5 Ways to Grow Your YouTube Channel with Facebook (and Vice Versa!)
If you found this article in 2016, congratulations! This advice is not outdated yet! In the fast-moving world of digital media it seems like platforms, advice, and best practices change all the time. But I think the following advice will hold for a while, even if you are an intrepid Googler from the future…
There has been a lot of talk recently about Facebook’s new video platform, live-streaming capabilities, and even the growing deck of tools and technologies that has some people dialing down or abandoning their YouTube approach all together. BUT! My advice to you is to hold on. There are a multitude of ways this diversification can benefit both platforms. The following tips are for people who are unsure about the all-or-nothing platform switch for their
brand or product.
Without further ado, here are 5 ways that Facebook/YouTube can help grow your Page/Channel:
1. Match Your Audience to Your Platform
The demographics on YouTube and Facebook – while similar in some respects – can read as night and day for most brands. YouTube can skew towards younger gamers, while your grandparents might be on Facebook.
There are niche clubs and communities on Facebook that are also meme-savvy and engaged, while YouTube has broadly appealing channels that are in the millions of subscribers.
Think about how curated Facebook’s News Feed already is. You rarely see people who disagree with your opinions on your wall anymore, right? (Unless you’ve configured your settings to keep them there, of course.) YouTube, by contrast, has a treasure trove of mature metadata and the ability to track video searches and make recommendations. In its own way, YouTube can combine a variety of videos and styles in response to the same search terminologies, and this is still very attractive for advertisers.
Consider which platform your brand appeals to more, and recognize how you want to utilize influencer capital. The influencer is still king from the YouTube side, so if that’s your method don’t neglect YouTube. Once you have a strategy, the next step is:
2. YouTube Clips on Facebook
For one of our clients who runs a music-centric business, this method has worked like gangbusters! By doing native Facebook upload clips of newer YouTube content, they’ve increased their viewership on YouTube by over 200% for most of their brand-new series! How? By utilizing a bit.ly’ed YouTube link alongside a :30 preview of a longer-form piece of content. This way the video still stands on its own – which Facebook favors – while still having the call to action of visiting the YouTube page to see the complete video.
In this way, you take advantage of having a current Facebook post for people to engage with, while also having a relevant reason for them to migrate over to the YT page. If that content resonates, they’re much more likely to give your YouTube channel a subscription. I’d call this “Incepting” your audience but that dates this article even further, requiring time travel back to 2010 or at least strong Christopher Nolan fandom (no judgment here).
3. Consolidate Your Live-streams
Have you checked out YouTube as a live-streaming platform? It’s still pretty slick, with multiple feeds available and Facebook is still catching up, though they’re doing so pretty quickly. If you’re looking to livestream from specific events, Facebook’s call to action-style “ping,” that makes your audience aware when you go live, is a powerful tool. However, YouTube still has the most elegant way to run live streams – especially for gaming – and archiving that content.
Added bonus? All of that content gets brought into monetization, allowing you to add watch time to your channel, enhancing your search results, and so forth. Consider which platform is best for what kind of streaming you want your brand to do. For news organizations, the informal behind-the-scenes nature of Facebook video is a compelling, interactive experience. On YouTube it’s easier to schedule and run streams through a more formal setting, probably better for premium – for now. Also, as I mentioned above, consider what types of demographics are on each service and what your audience would like to watch. Giving
shout-outs to cross platforms also helps!
4. Start a Conversation on YouTube that will carry over to Facebook
Because users can post comments and images, and even participate in polls on Facebook, it’s not a bad strategy to send fans to your associated Facebook page when you unveil an especially good YouTube video. While YouTube is still a great place to get discovered and easily shared – YouTube is growing the fastest on mobile for younger users – Facebook is going to be leveraging its Messenger app more and more to enhance conversations that occur on pages.
Having your official “thread” anchored by a native video or picture will always be an easy and dynamic way to get feedback from your audience. YouTube houses content, while Facebook houses conversation.
5. Consistency is Key
Once you’ve decided on a strategy to endorse both sides of your platform: stick with it! While it’s never good to be stagnant, at least run a new idea for long enough that you test its effectiveness against your analytical data. Also, be confident! The more upfront you are about trying out new strategies with your audience and sticking with them, the more likely you’ll garner direct feedback. Always be careful what you wish for, as you might get some negative feedback, but the more transparent and honest you are, the better.
The Philosophical Part
I did say I’d justify this article past 2016, didn’t I? The through-line to all of my recommendations is that throughout the growth of the Internet, from one platform to another, there have been big swings in where people spend their time. From IRC chat to MySpace (still!), from Twitter to Facebook, Snapchat and beyond. Often we’re too slow, in our digital media bubble, to consider the actual AUDIENCES that remain, that still cherish the ecosystem they’ve built and are a part of.
Just because we want the next best thing doesn’t mean it’s the best, or that it will last. And in your speed, don’t assume the average user is doing the same. Channel drift might exist on cable networks, but viewers are people of habit. Never forget your user, or the user experience.
Would you like to learn more about building audiences for your channel/brand/intramural
kickball league? I’d love to hear from you! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.