Creating Strategies for Social Media IV – YouTube

For this fourth article, I’ll be talking about the most popular Internet video platform in the world: YouTube. But before I start, let me explain why I believe YouTube is a social network, as many people only see it as a video distribution platform. First and foremost, YouTube allows the publication of user generated content (users and companies). In fact, this is the main idea of YouTube, a characteristic shared with other social networks. Also, since users can share others users’ content and comment on them, this emphasizes the idea of YouTube being a social network.

YouTube is neither for everybody nor for every company. You have to understand if this site is right for your needs and if it fits with your physical and Internet strategy. To illustrate this, let me share with you a short example.

Imagine you’re the CEO of a traditional and conservative company. You want to reach a new and younger audience and you’ve seen how other companies have created funny videos and published them in YouTube. You hire a video producing company to create a similar video and upload it to YouTube. The video is very funny and receives attention, however some of your more traditional clients get upset by this, as they believe this doesn’t represent the core values of the company.

The mistake in this approach was not using YouTube, but using funny videos, something that didn’t represent the company correctly. This is not a far-fetched example, as this might work for certain companies (for instance, beverages companies), but maybe not so good for traditional companies. Also, remember that to be noticed on Internet, there are other resources besides humor.

If you decide to conquer the YouTube space, your company has to create videos or have previously done videos. Not every company is up to this challenge. Please remember that videos don’t have to look professionally shoot, unless this goes against the values of your company. Most videos are currently not filmed nor edited by professionals, and most of the time this won’t matter. However, the story and what you’re showing should have a meaning and high value for your audience, as this is what will sell.

Finally, remember that YouTube is much more than a basic social network. You can use this platform to upload all your videos and use them throughout your websites. Plus, you can even earn money from you videos with Google’s advertisement platform. But remember not to infringe copyrighted material, as you must have authorization for the videos and music you use.

Image taken from Flickr.com

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