Monday, December 27, 2010

Top 5 ways video can boost your social media presence.

There are hundreds and thousands of businesses all competing for your customer's attention on social media sites, so how do you make your social media sites stand out?  The easy answer is video!

Viral videos are all the rage and billions of You-Tubers can attest to that. It was only just recently that smaller businesses really started to look for ways to harness that viral energy. The problem is that for the cost of a 30 second spot, a small business could really only afford one good video per year.

One of the reasons why LileStyle Productions has been so successful is because we are experts at creating videos that fit nicely on the internet. We really started our social media business from the process of creating videos specifically for social media.

Our company became quite good at offering a very low-cost high-quality video product, simply by eliminating extensive overhead and huge video crews. The result is a video that is very effective and leaves small businesses with the funds to do more than one.

Here are top 5 ways video can boost your social media presence and get your company noticed:

1.  People are very visual and with all of the options available to them on the internet, they naturally gravitate towards companies that indulge in their visual cravings.  Even if all you do is show the inside of the store, with shoppers enjoying the environment, you have a significant advantage over a similar business who is not using video.

2. Video can leave a positive impression on your future customers.  Use video to help draw in your customers and don't just try to sell to them. Tell them who you are and get "behind the scenes" with your company so that the viewer can feel like they know you.  This makes it a lot easier to draw them in for special events or open houses.

3.  Use video to capture soundbites or testimonials from visitors to your store.  Even if you use a flip-cam or i-phone video to capture someone's impressions as they are visiting, it can be so compelling to someone who has never visited.  Most people are very willing to share their feelings after they have had an enjoyable experience.

4. The more "real" your video is, the more impactful. In a world of live video capture where we can see turmoil not normally captured by broadcast video, the public has learned to associate the less produced videos as more real.  Keeping your video as real or authentic as possible goes a long way towards your online credibility.

5. Create a video contest that promotes your store or product.  You'll want to make sure that you have a great prize to offer and ask people to create a very short video 1-2 min using their smart phones or webcams and have them post them on your social media sites. You can even use them on your website to highlight what people are saying.

The most important thing to remember about using video is to keep it real, keep it short and keep it simple.  A lot of companies haven't really grasped the idea that social media means transparency. You can't hide what's real about your company, so make sure that what's being shown to people is the real deal. Making is short and simple will also go a long way in keeping your customer's attention.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Live Social Media Support for Conferences and Trade shows - Top 5 things you need to know.

Recently LileStyle Productions provided live social media support for the popular Celebrate Your Life conference in Phoenix Arizona. The conference boasts a large attendance of 2000 people and provides breakout sessions over a 4 day period with Spiritual authors from around the world. We made the suggestion to the creators of this conference, Mishka Productions, to have a video booth set up that would work in conjunction with the social media team. This booth was set up in the main area of the conference and was used to capture testimonials from some of the attendees while also providing a place for our team to work.

We also suggested that we go into the breakout sessions and take pictures and video that could be uploaded to the social media sites. Mishka already had a professional photographer who was taking photos, but the social media team photos were uploaded instantly to the social media sites while the photographer's photos took a little bit more time to prepare and were being sold to attendees as well as used for future promotional reasons. So it made sense to have the social media team taking pictures with our individual cameras.

Photo provided by our friend, Sean Kapera at

We took a team of five people and came back with lots of information about what worked, and what didn't. Here are the top 5 things we learned from this experience.

  1. Having a five person team was crucial.

    Our challenge was to make sure we had enough time for 2-3 teammates to get into and out of the many different breakout sessions and when the high traffic occurred between sessions, to get back to the booth to help out with the flow.

    At high traffic times between sessions, we needed three people to help make things flow smoothly. We had one teammate catching people as they went by to tell them about the booth and see if they would stop for a testimonial. This is crucial because not many people just stopped on their own so we needed to engage them and ask them to participate.

    We had another person help get the release forms signed and would also be responsible for writing down the timecode from the video camera so we could find that person's testimonial easily when we needed to.

    Another person would obviously be needed to run the camera and help the participant to speak into the microphone properly.

    This left two teammates to upload pictures and videos to the social media sites before having to run off again when new sessions started.

    We had one of our teammates help with the responsibility of running errands and bringing lunch to the rest of the team during the conference. This is where we could have used an extra teammate!

  2. Keeping footage and photos organized throughout the event was essential.

    Shooting video for three days straight can become quite messy if not done right. Release forms are mandatory for the video testimonials and it was essential that we get each participant's name and Email address so that we could send them a link to the video that would be created. We had to listen to the testimonials and make notes as to where the participant is from, which Author they went to see, and any other interesting notes such as whether the participant was emotional or visiting for the first time.

