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The Beginning of My Social Media Journey

I have been a fully immersed user of social media since the early days. I watched Facebook grow beyond epic proportions. I’ve been using social media so long that I remember when people actually talked to each other on Twitter.

Like a high schooler on his first date, my first time was kind of awkward and clumsy. Not knowing what to say, here was my maiden Tweet:

After that, it was off to the races to find new people and to sow new conversations. Aaah…the good old days. Before trolls, political hacks, and the inundation with the protest du jour.

How I long for those days when you could reach out to someone and they would actually respond.

The Return To Digital Video Marketing

Now, segue ahead nearly 8 years, I’ve found my passion again. I rekindled a relationship with an old friend that has caused me a lot of grief and consternation. My video camera. Actually these days it’s my smartphone and my DSLR, as my original video camera went to obsolesence heaven.

I used to hate looking at myself on camera. I would create screencasts and put the camera in front of the television and record snippets of shows and use my adsense account to make money. It was so easy to turn on a show that was hot, take a quick video, post it on YouTube, and then watch the cash roll in. And I mean lots of it.

I remember, I took a shot of Prince Poppycock on America’s Got Talent and it got over 1 million views!! I took a shot of people fighting in the stands at the U.S. Open and it got over 1.5 million views. I had found nirvana and video was it!

Then something happened. I woke up one morning and checked my AdSense account and it said no money had been made the night before. How could that be…there must have been some mistake. And then I went to YouTube and found out that my entire channel had been wiped cleaner than a Hillary Clinton email server.


Every video was gone. Not just my ripped videos, but every shread of my YouTube existence was gone. I had hundreds of videos. Speaking engagements, seminars I taught at, courses I had developed…everything gone in one quick instant.

And it was the best thing that ever happened to me in my social media journey. It was then and there that I realized that I wouldn’t rebuild until I knew every possible inner detail of the integration of the various platforms of social media.

I knew that if I wanted to stay relevant as a marketer, I would need to understand how everything works together and use that synergy for my benefit. I realized quickly that although it would be really nice to have millions of fans and subscribers, it wouldn’t be necessary.

You see I realized what mattered wasn’t about getting in front of millions, it was about getting in front of the right viewers. You know…the ones that cut checks.

But that became boring as hell. Tweeting for money sucks. I had become a social media whore. A keyboard mercenary. If you needed some social legerdemain, I was your guy and I offered my services to the highest bidder and performed the best job that I could.

I became a high paid virtual trollop. And I wasn’t ashamed.

Now, I’ve watched social media turn into a relic. Everyone’s a Guru. Everyone has an article here or there that you just have to read. (no…the irony of that statement isn’t lost)

Social media is as ugly as Deblasio’s Time Square. I have to make a change. I’m going back to the future. I’m going all in on digital video marketing.

Why Digital Video?

Unless you’ve lived in a bubble recently or have been sucked in by an agency vortex, you’d understand that we’re in the middle of a massive ideological change which is nothing more than history repeating itself.

Nothing has more of an impact than a story, and nothing tells a story better than video. The first television was introduced into American homes in 1939. For the last 10 years or so, we who worked in social media, tried everything that we could to get people AWAY from television.

And we’re seeing now, that in actuality, that’s what people wanted all along. The difference is we just don’t want to be subjected to being programmed. What a job title. The “Program Director.”

I, for one, will never be programmed again. I’m certain that I’m not alone in my thinking. Digital video creation and consumption numbers underscore my belief.


It’s taken us nearly 8 decades, but now we’re all program directors.We all walk around with television studios in our pockets. Our smartphones allow us to broadcast a show, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We don’t need permission. We don’t need any other gear. We don’t even need an audience. Sort of like the days of cable access shows…but only better. Sometimes. (please…we’ve had enough of your commercials!!)


Think about this for a moment. At this point in time, every single person on the planet, given nothing more than a smartphone, can broadcast their own show. If you’re in marketing and you’re not sure of the magnitude of creating social content in the form of digital video, then you’re going to be irrelevant.

No more staid social media for me. As of today, it’s video or nothing. Video tweets, video Facebook updates…video everything. We are in the midst of a revolution and I want to be armed and ready to win. I’ve got my phone, my DSLR and my tripod. I’m ready baby!

If you need help getting your video “studio” set up, check out this digital video guide that I put together.

