The Easiest Way to Get More Video Clicks

Let’s just say I’ve been a fan of Vimeo since way back when. In my film school days, Vimeo was where all the cool kids were, and I’m here to confirm—they are still there.

With 170 million global viewers, and an artistic community of friendly filmmakers at their full disposal, hearing Vimeo’s video insight was as exciting to me as hearing Martha Stewart had a drone battle at Social Media Week NYC. Wait, what? (See it for yourself)

If you are in the business of generating video content for your brand (and you should be according to Vimeo), then I’m here to share a piece of golden advice from Mike Weissman and Andrea Allen, presenters at Social Media Week NYC.

Your video thumbnail is easily the most important part of the video. That sounds crazy doesn’t it? But think about it for a second…just like an email header can single handedly ruin your open rate even though the email is full of gold, so can the video thumbnail.

The video thumbnail is the only thing users see before they click.

There are two thumbnails that offer the most clicks:

  1. Pictures of smiling people
  2. Pictures of cute animals, naturally

Turns out, the title card that you have a graphic designer whip up isn’t going to do the trick. People like people. I guess that explains the selfie craze.

A great thumbnail isn’t the end all, be all. You definitely need a video that speaks to your audience, like this indie creative Penny x Hundreds video that feels less like an ad, and more of an experience. Just because a viewer clicks your thumbnail doesn’t mean they are going to stick around.

Next time you create a video, don’t just haphazardly slap up a thumbnail. Think about what makes a great first impression, and perhaps consider a smiling animal—the ultimate video thumbnail combo.

I’m an NYC digital content professional and social media lover. Proudly born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Connect with me on Twitter @casscakey and if you liked this post please like, comment, and share!

Three Tips to Build Community And Grow #BrandLove

Three Tips to Build Community and Grow #BrandLove

It costs 6 to 7 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, according to Bain and Co. Pause and let that sink in for a moment. Your customer relationships are crucial, not only to driving consistent revenue for your business and saving you money, but also in creating a lovable brand. The trick is creating a unique experience for your customers, so they become truly invested in your business and will advocate on your behalf.

To find out more, we spoke to Jeanette Gibson, VP Community & Customer Experience at Hootsuite. Here, she shares 3 steps you can use to build #brandlove around your business:

1. Get to know your customers

Learn your customer care-abouts and pain points. The first step is to take a step back and listen. Luckily, social media allows us to listen in on relevant conversations in a scalable manner. This allows you to narrow in on the key interests, communication styles, and issues of your customers.Here at Hootsuite, we use geo-targeted searches to learn more about our customers in different regions. From here we’ll add our key customers to Twitter Lists so that we can seamlessly engage, share, and retweet their content.

Now you’re better equipped to serve your customer community. Your customers are talking about you on social media, whether you choose to take advantage of this or not is up to you.

2. Flex your personality

Once you’ve learned more about your customers, you need to equip yourself with an ongoing engagement model with your audience. This is different for every business. At Hootsuite, we maintain a 24/7 engagement model where we’re interacting with our community all day every day. After all, social never sleeps.

Take your business’s personality into account with every customer interaction. Are you a fun-loving and casual business or more professional? Whichever you are, consistency is crucial.

Context is also important. Are you talking to a long term, loyal client, or a new somewhat sceptic customer. Consider using slight shifts in the tone of your messaging and always tailor it to your audience.

3. Create culture around engagement or ‘Create an Engaging Environment’

There’s a time and a place for different mediums for engagement. However, when it comes to building a loyal community around your business, it’s important to provide a mixture of online and offline experiences.

At Hootsuite, we use a combination of channels and resources to interact with our audience. This includes private communities for different customer groups (for example, our 850+ Hootsuite Ambassadors). You may not require a private community, but find other ways to surprise and delight them.

Offer specialized programs for your regular participants. Exclusivity is key here! You want to create scarcity and demand for these programs, or else they don’t work. Consider building in ways to uplevel their reputations. Finally, you need to reward these community members both online and offline. At Hootsuite we do everything from offering LinkedIn recommendations to our Ambassadors, to meeting our customers in real life at Hootups or other events. When you take a digital relationship offline, you completely shift the connection and garner immediate brand equity.


