Everyone has some type of story to share. It doesn’t have to be a fact. It doesn’t have to be fiction. Your story could be explaining the hidden meaning of books. Your story could be how you are a marine biologist who studies sharks. All these stories are important in their own ways.
Some of these stories spark creativity. Some of them bring knowledge to the world. Some are just for entertainment. I think all types of storytelling is important. You need a story to form a good social media presence. This gives people an idea on what they expect from your channel or profile. And great storytelling will continue to bring new followers that will share your content to others.
My own content is guided by the changes to the game. How the game evolves, my content will evolve with it. I want to tell the story of the characters in the game and how the buffs and nerfs impact them. I hope my content will teach people how to play the game enough that they don’t need to rely on my content anymore.
The saying I like to go by is “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.
What type of storyteller are you? A teacher? An entertainer? Do you want to inspire others?
I never really thought about a professional networking strategy before. Probably because I have focused on school to not think about it (which was probably not the best idea). But now that I am close to graduating, I know that I need to have a plan of action now and for the next year before I finish graduating.
The first thing I need to work on is my LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is so important not only to find people who are looking to hire, but also for networking. Having an up-to-date profile and using LinkedIn more often should help me expand my network and hopefully help find me a job in the future.
The second thing I want to do is to attend more events related to the profession I want to go into. Currently this has become hard to do with COVID-19 still around, but hopefully these events can be more in-person. I would like to attend some events at my university, but that will have to be in a few months when classes will be in-person. I also would want to attend some conventions. Otherwise, attending more events online will be good for now.
The last thing I would work on is creating an ‘elevator pitch’. What I mean by this is if someone asked me to introduce myself at a networking event as an example, I will have something to say. This is important because you want people to have an idea of who you are at an event and what value you can bring to them.
What is your networking strategy? Did you have something that I didn’t mention?
So, I’m transferring to another university for the fall semester and was waiting for the longest time to see what credits transferred over successfully. I finally found out yesterday and learned I can graduate in three (but technically two) semesters. And this made me think about what I will be doing after university. I decided to google “how to find a job after university”, probably something many graduates do, and I found an article from Forbes called “6 Things You Must Do To Get Your First Job After College”. And in it, it mentioned a book called “Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future” by Dan Schawbel. This book is about personal branding.
I thought to myself, what qualities do I have that will set me apart from other graduates? Why would someone hire me over anyone else? Let’s just say we both have the same grades in school.
I can say that I am a quick learner, independent, and intelligent. I also know that if I find a topic that is interesting, I will spend a lot of time researching that topic until I feel like I have learned everything about that topic, although I know this is an impossible task.
Things I have done lately to make myself stand out would be this program, a few college courses I took related to computer science, the field I hope to go into. I also have worked on my own YouTube channel. Even though the information on it is not useful for a job, I think it shows commitment and how I have learned about social media related to YouTube. I also created an online dog cookie business for a year and learned a lot about business from that.
After reflecting, I think I have a lot to offer to the table compared to other graduates, and I hope my personal brand will help me get my dream job after I finish university.
Recently on Twitch, the number one live-streaming service owned by Amazon, there has been a bunch of bots “hate-raiding” a streamer, posting different slurs in the streamer’s chats based on the streamer’s race or if they are LGBTQ+. Raiding on Twitch means after you finish your stream, you send your viewers to a different streamer.
People have been asking Twitch to add more protective measurables to prevent people from harassment. This has been done using the hashtag #TwitchDoBetter on Twitter and Twitch has responded to this in detail. They have said that they found a vulnerability in their proactive filters and are updating their platform. They have also said they are adding channel-level ban evasion detection and account verification improvements later this year. They have not said when this update will be going out exactly.
Even with this, some people are saying this is not enough. Twitch announced new Terms of Service earlier this year, and yet some people aren’t held to this standard, specifically for the top streamers on the platform. People are wondering when Twitch will finally hold the same standards for all streamers.
What do you think Twitch should do? Why do you think they have not responded to concerns from streamers until now?
The professional development event I went to was hosted online and run by VidCon. If you haven’t heard of VidCon before, VidCon is a video tech convention targeted at online content creators such as YouTubers, viewers, and industry representatives. Normally they host conventions annually, but because of COVID-19, they decided to have different panels every week on Tuesdays at 3 pm EST.
The event specific to this week was on avatars, called Free to be Me, and it was about the issues, opportunities, and promises revolving around real and AI-based avatars. I went to this event because a lot of content creators for the game I make YouTube content for are VTubers, online entertainers who use virtual avatars instead of a face cam. Most VTubers use motion capture for their avatars so they are in sync with their face and sometimes their upper body. I was interested to see what experts in the field had to say.
