What does video have to do with social media?
How does communicating via moving images fit with text-based networking?
Where would a corporate or product video fit within our marketing strategy?
These are questions we get asked all of the time. And on the face of it, the answer is straight forward – with a little more thought it becomes more complicated.
We’ve all heard of the saying ‘A picture tells a thousand words’. This means that images can be more immediately descriptive, emotional and thought-provoking. In the same way, moving images hold even more power. So, superficially, communicating via video gets the most important messages across quickly and social media allows for almost instantaneous sharing and discussion. YouTube, which is designed to share videos, is the third most used website in the world.
It seems obvious where to put your video. But there are inconsistencies – Facebook and Flickr are now video-hungry, other hosting platforms like Vimeo are improving almost weekly and hosting your own video is either complicated or expensive (there are exceptions).
And what about Twitter? The 140 character format just isn’t compatible with any form of rich media, let alone video.
There are a number of solutions out there already. Including video in a marketing plan doesn’t mean tearing up the strategy and starting again. Here’s a quick guide to using social media to share video:
1. Set up your own YouTube channel, brand it and keep your videos there. Users can share videos they like within YouTube, comment and rate them, subscribe to your channel and add you as a friend.
2. From the video (not the channel) page, copy the URL of the video and paste it into your website or blog. Some blogs offer quick embedding options (WordPress, for example – [youtube=http://youtubevideourl] will do the job).
3. Share the URL of that page with your friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.
4. Views of your embedded YouTube video will add to the total view count.
YouTube is a middle-weight option. Those with more complicated video needs (restricted embedding, footage over 10 mins, corporate promotions etc.) should be looking at Flash streaming options.