When my parents gave me some old home movie VHS tapes for my birthday, I knew my main goal would be to archive them sooner rather than later. However, I’d also recently discovered the power of YouTube for affecting online searches, so I also quickly realized that posting the videos would also be a tool for reconnecting with people who know me in order to possibly give my new business a boost. Therefore, my newest, and likely most rewarding, marketing technique using social media will be to archive my past in order to create growth in my future.
Cousin Jason told me something about a year ago that I kind of knew already. He does not read social media posts unless there’s a photo or video. I knew it because that’s kind of what happens to me, but I also knew because all of the posts with lots of views have a photo or video, and all the social media sites make it a priority. All of my articles include images, but they still encourage people to READ, which isn’t really what we do on social media. We might skim, at best. So I knew as I began trying to use Facebook and Twitter that my writing skills would not really help me a lot. I also found out quickly that even relatives are only minutely interested in well-written articles unless it directly means something to them. In fact, I think the argument could be made that very few people just read random articles in order to learn something or become better people. While that’s sad, the observation will not help me begin to turn a profit in my business.
One thing that can help me, however, is your general obscurity. Why? Unlike me, who has tried for a year now to get my name out there, most of you have not. Therefore, if I post an article with your name, it will show up in Google, especially with certain keywords, like “Milwaukee.” You will possibly find your way to this website to see why I mention you, but then you’ll stop reading when you see all the words. It gets better, though, since I can also tag you in YouTube videos, meaning you’ll have two chances to find yourself online, and therefore find me online. Of course, the only way something like this works is if I’m the first person using the method for a given demographic and if anyone out there really bothers to Google him or herself and sift past all the social media results.
OK, I can bring some of you here by mentioning your names. I can get some of you to watch videos of old VHS tapes, too. What’s the good of it all? First, it’s a chance to relive the past without having to show up at my house and watch the videos in the basement (the only working VHS). It gives us a chance to reconnect, if you want to do that, like on Facebook or Linkedin:. It adds to your own online reputation in a positive way, in that you are mentioned with other people who might remember you when looking for a connection. It might be a little bit fun, too. For me, I hope you post your own YouTubes of our childhood together and tag me so that I can see what I was like from your video camera’s perspective. I also hope you think about hiring me to help you with website design, buy some of my books, or generally think of me when you’re hiring someone Basically, it’s social networking through memories, and I just feel bad I don’t have more videos and photos to share.
If it seems to work for one class, I’ll add more. One school, I’ll add more. And so on. I thought about creating this like my awesome idea for a character database: http://www.educabana.com/character/, but that would take all kinds of time. And might technically go too far, but it was a sweet idea for characters and novels, etc. Anyhow, I think I’ll just limit the articles to names and descriptions, like senior quotes or activities. Or what I remember.
After posting my own graduation year from Marshall, I searched online a bit, and fake high school reunion sites have popped up like crazy, meaning scammers and spammers have seen the value in this idea. That probably means I need to add some value to the website, possibly in the form of yearbooks, newspapers, photos, and video. Actual content and research. Time and effort. We'll see.