If you would like to read Part I of this article by voice actor and social media specialist, Dave Courvoisier…
More on social media trends for 2012 by Dave Courvoisier…
People are visually oriented. The public has been mesmerized by moving pictures since Charlie Chaplin…and YouTube has only multiplied the expectations a-thousand-fold.
Not only that, but the video doesn’t have to be of particularly high production quality. Examples of grainy, shaky, badly lit, out-of-focus, and poorly shot video goes viral every day. No one notices. Not that you shouldn’t try to make good videos, but the point is that you should be always thinking how you could/should be utilizing meaningful videos, and links to videos in your social media discourse. What grabs YOUR eyes more: text and still pictures, or video? Do you have a YouTube account, or even basic video editing software on your computer?
This is more than storing files off-location, doing Google Hang-outs, and collaborating on documents by distance. The Cloud means sharing your Google (or other) Calendar on your desktop, your smartphone, and your tablet computer, and being able to share any part of it with anyone anytime for appointment-making. The Cloud means instant large-file transfer of sound files, and document scripts and being able to read them on your tablet or your smartphone. The Cloud means organizing all your scanned documents across multiple formats and multiple locations. The Cloud enables, “instantizes”, and makes mindless your organizing, collaborating, sharing, and controlling of resources. The Cloud is every voice-actor’s new best friend.
LOCATION, GAMIFICATION, SPECIALIZATION
No niche is too small. As “traditional” media gives up its stranglehold on information dissemination and the blogsphere takes over…any small group individuals, even on different continents, but sharing the same passion, can find a forum and a voice. By the same token, your geo-location is actually a commodity that gains you special attention, even price-breaks and coupons for being in the right place at the right time. Tired of being the focus of sneaky advertising ploys? Increasingly, you won’t notice or mind so much as savvy social media marketers utilize engaging game-scenarios to garner your participation in their latest promotions. As an enterprising voice-over talent with a dedicated group of followers/friends…how can you capitalize on these new tools to widen the breach of possible new clients? Great example: Derek Chappell’s year-ending “Match Game”. You may think it’s a fun little exercise between us VO’s, but with the right exposure, Chappell’s going to find direct and indirect dividends from this exercise.
CONTEXT v. CONTENT
In the history of the world, content has always been king…and it’s still incredibly important, but because of the internet, and now social media, CONTEXT is becoming equally impactful. If you don’t have the goods (a great delivery, a wonderful product, good information) – content — you will not survive. But now, that content survives and thrives only in the right context. Why are companies like Ford, Zappos, and Nike paying extra close attention to the Twitterverse? ‘Cause they’re hoping to stem the tide of any viral nay-sayer who can create an overnight video-cum-FaceBook post that blasts a negative experience across the world instantaneously. Answer that disgruntled customer BEFORE word gets out, and you’ve made an antagonist an apostle. But it goes beyond customer service. Now, YOU are the context for your product. The sum total of your online persona fleshes out the package of your product. Google IS your resumé.
SMARTPHONES, TABLETS, APPS
Like you couldn’t have guessed that this would round out this list? Technology drives so much of what is possible on social media. A smartphone is now essential, basic, and irreplaceable equipment for any voice-actor. Sure you can continue without it…but you’ll fall farther and farther behind…just like certain voice-actors still do the round-robin studio auditions a la Don LaFontaine…just like SoundCloud replaced DVD’s replaced CD’s replaced cassettes replaced reel-to-reel. I’m not saying you have to be an early-adopter of every little gizmo that comes down the pike…but THIS one – the smartphone – is your VO purchase of 2012 if you haven’t taken the leap yet. Already got the iPhone/Android Phone? Great, now get an iPad or an Android Tablet…and start stocking them with apps. Reduce your time-consuming menial tasks in half, and double your productivity…even (eventually) cut/send quality auditions wherever you happen to be using either of these devices to read the copy with one app, while recording/editing/sending with another app.
HONORABLE MENTION: MULTIPLE CONCURRENT MEDIA CONSUMPTION
This is no phantom, pie-in-the-sky, next-decade vision. It’s going on now. The fastest growing population of media consumers is sitting with an iPad in their lap while they watch prime-time shows, and a Smartphone is on and within reach. Networks are already pushing into the signal, additional information about the program you’re watching so that an app on your tablet can sense it, and display it on your iPad screen. Further, you can share it, dialogue about it, and chat with others about it in real time. You tell me…where does the VO fit into THAT equation?
The first one to figure it out is not standing still…he/she is standing in an early retirement home on the French Riviera.
Do you have any questions for Dave on this topic? Please share!