After 4-month work, I finally completed my Master Degree’s capstone project, a web video series on authentic Chinese cuisine and Chinese eating culture called Americans in Chinese Kitchens. I am not going to talk much about the web videos or the website in this blog because they turn out to be quite nice from not only my point of view but also those of professionals. Instead, I want to do a summary of my failure in social media efforts so that people doing similar projects can avoid mistakes I made.
My original plan was to release one episode of the videos each week and use Facebook and Twitter to promote the videos simultaneously. However, the schedule turned out to be very tight. Before my defense date when all the videos should be released, there were only less than two weeks left after I polished all of my videos and prepared to release them. That means I had to release all of my five videos and recipes within about 10 days and trying to get as much attention as possible through social media. It was hardly a surprise that it was not very successful.
Don’t Devalue Social Media Efforts
Firstly, I have to admit I did not make a good-faith efforts in this social media campaign within that limited time. My focus was mostly on video production and website content. To some extent, I ignored the necessity of social media efforts to increase the visibility of my project. The quality of videos is perfect. The layout of the website looks neat. However, what is the significance of the work if not many people even know its existence? Don’t just suppose your work will reach thousands of people if it is of decent quality. Get serious about developing a social media strategy and marketing your work.
Extend the Time Span of Social Media Campaigns
It is almost a common sense that the longer something is present on social media, the more people it is likely to reach. It now seems really unwise of me to use only 10 days to actively promote a project requiring 4 months of work. A better option could be starting to promote what I was doing and draw people’s attention when I started to shoot my first video about four months ago. For example, I could have posted some appealing photos on Facebook or Twitter of food cooked by my subjects in the videos or a 30-second footage to get people interested in what I was doing. I could even have written some blog posts about Chinese eating culture and promoted them on social media. The lesson here is that I should not have wasted the four months and waited to start the social media presence until all the videos and the website were finished.
Consider Collaboration On Social Media
A big problem for me in my social media efforts is my failure to reach the group of people who are interested in the topic featured in my project. My target audience in this project, for instance, are those interested in cooking, Asian food and Chinese culture. Although I did use hashtags accurately, that was not very effective. A good strategy could be trying to collaborate with influential social media accounts posting similar topics. Those accounts already own thousands of followers who are interested in a specific topic. If my posts get retweeted or shared by those accounts, my project will directly reach potential target audience.