Learn more at Hootsuite’s #Brandlove Masterclass during Social Media Week in New York City, hosted by Hootsuite’s Jeanette Gibson, VP, Community and Customer Experience and Dr. William Ward Director, Education Strategy. Join the conversation with #HootSMW.

Date: Tues Feb 24

Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm EST

Location: Highline Stages – Innovate Stage



Marketing Lessons From Crowdfunding: The Psychology Of Success

Storytelling. Platform. Pricing. Scarcity. Urgency.

Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have completely changed how entrepreneurial and creative projects get funded and launched. But crowdfunding, like any business venture, requires more than just a dream. It takes planning, research, great marketing, and a true understanding of human psychology to know what will be successful.

On Thursday February 26, Clay Hebert, who has helped over 100 entrepreneurs raise over $25 million on these platforms, will lead an interactive tour through a series of interesting projects, Clay will explain what’s working today (and what marketers can steal) but also why the future of marketing will be very different.


Find out about all the great talks, events and speakers at this year’s Social Media Week New York event here.

10 Tips To Start 2015 With Impact

Want impact? Are you ready to start the year strong? To create more great work? To own your career?

Engaging, exciting, enriching careers are a possibility for everyone. Yes, everyone. Really.
According to Erica Dhawan, author of newly released book: Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence, here are the best ways to bring impact to any job.

1. Harness your relationships.

What holds any project together? Relationships. So often, we jump straight into ‘action’ and our
relationships become transactional, when they should really be the backbone of our capacity to create. Relationships need shared purpose, commitment, continued growth. And fun! Instead of rushing to action, take time to really get to know your people and understand why they’re doing this work with you. Ground your work in relational value – then dig in and get it done.

2. Celebrate more.

Organizations should be doing three things: meeting, acting, and celebrating. But, we tend to spend 60% of our time meeting (frequently in useless, counterproductive meetings where everyone doodles and avoids eye contact), 35% acting, and only 5% celebrating. What a pity! How can we keep others (and ourselves!) motivated if we don’t celebrate all those great things we do? Take time for team dinners, mid-week donut runs or after-work happy hours. You’ve worked hard – take pride in what you do!

3. Make a plan to grow and learn over time.

What is the biggest reason people leave organizations? They aren’t learning, they aren’t challenged and therefore are less likely to commit to work. How do you change this? Create apprenticeship teams at work. Find an accountability buddy to learn from. Mentor younger, newer employees who need a helping hand or a leg up. Learning new things and engaging with new employees makes work life feel new and fresh again!

4. Know yourself and your values.

It’s easy to get caught up in what others offer us and forget to check in with our own motivation. What makes you come alive? What makes your heart beat fast? Focus on your energizers – what you
enjoy. Once you know what lights your fire, freedom will follow.

5. New technology has changed the rules, but you don’t need to be connected every.single. minute.

Create set times to unplug. Maybe it’s after 6pm, in the morning, on the weekend, or just a two-hour break. We all need the freedom to disconnect so we can truly open up the mental and emotional space to stay creative.

6. Design work that keeps you motivated.

When work is well-designed, it creates more motivation and higher quality work, because the people
doing it care about it.

7. Think of time as an arrow, not a cycle.

Paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould wrote that time is sometimes a “cycle” and sometimes an “arrow.” Thinking of time as a cycle helps us to maintain our routines, our normal procedures, annual budget, etc. Thinking of time as an arrow, helps us focus on making change. We begin our work at a specific moment, we end at a specific moment, and in between there is change. See? Doesn’t that feel better?

8. Remember what your resources are.

We often think of money as the only resource: the typical cost-benefit analysis approach. But really? Our greatest resources are people and time. How will you work with people and use your time effectively? Don’t just think in terms of “How much will I get paid?” Think “What are my
resources?” and the money will follow.

9. When you’re demotivated, MOVE!

Our bodies provide as much information as our heads, but we usually ignore them in our work lives. You know that simply taking a walk while talking about important things makes the conversation more meaningful. So why do we sit in conference rooms instead of walking and talking? To think
creatively, keep moving. What do I do? Dance breaks! Seriously.

