Social media, if used properly, can be a very powerful tool. It can reach new viewers, revive your old videos, and maybe even make your content go viral. But before we start, let’s look at the social media strategies that aren’t working. We’ll get to what works later, down to the strategies for each section.
3 strategies that don’t work
- Rely on automation only. You can easily run a social media account for your channel by letting a bot automatically post your updates. Most do that with IFTTT. However, doing this won’t help you grow your YouTube channel, because a Twitter feed that only posts your videos every few days is just boring. While this is of use to people who for some reason prefer to be notified by Twitter, it is just annoying spam for everyone else. In addition, you won’t reach any new viewers with it.
- Answer everything and everyone. Social media is great for getting in touch with people, but it’s also easy to get distracted with. If you start chatting with people all day, you may find new followers or even friends – but these people are not automatically interested in your videos. So this strategy is not only very inefficient, but also makes you procrastinate working on your videos.
- Apply yourself on Reddit, Discord and in Facebook groups. This applies in particular to channels and communities that are aimed at creators and self-expression. Essentially, you will not only not reach a new audience, but only other creators who want to share their content themselves. It’s like a plumber asking around at the World Plumbing Conference to see if anyone wants a leak fixed. It’s just pointless. But it is possible to promote your content in places with the right people. However, finding these places is a little harder than just finding the right community to share your videos with. We’ll make a section about it:
Promote your videos in Reddit / Discord / Facebook Communities
As mentioned above, you shouldn’t share your videos in self-promotion communities. But where then? The answer is probably as simple as it is obvious: In communities that are about your content. If you do beauty content, share your videos in beauty tip communities. Outdoor content probably fits well in outdoor, nature, or even fitness communities, or communities about the places you’ve been to.
Apart from the fact that these communities are fantastic places for self-application, they are also the place for you to find inspiration and cooperation partners. Maybe someone is talking about an insider tip that otherwise only locals know. You may find people who do great text analysis that you can use as the basis for a video. And maybe it’s just a pleasant community that you enjoy being in.
If you keep an eye out for communities you will find ones with millions of members to some with just a few dozen members. In all of which parts is fair. More members mean more potential new viewers, but at the same time less focus on the individual and more competition. For example, if you share a video about a particular shoe brand in a general shoe community and in a community about that particular brand, it may be that the market-specific community gets a lot more views, even if the brand community is smaller in size.
… but it’s not always that simple
Say you have a video about a game, you might go to a subreddit and a discord channel that goes about that game – and you quickly notice that your video is being ignored, downvoted to Hell, or worse, deleted by a moderator. What happened? The problem is two-sided:
On the one hand, maybe that’s just something this community sees every day. Especially in the video game genre, unless you make a particular series of videos about that game, dozens of others are already doing it. That makes you less visible and also less interesting. That can still happen if you only show the highlights: By and large, the highlights may just not be particularly interesting.
On the other hand, the viewers you share your video with may be different from the community. For example: If you have a math video on which you first explain the necessary basics before you get to the actual resolution, the community of math professionals will probably not be interested in it. Just because it’s too easy.
I can’t really offer you a solution to the first problem. If your content isn’t interesting enough for the community, there’s not much you can do about it. Some content is simply not easily divisible, personal VLog for example. That doesn’t directly mean that you have to change your format. Hub content (or anything that is primarily optimized for subscribers according to the SEE-NTS model) is very helpful in making your subscribers happy, so that subscribers become fans. You just won’t reach a lot of new people with it.
There is a solution for the second problem that applies not only to communities, but to social media in general.
Create teasers for your content
Social media sites have noticed that images stand out more than links, so they’ll automatically show one as soon as you share a link. But what’s even better than pictures? Moving pictures! This means that if you share a video on platforms, you should perhaps post a small video clip or a GIF of the video.
There are a number of snippets that can be split:
- The part that is most relevant for the community: If your full video would not be clicked well in a community because viewers expect something that is only a small part of your video, share exactly this excerpt! This way you won’t lose any views, as the full video isn’t that appealing to the community anyway. This might not be super efficient, but you would be spreading your name (and maybe even backlinks for SEO purposes).
- Trailer. Just as trailers are made for films, you can also make a trailer for a YouTube video. A trailer should explain the premise of your video, a few excerpts that make it interesting as well as a few funny or memorable lines. In the context of a YouTube video, it could be an excerpt of how you laugh out loud at something. Or maybe something impressive that the viewer would like to understand in full context.
- The meme. This does not have to be a standard internet meme, you can also consciously make parts of your content meme-bar and pave the way for the creativity of your followers, who can use it to create memes that may spread.
- A concentrated, vague version. Something that would work on TikTok (or maybe even a separate YouTube channel for #shorts). It should make sense on its own, but maybe leave questions unanswered that the whole video can answer. For example: If you are doing a cell phone review, the use of a teaser in the style of “In this video we are talking about the cell phone with the best price-performance ratio, as long as you don’t mind the weaknesses in the display. Why? You’ll find out in the whole video that “might work well.
(there are other options, but before I get into that, let me give you some context)
Use social media properly
You probably know the rules for growing your YouTube channel: Publish content regularly, find your niche, optimize your content and so on. The same rules apply to social media. Because these rules are not necessarily YouTube rules, they are rules for your audience growth. You could even use them for TV shows! So of course they also work for social media.
This is where the point I left out earlier comes back into play:
- The heart of the content. Choosing this option is a little scary. You’re simply showing the main reason a potential viewer would want to watch your video. Doing this means that your full video becomes superfluous and no longer has to be watched, because this short excerpt has already satisfied all curiosity.
Promoting your YouTube channel with it would be a bad idea. You just give up on viewers, for what? Facebook likes? Well yeah The reason for doing this is to grow your social media presence. Not only when posting the right videos on your YouTube channel, but also by delivering valuable content to people who do not follow them.
And perhaps surprisingly: this is not a total waste of money. Your new followers might watch your content in the future, of course, but where it actually gets interesting are advertising deals. If you have a million YouTube subscribers but no real twitter / Facebook / Instagram presence, this shows companies that you may make good videos, but are not a good influencer. This is someone who makes others do (and buy) things. But if you have a lot of followers and a few viral posts that you can point out, you can use it to raise the prices for advertising deals significantly. While we’re talking about it, don’t sell yourself below your price!
You could use the “heart of your content” from older videos that aren’t getting too many views either way, instead of using newer videos.
Social Media Strategies
I’ve touched on a few of these before, but here are a few more to complete. This part is more “how to grow your Twitter account” related than YouTube, but if you are not familiar with it it may help:
- Use relevant (best: trends) hashtags, appropriate for the platform (a few on Twitter, more on Instagram).
- Post regularly
- Use automation when possible
- Share older content again when it becomes relevant again (certain dates, events, etc.)
- Interact with your audience and other creators in your niche
- Make every social media account valuable enough to be worth following.
Grow your brand, not just your channel
If you use the strategies listed above, you are probably already doing it. The point is, having a strong brand across social media will let you gain new viewers, get you better sponsorship, give you a backup in case one of your accounts gets banned, and yes, it will also help you grow your YouTube channel.
It’s a lot of work too. Don’t tear yourself and your community apart trying to use all social media platforms. If necessary, you can also hire people to help you so that you don’t have to do everything yourself, from production to analytics and marketing to social media management. We’re not social media managers, but we can help you in other ways. We are happy to advise you in the areas of content strategies, help with sponsorship deals, analyze your channel, and yes, also social media strategies. Even though I think you already know what we would tell you by and large if you read this far. Well, maybe we can help you in another way?