March 9th 2010

Free Educational Instruction Simply To Help People

One of the remarkable contributors to YouTube is Salman Khan. He is a former hedge fund analyst from Boston. His Khan Academy has over a thousand free instructional videos on YouTube. Topics cover everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to differential calculus, physics, chemistry, biology and finance. The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere. It is mostly a one-man-band. He never appears on screen. He uses Camtasia, his voice and a tablet. You can listen to a very interesting interview with Salman by NPR’s™s All Things Considered. (This is a radio show on YouTube.) Salman Khan has made a great non-commercial use of YouTube just to help people

Do You Really Have Time for Social Media?

300,000 businesses have a presence of Facebook and that number is growing quickly. In most social media, the number of people you are connected with grows exponentially.

Gary Vaynerchuk grew his family business from $4 million to $50 million using social media. He says that direct mail costing $15,000 brought him 200 new customers; a billboard costing $7,500 brought him 300 new customers. He used Twitter for no cost and gained 1,800 news customers!

Blendtec, the blender company, found their sales increased by a factor of 4 as a result of their YouTube videos. (yes, YouTube is a social media)

“You can’t just say it. You have to get people to say it to each other.” says James Farley, Chief Marketing Officer of Ford Motor Co. The company found that 37% of Generation Y were aware of the Ford Fiesta through social media before it was even launched in the US. Ford is currently spending 25% of its marketing money on digital and social media. Not surprising that they are the only healthy US car company.

Naked Pizza had a one day sales record by using social media. 68% of all sales were from Twitter. 85% of new customers were from Twitter.

Intuit introduced “Live Community” into their TurboTax software and found that sales were up 30% two years in a row.

Moonfruit, a web hosting company, spent $15,000 on social media and saw their web traffic increase by 300%, their sales went up 20%, and they got to the first page of a Google search for “free website builder.”

But you can’t view social media as simply another marketing venue. It touches every aspect of business and as Erik Qualman says in his book “Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business”, “It’s more an extension of good business ethics.”

Most businesses plan to increase their spending on social media not only because it is so inexpensive compared to other marketing venues, but because we HAVE TO. As one person said “Our head of Social Media is the customer.”

So it’s time to start learning about how to use social media to promote your business. Here’s a good start from the New York Times and it’s free. “How to Market Your Business With Facebook”

There’s also a book called “Facebook Marketing For Dummies.” There are a lot of ways to learn. It doesn’t matter how you learn to use social media, but it does matter that we all get serious about mastering social media for our businesses. The world is changing again and we have to change with it.

Best Wishes,

Hal Landen

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