Here’s my impact soundtrack, in case you like to listen to freedom, too:
1. Just Dance, Lady Gaga
2. The Element of Freedom, Alicia Keys
3. Where Them Girls At, David Guetta
4. You Gotta Be, Des’ree
5. Beautiful Surprise, India Arie

10. Create your space.

One of the most zen-i-fying things you can do for your creative mind is creating a clean workspace.
And if you know you’re more productive at a library or coffee shop – go there! Test spaces around the office that enhance your workday. Remember, a clean, clutter-free space creates the conditions for better work and more fun!


Great business leaders like social activists build movements and mobilize a tribe of followers. In today’s hyperconnected world, it’s not just for the elite – virtually anyone and everyone can get big things done in the era of connectional intelligence.

Want to learn more? Join social movement builders Shiza Shahid, co-founder of Malala Fund and others in an interview with Erica Dhawan, author of newly released book: Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence, taking place on Tuesday February 24 at Social Media Week New York. Check out all the details here, and come join us in February!

Events That Pop: Event Submission Tips

We’re planning some exciting changes for SMW13, including hosting all official events in February at a three-floor 50,000 sq.ft. Campus at Highline Stages. Campus will feature three stages on innovation, advertising & marketing, and society & culture; several masterclass and roundtable breakout rooms, an exhibition, and collaborative workspace for attendees to connect at the conference.

As with every SMW, we want you to be a part of it. Event submissions are open until December 6th, and we’re looking forward to some incredible sessions from the SMW NYC community. To ensure you have the best chance of getting your event approved (and increase the likelihood we’ll feature it at Campus), you’ll need some tips and guidance.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when organizing your event and what we’ll be looking for at The Future of Now NYC campus:


Trends & Predictions, Early Stage Innovation, Emerging Technology, The Collaborative Economy, Open Innovation, Internet of Things and Open Data

Big Data Analytics, Realtime Marketing, Mobile Advertising, Second-Screen Advertising, Storytelling & Content Marketing. Native Adverting, Platforms & Tools, and Future of Media & Publishing

Open Government, Nonprofits & Social Enterprise, Education & E-Learning, Health & Quantified-Self, Design, Art & Film, Fashion, Lifestyle & Food, Music & Entertainment, and The Future of Work


+ CONTENT: Plan event content that pushes boundaries, provides thought leadership and shares fresh insight.
+ THEME: Focus on themes, topics and conversations that serve your audience needs. No sales pitches.
+ STRUCTURE: Encourage interactive discussions and debates through balanced & objective assessment.
+ FORMAT: Consider creative event formats that promote openness, collaboration & inclusivity.
+ SPEAKERS: Select speakers and participants who have proven credibility in their respective fields.
+ MODERATORS: If you have a panel, make sure someone with a strong opinion is driving the conversation.
+ DIVERSITY: Support cultural, ethnic and gender diversity, as well as differing opinions, in your programming and speaker selection.
+ HUMOR: Try to inspire the audience with a bit of comedy. Lightly poking fun at a topic or brand is entertaining.
+ VISUALS: Integrate technology and/or multimedia into your event in value adding ways.
+ PACING: Keep it moving. If attendees are not given something compelling, interactive, or creative, you’ll lose them.
+ TAKEAWAYS: Practical takeaways, instruction, and arming attendees with a skill provides a lasting memory of the event and your brand.

These topics, formats, and devices are just a starting point to organizing your own event, and we’re always excited to see ideas that are outside of what we had anticipated.

Be sure to submit your event here soon and indicate if you would like your event to be considered for our Official Campus. Again, we are considering submissions for Campus on a first-come, first-servce basis.

Twelve Twitter Tips

Twitter Tips to help you make the most of your time. Yes, there are actually strategies for maximizing your 140 character missives. My advice won’t apply to every case, but I hope it will serve as a good guide for helping you craft a personalized approach for your needs. The suggestions below are primarily geared towards businesses, but can used for personal accounts, too.

