Tag Archives: Vine

Jack & Jack

August 13, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

It has been said that all glory is fleeting. Nobody knows that better than recent Westside High School grads Jack Gilinsky and Jack Johnson. They’ve found online fame in a big way—all in the most fleeting of six-second increments.

At press time, the entertainment enterprise known simply as Jack & Jack had a stunning 3.7 million followers on Vine, the mobile app now owned by Twitter that enables its users to create short—with double emphasis on the word ‘short’—video clips.

The Jacks, who have been best friends since kindergarten and whose homes are only blocks apart, offer the simplest of explanations when asked to describe the genesis of their creative endeavors.

“Boredom,” says Gilinsky, the son of Katherine and David Gilinsky.

“Summer,” adds Johnson, whose parents are Jennifer and John Johnson.

Hey, c’mon, guys! Just because your Vines are limited to only six seconds doesn’t mean that your interview answers need to follow suit!

Their comedic videos are sometimes slice-of-life observations on teen life, but most involve a certain slapstick vibe that depict the young men in all manner of exuberantly unfettered high jinx.

The Jacks don’t discuss the money-making aspect of their work, but say they have enjoyed some of the perks of fame, including being flown around the country by a sponsor for meet-and-greet sessions with other top Viners. It is there that they are welcomed by screaming, mostly young teen girls in scenes of adoration reminiscent of those when the Beatles first landed in America.

They had once intended on studying together at the same college, but their success now has the Jacks planning to move to L.A. next year to make their mark in the music and entertainment industry. Gilinsky sings and Johnson raps. One of their songs, “Paradise,” recently spent time as the No. 1 seller on the iTunes Hip Hop charts.

“Our first objective is to become professional musicians,” says Johnson. “College is still really important but, if anything, this really helps build a great resume regardless of what we do.”

“And we’ll still continue with comedy as well,” adds Gilinsky. “Not everybody gets a chance like this, and we want to see how far we can take this before going to school.”

Since the mid-1990s, the rise of instant communication on the Internet has had a revolutionary impact on both culture and commerce. And you can say what you will about fears that the web has served to shrink a nation’s attention span.

In the meantime, all bow to the six-second entertainment juggernaut that is Jack & Jack.

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Time to Get LinkedIn

August 26, 2013 by

I like Facebook. I entered this social media space with a passion, thanks to the Creighton students I was teaching at the time. I have more than 1,000 friends, including my four teens, because I bought their computers and iPhones and because I want to embarrass them.

But my teens have actually moved on to Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine, and I feel the need to move on myself, with a renewed passion, to LinkedIn. There are a few reasons I recommend you do the same.

The first is that it’s important as a professional to separate your personal and business lives. Facebook can make that a little dicey. The second reason is opportunity. LinkedIn is now the world’s largest professional network. It limped along for a time, being one of the world’s “older” social networks, but it’s cracked the code on changes in technology, target, and services for professionals that make LinkedIn the ideal place to connect.

With more than 225 million users in 200 countries, LinkedIn gives you access to 2.7 million business pages, 1.5 million groups, and your share of 1 billion endorsements. How you leverage all this is up to you. My advice: Spend more than the average 17 minutes per day on the site to get your profile up to speed. Follow industry leaders, post so you get followed, and enjoy the ride! Here are some specifics to get you started:

  • Download the LinkedIn App for your mobile device (Android, Blackberry, iPad, iPhone, Windows Phone).
  • Complete your profile. This helps LinkedIn connect you with people you used to work with and people in industries similar to yours.
  • Build your network. Import contacts from all your other channels. Invite people you know to connect with you. Add a personal note about how you know the individual and why you want to connect. Go further than the typical template invitation and make yourself memorable.
  • Join groups that interest you. Look for groups that you’re marketing to or that may help you move your business.
  • Consider forming a group. Lead the way and post. Refer to articles.
  • Build a Company Page, especially if you are an entrepreneur.
  • Check the Channels (business news topics) on LinkedIn Today, the site’s e-zine. LinkedIn will recommend Channels, but you should check in regularly to follow Channels that help you improve in your career.

Wendy Wiseman is Vice President & Creative Director of Zaiss & Company, a customer-based planning and communications firm in Omaha.

Digital Immigrant, Meet Demand Generation

May 25, 2013 by

Chances are you are a “digital immigrant,” one who was not born bathed in bits, who played video games as a toddler or learned keyboarding in third grade. This means you have a steeper learning curve than “digital natives”—those for whom all this social media stuff isn’t stuff at all. It’s just part of everyday life…how they live, work, play, access information, and make decisions.

Indeed, there is a whole generation of digital natives, who command where, when, and how they find information. They are in control, and that is why they are called the “demand generation.” They compose our customers, our prospects, our employees, our constituents, and our advocates. A key to understanding social media is understanding how to reach, and more importantly, engage with the demand generation.

Here are some tips:

  • Acknowledge that the sales process is no longer linear. The internet has jumped squarely in between you and your customer and interrupted what used to be a good opportunity for you to control the conversation. Now consumers visit blogs to get information and recommendations on what to buy. The average consumer uses more than 10 sources to make a buying decision today, and 70 percent of Americans look at product reviews. What was once linear may be turned upside-down, twisted sideways, and backwards. Consumers may see a product in the store, but then go out into cyberspace to investigate it, only to go back into the store to buy.
  • Content is king. As a writer by trade—and a digital immigrant—knowing this makes me very happy. It also makes me work hard to relate to my target audience with personal, direct, relevant conversations that matter to them. Customers who engage with brands online spend 20-40 percent more on that brand’s products/services. Know your target. Understand their perspective. Quench their thirst for the knowledge they seek. A long time ago, author and speaker Bert Decker impressed me with his edict, “You’ve got to be believed to be heard.” Break through that frontal cortex, and your message just may get through.
  • You do have to be everywhere—and on-the-go. This seems the antithesis to target marketing, but what it means is you can’t think that because you have your website and a Facebook page, you’re good to go. Chances are your target customers aren’t sitting still. It’s likely—not statistically shown—that 78 percent of consumers shop across multiple channels. This means the internet—your site if your SEO is up to date, social media, Twitter, Vine, blogs, e-mail deliveries from you/your competitors, and their phones. And here’s the deal with phones: 31 percent of consumers research products on their phones before buying in-store while 40 percent research products from their phones before buying online. Is your site mobile optimized/responsive so that it feeds the information to fit the user’s screen?

The good news about all this—for those willing to keep swimming in the deep end—is that there is demand, a marketer’s dream. We can meet that demand with products people need and want—and by getting in and staying in the conversation with relevance, content, personalization, and engagement.

Special thanks for inspiration and sourcing for this article from Bob Thacker, former CMO of OfficeMax.