3 YouTube Social Features That Help Businesses and Brands
We are in the middle of a social media revolution. Information is being shared at a rate never before seen in history, and one of the next major growth areas will be video.
By incorporating some of the social features found on YouTube, you’ll expose your business and your brand to hundreds of millions of potential customers who may be reaching out for your content. YouTube has several ways to interact with other social networks built in, and it has some social features of your own.
Here are just a few that can help you get a leg up.
1. Activity Sharing
Sharing is something almost all social networks have in common. People not only want to connect with their friends and contacts, they also want to share compelling content that they find online. And what could be more compelling to share online than a great video?
YouTube allows you to inform your various social networks whenever you perform a variety of actions. For example, you can post a status update to Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, Orkut and MySpace whenever you upload a video, comment on one, or subscribe to a YouTube channel.
Of course, it’s advisable to share other activities, such as when you comment on other subscribers’ videos, to avoid being perceived as simply a self promoter. Do you remember the old adage, “To have a friend, you first have to be a friend”? In the case of online video sharing, the same basic rule applies; to get your business videos shared across the Internet, you have to be prepared to share other people’s videos as well.
To access the Activity Sharing features in YouTube, log in to your account, and click on your channel name in the top-right corne. Then click “Settings,” then “Activity Sharing.” You’ll see a set of activities and social networks that you can update for a variety of actions.
Choose the settings that are most appropriate and click the “Save Changes” button at the bottom to update your YouTube account.
2. Comment on Other Videos
Expanding on the idea that you must give in order to receive, one of the best ways to get your video content viewed is to add a comment to other people’s YouTube videos. Every comment you make automatically includes a link to your YouTube channel. If your comment is compelling then other viewers may click the link to your channel where they can access all of your videos, your YouTube channel bio, and other stuff.
You can start by simply adding comments to any YouTube video you happen to like. Avoid the clichéd “Great video!” comment, though. Try and add some value in your comment by addressing the content of the video, or even asking a question to encourage a discussion.
After you get the hang of video commenting, you can get more strategic by commenting on videos that are related to your industry, or commenting on popular or trending videos. If you really want to stand out from the crowd, you can even add a video comment — either by recording live from a webcam, or attaching a video from your own YouTube channel.
To add a comment, simply click in the empty box underneath the words “All Comments” on the YouTube video of your choice. Type your comment and click the “Post” button, or click the “Create a video response” link to make a video comment instead. To avoid comment spam, YouTube does not allow you to add hyperlinks in the comment section.
3. Social Search
There’s a buzz around social search — search engines taking into consideration how content is shared on social networks in order to determine its relevancy to your search. Google, the world’s most frequented search engine, currently allows you select the subcategory “Videos” for any search you perform.
Google displays videos when they are available, using a variety of factors to determine the order in which the videos get listed in the search results. If your business video has a high number of views or if the video is getting shared around your social networks it can help your video get a higher search engine ranking. That results in more people viewing your video. Google may even display your video in the “organic” search results, which means a searcher will see the video without having to click the “Videos” subcategory. This exposes your video to an even larger potential audience.
It also just so happens that Google owns YouTube. So, it’s possible that Google gives preferential treatment to videos that reside on its own networks. It’s also likely to incorporate even more ways for your YouTube videos to be seen, through new social applications like the Google +1 button and the Google+ social network.
What social features of YouTube have you found to be most useful to your business? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image Credits: ...-Wink-..., alphadesigner, johnscotthaydon, Thomas Hawk]