    Using as many details as possible can be really helpful for editing the video clips later. We created a spreadsheet to track all of our testimonials and even included the social media links for where the testimonials were added so that we could find them quickly.

    It also became necessary to constantly upload pictures and video from our individual cameras from the breakout sessions. Having a central hard drive for this, organizing these into sessions and actually re-naming each file so that it was easy to discern which session the images were from is something that I would like to implement in the future.

    Here is our senior writer, Susan Stocking, and Technical Director Mike Lile working at the social media booth.
  3. Power source and internet access may be challenging.

    This may sound like a no-brainer but it can still be a challenge once you are actually on location and needing to provide an internet source and a power connection for five people. We came prepared with a power strip and a 50' extension cord but these details can be easily forgotten by even the most well-intentioned professional.

    Most five-star hotels charge for internet access for each IP connection, and that access might not even reach the area where your conference is located. In our case, we were staying at a five-star resort and while our paid internet connection worked great in our private rooms, we could not access it from the conference area in another part of the hotel.

    We had to find the Mishka coordinators and work with them to make arrangements to use a wifi connection that they provided to us in the conference area. Our technical director, Mike Lile, had already prepared a method for sharing one internet connection between the five of us. He did this by using a wireless 802.11n USB adapter and a software application called Connectify. We would have been completely dead in the water if we didn't have Mike's expertise to get us on track, however using our smart-phones with 3G/4G access would also be possible, although it would have been extremely limiting.

    From left to right: Garth Stocking, Susan Stocking, Mike Lile, Angie Lile and Gwenda Fleming.

  4. Having coordinated uniforms made it easy to be identified.

    We'll admit, LileStyle isn't the kind of company that buys into the uniform mentality in the work place. We'd prefer to work in our pajamas! But for the purpose of this conference, we chose to make ourselves more visible to provide a level of professionalism to the attendees that they are expecting.

    Doing this allowed the participants to relax and trust us to capture their testimonial on video. It also made it very easy to stop people in the hallways and coming out of conferences. Our uniform included an all-access badge into the breakout sessions which identified us to the staff so that they would allow us in and to take pictures.

  5. Providing attendees a prompting card made for great testimonials.

    Video production is definitely an art and one that usually takes many people to do in a professional way. Not only do you have to think ahead about what you are going to do with your footage and organize it well, you have to consider the participants who will be giving you a little piece of their mind for you to share with all the world. Most people are pretty nervous about the camera and lights. Then you add in the fact that many people are standing around watching them speak. Its no wonder their eyes glaze over in fear when they are finally asked to “go ahead” and speak.

    We found it useful to have a prompting card taped to the camera's tripod. This had blanket statements that they could use while filling in the blanks with their own information. One example of a blanket statement is, “I really enjoy Celebrate Your Life because _______”. Here is a video clip that shows how effective this can be on camera:

In closing there are lots of small tiny things that can really make all the difference in how the social media booth goes. One of these things is keeping things positive. Making sure that everyone is happy and okay as the day wears on is essential. This conference ran from 8am until 8pm and it required constant movement and attention. Making sure the staff has some adequate downtime will help alleviate the tension and make for more positive interactions and therefor will impact the quality of your footage and social media content.

If you have questions or comments about this article or anything related to social media or video production, please do email us at

Monday, November 15, 2010

LileStyle Social Media Video Series: How to use your smart phone to update your Twitter account.

Welcome to our second episode of our LileStyle Social Media Video Series, which was also inspired by our many clients who have smart phones, but haven't yet figured out which applications to use to update their social media accounts. We started with Facebook, and our next one will be all about how to understand Twitter and we'll be taking questions from all of our readers and using those to create future videos.

Big thanks to Hannah Jorgensen, the actress you see in this video. She is very fun to work with and we really enjoy having her work with us. Hannah is an artist down to her core, so if you are looking for someone with a HUGE amount of creativity, she is your gal.

Using smart phones to update your social media sites is instrumental in helping you provide live social media support for your events or trade-shows. We use it all of the time to keep people informed in real time and it has proven to be quite successful.

If you have a question about social media that you would like to see demonstrated via video, please email or post them down below in the comments section.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

LileStyle Social Media Video Series: How to update your Facebook with your smart phone.

We are so very excited to start this new video series to help others use social media to their advantage. Our first episode was inspired by our many clients who have smart phones, but haven't yet figured out which applications to use to update their social media accounts. We're starting with Facebook, and our next one will be about Twitter and we'll be taking questions from all of our readers and using those to create future videos.

