Push & Plug Positively (Social Media Promotion)
“How do I get more views/subs?” That's a question that seems to pop up quite a lot. If only it were as easy as spamming links to our content and hoping for the best. The truth is, if you want your channel and content to get noticed then you have promote yourself effectively. This tutorial offers advice on using social media to get your channel noticed.
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Which social media platforms should I use?
Many of you will already have social media profiles and will likely be promoting your content on those. There are a lot of social media platforms out there, so it's really up to you to decide which ones to use. Some may be better than others, depending on the content that you're producing, so I recommend that you look at other channels with similar content to your own and see which social media platforms they're using to promote their videos.
Don't feel you have to set up loads of different social media profiles. It's likely that you're only going to access them a couple of times a week to promote your videos and, like your YouTube channel, if you're not regularly updating, people will lose interest and stop following you. It's best to stick with promoting your content on two or three profiles at the most. It'll also save you a ton of work (cross-promoting on multiple social media accounts can take ages!)
We all have access to You Tube Creator Studio, which lists a range of tools that we use to create and publish our videos. Near to the bottom of this list is a feature called “Analytics”, which records all kinds of information about our channels, such as the average amount of time that viewers watch our videos to the countries where our content in most viewed. All of this information is there to give us an idea of who our audience is and clues as to where, when and how to promote our content.
Have a look at your own Analytics page. The overview gives you a general idea of how things are going on your channel, and you can click on the individual graphics to get more in-depth information if you need it. The key data that you want to look at with regards to promotion is located at the bottom of the page. We also recommend using ICX's Analytics Tool (Free) for a visual breakdown.
Location is more important than you think
Analytics can be overwhelming at first glance because of the amount of data that's available. If you want to use this to help you with promoting your channel, I recommend that you start off with Top geographies. Top geographies shows you the countries in which your viewers are located. From this data, you can decide at which times of the day are best to release your content and promote it on your social media sites.
Here's an example: I'm based in the UK, but a lot of my viewers are in the United States. It would make sense for me to release and promote my content at a time of day when I know my viewers are more likely to see it. If I promote a new video on Twitter at 8am UK time, viewers in the United States would be unlikely to see it as it would be 4am (or possibly earlier) and they'd probably be asleep! Therefore, it makes more sense for me to promote my content later in the day. 5pm UK time is early afternoon in the United States, and it's quite likely that people will be awake and online, therefore more likely to see the tweet promoting new content.
Look at your top geographies, do a little research into time differences and make a decision on when to release and promote your content from there. In some cases you may need to promote your new content two or three times a day. You don't need to constantly promote your content throughout the day in order to ensure that you target every country in the world. That would just clog up your social media feeds and annoy your followers. Choose the countries with the highest percentage of views and work with those.
- I've included a link to a good article about the best times to post YouTube videos, which would also work with promoting new content: http://www.tubefilter.com/2015/01/12/best-days-times-to-post-youtube-videos-yearly-calendar/
What else can I do?
Here's some dos and don'ts to finish off this tutorial:
- Do communicate. Social media is about being social. (I know! Weird, right?) Talk to people, join communities or groups, comment on other people's content and share it if you liked it. The key to being successful when using any social media (including YouTube) is to be active, not passive. If you show that you're actively involved in the community, people will begin to take an interest in you and your content.
- Don't just post/share a link and hope for the best. Tell people what it's all about. Use language that will appeal to them; persuade them to click. Obviously, this is more challenging with sites like Twitter where you're limited to 140 characters, but that gives you the opportunity to be creative with your descriptions.
- Don't forget the value of hashtags. Hashtags give an opportunity for your content to be searched for and viewed outside of your regular followers. I don't recommend flooding your social media posts with them (that's what spammers do), but two or three that are relevant to your content should be adequate.
Self-promotion is hard work, but if you invest time and effort and stick at it, it can help you gain a steady following. Use Analytics to help you, and don't forget to be active on the social media sites or communities you join. People are more interested in active members of the community, not passive hit and runners.