5 Ways to Make Video a Social Experience

Video is very hot and there’s a strong social media connection.  Are you using video to promote your business? Do you know the best ways to leverage this growing form of content?

What follows are 5 ways you can tap into the exploding video frontier—and achieve many social media advantages.

Why Video Now?

The demand for video is already proven:  U.S. audiences viewed nearly 28 billion online videos in November 2009 alone.

The demand for video in a social setting is clearly growing:  Nielsen reports that online video viewing on social networking sites was up 98% in 2009.

Now is the time to begin integrating video into your social presence.  Tap into the rapid growth in social video that’s around the corner by beating the crowds and adding video to your social media routine.

Cynthia Francis, CEO of Reality Digital (which makes social video platforms for enterprise), gives great advice for people starting out in creating video for their social networks.

“Always keep in mind the goal of the video you’re going to create,” Francis said. “It’s not just about driving people to your website with your video, it’s how broad you can make your reach and how many people interact with your video that really matter.”

Here are 5 ways you can tap into the increasingly social nature of video:

1. Post  videos to your Facebook profile

This is the slam-dunk, no-brainer way to make video a social experience.  The number of videos viewed on Facebook is up an astounding 1800% this year.  Due to this tremendous growth, Facebook has become the third most popular video viewing destination online.

U.S. users are already spending an average of 5 ½ hours per month on Facebook, so there’s serious potential that your network of friends or fans will browse your posted videos at some point during their frequent visits.  The comment function is also very user-friendly on Facebook; and because all users are already signed in, there is very little obstruction to people making comments about the video you posted and beginning a snowballing conversation.

The same goes for MySpace.  However, video viewing has been stagnant there, and overall usage has slumped—so if you’ve only got time to share video actively on one profile, Facebook is the ticket.

2. Be active on YouTube

In the past minute, 20 hours of video content were uploaded to YouTube.   That means there is something for everyone on the site, and there are bound to be hundreds of video clips on topics you’re passionate about.

Create a YouTube account and start adding videos to your profile.  Find users with similar interests, share your common-themed videos, and use YouTube’s friend feature to develop your social connections.

If you have a webcam, you can record video responses to individual YouTube clips, creating a high level of interactivity.  You can also embed those videos on your blog or Facebook to engage across platforms.  More than 1 million people have already added the YouTube Video Box application to their Facebook page to enable direct embedding of YouTube content on their profiles.

Here’s an example of a YouTube video box for the movie Avatar.

3. Join live-streaming sites

An example of the programming you can watch live with other users on Justin.tv

Video lets people share thoughts and opinions in real time in a way that static images and text simply cannot replicate.

Sites like Justin.tv and UStream show thousands of live broadcasts daily, including conversations on interesting topics and musical performances.

Most of the live feeds allow for live chat during the live streaming video presentations, as well.

Some frequent contributors to these sites have regularly scheduled times they appear so that a community of fans can gather to discuss the video as it’s shown.

4. Use the video functions on social aggregators

Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon and most other social aggregators have great video functions that let you share video with the community.  Once videos are uploaded, you can comment and vote on individual videos you found interesting or humorous.

Digg also lets you share any video you find on the site through many other social networks.  All you have to do is click on one of the social network icons underneath a video and you instantly share it with your other communities.

And finally…

5. Shoot your own video blog

This last tip to make online video social is not for everyone, but video blogging (vlogging) is easier than ever.  Popular blog platforms like Tumblr and WordPress and video sites like YouTube and Viddler have simplified the upload and sharing process.  Video is a more engaging medium than text or photos, and sharing via a video blog adds nuance to your ideas and opinions.

As the prevalence of mobile devices with video capture increases, shooting video of yourself at the moment you get inspired will only become easier.  Flip Cameras are also rapidly increasing in popularity, and at their low price of $149, it doesn’t take a large investment anymore to start making videos and sharing them with your online communities.