As I mentioned, there are exceptions to my advice. So, if you’re a haute couture fashion model, you might want to skip to step two. Everyone else, you’re here to engage and collaborate. Project approachability. Smile! Be the “person I’d like to have lunch with,” not “person I’d rather walk up 20 flights of stairs to avoid rather than share an elevator with.” Be a confident, compassionate leader, not a dull, disinterested slacker.

If you’re really camera shy, you can use a logo or photo of an inanimate object. I wouldn’t advise it, though. People want to put a face to the tweets. Either option is still infinitely better than the default Twitter egg, however. If you can’t bother to put up any profile image, why should anyone bother to take you seriously?

This step is an extension of picking a good profile photo to represent you. Whenever I look at a new Twitter profile, I look at the photo first [out of instinct], then the bio. Who is this person? Why would I care what s/he has to say? Tell your audience who you are — Concisely & directly: What is your function? What is your expertise?

I highly advise a link to a fuller bio for people who want to know more about you. My suggestions are LinkedIn or If you have various social media accounts, the latter will neatly organize all of your redirects in one place.

Yes, there is a definitely a place for Twitter accounts that just broadcast news. They are called news outlets, like The Wall Street Journal or CNN. For most other companies, I believe it’s much more effective to humanize your Tweets. Because there will be some people who are only interested in corporate updates, I urge keeping two accounts. One that is business-oriented (Product launches, formal announcements and the such) and a second that allows for more creativity (Employee stories, thoughts about other industries, etc.). Humanize yourself and your staff. Who works at your company? What are they interested in outside of the office? Build an emotional attachment to your brand.

Hootsuite makes managing multiple accounts very easy, even on an Android phone.

If you plan to keep a business account that is not limited to formal corporate announcements, make sure you balance the ratio of personal to professional tweets.  I would aim to keep work-related updates around 70%.

Decide when you want to send out your updates. If your company is international, but based in the U.S. you might want to schedule tweets to out at 9PM US time to appear on an Asian timeline at 9AM. Figure out what time slots work best for your company and plan accordingly.

I’m currently experimenting based on Dan Zarrella’s concept of “contra-competitive timing.” In numerous cases, he discovered that the most successful times and days to publish new content are off-peak times. “It’s like when you’re at a noisy party and it’s hard to hear the person talking to you 2 feet away, but… When there is less other noise to compete with (ie fewer tweets, emails, blog posts, etc) your content can gain attention more easily.”

Again, I recommend Hootsuite for this job. Huge fan.

Now that you’ve decided XYZ day at XYZ time is optimal for you to tweet, don’t bombard your followers with all your insights at once. I don’t think that anyone needs to send out more than one tweet an hour. Any more than that, you’re should either be classified as a good friend (in which case, you should just text my personal phone number or email me directly) or a spammer (in which case, just stop. Stop now- seriously).

You have 140 characters to tell me something. Give me details.

Pointless: Checked out some clothes. Totally going shopping.

Much improved: Went to Hermes fashion show with @heatherpixley. Must buy green cashmere turtleneck Heidi Klum wore.

Quality tweets attract quality followers.

Don’t blindly follow everyone who follows you. Yes, it might feel a little rude, but it’s better than cluttering up your feed with updates that are completely irrelevant to you. I have no interest in buying real estate in Florida. Sorry.

The more time you spend on Twitter, the more feeds you will follow. Make organized lists and use them. Otherwise, things have the potential to become very messy and overwhelming after your feed tops 50 unless you only follow very niche accounts which don’t update often.

It’s also a great public service. I’ve found some great lists compiled by others. I can follow 36 new photographers or 63 CEOs in just one click.

Give. Receive. Share.

Exchange information and build relationships. This is how you will make the most of your time on Twitter.

Empower yourself and others. Remember, we’re here to be social. In fact, Social Media Week’s theme in 2012 focuses on “Empowering Change through Collaboration. This theme is designed as a call to action, allowing individuals- like you- and organizations around the world to explore how social media empowers citizens, increases mobility, enables mass collaboration, develops hyperlocalism, maximizes interconnectedness, fosters knowledge creation & sharing, bolsters leadership, and encourages global empathy.

