitter Power and several other social media books. He is a pioneer in social media and he was saying he’s going all in on live video. I thought it was interesting that he qualified that as live video and not going all in on just one particular platform, because as we know, there’s a lot of change in that space right now.

There was a number of panelist with him, Kim Garst a social media luminary,  Shaan Puri, the CEO of Blab and Mari Smith of course, a luminary on Facebook. Some of the highlights – Shaan Puri he said that within two minutes you’ll know if people like you, and nobody wants to read your press release, people are looking for dynamism, they’re looking for people to be real and authentic on camera, and this is why people are turning to these channels and staying on the channels for so long. The average user on Blab spends 82 minutes per day and that’s double what people spend on YouTube. So they are watching. Kim Garst mentioned that the reason why folks are so attracted to or interested in Donald Trump is because he is real, he says whatever comes out of his mouth and she said you can apply that same parallel to watching folks on Blab.

Drones will be integrated into the Facebook Live platform at some point and you would look for other platforms to follow suit, but I think Facebook has got the first mover advantage on that.  Also there was talk of repackaging all of this live content that you are creating using apps like Animoto to advertise replays and things of that nature. People should always remember to put a call to action on your live video close to the end or during the middle, so your audience can take the call to action of either subscribing to your newsletter or downloading your e-book.

They did not think that virtual-reality tools like VR headsets are built for business, it’s mostly a consumer play but 360 video should eventually be a component of live video according to Smith who made that prediction. Smith went on to say that Chinese apps such as WeChat were light years ahead of any apps we’ve created in the West. There’s a lot more in terms of usability and functionality built into their apps. She also predicted the day when Facebook Live will have an “invite a guest” option to join, and it makes a lot of sense because Mark Zuckerberg is spending a lot of time in China. Look for Facebook to really try and level the playing field.

So it was a great session I got a lot out of it. I’ve been experimenting with the live video platforms and will definitely be checking out more of that.

Friday Social Media Marketing Talk with @smexaminer

I always look forward to Fridays, and Fridays start off with a powerful dose of social media marketing expertise through the Morning Social Media Marketing Talk blab from the experts at Social Media Examiner.  To add this Blab to your calendar go to www.socialmediaexaminer.com/blabcal



Anchor app a perfect companion for content marketing

This week I made an amazing discovery in a new IOS app called Anchor.fm. The app allows you to make audio recordings of up to two minutes, post them to a community and receive responses. Anchor offers strong integration with Twitter making it seamless to tweet your anchor post at the same time. The interface is very intuitive with a big red record button. Holding the button starts a two minute countdown while you are recording. After you’ve completed your recording you can add a short description include any hashtags you may want to include to target your message before publishing it to the Internet.

Then the magic happens your mobile device starts to give you notifications that you have received responses to your anchor post. Replies can be up to 60 seconds in length.   In one thread started by Steven LeaneyWhat’s famous thing in your city?“, Steven describes Adelaide, and the Barossa Valley wine region in Australia. A few anchors later Stephen Gordon, a Golf Pro based in Northern Ireland replied to talk about the Belfast shipyards and how Titanic was built there.

Watch my first-impressions video.

Here I combine audio taken from a real anchor interaction to incorporate into a short video.

You can also just embed anchor conversations onto a blog post by using the provided embedding code.

During this interaction with Steven in Australia and and then Stephen in Northern Ireland it became apparent that there could be a good personal connection.  I responded to let Steven know that my great-grandfather was a carpenter who built furniture for Titanic, and his son also worked in the shipyards and I have family ties to Belfast.  Stephen and I exchanged messages on Twitter thereafter and I discovered that he knows my Uncle because they both play golf at the same club in Northern Ireland, 7,000 miles away. In fact, Steven’s number is in my Uncle’s phone.  So within seconds Stephen and I went from being complete strangers separated by thousands of miles to mutual friends of my Uncle with plans to meet for a drink later in the year. That is incredibly powerful when you think of the distance Anchor was able to remove in a matter of seconds.

I think this is awesome because social media can be a very cluttered place. When you log on to Twitter there are millions of tweets and because there’s so much going on it’s easy to miss important connections through inflection. And this is where Anchor gets it right. I see Anchor as a room full of strangers all discussing different topics and you can dip into these conversations with your own perspective or find conversations about topics that interest you. Or crowdsource help from your community.

