YouTube shouldn’t be viewed solely as a video publication platform.
It should be just as socially driven as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or any other social media network.
Yes, the staggering amount of content that is consumed on YouTube is a major reason why businesses and brands are drawn to the platform, but there are tactics that can be employed to make it a much more social experience for your audience. And this, in turn, should yield much better results for your business.
Here are a few ideas for amping up sociability on your business’ YouTube Channel:
Tell your audience what you want them to do
Each of the videos you upload should include a call to action (CTA). Let the subject matter of your video, and the context in which you believe your audience will be consuming each video guide your decisions about what the CTA should be.
Do you want them to leave their thoughts? Give you an idea for a future video? Visit your website? Subscribe to your channel? Read more details on your blog? Share with their friends?
Whatever you want them to do, they’ll be more likely to do it if you give them a bit of encouragement and direction with a clear CTA.
Get involved in the comments
I find YouTube comments to be a tremendously underutilized tool for businesses on the platform, many virtually ignoring their existence.
Don’t be one of these businesses. Be sure to interact with your audience within the comment sections of your videos by answering their questions, providing additional information if needed, encouraging healthy discussion, and more. You know what comments are for, so use them.
Encourage commenters with a thumbs-up
It may not be possible to reply to every single comment left on your videos, nor would it necessarily be advisable, but you can use ‘likes’ on individual comments to acknowledge valuable contributions to the community, and encourage future sociability.
Create videos that are directly influenced by your community
The main show on YouTube is the video content, so tap your audience’s interaction with your business – in the comments, on other social media networks, in-store, via email, phone, fax, or carrier pigeon – as inspiration for future videos.
This is a surefire way to create content your audience will see value in, see you through droughts of creativity (not that it ever happens), and will give you a great opportunity to influence those individuals you drew inspiration from.
YouTube should be seen as an opportunity to have a healthy two-way dialogue with your audience, not simply a platform to host your online video content.
So, find every opportunity you can to do just that; think about how you can encourage interaction amongst your audience, sustain conversations, provide added value, and incite future sociability on the platform.
How do you interact with your business’ audience on YouTube?
What do you do to encourage sociability?
Do you know of any businesses that are doing a great job in this area?
If you have anything to add to this, questions to ask, or just want to chat, it would be great to do so in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial