Where will social media show up next?

Today I attended a funeral and was told that I could have stayed at home and watched live streaming video instead. I turned around and looked. Sure enough, mounted up high on the back wall was a video camera. There really is no privacy any more. You can now attend some funerals from home or anywhere you can grab some wifi.

I am not sure if I am comfortable with that or not, but it does really show that all sorts of businesses are on the “live streaming video” bandwagon. Maybe caskets will someday be covered with advertising like race cars so people viewing will see their logos. How far will it go? No one knows for sure.

Some religious services are also streamed live. Not feeling well? No worries. You can attend services via the internet while sitting at home in your jammies.

If you can stream an event, people will watch, if you get the word out. You can stream events through several sites including You Tube, Livestream and Ustream. Google+ has hangouts, where multiple people can chat live via webcam and millions more can watch. Using this technology can, not only help grow your business, but actually change the way we all do business.

I can remember way, way back when I was in college. A professor told my class about how we would one day have a card, similar to a credit card, that would allow people to travel with no cash. Money would come right out of a person’s checking account. Every business would accept them. Of course, we know that debit cards exist now. But back in the day, that sounded crazy.

Online coupons that are scanned from cell phones at the cash register are already available. PayPal and credit card companies offer gadgets that connect to a cell phone. The business owner can simply swipe a credit card through the gadget. The client signs the phone with their finger to make a charge or payment. Can you imagine what might come next?

I talked to a friend the other day about business cards. He predicts there will be a business card where the image changes and maybe even has video. How far are we from that? There are already animated picture frames, why not a business card?

Even though social media is my business, I am hearing about new apps and sites every day. Some are great, some not so much. But the technology is changing daily. To stay on top of things with your business, you need to change with the technology and not fight against it.

Swinging out on Vine

At first I was apprehensive. Isn’t that the way with every new social media? I want to try it, but it’s different. Along with most people, I am not so good with change. And social media is constantly changing.

So, what is Vine, anyway? Think of Instagram with a 6-second video. In fact that’s what Twitter is calling it and they are the company who released it. It’s a video sharing app, but here’s the fun part… the videos are only a few seconds long and they are on a continuous loop.

Here’s a link to a Vine video.

All you have to do to take the video is hold your finger down. Let go, reposition things, hold your finger again. You can take a continuous video, or start and stop several times. It is user-friendly, which makes it more fun and bound to be a huge hit.

How can you grow your business with Vine? I don’t mean to put down consumers, especially since we are all consumers, but the majority of people have the attention span of a gnat these days. A 6-second video is just what is needed to get a quick point across to the consumer.

Do you have an amazing product? Show it! Take one second from far away, get a little closer for a second or two, keep moving forward and adding to the video until you are close to the product. There’s your video.

Do you clean houses? Show a messy room for a second, a person dusting for a second, vacuuming for a second, etc. In the end, you show the clean room.

Have a clothing store? Show someone trying on clothes. Make it like a time lapse series. A person wearing one outfit, then another and another. There is your video.

Teaching your dog to sit? Same thing. Show it!

Once you create your video, you can share it on Vine, Twitter and/or Facebook. You can “like” and make comments on other people’s videos as well.

They are organized by hashtag (#), which categorizes the videos. Be sure to add a description and hashtag when posting your videos.

There is a bit of bad news for anyone without an iphone or ipod touch. It is not available for other formats just yet.