There were two speakers at the event, Jim Louderback with the special guest being Brian Solis. Brian Solis is a digital analyst that studies disruptive technology and its impact on the business industry.
I learned about different avatars and AI in the world. They talked about one of the most well-known VTubers out there, CodeMiko. CodeMiko streams on Twitch and has one of the most advanced VTuber models out there. Technician, the person who controls CodeMiko, does not consider herself to be a traditional VTuber, as most VTubers do not show their face, but Technician is often on stream.
Another avatar or AI that was talked about is known as Kuki AI. Kuki AI is a chatbox that was originally on Roblox, a game similar to Minecraft, but for kids. Kuki AI has won the most Loebner Prizes, winning 5 times. The Loebner Prize awards the AI that is the most humanlike. From the panel, it seemed like Kuki AI needs more work, as the time that Brian interacted with it at an earlier event, it asked questions that are not appropriate to ask a stranger.
The last AI that was mentioned was Soul Machines Human. This is a company designing AI for businesses, although the company’s presence online seems to be lacking, as I only found their YouTube page since it was shown at the panel. This AI can make facial expressions and move its arms without motion capture. And it can talk without needing to code.
I asked about the future of VTubers and if this is a trend or a thing to stay and they believe more content creators in this format will arise and that it is something that will become more popular overtime.
The quote that stood out to me at this event was “we all live three different lives: a public one, a private one, and a secret one”. This quote is so true for people who use avatars. Games like GTA-V allow you to roleplay as whoever you want. The people you interact with in this game do not know anything about you unless you tell them, and most people won’t ask. Using avatars is what I consider to be the secret life.
This event was interesting, but I do not know if I would attend something similar, or maybe I would if it was a different topic. I wrongfully assumed this talk would relate more to the VTubing industry than it did, as VidCon is the place for content creators to go, so I thought this talk would be more helpful for content creators than it was.
What do you think about VTubers? Do you watch any VTubers?
As mentioned in a previous blog post, YouTube introduced a YouTube Shorts Fund for creators to make money of YouTube Shorts, a type of video format similar to TikTok. Well now YouTube has released more details about the fund. This fund will pay a minimum of $100 a month if you qualify, up to $10, 000 per month. This amount is determined based on different factors, such as views and the location of their viewers. The amount a creator receives will also change month to month, depending on the performance of YouTube Shorts as a whole.
Currently, only 10 countries are available for the fund, four more countries than TikTok does, but YouTube plans on expanding the number of countries that are eligible.
The Shorts Fund is a temporary solution to the monetization of Shorts, as trying to determine a good way to monetize shorts is hard, since YouTube does not want to put ads in front of every video like in regular YouTube videos.
What way do you think YouTube could monetize YouTube Shorts without it being a nuisance to the viewer?
Twitter: You can make up to $10 000 a month with the #YouTube Shorts Fund. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/3xsayeT
Facebook: Did you know about a new form of YouTube content known as YouTube Shorts? Well now you can earn up to $10 000 a month creating YouTube Shorts. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3xsayeT
The best example of a B2C company that I always come back to is G-Fuel. G-Fuel is a healthy energy drink company targeted at gamers, people who play video games. This company does well because the majority of gamers are online and want to purchase products without needing to leave their house, which is exactly what G-Fuel and many other B2C companies do.
The company utilizes social media well and is active more on gaming-focused social media platforms such as Twitch. Twitch is a social media platform that people can livestream to. Most content on Twitch is related to gaming. G-Fuel was the most energy by far, being mentioned almost 300 thousand times in May of this year alone (Blees, 2021).
On other platforms such as Twitter, they post gaming memes, insane gaming moments, retweet Tweets made by their influencers, and do giveaways. Giveaways always get the most engagement regardless of the company because people like winning free things. Posting gaming memes and insane gaming moments are a way to connect to your target audience and make your company seem more relatable. And retweeting influencers helps your product get noticed by the influencers audience but also shares your audience to that influencer. It is a win-win for both parties.
These techniques do well because it sets the tone of the company being relatable, works closely with content creators within the gaming space, and likes to giveaway their products. This company follows the social media ‘Rules of Thirds’pretty well. The social media ‘Rule of Thirds’ is sharing or posting your content in 3 ways: one to promote your business, another to share posts from influencers, and another to share personal stories (Clarke, 2019). Giveaways are used to promote the brand, retweeting and collaborating with influencers meets the 2nd third, and sharing insane gaming moments is a form of sharing stories of others, creating the final third.
The company has been doing well and should continue to use their social media strategies to keep growing.
