We recently discussed the definition of “social video,” and looked at why it’s on the rise. For a closer look at how businesses can use social video, I interviewed my fellow videologist, Steve Garfield. He talks about how businesses can be successful by combining their social media marketing and video activities, and the warns of the biggest mistake he sees businesses making with doing social video today.

Steve Garfield on Social Video in Business

Steve Garfield has been producing and marketing videos for longer than most, and is an expert resource on how and why social media and video are merging. So, in other words, he’s a good person to ask regarding how businesses can get involved:

How do you define “social video?”

Steve: Social video uses online video to connect with people in a real and authentic way.

What do you believe makes for a successful social video campaign in businesses?

A successful social video campaign allows people to get to know you. Viewers come away feeling like they know you. The way I look at it, businesses are made up of people, and people buy from people. So, a successful social video campaign allows viewers to look at your company as more than just a building or a bunch of products, but as people.

What do you think makes for a good use of social video internally?

If your company is spread out geographically, video is a great way for employees to get to know each other and a more personal way.

What’s the biggest mistake you see businesses make with social video?

The big mistake I see businesses make when they want to do social video, is that they try and re-create commercials they see on TV and post them to the web. Then what they end up with is a spokesperson sitting there on the video talking about how great the company is, how great their products are, and a lot of other things that are really uninteresting to people.

What they need to do is make a video that people actually want to share. Give them some information. Teach them something. Be funny. Ask them a question. Just do something!

So what’s an example of a social video in business that you think is good to share?

The iLoqk: It’s a project about a new iPad 2 case with a detachable tripod mount. Check it out over at Kickstarter, which calls themselves “the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world.”

On Getting Started With Social Video

How have your own experiences with social media helped your video business?

I’ve found that social media including twitter and Facebook, have allowed me to make personal connections with people from all over the world. These connections aren’t limited to online, either; they expand into real world meetings at conferences.

Video pros need to keep in mind that using video in social media spaces will, in fact, allow people watching their videos to ‘feel like they already know them.”

What advice would you give for video professionals getting started with social video?

My advice would be to:

  • Start learning about social media by watching and reading
  • Find some interesting people to follow
  • Engage in a conversation
  • Enhance their online presence with video

Let’s reverse that question: what advice would you give for social media professionals getting started with video?

Check out our earlier interview, “How to overcome the fear of being interviewed on camera” where I have these tips to share:

  • Tip 1 – scale down your equipment. Start with the smallest footprint – a minimal video production setup.
  • Tip 2 – practice being comfortable
  • Tip 3 – Prepare, but don’t read from a script verbatim..

About Steve Garfield

Steve Garfield is a veteran online video producer, the host of SteveGarfield.TV, a live show on The Pulse Network every Thursday at 2 pm Eastern U.S. Time covering Online Video and Social Media, the author of Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building your Business and founder of Boston Media Makers.

Want to Learn More About Doing Social Video in YOUR Business?

You can catch my speaking event at Mediabistro’s Social Media Optimization Conference (SMOC) on May 23rd in San Francisco’s Mission Bay Conference Center, where I’ll be presenting and taking questions on the subject of “social video optimization.” If you happen to be attending the conference, email me at grant reelseo.com  with “SMOC Attendee” in the subject line, and I’ll be glad to meet with you!