We get it; you don’t have a facecam in your videos, or a Tweeter or a Facepage or whatever it’s called because that’s lame and no one does that anymore…
…except literally everyone does this and you need to get on the promotional train with them. Social media is the most useful promotional tool for YouTube channels – both small and large alike. You can promote your published content, tease upcoming content, and share things that you find interesting with your fans, all at the simple click of a button or two. This is why social media is so powerful; it provides you with an instant (and free) way to nurture and grow your channel’s impact.
“This is why social media is so powerful;
it provides you with an instant (and free)
way to nurture and grow your channel’s impact.”
Now, there are definitely major players in the social media world, and you need to make sure you use all of their tools to get your name and content out there. There are specific methods for successful promotion on each social media platform, and no two platforms are alike. It is imperative to know how to use each one, or else you’ll just end up disrupting people’s social media flow.
The Twitter of Twitter
We’ll kick off with the biggest and best for self-promotion – Twitter. If you don’t have a Twitter account, and you have a YouTube channel, you need to stop reading right now and go sign up. Seriously, we’ll wait.
Okay, good. Welcome to the wonderful world of 140 characters to describe your style. It may not seem like a ton of space, but with the right wording, you can really say quite a bit in such a small package.
When crafting a tweet you should follow certain guidelines that will make it engaging, easy to read, and easy to share. We have found that including a picture, instead of just text, definitely helps. When you attach a YouTube video link to your tweet, that tweet will show the thumbnail you have selected for that video as the “picture preview”. Be sure you have an appropriate thumbnail chosen so that it captures your intended audience.
The first thing a social media user’s eyes are drawn to is a picture, so it is very important to choose one that portrays your channel properly, but one that is not so muddled with information that it loses it’s purpose. Think less text overlay, more bright colors and action. The simpler, the better. Let the tweet text/hashtags do the talking, and the picture do the initial eye-catching.
“Let the tweet text/hashtags do the talking,
and the picture do the initial eye-catching.”
Speaking of hashtags, these can really be used to your advantage. Include the proper hashtags with your tweet, but no more than THREE. Studies show that most Twitter users do not enjoy seeing a tweet entirely of hashtags or text, and they will just skip right over it.
Think of hashtags on Twitter like tags on YouTube ; you can use these hashtags to grab people from outside of your initial audience. Include the hashtags #minecraft and #pixelmon in your tweet, and everyone on Twitter looking for Pixelmon or Minecraft will have your tweet come up in their search. With great power comes great responsibility, though, and you should only use a maximum of three hashtags per tweet (as opposed to YouTube videos which you should just tag the bejesus out of).
But what if your tweet is too long for 140 characters? We’ve found the best way to pare down a tweet is to write out everything you want to say initially, then condense the words and phrases you use to fit your character limit. Some examples for you are shortening “and” to “&”, using smaller words in exchange for longer words, using “b” or “u” for “be” or “you”, or converting words to numbers. We recommend using these kinds of shortenings sparingly though, lest your tweet look like a text from a tween girl. The easier a tweet is to read, the easier people will be able to engage with it.
How often should you tweet? The most successful Twitter accounts tweet an average of once per hour, during the hours that their particular fans would be up (base this on your own time zone). On average there are about 9 tweets per day (one for each “working hour”), but some accounts do engage more than that. Just try to keep it from being spammy, honestly.
The Book of Many Faces
We know what you’re thinking. You only use Facebook to stay in touch with your family and high school friends and it’s not really that great for social promotion. You could not be more wrong. Facebook has the highest amount of promotional power to offer because it’s got the most users. They have also recently been taking a ton of steps to make Facebook more relevant in the promotional area for YouTube video content, and you need to take advantage of it.
First off, on Facebook you have the ability to create a page for your YouTube channel and start branding it right away. This is an excellent resource for people who may not have the ability to set up a personal website, or just don’t have the time/money to invest in one at that point in time. You can create branding and start getting fans to “Like” your page. These fans will, in turn, see your content and promote you to their friends via shares. It’s so flippin’ easy to share content you like on Facebook to all of your friends, because of pages, that YouTube creators are starting to adopt it again.
How is it so easy for fans to share video on Facebook ? Because Facebook has also developed it’s own video player, which has had a huge impact on how YouTubers promote their video content on Facebook . All you have to do is upload your video to Facebook and others can share it to the potential billions of eyeballs that are on the social media platform. Facebook is pushing to be the leading place where video content creators upload their videos so, if you have a YouTube channel, you need to be paying attention to this and adopting it. Or at least until it either succeeds or fails (we’re calling success).
“All you have to do is upload your video to Facebook
and others can share it to the potential
billions of eyeballs that are on the social media platform.”
