With all the press and buzz about Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks, one site not commonly known as a social networking site has emerged as just that. With recent social features (and new ones coming with regularity) YouTube is quickly positioning itself as the respected social site for small business. Read on and discover 5 reasons why it should be a part of your small business social marketing strategy.
No Videos Required
The thought of having an account at YouTube (and a channel) is scary for many, even intimidating. Good news, you don’t have to produce your own videos to have an active social experience on YouTube. Indeed you should eventually overcome your fears and publish videos so you can connect with your market, but you don’t have to start there.
A few things that you can do without producing video content of your own:
- Commenting (on others videos, or channels)
- Sharing (more on that later)
- Creating playlists of your favorite YouTube videos
- Rate videos (1-5 stars)
- Favorite Videos (another playlist)
Haven’t set up an account on YouTube? It’s easy to set up a YouTube account here .
Share Valuable Content
For those who are familiar with the various sharing options found on many blogs and social networking sites, you’ll be glad to know that YouTube has this function as well. YouTube users can now share a video using one of the popular social networking sites (including Twitter), it also can be sent to one of your YouTube friends, or emailed.
YouTube also allows you to embed video content for a single video, a playlist, or a channel.
Social Activities Update Feeds
While not comprehensive as Facebook or other feed activity updates, with the release of realtime updates, YouTube seems to be trending in that direction. The fact that this feature has been introduced along with other recent enhancements, there may be other activities will be streamed out as well. Here is a screenshot of activities you can share:
Understand Your Video’s Effectiveness
One of the challenges with social media sites, is the difficulty in measuring the effectiveness of your social activity. Understanding how your market responds to your content can help small business video publishers provide relevant content to grow their business and increase sales. Besides getting feedback from video ratings and user comments, there’s Insight Statistics and Data.
- Insight: YouTube’s reporting function helps you understand views, viewer demographics, popularity, and community.
- Community: The community tab of Insight reports on how other YouTube users are interacting with your video contents in the form of rating, comments, and favoriting. Used properly, this information can drive future content you publish, making it more relevant and targeted.
- Hot Spots: The Hot Spots feature is available on a per video basis, and helps you understand the attention your video has at any point, compared to videos of similar length. Learn where you are loosing interest, and make appropriate adjustments in future videos.
No other social networking site provides this kind of data for free. Let’s hope they continue to build on these useful reporting features.
Active YouTube users generate interest in their profile (Channel) page, and this generates traffic to their website (supposing you are naturally peppering links in your channel and video descriptions).
Some Numbers: While Google remains the number one traffic generator for my site, traffic coming from YouTube users are joining my site for access a special report at 357% the rate of those coming straight from Google search, as the second highest conversion source (Twitter is #1).
What this tells me, is that having YouTube as a part of a social marketing strategy is not only valuable, but serves as a very important source of website traffic that converts (opts-in).
If you’ve ever seriously considered having an active YouTube account, but were concerned with all the time it takes to make videos, the newer YouTube social features of commenting, rating, favoriting, and sharing means you can get started right away without creating your own videos.
When you do start producing videos not only can you build rapport with your market by offering valuable information, but you can drive more qualified traffic to your site, while tracking the effectiveness of the videos with YouTube Insights.
Utilized in this way, YouTube should be an integral part of any small business social marketing strategy. Haven’t setup an account on YouTube? If you haven’t done so, you can sign up for YouTube here  (and if you want some YouTube connections to get started, friend me, if you like).
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About the Author: With 15 years of consulting experience, Travis Campbell is helping clients make the most of their online presence through effective strategy and marketing automation solutions, he also operates the site www.MarketingProfessor.com