Thursday, January 21, 2016


On February 4, 2004, a handful of Harvard students logged onto a newly launched website called Just a dozen years later, some 2 billion people—nearly a third of the planet's population—are social media users.
So if companies are having trouble keeping up with that pace of adoption, it's no surprise. Businesses have overcome their earlier skepticism and raced head-on into the social arena, chasing the estimated three-quarters of consumers who now say social media influences their buying decisions. Nearly 90% of U.S. companies are currently using Twitter, Facebook, and other networks—all jockeying for their share of the estimated $1.3 trillion in value that social media stands to unlock.
There's just one small problem: The contemporary workforce is woefully ill-equipped to help companies unlock it.


While social media races ahead, formal training and education programs are lagging seriously behind. If that isn't making headlines, it's testament to social media's comprehensive mainstreaming: "Facebook? I use that everyday. Who needs to be trained in it?"
Yet a meager 12% of the 2,100 companies in a 2010 Harvard Business Review survey said they're using social media effectively. And more recent research by Capgemini and others show that confidence gaining only incrementally.
Reports of social media gaffes and blunders in the workplace are still routine. Meanwhile, the real price of the skills gap often goes unnoticed—billions of dollars in missed opportunities and lost revenue.


The clearest culprit is the breakneck proliferation of new platforms and features. Around a year ago, Snapchat was still a toy for teens to trade disappearing messaging; today it's the latest way to reach young customers on their own turf. As more platforms incorporate more sophisticated features, even the most plugged-in users are struggling to keep up.

At the same time, how social media is used in the workplace is fundamentally changing. Just a few years ago, social media in the office was the domain of specialized social media managers, the gatekeepers who owned a company’s public face on the leading platforms. In a short time, however, social media duties have been radically democratized and decentralized. The number of job descriptions on mentioning social media skills is booming: "[We’re] seeing this demand span many levels, from executive assistants to senior vice presidents," Amy Crow, Indeed’s communication director told Quartz a few years ago.

Since then, employees have been asked to use social media in ever more numerous and unfamiliar ways. The standard marketing functions are just the tip of the iceberg. Social tools are being used to streamline customer service, drive sales, improve HR processes, and build employee brand advocacy programs.

Meanwhile, platforms like Facebook at Work (in beta now and expected to roll out this year) and Slack (which boasts millions of users, from NASA to your corner coffee shop) are quickly changing how workers collaborate. By bringing social messaging inside the office, these technologies are breaking down silos and boosting productivity (although some disagree). Social media is no longer a discrete thing that certain people do in certain jobs, and more of an integral component of work itself.

But this approach only works if employees are on board and up to speed. "The real problem is that we expect people to know these skills without providing any training," William Ward, professor of social media at Syracuse University, recently told me. Social media know-how isn’t something you just pick up as a casual user. And it isn't just older employees who are in the dark—millennial hires need training, too
"Because somebody grows up being a social media native, it doesn’t make them an expert in using social media at work," Ward says. "That’s like saying, ‘I grew up with a fax machine, so that makes me an expert in business.’"


Fixing this social skills gap is no small task. In the long term, social media coursework is slowly being incorporated into university programs, and not just for students pursuing marketing and communications degrees. Here at Hootsuite, for instance, we've developed a social media syllabus that's now being used in more than 400 universities around the world by 30,000 students. Programs like these offer a foundation of social media skills for the workplace and may one day be as commonplace as introductory college writing and computer skills classes.
But what about employees struggling right now with the growing demands of social business? The good news is that companies are beginning to acknowledge social media literacy as a critical job skill (just like Internet and basic computer literacy back in the day) and are starting to offer on-the-job training programs. Altimeter reportsthat almost half of the companies it surveyed are planning on rolling out some kind of internal social education program for employees, while overall spending on corporate training is on a serious upswing, rising 15% in the U.S. in a recent year to $70 billion.
The challenge, of course, is how to teach social media in such a mercurial environment. In the last year alone, for instance, we’ve seen the meteoric rise of "social video" and a whole new crop of one-to-one messaging apps, while Twitter has struggled to reinvent itself.
But few employees have time for in-depth courses or bootcamps. Ultimately, the right training solution needs to be on-demand and mobile-friendly. Currently, some of the best paid options are coming not from traditional educational sources, but from companies immersed in the social and digital media space, offering real lessons from the front lines. (Hootsuite’s own online course, Podium, is one free alternative, with 50,000 users and counting.)
Ultimately, though, any investment in upgrading social media skills in the workplace is likely to be money well spent. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other networks aren’t going away. Social business has become business as usual. Indeed, social media budgets at companies areexpected to double in the next five years.
To avoid throwing good money after bad, companies need to ensure that their employees actually know how to use new and emerging social technologies. Those that succeed in closing the social media skills gap will discover new ways to reach and retain customers, engage and recruit employees, and boost productivity. Those that fail will miss out on their chunk of a multitrillion-dollar pie, and might not be around long enough to regret it.


Monday, January 11, 2016

4 ways to earn money from YouTube

Four ways, basically:

1. Ad revenue.

When there's an ad on a video watch page, the creator of that video shares the revenue from that ad with YouTube. YouTubers aren't allowed to discuss ad rates, but it's generally acknowledged to be between $1 per 1,000 views, up to a few dollars per 1,000 views. Many YouTubers also make sponsored or branded content, in which they share or discuss a product for a fee. This can be very lucrative, but there's also the risk of clouding your authentic relationship with your audience.

2. Merchandising.

Many YouTube creators sell shirts or mugs featuring logos or inside jokes. There are companies designed for niche creators looking to make merch for their audiences (I co-own one, Don't Forget To Be Awesome). For some YouTubers, this can be a bigger source of income than ads (it is for my brother and me), but for most it's a relatively small business.

3. Ancillary products.

Many YouTubers are able to use their existing audiences as activation energy for other projects--from tours to music to makeup lines to books. Because many of these projects have better established business models (like, people generally expect to pay for books), this can also be a great business. It's unlikely my novel The Fault in Our Stars would've been so successful without the activation energy provided by the viewers of our videos.
4. Subscription fees.
Source: The Verge

This is an emerging business model, but I think a very promising one. Voluntary subscription platforms like Patreon: Support the creators you loveallow viewers to support the creators they love directly. This decreases the influence of advertisers and makes creators directly answerable to their audiences. It does, however, require that a percentage of viewers choose to pay.
I suspect most YouTubers make most of their money from ads, but I think advertising is probably shrinking percentage-wise as a revenue source, which I think is mostly good news. I think advertising is an important part of funding our online experiences, but ultimately I'd argue the Internet is healthiest when serving the needs of its human users rather than the needs of its corporate sponsors.

Source: Quora

Saturday, January 9, 2016 ~ make money online.

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Thank You For Stopping By.