How to Use YouTube for Social Media Engagement
The Grand Poobah of online video is undoubtedly YouTube, a social media giant. The latest statistics on its website state that more than 800 million unique users visit YouTube every month and watch more than 4 billion hours of video. Users upload 72 hours of video to YouTube every minute.
In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views, or around 140 views for every person on Earth. And on and on it goes.
This list describes several winning features that make YouTube useful for SME:
It's free. You can't beat free for hosting video files online, especially when files can be large and cumbersome.
It attracts numbers. The sheer volume of members and viewers makes YouTube a natural choice for video hosting and engagement.
It benefits from search engine optimization (SEO). The added benefit of how YouTube videos show up in Google searches makes your videos hosted there potentially much more accessible.
It has tools that are easy to use. Editing and embedding video can seem complicated until you use basic tools such as the ones offered on YouTube.
It has a number of community features. YouTube incorporates engagement features into its site and video player, including the ability for anyone to Like, comment on, embed, e-mail, and share videos (as long as they're signed into their Google account). The site also offers a video commenting option.
It offers advertising options. YouTube offers a number of paid advertising options to give your videos a boost and exposure to more people for potential engagement.
YouTube isn't the only free video-hosting site on the block. Vimeo, for example, offers a free membership level and provides good-quality video playback and an elegant video player. If you're looking for the highest number of eyeballs on your video message — and potentially the highest number of interactions and shares for your video — YouTube is undeniably the right tool.
YouTube is considered the second-largest search engine in the world. (Google is first.) It doesn't hurt that Google owns YouTube. Your videos on YouTube may therefore have a better chance of visibility than if they're hosted on other video sites.