Big thanks to Hannah Jorgensen, the actress you see in this video. She is very fun to work with and we really enjoy having her work with us. Hannah is an artist down to her core, so if you are looking for someone with a HUGE amount of creativity, she is your gal.

Using smart phones to update your social media sites is instrumental in helping you provide live social media support for your events or trade-shows. We use it all of the time to keep people informed in real time and it has proven to be quite successful.

If you have a question about social media that you would like to see demonstrated via video, please email or post them down below in the comments section.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Can social media make you or your business omnipresent?

Omnipresent, or the ability to be in all places at once, seems like a big word to describe you or your business, but when you use social media correctly, that is exactly what you can become.  We've been in the social media business since 2007, although I've used social media for personal use since 2005. MySpace was all the rage and  a fun way to get our viral comedy skits out to the public. I swore then that I wouldn't hang out on Facebook because it seemed to be too "young" and "college oriented", but soon we were surfing page after page because the content was so interesting and MySpace had become too creepy with their videos of pretty young girls, flirting into the camera.

These are exactly the same reasons why a lot of small business owners today have yet to embrace social media. Quite honestly, they don't feel "social" and wouldn't go out to make new friends like the young "kids" tend to do so naturally.  I've met a lot of these business owners at various networking events held through our local business associations and I know the type. They sit around at their booths waiting for people to come and ask them questions. They have heard us networkers say time and again, get out from your booth and go meet people! Get excited about your business and what you do and what you can offer to people!

Now imagine if you were omnipresent and you were able to stay at your booth to talk to anyone who asks questions AND you could be at all of the other booths to talk to those people? This is exactly what social media can do for you.  It allows you to interact with people not just in your town, or City (although for small businesses, this is exactly who they want to interact with) or anyone who is interested in the same things that you are.  Social media allows you to  find people with like interests and makes it easy for you to interact with them.

Let's take it one step further. If you were able to be at all booths at one time, would you only choose to be at one booth and not at any of the others? You could, but that wouldn't be very smart and I'll tell you why. If you have the ability, then what does it hurt to get to know everyone there? You have no idea what those new personal connections could do for your business. We are all human and when you start to connect with people, you begin to see the further connections that they have with people that aren't even there. You can start to understand this person and who they know and what they do and who knows, perhaps you have an idea or two to share that can help this person in some way?

Sounds like a lesson in making new friends right? Well that is exactly what you do when you are involved in social networks. You make new friends, you meet new people, you learn new cultures, you get a few surprises but most of all, you grow your own network.  Social networks aren't just about the bottom line, although any business owner would be crazy not to pay attention to that, it's also about the reputation of you or your brand. It's about showing everyone your personality or simply giving your brand a personality that someone can get to know. It's putting a human face on your business.

The fact is that most people are using social media of some sort to find information and if you aren't there, you are getting missed by someone. You can be on all of these networks, and grow connections at all of those places, and know all of the things that you need to know to make yourself feel... well... omnipresent AND omniscient!  Isn't that a great place to be when you are running your business?

So, by selecting Facebook as your only "booth" and choosing not to be at any of the other booths like "Twitter" and "Foursquare" and "LinkedIn" is not being very smart about utilizing all that social media has to offer. 

We really recommend being in all places at the same time and there are lots of ways you can do this. Programs like the one we use, Tweetdeck, or even Hootsuite and Ping can help you keep daily updates (although it is much more authentic to each community if you update each place individually) and they all offer great ways to announce important events. But the most important thing you could do in all of these places is to start having conversations! Real ones, like the kind you would have at a networking event. Listen to your contacts, share a little about you, go for it and put your best foot forward.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why you should use social media support for your events.

Thousands attend events and trade-shows each year and make great advocates for future events.
Live social media support during events and/or trade-shows can greatly increase your social media presence. It sounds pretty obvious when you put it in black and white, but so many people experience this “aha” moment when they hear all about live social media support and why it's so useful for events.

Recently we had the opportunity to provide live social media support for Mishka Productions and their Celebrate Your Life conference in Chicago. The conference featured some of the world's most influential spiritual speakers and drew people from all over the world to spend three enlightening days listening to these authors speak about improving their lives.

While we were there to hear some of the speakers, we found ourselves constantly uploading pictures and videos throughout the event and even posted comments from attendees that we ran into. We took pictures of authors signing books, people meeting authors, people hugging people, just basically anything that we felt the rest of the world needed to see.