How You Can Become Proficient At Digital Video

There are so many …umm…videos…that you can watch to nudge you down the path of digital video excellence. But here’s a hint. I’m not sure the journey ever ends. There is so much to learn, but that’s the fun part.

I’ve found the fun in marketing again. I’m giving people what they want and I’m setting myself apart from my competition. Once you begin doing some video marketing, you’ll realize that despite the fact that over 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, the playing field is still wide open and you can compete. Did I also mention it was a LOT of fun too?

What’s really cool is the ability to benefit from the digital video wars going on between YouTube and Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg is looking to take Facebook to YouTube and beyond and I plan on being right there with my popcorn and diet cokes.


I’m going to blow you away with a stat which will leave you running from that boring meeting you’re in down to your local Best Buy getting a new Canon G7X or a GoPro. If you really want to do video right, you need to be able to produce on the go.

My best videos are those impromptu vids I grab at a restaurant, or at an airport…something where I can really tell a story that people will be interested in. I’m not a digital video celebrity, nor do I want to be.

I just want to use video to tell a story and to build a community that wants to do business with me. You have to realize the obvious benefits a video presence affords you to those you choose to do business with.

Chillin' At The Hillsboro Beach Lighthouse

People catching fish, riding on boats, flying over the water...yup a typical day in the paradise we know as Fort Lauderdale.

Posted by Barry Cunningham on Monday, July 27, 2015

…but oh yeah…that stat I was talking about…

Despite the fact that there are over 1 billion video views per day on YouTube alone, not even counting Facebook, Vimeo and the other video networks (oh yeah…there are quite a few more…you may have heard of Twitter, Vine, and Instagram to name a few), despite their being a billion people watching digital video, only 9% of small businesses use digital video.

The gold rush is on and the people who could most benefit from digital video aren’t using it. Can you say cha-ching??

Are you still reading this? Have you not exited that stupid meeting you’re in? Think about the Law of Diffusion of Innovation.

I penned this article 3 years ago after watching a video by Simon Sinek.

There’s that irony again. Yeah I watched an amazing video and I WROTE an article about it. Hello??? McFly??? Well, it only took me three years to truly understand what Simon was saying.

If you don’t understand what the Law of Diffusion of Innovation says, perhaps this picture can explain it for you.

Here’s a pop quiz. Where do you want to be on that bell curve in regards to digital video? I personally am going to make sure that I’m on the front end. Luckily, there’s so much opportunity.

So much so that this will be my last article for quite some time. Digital video is slated to account for 85% of ALL Internet traffic by 2019. With 67% of advertisers saying that original digital video will rival television programming, you can see the massive opportunity you have to capitalize on.

Why would I waste my time writing articles about stuff that everyone else has already written? Seriously, there can only be so many ways to describe the Top 10 Ways To  ________.

You can fill in the blank. Then search for it, and you’ll probably see tons of articles all saying the same thing. Boring!

Producing Social Video Content

Producing social video content isn’t hard. Much to the contrary it’s a lot of fun and the impact is immediate. Just think, the average length of the most watched videos on YouTube are just 30 to 120 seconds. If you’re still reading this then you must know that it took you longer to read this than watching a 2 minute video.

Heck…it took me longer to write this than it takes me to produce a 30 second digital video!

So, I’m off to my studio, otherwise known as my car…or maybe I’ll go to the beach, I’m not quite sure yet. Maybe I’ll just turn the camera on while I’m here at my desk. Doesn’t matter. All that really matters is that I step away from this keyboard and get going creating some digital video.

Social media has forever changed. I almost forgot. I have to go over to my LinkedIn profile and change my description. Social media guy no more. I’m a Digital Video Marketing Evangelist.

I’m ready for my close-up Mr. Demille. Are you?

Oh…and by the way, the only reason that I labored thru this 1,700 word missive is because of the aforementioned synergy between the networks and digital video. It isn’t a statement on irony.

Hopefully, one day soon, you’ll understand the reason I needed to write this article.

Here’s wishing you well in your digital video exploits!

Barry Cunningham

Author Barry Cunningham

Barry Cunningham is an antagonist of conventional wisdom. Check out our case studies. They will give you an idea how we help brands & businesses amplify their conversion and lead gen campaigns by deploying digital advertising campaigns at scale. And I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter.

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