So how would you use anchor for content marketing?  I see it working in several ways and here’s the workflow that I’m using presently. If there is a conversation I find interesting or pertinent to a topic I’m writing about I will save it to Pocket – tagging it for follow-up.  I may choose a series of tags like “anchor-content gardener” or “anchor-social media”. Whenever I work on my article, I listen back to the anchor post and either type out what they had said or use an audio editing application like Audacity or Adobe Audition to clip parts of the audio into a short soundbite.  If the post stands on its own without any editing I can use Anchor’s embedding feature to drop the entire clip into my blog post as I did above, or just include a link to the post.

If you are creating video, and video is huge these days,  you could create a video and include audio clips which originate in Anchor and place still images on top of the audio to support what you’re showing in your video. So for example if were talking about Titanic and Belfast I might include a few photographs of the shipyards and the recording of Stephen talking about Belfast, and this adds context to the article and makes the content more compelling.

Want to learn more about Anchor and using it for business before diving in? Check out Mike Delgado’s post Anchor Analysis: How to Repackage Waves for Business – lots of great recommendations.

I’m planning on spending a lot of time listening and participating in conversations with an eye on incorporating Anchor into my content marketing efforts.

Create Good Content During Your Vacation

Huntington Beach Pier

Huntington Beach Pier

I recently figured out that I had maxed out my paid time off, accumulating a considerable stockpile of time. Being maxed out means I can not accumulate any more vacation time, so I decided to take the week between Christmas and New Year’s off.

One thing I promised to do each day during this break was to create something or build my skills with available free time.  So yesterday morning I got up early, grabbed my DJI Phantom 3 Drone and drove down to Huntington Beach Pier to take some aerial video.  I don’t want to squander this short break, and vacations can be a time to create good content.

Thanks to the quantum leap in consumer drone technology and advances in smartphones, average consumers can capture amazing imagery. For me, in recent years, vacations have become more about capturing moments, making memories with video and photography, having something to document an experience. With UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), you can capture stunning video clips and integrate them into your other video clips and produce wonderful short films.  That was my goal on this occasion.

At the beach it was in the chilly 40’s. A dark blue sky covered Huntington Beach  as the sun started to rise.  I strolled to the pier with a coffee passing shopkeepers and the occasional jogger. After taking a few short clips with my OSMO camera I set the Drone on the pier for take off, but due to high electrical magnetic levels coming from the underside of the concrete deck, the drone would not take off, so I packed up and moved down to the beach, where I enjoyed a solitary view of the surf for take off.   You can see the results in the below video.  It was a delightful time, partly because I was able to capture the video I needed in plenty of time before the Lifeguard drove up and told me to stop filming.

I must think of other great places to make videos this week and create something that I can look back on and remember.

Twitter Introduces Video Embedding Widget

Taking yet another bold step, Twitter today unveiled the ability for users to easily embed videos which were shot on an IOS or Android mobile device on any website.

To embed a video on your website, get started by clicking on ••• in a Tweet and then selecting “Embed Video” (as seen in the example below).




Next, copy and paste the generated HTML markup on your website to display a video-focused embed. The video widget displays the full, original Tweet when a viewer selects the Twitter logo.

There is also a checkbox with a caption which says “Include tweet when logo is clicked. Here are two examples with the checkbox checked or unchecked.

Example 1


Example 2


Use Twitter Video to Make Your Interactions Personal

Twitter recently introduced a neat new feature on the mobile app (both Android and IOS) which enables you to create videos up to 30 seconds long.

At first I was puzzled. Why would I create a short video with my phone and post it directly to Twitter Vs. creating one for YouTube? Then I stumbled upon a response tweet from Gary Vaynerchuck. The tweet contained simply the User ID of a person he wished to address @daveying99 (David Haddad) who had asked Gary V. if he had read a particular book about introverts in this tweet.


Then it hit me.

Twitter wants us to engage with others in a more personal way through video.   If you are in sales or marketing pay close attention to what Gary Vaynerchuck is doing here. He is making instant impressions with people who engage with him on social media.  If you follow the thread to the tweet you will see that this completely knocked David Haddad’s socks off.

Brands, consider this for your marketing playbook.