Monday, April 16, 2012

Social Media Corner: YouTube

Social media is about engagement and one of the easiest ways to engage a visitor to your website, Facebook page or other social platform is through visuals and/or videos. This month, we're going to talk about YouTube

By Samantha Scott, APR

Officially the second largest or most frequently used search engine, YouTube is used by millions of people every day around the world. The premise is simple - create a video about yourself, your life, your business or anything you want and you can share it with the world by posting it on YouTube. Businesses can take advantage of this by promoting their brand, providing useful how-to demonstrations and more.

It's also another opportunity for branding. Users can create custom backgrounds, user icons and usernames "owning" the space for their company. YouTube isn't one demential either. You can embed YouTube videos into websites, share them on Facebook pages, share links to the video on Twitter, in emails and LinkedIn.

An alternative use would be for internal, company videos. For example, employee training videos could be loaded privately on YouTube with the URL given only to intended viewers. It works as an FTP and video player in one, in that capacity. 

Measurement is also a key asset of YouTube. Their analytics recently upgraded after being purchased by Google. Only visible to the channel owner, the data YouTube provides allows users to determine how the visitor found the video or your channel (via keywords) and how much of the video they watched. Did you have a 3 minute video where users we're clicking away after a minute? You may want to consider changing the format. It can also indicate which video of all those shared is the most popular.

The bottom line is, YouTube can be a very effective communication channel. It should be used to make your business become a value-added resource by sharing knowledge and to position yourself/your company as an expert of someone/a company to rely on.


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