[by Gail Mooney]
I hear it all the time from people who question the value of social media: “Have you ever made any money by being on Facebook or Twitter?” They are generally people who don’t quite understand the value of social media because they either expect an instant pay off or they are not willing to “share” – or both.
The key to getting the most out of social media is to share with others – not to sell – but to share and interact. Out of that comes relationships and out of relationships come good things. But social media is also a great tool for “branding” oneself – for lack of a better way of putting it. I know when I write a blog or post something on Facebook, I’m not only sharing my knowledge with others, but I’m sharing a bit of myself. Just like when I first become friends with someone in the “real” world – it takes time to form a meaningful friendship – the same is true with social media.
The other question people have in regards to social media to ask for a concrete example of how social media has helped my business. I will answer that question with a real case scenario of how I have utilized it for my current multi-platform documentary project Opening Our Eyes:
- Last Spring my daughter and I embarked on a 99-day journey around the globe to film people who were making a positive difference in the world. We used Facebook to find subjects on six continents for our film. Our request for subject suggestions went viral and before we knew it, we had more subjects than we could possibly cover in a 5-year period – let alone in 99 days.
- As we journeyed around the globe, we wrote a blog and uploaded podcasts and photos as people followed our travels vicariously. We were building an audience for our film.
- When we returned from our trip, we launched a tease for the project on Kickstarter.com, a crowdfunding site. We raised over $10,000, which enabled us to hire a professional editor. We sent people links to our Kickstarter site via our blog, Facebook and Twitter and once again it went viral as people passed them along.
- I uploaded the trailer for the film on Vimeo and within less than two months time, it has been played in over 102 countries. That’s more than half the countries in the world.
- People have connected with me from all parts of the world as awareness of this project has spread. They have donated their time, their services, their talents, their money and their good wishes to our project because they believed in it and they wanted to be a part of it. That collaboration alone has brought great value to this project, as well as to everyone’s life that has become a part of it.
When I started in this business over 30 years ago – I could only dream that this would be possible. Social media has made it possible and “real”. That is all the proof that I need.
Gail Mooney – creating storytelling still and motion imagery for new media http://www.kellymooney.com
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