Online video is an inherently social medium. People are drawn to online video and web series because they can interact with the creators in ways that they can't on television. In this section, learn how to optimize the social amplification of your content.
Interact with Your Audience at Scale
Communities will happen with or without you on YouTube. You want to make sure you're the one leading the discussion in a fruitful direction.
Develop relationships with top contributors
- Respond to frequent commenters, and share insider news and updates with them.
- Respond to comments in the first few hours after you publish a video. These first commenters are your loyal community members.
Recognize your community
People love to be recognized. Wherever possible, include your community in your videos.
- Shout them out by name.
- Read their comments for the audience.
- Offer fan merchandise or exclusive content shared through unlisted videos.
Engage your community on and off YouTube
Do some research. Which social platforms is your community using? Jump into the conversation on those social networks.
Tip: Remember, good debates are a part of a healthy community; remove comments targeted at an individual or group.
YouTube offers a robust tool to channels with more than 1,000 subscribers: Top Fans.
Merge your Google+ page with your YouTube channel, and then use the Insights feature or the Fans feature to learn about and connect with your fans.
Insights enables you to share content quickly and privately with a circle of your most-engaged fans.
- Engage with your top fans first. Share pictures from your latest shoot, solicit advice, or share videos privately a day or two before they release.
- Upload privately to ensure that only your circle of top fans sees the video. Their comments will also be private.
- Promote and host private Hangouts with your top fans. Let fans know what you're up to in a face-to-face chat.
Insights: Who and what
Insights helps you understand who your audience is and what they're doing on YouTube.
- Look at the demographics of your Top Fans. Are there any surprises?
- Do your fans consistently watch other creators? Reach out to those creators and collaborate.
The Fans section gives you granular information about your top fans. You'll see:
- A list of top fans (refreshed daily).
- A recent comment.
- The number of subscribers to their channel.
- An engagement score.
- The date they subscribed to your channel.
- You'll be able to message fans and/or add them to a circle on G+ as long as both your channel and theirs are connected to a G+ page.
Fans: Best practices
- Sort your top fans by their engagement scores. Who are your most engaged fans?
- Add new fans to your circle regularly.
- Scan recent comments from top fans. Click "comments" to reply to the comment on the video watch page.
- Send private messages via G+ or mention their channels in future videos.
- Sort fans by the number of their subscribers. Are some of your most engaged fans also YouTube creators? Collaborate with them!
Google+ Hangouts On Air
What are Google+ Hangouts On Air?
Conversations are better face-to-face. With Google+ Hangouts On Air, brands may start a multi-person video chat with up to ten people at once and broadcast it to thousands of other people live. After the broadcast, a full-length recording can be uploaded to your YouTube channel which you can share with fans and followers. Hangouts On Air make it easy to have personal conversations that bring brands closer to their target audience.
Innovative uses for Hangouts
- Gather testimonials. Bring together customers to share their positive experiences with your brand.
- Launch a product. Use Hangouts as a broadcast platform to launch a new product and have the team share its thoughts with media and fans.
- Spotlight a VIP. Introduce fans to their idols in a Hangout — they can even ask questions.
- Go behind the scenes. Give fans an inside look at how the magic is made.
Hangouts: Best practices
- Plan ahead! List talking points and choose participants.
- Spread the word with advance announcements and teasers.
- Set up the stage with wired Internet and good lighting, and plan one rehearsal.
- Broadcast your hangout on all your platforms. It will automatically display on your YouTube channel and Google+ page. It can be embedded on your Facebook page, Twitter feed and brand website.
- Promote an edited "best of" version to drive additional views after the Hangout On Air ends.
- Hangouts On Air can be a great tactic to launch a new channel, especially if you're able to leverage key talent and collaborator fan bases to get attention for this event.
Leverage All Marketing Channels
Don't limit your purview to YouTube. Many viewers will encounter your videos through social media, other websites and blogs. Cross-channel, device-agnostic campaigns are the key to social success.
Be ready to deliver the right message to the right consumer at the right time.
What works on Facebook might not work on Google+ and vice versa. The most innovative and effective brands use a variety of social networks to achieve different objectives.
- Facebook: Social graph connects users and facilitates video sharing.
- Twitter: Real-time feedback on YouTube videos. Hashtags tie videos to trends and events.
- YouTube: Unique storytelling medium to huge global audience. Second-largest search engine on the Internet.
- Google+: Enhancing audience segmentation. Driving engagement through Hangouts.
- Pinterest: Sharing & visibility of visual content. Creating curated lifestyle content.
The integration between Google+ and YouTube will amplify the social reach of your YouTube videos and offer a more streamlined Google experience. It enables a number of distribution and promotional benefits, including:
- Engage through syndicated content: Videos from your brand channel are simultaneously promoted across Google+ and YouTube, maximizing your content's visibility.
- YouTube tab on the Google+ page: Latest public uploads will automatically populate the YouTube tab of your Google+ Page.
- Top Fans: Linking your YouTube channel to your Google+ page unlocks the Top Fans feature, which gives you more information about your audience and more ways to engage with them.
- Live streaming through Google+ Hangouts On Air: Your channel will be enabled for free live streaming through Google+ Hangouts on Air.
- Google+ sharing features enabled on YouTube: Uploads can be auto-shared to Google+ publicly or privately to specific circles.
- Multi-user channel management: If a channel is linked to a Google+ page, then multiple people can manage the channel without sharing passwords. Managers of the YouTube channel must be listed as a manager of the linked Google+ page.
- Define your community and give fans a reason to keep coming back for more videos.
- Develop relationships with your top fans - respond to their comments and recognize them in your videos.
- Spur conversations within your community. Know that healthy debate is a sign of a strong community.
- Use multiple social media platforms to find and engage your audience.
- Use Google+ to learn more about your top fans and treat them to exclusive experiences.