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Using Video as a Social Media Platform

Courtesy of Pixabay
By Carl Weiss

Everyone is talking about social media today. Network TV stations tell you to follow them on Twitter. They ask you to like them on Facebook or ask you to upload your pictures to their Facebook page. Radio stations are doing the same thing. As a matter of fact, even newspapers and magazines are getting in on the act. All of these old players (established networks and communications conglomerates) all are moving towards social media communications. However, there is a new sheriff in town that most people never even think of as a social media giant!

Who’s the Most Influential?
YouTube Insight
YouTube Insight (Photo credit: jurvetson)

When you ask most people to name the most influential social networks you hear household names such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn bandied about.  But you will hardly hear anyone mention YouTube in the same breath.  This is a big mistake, since YouTube is followed more avidly than any other social site on the planet.  While Facebook boasts more than one billion followers, YouTube followers watch an average of four billion videos each and every day. 

More importantly, YouTube, have over 800 million subscribers, second only to Facebook! In addition, just like any other social site YouTube has all the attributes that other social networks have.  Just like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, you are encouraged subscribers to build a following.  Subscribers can like and comment on your posts just as they do on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.  They can also repost your videos to the other social networks.   But the most important reason to use YouTube as a social medium is the fact that videos are five times as likely to be watched as written posts. 

Entertain and Educate with Your Videos

youtube (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)
Face it, people like to be entertained.  I mean, a million cat videos can’t be all wrong.  But when that entertainment is informative, then the audience is more likely to respond.  That’s the one reason that television is still one of the most effective and expensive methods of advertising on the planet.  Like TV, YouTube offers those in the know a means to deliver a message visually.  Anybody with a Smartphone, laptop or tablet computer can shoot, edit and post videos at will on YouTube.  If you’re all thumbs when it comes to editing, don’t worry.  YouTube has a built-in editor that offers such things as color correction, image stabilization and even royalty free musical scores onsite.  Unlike the boob tube, YouTube has one other advantage…It’s FREE.  Literally anyone can post videos on YouTube.  

So why isn’t every business owner on the planet flooding YouTube with videos?  Some people say that it’s just too complicated to write and shoot weekly videos.  Others lament the fact that video production is just too time consuming.   Yet these same professionals will take the time to write blogs, create ad copy and memos day in and day out.  What they don’t realize is that YouTube’s parent company, Google, offers a way to create and post videos instantly.  It’s called Google Hangouts.

Hangouts (Photo credit: AJC1)
Anyone who is a member of that other social network known as Google + has access to a video conferencing facility known as a Hangouts.  This facility is accessed by firing up Google+ and then hitting the Hangout tab on the left hand tab bar.  (It’s sometimes located by mousing over “More.”) Once activated, Hangouts allows you to interface live via video with up to nine of your friends.  Even better, by toggling “Hangouts on Air” when you initiate a Hangout, not only will you be able to broadcast your event live to the world, it will also create and post a video on your YouTube channel at the same time.

Instant Video Made Easy

Hangout on Air Test for Mashup Culture class
Hangout on Air Test for Mashup Culture class (Photo credit: danceinthesky)
What this means is that any time you write a blog, you can create a Video blog (otherwise known as a Vlog) on YouTube.  We routinely create a vlog of our weekly Working the Web to Win radio show on by spawning a Hangout on Air at the beginning of each broadcast.  Once the Hangout is concluded the video posts in about fifteen minutes, at which point you can edit it right on YouTube.  Think of the possibilities that Hangouts on Air could offer your company.  If you host a webinar, you can post a video.  Want to do a product demonstration?  Fire up Google+ and launch your Hangout on Air. 

Fortunes Have Been Made ... Why Not You?

Ultimately, the reason that every business should start taking advantage of the power of YouTube has to do with the money making potential of the world’s most watched Superstation.  There have been a number of savvy entrepreneurs who have turned their business around overnight due to YouTube.  

Case in Point: OraBrush.  A couple of years back inventor Bob Wagstaff spent eight years trying to bring a tongue cleaner called the OraBrush to market.  After spending more than $40,000 developing the product, he approached a number of big box retailers, all of whom declined to put his product on their shelves.  In desperation, Bob took his product to the Marriott School of Business at BYU and asked a market research professor to have his students come up with a different way to promote the OraBrush. One student, Austin Craig agreed to help Wagstaff create a humorous video for the OraBrush, which they shot in a pool hall.  That video was such a huge success that tens millions of viewers were introduced to the product and more than a million units were sold online.  Today, OraBrush has generated in excess of 40 million views and is the third most popular site on YouTube after Apple Computer and Old Spice.

The point is, if you are sitting on the fence regarding YouTube, all I can say is,  if this is what online video can do for a tongue brush company, think of what it could do for yours. If you liked this article, pass it onto your friends. Share your comments and tell us your best video story. We want to share it with our readers. 
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Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Since 1995, Carl Weiss has been helping clients succeed online.  He owns and operates several online marketing businesses, including Working the Web to Win and Jacksonville Video Production. He also co-hosts the weekly radio show, "Working the Web to Win," every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern on

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  1. Attention spans are so short now and with more people using their mobile phones video is king.

  2. If you aren't using YouTube to promote your business, you are mising the boat.

  3. All I can say is...I had no idea. I thought YouTube was for silly videos, and that because it was so flooded with "junk" posted non-stop by kids, my business video would not get views. After reading this article, my own "views" are changing!

  4. I enjoyed reading your article. Please make more interesting topics like this on.
    I'll come back for more :)

    From Japs a researcher from Always Open Commerce