Interview with Jodie Cook (formerly Jodie Cole) of JC Social Media

A more up-to-date interview with David Glenwright, of JC Social Media,  exists on Backlight, the Video and Digital Marketing Podcast.  In which David discusses all the recent developments in this fast paced industry.  

Slinky caught up with Jodie Cook (formerly Jodie Cole) (@coleywhirl), the founder of JC Social Media, to discuss all things Social Media…. with a heavy dose of video attached to the conversation too!

JC Social Media are a creative and strategic social media company based in Birmingham. They offer Social Media Training – where companies are shown how to run Social Media accounts themselves internally – and also Social Media Management, whereby they will run a companies entire social media presence.

Some of JC’s Clients include NHS Local, many restaurants around the country, local companies such as estate agents and jewellers, and anyone with an exciting service that people like to talk about!


Can you define the term ‘viral’?

Originally the term viral describes the nature of a medical or computer virus, so something that spreads across and infects an entire system very quickly, replicates itself and speeds up the process by doing that. Of course it’s not that grim when we apply the same context to marketing strategies. In terms of a video, a viral video is simply one that – in a very short amount of time – spreads nationwide or even world wide. So now in a matter of days or weeks (and sometimes even hours) a video can generate millions of views and promote replicas of itself. 

What makes a great viral video?

There are no hard and fast set of rules about what makes a video go viral. The first thing that springs to mind is to make it short and entertaining, but there are examples of videos that don’t fit into that mould; like Kony 2012 for example – which is half an hour long, and the original video has gained 100 million views, so you can’t apply the rules to every video.

If you look at the top 30 videos on YouTube only five of them that are longer than 5 minutes, and if you take music videos out of the equation the most viewed video is Charlie Bit My Finger, which is 56 seconds long and the second place video is 16 seconds – so the time is neither here nor there, but I’d recommend to keep it pretty short.

I’d say entertainment is a massive part of it too. It doesn’t have to be funny but it has to be entertaining in some way, and the response really has to be “Wow! I want my friends to see this”. You have to want to share it.

Finally, I think it has to be easy to replicate, like the Harlem Shake video. There’s a whole host of them popping up everywhere from people creating their own versions. Replicas draw people back to the original source video because you’ve got people watching it thinking “could I do this as well?” They might share it with their colleagues and friends. So anything short, entertaining and easy to replicate is a good starting point for a viral video.

What is the best way to ‘seed’ a video on Social Media?

Seeding the video is making it easy to share, so always host them on YouTube because it’s just way ahead of other video platforms in terms of how easy it is to share and how social the platform is as well – not to mention the huge reach and penetration it has. It’s also owned by Google and so will help with your SEO.

Beyond the sharing on YouTube, it’s also about getting the ripple effect going. Don’t plead for shares, because if a video stands up by itself you shouldn’t need to ask for it to be shared. I would say pull out the key points of your video and ask yourself “how would I sum it up in one sentence in a way that would make someone want to click on it?” Time is so precious to people, so you have to give them a good reason to sit down for two minutes and watch your video.


Social Media 2013 Stats Video

What exactly is Social Media and why is it important for today’s businesses to engage with?

Social media is a giant conversation that connects people from all over the world on similar topics, and it’s probably the newest and most exciting way that people communicate with each other. It doesn’t just create new communities, but it joins people around the world to talk and interact.

It’s really important for businesses because it’s where their target market are, and if they can learn how to talk to their target market in their language, then their business – which might have just been a logo and a set of colours before – turns into this person; a familiar face that people can relate to and build up a relationship with.

Your thoughts on the future Social Media landscape…..

I think social media will become more tailored and companies will get wise to what people are looking for and what people like. Whether or not this is a welcome change remains to be seen, as companies are using Customer Relation Management tools to profile people and provide targeted marketing and it may be that you would rather see what is out there for yourself.

Video is very important in social media and I think it’s becoming ever more important. Social media is definitely becoming more media rich with the introduction of Vine especially. Its not just about Tweets any more – it’s about everything that’s integrated into it.