Twitter is best understood and used by those who do. Experiment. Everyone needs a different strategy. Find the approach that works best for your specific case. I would be remiss not to tell you to heed caution in your activities, though. This is a very powerful vehicle for communication. The larger the corporation, the higher up in management, the more visible you will be. Be vigilant in your messaging choices and stay on course.

Of course!

I hope this list helped you. I could go on, but I like the alliteration of Twelve Twitter Tips. Also, I reached my word limit for this post.

Lisa Chau has been involved with Web 2.0 since graduate school at Dartmouth College, where she completed an independent study on blogging. She was subsequently highlighted as a woman blogger in Wellesley Magazine, published by her alma mater. Since 2009, Lisa has worked as an Assistant Director at the Tuck School of Business. In 2012, she launched GothamGreen212 to pursue social media strategy projects. You can follow her on Twitter

A New Year and 6 Ways you can Get Involved in Social Media Week New York

With Social Media Week New York just five weeks away, we wanted to remind you that there is still plenty of time to get involved and play an integral role in the February conference.  Here are six specific ways you can get involved to help kick things off:

1) Host or curate a session

Join past hosts including New York Times, WIRED, MoMA, IDEO, Time Inc., or, alternatively, submit a session idea to anyone of the five content hubs, including Science & Technology at Google, Business, Media & Communications at JWT, People and Society at The Paley Center for Media, Art & Culture at Hearst Corporation and Music, Gaming & Sports at the Red Bull Space.  Events are typically two hours in length and range from traditional panel discussions, interactive workshops, panels, presentations, interviews, debates etc.  To register, simply click on the link below.  Once your session is approved, we add it to the schedule and promote through all of our media channels.

Register your event here.

2) Share your ideas with the world and register to speak

With more than 150 events planned for Social Media Week New York, there are plenty of opportunities for you to share your ideas and connect with our audience of more than 5,000 hyper-social influencers.

Past Social Media Week speakers have included Dennis Crowley, Co-founder & CEO, foursquare; Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief, WIREDSir Ken Robinson, Author of The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything; Chris Hughes, Co-founder of Facebook; Courtney Holt, President, MySpace Music; Dave Stewart,  Musician & Entrepreneur, Eurythmics; Seth Sternberg, CEO, Meebo; Dick Glover, President & CEO, Funny-or-Die; ?uest Love, Band member, The Roots; Alec Ross, Senior Adviser, Innovation in the Office of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; and Tye Montague, Former President of JWT.

Register to speak here

3) Sponsor a Content Hub

Across the five Content Hubs, we have a number of compelling ways for brands to connect with our audience of hyper-social influencers.  Hub sponsorship includes branding and signage, event curation, speaking and presenting opportunities, product and/or service integration and a week-long opportunity to engage in conversation with more than 2,000 Hub attendees.  Hub sessions are all live streamed and packaged and distributed online.

For more information and for a full sponsorship prospectus, please email Toby Daniels.

4) Sponsor an event or hub session

This option is ideal if your brand is interested in sponsoring a single session at one of the Hubs, or one of the events taking place elsewhere in the city.  Event sponsorship includes signage, presence at the event, participation in the curation of the content, speaking opportunities.  Select events are live streamed and packaged and distributed online.

For more information and for a full sponsorship prospectus, please email Toby Daniels.

5) Host a party

At night, Social Media Week New York lights up with parties taking place throughout the city.  Kicking things off in style this year, we’re excited to be hosting the opening reception at the New York Public Library, with things drawing to a close at the Closing Party on the Friday night at a soon-to-be-named location.  If your company is interested in hosting something during the week, then we’d love to support you.

Register your party here

6) Join our network of bloggers & provide coverage

Social Media Week is building a growing network of bloggers and journalists who regularly contribute to both the global and local sites. As part of our editorial coverage we provide in-depth analysis and profiles on our partners, sponsors, speakers and other important contributors.  If you are interested in contributing, we’d love to hear from you.

Register to join the editorial team here

Don’t forget, if you want real-time updates, please follow @smwnyc for New York specific information and @socialmediaweek for global updates.  Also, join us over on Facebook, where we host additional content, discussions and attendee polls.