The BTUs of BTS*.

BTUs (British Thermal Units) are a measure of heat output. BTS stands for ‘behind the scenes,’ a style of social media post that pulls back the curtain on who you are and the way you do things. Put them together, and you’ve got a compelling case for adding such personal-brand-boosting content to your social media strategy.

Here’s just one example that was blowing up my social feeds this past week:


Talk about bringing the heat. Bruno Mars produces more BTUs per pound than anyone ever.


This ‘behind the scenes’ video from a rehearsal for his memorable 2018 Grammy’s performance is like crack for fans of Bruno, dance, music, and social media. I don’t know who took it or how, but am guessing it was one of his dance squad with a handheld smart phone. And the results are immediate, low (or no) cost, and in your face amazing. My respect for this bazillion-threat is without end.

The sheer power of BTS style stuff was hammered home this weekend when I took a few minutes to catch up on my Insta-feed. Anyone who’s read Spencer X. Smith’s and my book ROTOMA—The ROI of Social Media ‘Top of Mind’  knows that I’m a big fan of my friend Nicole Klein’s work, and her mastery of Instagram for her business. 


Photos like this have garnered her an international reputation in just a couple of years. That’s really cool, and covered in the book, but this post isn’t about that. It’s about this:


Two consecutive posts. Two distinctly different engagement averages.

Take a look at the likes. 



Pretty good. Around 1000 per post. 



But the BTS video with the crappy poster frame image above? That—times two. WTF?


I believe completely, and have been passionately preaching that video is the king of content online. But I’ve never seen the proof of my argument so concisely rendered. Two consecutive posts, with entirely different results. And those averages are bearing out in other posts of the same type.


And here’s the big thing: the still photos are creatively MUCH better composed, polished and delivered. So why does a ‘look at our backs’ frame shot from a video cause Nicole’s followers to click to see more, and then get them to like at a rate far superior to her better looking still posts?


In a word: *video. And an acronym: BTS.


If you follow Nicole, you’re highly likely to want to know how she gets such killer shots of newborns. The pictures themselves are fantastic, but one glance ‘got it.’ But a video that promises to reveal a little bit about her real-life personality or workflow? Yeah, that’s a video I’d like to see. 


You can’t judge a video by its poster frame.


The visual sophistication of today’s social media aficianado is such that things that used to matter (like production value and polish) just don’t as much anymore. YouTube’s taught us all one very important thing: Content quality trumps production quality every day of the week. If the subject matter is good, the video doesn’t have to be. Cool.


If video isn’t part of your social strategy, it is now.



Just one more example from this past week. Mike Booth of Enterprise Systems Group has been right at top of my LinkedIn feed pretty much all day. Why? He posted a self-produced video about ESG’s upcoming Taps and Technology event, and it appears the Gods of LinkedIn are rewarding him appropriately. The fact that he tore a page out of ROTOMA and tagged me in the post was undoubtedly the biggest factor, but even LinkedIn’s algorithm is clearly beginning to prioritize video content. And word on the street is that native video (that’s posted directly to the site, not just embedded but hosted elsewhere) is coming to LinkedIn soon.


Good job joining the ‘1% Creator’ class on social, Mike. It’s working.

– D.P. Knudten > Chief Collaborator > COLLABORATOR creative

©2018 D.P. Knudten / COLLABORATOR creative – all rights reserved



D.P. Knudten, the Chief Collaborator at COLLABORATOR creative, is a ~25-year veteran in advertising and marketing. Providing everything from highly personalized marketing consulting; custom copywriting; content marketing strategy, creation, execution; and his NonFiction Branding™ system, D.P. collaborates creatively to identify, craft, and communicate the true brand stories of complicated products, services, and companies, and shares his personal POV about all the above—and more—via speaking opportunities to groups throughout the U.S.


D.P. is also the co-author (with Spencer X. Smith) of ROTOMA—The ROI of Social Media ‘Top of Mind’ You can follow him online as @dpknudten just about everywhere.