The personal hobby I am involved in the most is gaming. Gamers are really underestimated as a target audience, having one of the lowest CPMs or “Cost Per Mille” on YouTube. CPM is how much an advertiser pays per one thousand impressions on their advertisements. The CPM for gaming, at least for one YouTube channel, is 56 cents while other categories on YouTube have a CPM somewhere between $2 and $24 (Carbonell, 2020).
There is a stigma that gamers never want to spend money, but a study done by Google found that gamers spend more than average on entertainment, electronics, and high-quality food products and services (Thompson, 2015). This makes sense, as equipment for gaming mainly includes electronics such as computers, smartphones, and gaming consoles. Gamers like to spend long sessions gaming and are more likely to use food services such as Skip The Dishes to keep them in the zone. G-Fuel is a good example of targeting gamers, an energy drink company whose brand revolves about helping gamers game for longer and providing a healthy alternative compared to other energy drinks.
What ways could a company communicate to gamers? A lot of the gaming community is online on different social media platforms, specifically ones that showcase gaming videos such as YouTube or Twitch. I know even for me, most of the new games I hear about, or products related to gaming I learn about, are from gaming streamers or content creators. Having ads or sponsorships with content creators will help spread information that a new game or product related to gaming is out. Gamers also expect content from brands to provide entertainment or provide useful information. Here is an advertisement from G-Fuel that showcases an entertaining ad and why their strategy works for their target audience.
Do you know of another brand that targets gamers well?
YouTube added another way for content creators to monetize their content using Super Thanks. Super Thanks are like Super Chats and Super Stickers, two other ways that content creators can monetize their content by allowing people to donate directly to them, except this feature is used on videos instead of livestreams and Premieres.
People who donate to a creator using Super Thanks will get a GIF and a comment that stands out in the comment section of that video. Currently you can choose between four price points, starting at $2 and goes up to $50.
The feature is currently in beta but is available to thousands of creators in the YouTube Partner Program and is available in 68 countries.
There are two downfalls I see to this feature. One is that it does not list Super Thanks comments at the top of the video, meaning if a creator gets hundreds or thousands of comments on their video, they might not see the comment. This defeats the purpose of this feature as it is supposed to show appreciation to the content creator and if the creator doesn’t see it, this feature is not doing its job. The second problem is that it does not allow people who use Super Thanks to donate anonymously and will show the donation amount to everyone even if the person does not want that.
Hopefully the beta will fix these problems, but I think this is a great feature that YouTube added. What are your thoughts on Super Thanks? Do you think you would ever give a Super Thanks to a content creator?
Twitter: You can now give your favourite YouTube creator a #SuperThanks Check out my thoughts out on it: https://bit.ly/2Wqs8Di
Facebook: Super Thanks is now in beta on YouTube. Would you ever give your favourite content creator a Super Thanks? Here are my thoughts on this newest YouTube feature: https://bit.ly/2Wqs8Di
If I had to only name one organization with a strong social media strategy, it would have to be Wendy’s. Wendy’s has one of the most unique social media strategies out there, which is creating hilarious Tweets. This method even won them the top spot for Most Innovative Companies related to social media in 2019 (Bikker, 2019). This strategy may seem bold, but because Wendy’s target audience is younger people and Wendy’s is just a fast food chain, it works out perfectly for them.
They also blew up on Twitter, when Carter Wilkerson asked how many retweets, he needed to get free chicken nuggets for a year. And Wendy’s replied 18 million. And this became the most retweeted Tweet, now at 3.2 million retweets. Although it was not 18 million like Wendy’s asked, they knew that the hashtag #nuggsforcarter brought them so much engagement that they gave him the nuggets and donated $100k to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA). Carter Wilkerson created his own t-shirts because of this Tweet and all profits went to the DTFA, which is why Wendy’s donated to them.
Then we have a company on the other side of a strong social media strategy. This company is called Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro. This company gained negative popularity online after appearing on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. This episode showcased that her cakes were not luxury cakes like advertised, but cakes that were bought, repackaged, and then sold at a higher price. The internet talked a lot about this episode, and then the owners blew up on Facebook, swearing at people who posted about her company on Reddit and Yelp. After this outrage, she then said her social media account was hacked, which was also a false statement, making her company look even worse.
If Amy’s Baking Company wants to have a better social media strategy, they first need to not get angry at potential customers, acknowledge feedback people have given them such as not claiming to sell luxury cakes when they are just selling repackaged store-bought cakes, and go from there. They should either say they sell cakes, removing the luxury part, or start making their own cakes that they can call luxury.
This company needs a lot of work to regrow their business that they teared down themselves, but a bit of self-reflection comes a long way and with the proper social media strategy, they can turn their business around.