YouTube is one of the most powerful social networks in the world. The platform allows you to share your ideas through video and interact with a potentially enormous audience. But simply posting a video on YouTube does not guarantee an audience.
It’s extremely important for YouTube content creators to leverage other social platforms like Facebook and Twitter to cultivate their brand as a creator. Marry the top three social platforms together – YouTube, Facebook, Twitter – and your brand will reach the world.
As a social media strategist at Fullscreen and a fellow YouTuber, I’m constantly inspired by creative and successful practices of social media by other creators. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen many bad practices from creators. Some don’t leverage social media at all, completely missing out on a valuable opportunity.
Are you fully taking advantage of social media? Here are 10 quick best practices on Facebook and Twitter that will help engage your followers and ultimately build a stronger YouTube audience.
1. Ask for retweets on Twitter (RTs). Keep in mind that prolific social media users love helping out others in the community. Try asking your followers to help you RT a tweet. RTs not only help spread awareness about whatever your latest news or video is, but it also introduces your name to an audience who doesn’t know you already. The more creative or humorous you are in your request for a RT, the more compelled others will be to RT to their audience.
2. Conduct Twitter Q&A’s sessions. Invite followers to tweet you questions using a designated hashtag (e.g. #FullscreenQandA). This is a great way for your audience to get to know you more and directly interact with you. While you’re conducting the session, be sure to retweet good questions so your followers tuning in late see that you’re having a Q&A. Reply to questions using the designated hashtag before the questioner’s twitter handle so the reply shows up in your followers’ feeds. (See picture)
3. Use less than 100 characters on Twitter when possible. Short-and-sweet is always best. The shorter you can make a tweet while keeping it entertaining, the better your chances of engagement will be.
4. Always include pictures, videos and links. Take every opportunity to equip your short tweets with fun and clever visuals and links.
5. Participate in trending hashtags. Gain wider audience exposure by including trending hashtags in your tweets. Here is an example of how to creatively tie in a trending hashtag to your YouTube channel, brand or personality.
6. Include a visual in virtually EVERY Facebook post. Probably the most regretful mistake I see YouTubers make on Facebook is not giving their Facebook posts a strong visual impact. Make all of your Facebook posts eye-catching by equipping them with a picture to go along with the video, announcement, news or anything else you’re sharing. Facebook posts with pictures trend significantly better and have higher audience reach than posts with only text or embedded videos.
7. Ask your Facebook audience to fill-in-the-blank. Ensure your posts trend successfully on Facebook by encouraging comments and likes. One way to do this is by asking your audience open-ended questions that invite them to insert their opinion or vote via a comment.
8. Hold Facebook caption contests. Another way to encourage comments is by holding caption contests. Post a compelling, action-driven or humorous screenshot of one of your videos and ask your audience to provide a caption. Reward the winner of your favorite comment with a small give-away or shout-out.
9. Poll your audience with Facebook’s “Question” feature. Facebook offers a feature that allows you to pose a question and offer multiple-choice answers for your audience to select. Your audience can even add their own answers. This is a fantastic way to encourage your audience to engage with your post. You can also learn a lot about what your audience is looking for if you ask strategic questions (e.g. “Who do you want to me to collaborate with?” or “What type of song should I cover next?”) and get helpful responses.
10. Post a balance of controversial posts and uniting posts. Remember that while holding open-ended discussion on controversial topics encourages lively discussion, posting general opinions that unite the entire population (e.g. funny memes about how “Mondays suck” and “Fridays rule!”) can also be just as effective. It is helpful to have a healthy balance of both. Taking part in current pop culture water-cooler conversations also keeps your content fresh and relevant on an ongoing basis.
Hopefully these tips will help you continue to build your brand outside of YouTube and find better engagement with your audience. Remember, frequency is important! Keep your brand on the top of your audience’s mind by consistently interacting with them. To see examples of these tips every day and connect with us, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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