After the event, we looked at our statistical data on Facebook and was very impressed! Our interaction levels grew by over 600% during the days of the event (mostly picture and video views) and our unique page views went up by 100%. Unique page views are a great thing because they mean new visitors! Our follower numbers were on the up as well. Overall, it was very evident that live social media support was a huge boost to Mishka's presence on the social scene and we were happy enough about that so we decided to do it again in November for the conference in Phoenix.

It's easy to see with this screenshot, the overall effect that live social media support had on our interactions.

This time we are going to be adding in a lot more bells and whistles. Our dedicated team will be collecting comments, pictures and video to constantly upload to Mishka's social sites throughout the event. We are even announcing to the crowd about our efforts to make sure more people interact with us. We have created a hashtag on Twitter for #CYLPhoenix to allow twitterers an easy way to interact with us while they are at the event. All of these things will increase visibility of the event for people who are unable to attend or who hadn't decided yet if they wanted to go.

Since LileStyle is also a video production company, we are bringing our professional video production kit and will be setting up a booth at the event. This video booth is meant to capture in high-quality video all of the attendees experiences and testimonials. We'll also be interviewing bloggers and tweeters to see how they are enjoying the festivities and we'll provide those videos to them so that they can use them in their blogs.

These are just a few great examples that one could use to bring social media to their live events, but not everyone has a dedicated social media team and video production crew in their back pocket. So what about the little guy and smaller events?

Finding one or two volunteers with a smart phone is an excellent way to start. Use the smart phone to upload pictures to your Facebook page and Twitter page throughout your event and encourage others to do the same when you see them with their phone. Make sure that your volunteers are identifiable as a social media support member. T-shirts work great, or just having someone who is personable and likes to talk with people.

Also, make sure that everyone who attends your event knows that you are on Facebook, Twitter and wherever else you are at. Print the information on your brochures, or make sure your event information includes social media sites.

Set up a small table dedicated to your social media presence. Use it to promote yourself by creating a giveaway to anyone who stops by and is already a Facebook friend or Twitter follower. An extra promotional goody can work such as pens, magnets, etc. Make sure its special and unique to only your Facebook and Twitter followers.

Use FourSquare to allow people to "check in" to your special social media table to get a unique goody. 

We'll be posting more articles about live social media support as we draw closer to the big event. You can follow our live social media efforts for Celebrate Your Life on their Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

5 important ways to listen to your social media chatter.

Photo by Melvin Gaal (
Small businesses are hard-pressed to stay current in the social media world and now experts are saying that you have to "listen" to your social media. Listening sounds great, but how exactly are small businesses supposed to listen to their social media?

Here are 5 important ways to listen to your social media chatter.

1. Google Alerts. Google alerts are fast and easy to set up and you can set an alert up for any manner of search criteria. Set one up for your business, and any of the major key words that you use to sell yourself or brand. You may want to narrow it down a bit if its a popular key word.

For example, many of our clients are authors. So we would put in a search for the author's name and the names' of their books. This way we would hear what others are saying about them.

Once you have your Google alerts set up, you will receive an email each day that a new mention pops up about you or your brand.

2. Tweetdeck. If you aren't on Twitter, then you really need to get there. At least so you can participate in the conversations that are already going on about you.

Once you have an account, download this handy tool and set up custom searches for your name, brand and business key words. When a tweet comes across the feed that mentions you or your business, you can pop in and thank them for the mention.

3. Use free social monitoring software. Software such as Social Mention can help you to find mentions of your name or brand anywhere on the web. You can also subscribe to an RSS feed of the search you set up as well as have it emailed to you.

4. Use a paid version of the social monitoring software. Other companies, such as Gatorade, have been known to listen to social media chatter using a variety of protocols, one such being the use of  Radian6. Radian6 is a very high-powered software that has lots of bells and whistles and makes it easy to keep an eye on things.

5.  The last step here is the most obvious and that is to keep a close eye on your own social sites. Delve into the statistics that Facebook provides so that you can see who is liking your content. The mere lack of a "like" can say lots about what people are thinking. Do the same on Twitter. Pay attention to Mentions (when someone uses your twitter name with an "@" in front of it- e.g. @LileStyle) and reply when you see someone mention you. Pay attention to re-tweets (appears in the feed with an "RT" in front of it).

There is no question that you do have to listen to the social media chatter in order to participate in the conversations that are already happening about you and your business. Don't let comments go unanswered, and make sure you acknowledge anyone who mentions you on Twitter or even in a blog post. Giving a shout out to someone who linked to you in some way from their blog post can go a long way in boosting your social media presence.