By Matt Ballek, Natural Search Supervisor, Content Solutions
Sure, YouTube is great for watching cats do crazy things, but did you also know that it's a full fledged social community?
If you're a director, guru, commedian, or corporation, participating in the YouTube community can help you generate video ideas, attract a targeted audience, and increase meaningful video views.
Here are some of the social features YouTube offers:
A channel is simply a profile page on YouTube and is a great place to start personalizing. This is where you can tell the community about yourself, what kinds of videos you are planning to create, and show some personality. With a few tweaks you can create a findable YouTube Channel that matches the look and feel of your brand. Click here for a full walkthrough on editing your YouTube Channel
Ratings & CommentsLeaving useful comments on videos in your niche can help position yourself as an expert and help get your channel noticed (aren't you glad you spruced it up now ?). If people find your comments useful and vote them up, you may also start to notice your own videos appearing in the related video box to the right of the main video. This can lead to increased video views from an audience that is already interested in your particular topic.
SubscribersSubscribing is to YouTube as Following is to Twitter. When you subscribe to someone's YouTube Channel, their recently uploaded videos will appear on your home page. By subscribing to popular channels in your niche you can easily stay abreast of any trends or new developments (and be the first to comment). Plus having new videos to watch in your niche can inspire video responses, and new videos for you to create.
Video ResponsesVideo responses allow you to add to the conversation in person or upload a helpful, related video of your own. This is a great way to add to the community, expose your channel to new viewers, and show YouTube that your video is relevant to a particular topic.
GroupsSimmilar to a bulliten board or Facebook Fan Page, YouTube Groups allow Tubers (I hate calling them 'users') to come together to hold discussions and post videos on a specific topic. This is a great way to meet Tubers with similar interests and find ideas for new videos. You can browse through groups by clicking on the community tab, or find a specific group to join with this YouTube Group Search.
FriendsWith all this participation, you'll most likely notice the same Tubers commenting and participating in your niche. Adding these Tubers as friends makes it easy to contact them with new video content and can lead to collaborative videos or annotations.
YouTube doesn't have to be a passive experience anymore. Get active in the community and watch the effect it has on your content!