You can also access an excellent analytics program on Facebook and use it to gauge how much of an impact certain things are having on your social spread. Want to see how that recently uploaded video did with your fans? Check out dem sexy analytics for some numbers that will tell you how well the video did. You can use this data to figure out what your Facebook audience likes and dislikes, then plan your content accordingly.
How often should you post? Most studies show that posting more than 2-3 times per day will feel like spam to the end-user, so try to keep your posting within those parameters on Facebook.
A Gaggle of Google+
Oh man, Google+. Okay, so hear us out. Granted, this platform seems practically non-existent to the untrained eye, but to those of us looking to grow our YouTube channels, Google+ represents a different demographics of viewers. At first, YouTubers were reluctant to have the social media platform forced upon them, but as more and more adopted it, they saw there was actually untapped potential. And Google is still working to make it worth content creators time.
So what makes it different from other social media platforms? Google+ can connect every aspect of a person’s life to their Google+ account, from their most recent Google searches, to the places they have been to last, to the content that they are watching right now on YouTube . While this may seem creepy (and a bit Big Brother-y), you can use this information to your advantage. Everyone uses Google, and Google+ just aggregates that information for marketing use. This means they know what kind of content people like, and can market that content directly to them.
Facebook can, and does, do this but Facebook doesn’t have a world famous search engine through which to gather data. This is what makes Google+ at least worth promoting on for YouTube content creators – when someone’s watching content that’s similar to yours, Google+ will point them in the direction of that content.
You can also post your YouTube videos and comments directly to your Google+ page! But be wary, these do count as posts, so don’t get spammy, kid.
“…when someone’s watching content
that’s similar to yours,
Google+ will point them in the direction of that content.”
How often should you post? Same rules as Facebook apply here. Only post 2-3 times a day, or you may start pushing into annoying territory for fans.
The Image of Instagram
This one’s really here because it’s just smart to have this in your arsenal along with the rest of the gang. Instagram is a social media platform that employs mobile content creation, but in the form of pictures instead of video. You can only upload from your phone, however, and this limits the capability of this app for video content creators.
We recommend using this social media app in a more community building sense. Let your fans see a glimpse into your personal life with Instagram by taking photos of your everyday activities, adding a filter, and posting them. Fans will love the bite-sized content and the “peek” into their favorite YouTuber’s life.
You can also use hashtags to promote your pictures. The rules for hashtags here are different than those of YouTube . On Instagram, use hashtags often, just make sure they are relevant to the photo.
How often should you post? Same rules as Twitter here. About once per hour to prevent being annoying.
Vodding on Vine
Vine‘s a tough one because you have to create content on top of your YouTube content for this to be effective, but if you can pull it off, people will flock to you like moths to a flame.
Basically, Vine is used to create and share bite-sized pieces of content (videos no longer than 6 seconds) with your Twitter and Facebook followers. Since this platform is, in essence, locked to Facebook and Twitter , it’s not as useful as other platforms. It does, however, present YouTube content creators with an interesting way to promote their content to their audience.
You can show a sneak peek of some upcoming content, or re-cap a previous video in a hilarious way. There’s tons of different ways to use Vine as a promotional tool for your channel – it’s just a matter of how much time it takes away from your other content creation.
How often should you post? Since this platform is potentially tied to your Facebook and Twitter, we would recommend posting “vines” twice a day maximum, so as not to post too much on Facebook . If you want to post more than that, remember to un-check your Facebook account when you share.
Words of Wisdom
There are tons of other social media platforms out there, but these are what we like to call situational social media platforms. Pinterest, Linkdin, Tumblr, and anything that isn’t necessarily useful for all YouTube content creators fit into this category. We recommend using these only if they are relevant to your channel. A cosplay channel would get a ton of use from Pinterest and Tumblr, but a hardcore gaming channel would not.
Other programs to be aware of are programs you can use to sync up all of your social media accounts. Programs like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social are invaluable when creating social media promotional content on the fly. You can post to all of your social media accounts with one click, giving you more time to work on your YouTube content. But be warned – if your Instagram is synced up to post on your Twitter and Facebook , and your Twitter is also synced to post on your Facebook, posting to Instagram will double post to your Facebook page. This is something you will need to keep track of in order to prevent double posting and spam.
“Programs like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social
are invaluable when creating
social media promotional content on the fly.”
Oh, and avoid anonymous social media. Stuff like YikYak, Snapchat, Whisper, Secret, and other social media places where you post anonymously are worthless when it comes to marketing. Feel free to enjoy these on your own time, but don’t expect them to help your channel grow.
Social media can be a hard concept to master, but everyone single YouTube content creator needs to be aware of how it works and how to make it work for them. Heed these basic guidelines, and you are well on your way to becoming a social media guru.