SOCIAL MEDIA: Why YouTube is good for business

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YouTube celebrated its 10th birthday on February 14 – 10 years which have seen it go from strength to strength.

Started by three former PayPal employees in 2005, it became one of the fastest growing sites on the internet and, in November 2006, was bought by Google, which still owns it.

With so many different choices of social media networks to market your business, YouTube (and other similar video sharing sites) can sometimes be forgotten. However, YouTube is the second largest social media site after Facebook so should be included as part of your overall social media plan.

Video provides an excellent opportunity to visually show off your brand and products or services and to connect with existing and potential customers. Many people would prefer to watch a video now instead of trying to follow a large amount of written information. It is particularly good if you are trying to explain how to do something.

More consumers are now spending time online instead of watching TV, so the popularity of watching videos online is growing exponentially. This makes YouTube’s statistics rather impressive:

- More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month

- Over 6.25 billion hours of video are watched each month – that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth!

- 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute

- 80% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US

- Mobile makes up almost 40% of YouTube’s global watch time

- YouTube mobile gets over 600 million views a day

- YouTube is localised in 61 countries and across 61 languages

- According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults aged 18-34 than any cable network

- Millions of subscriptions happen each day. The number of daily subscriptions is up more than four times since last year.

Source: YouTube Official Statistics

TOP FIVE REASONS TO USE YOUTUBE

1. Creating original video content improves your search engine optimisation – how often your business is found on the web. Video is regularly shared via social media and email so Google and other search engines tend to favour sites that offer it.

2. Video content is a powerful branding tool as it allows for you to capture emotions and visual features that can leave a lasting impression or make it easier to understand your product or service.

3. It has huge potential to get your message in front of a wide audience as video is a highly shareable format. How many cute cat videos have you seen?

4. Video content can be quite easy and inexpensive to produce. Depending on how you want your brand to be perceived, it can be easy to produce original, engaging and useful video content on a relatively small budget either through a professional videographer or by doing it yourself. Many videos that have gone viral on YouTube have been produced using a webcam or camera phone.

5. Video plays better on mobile devices. As more people access social media and the web through mobile devices, all smartphones and other tablets have been optimised for playing video content.

It doesn’t have to be you on the video as you can use stills or cartoons and record a voice over but it is worth trying.

Recording videos is next on my list of things to do as I believe it will significantly help differentiate my business from competitors but also help my Google ranking. I’ll let you know how I get on.

BREAKING NEWS

Twitter

Twitter is testing an ‘instant timeline’ feature that would give new users great content pulled from the social network without going through the traditional setup process.

Google shows tweets in real time search: Tweets will start to be visible in Google’s search results as soon as they’re posted, after a deal giving Google access to Twitter’s stream of data.

Facebook

More new features for Facebook, this time Facebook’s For Sale Groups will have improved features for buying and selling. For Sale Group members can now choose the Sell feature when creating a post. You can add a description to what you’re selling, include a price and set a pick-up/delivery location.

Also, a new feature called Place Tips. According to Facebook, Place Tips will show you fun, useful and relevant information about the place where you are. Tapping on place tips won’t post on Facebook or show anyone where you are.

Two new social media apps:

Kanvas – A photo sharing app that allows you to make your own GIFs, flipbooks and more on your mobile device.

Nutshell Camera – An app that turns photos into a short ‘movie’ sequence.