You can also interview other people who share your interests, like the interviews with social media practitioners that Michael Stelzner has done here at SocialMediaExaminer.com.

How has online video affected your social interactions on the web? Do you have any great examples you’d like to share? Please comment below.

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About the Author, Peter Wylie

Peter Wylie is lead researcher for Three Ships Media, an emerging media marketing company that specializes in using blogs and social networks to connect clients with target customers online. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.djnightlife.com DJ NightLife

    The question is always, what video content can I create.

  • lainie9

    While I agree that video views are increasing, I’m not sure they’re right for everyone — nor should bloggers make the shift to exclusively video content. Just this week I did an informal poll of my blog readers. Almost overwhelmingly, the votes were for traditional blogging rather than video. Some of the reasons for this:
    -Low bandwidth. Some Internet cruisers are still riding the dial-up wave.
    -Noise considerations. You can blog-hop on the sly at work, but forget that if you’re watching video. The jig is up as soon as your boss hears non-work-related audio coming from your cubicle.
    -Skimming capabilities. With text, readers can quickly skim to see if your post is of interest, and then they’ll read as long as they’re engaged. With video (and audio) there are no clues as to what’s coming, and they may tune out before you get to “the good stuff.”
    -Speed. Most people can read much more quickly than they can watch a video. If time is of a premium, they’re more likely to read five blogs than watch your one.

    Just my $.02!

  • http://twitter.com/vernongirl Courtenay Pitcher

    Thanks for the article. To start video blogging, I bought a $97 Logitech web cam and invested in Camtasia Studios’ product which is under $400 USD. I upload my videos to my You Tube Channel and then embed the code into my blog with a cut and paste. It’s not that hard to do and well worth it. It probably took me about 2 days to learn how to do it all, but now it is information I can pass along to my readers. It adds personability to my blog too. I recommend it.

  • bobmorse

    Hey, nice article. But I’m surprised there was no mention of sites like tubemogul.com where you can upload your video and have it distributed to multiple video sharing sites. You can also then get statistics from each of those sites aggregated in your tubemogul account.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    All good points. I think video adds another dimension and will engage people you are not currently engaging. I know we use video here at Social Media Examiner and it does add another dimension.

    See http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/category/videos/

  • lainie9

    I am definitely going to include some limited video for the reasons you mention – I just won’t be movign completely away from the written word! Thanks for your comment, and for a thought-provoking article.
    Lain

  • http://www.ckwrites.com ckwrites2

    I have to echo lainie9 – video is slow – and people are in a hurry so if the opening is less then compelling chances are they’re going to tune out.

    Consider this – when I started in the corporate video business we used to deliver 10 minute pieces – now the norm is under 2 – and I am talking 100% professionally polished work, not somebody droning on off mike with bad lighting.

    What I tell my clients is that video is great for things that move – and a lot less compelling for what the industry calls “talking heads”.

    I do agree with Courtenay that it is a nice way to inject some personality – aren’t we all curious about who we are reading? I am! But pick your shot and leave them wanting more…

    Finally there is a whole new game afoot to maximizing your video effort. Bob introduced a very cool distribution option which is a lot like television syndication. I recently blogged about a technique called “video SEO”. a couple of companies like Fliqz.com are doing some very cool things working with the content inside the video – not just a few keywords- worth checking out.

  • pam

    Headsets work very well also for “behind your cubicle” work station.

  • http://www.prguyonline.com/ Sean Horrigan

    Video is smoking hot. I see it as a vital component to a healthy marketing mix. You can’t rely on one method of communication to reach your entire target market. Some folks will read your blog, while others require the visual stimulation of video. Different strokes for different folks. You catch my drift Willis?

  • Peter Wylie

    Bob,
    Great point on tubemogul. It’s a great resource to distribute your videos, and worthy of inclusion. Thanks for adding it to the discussion

  • Peter Wylie

    Ck,
    The way that video has evolved in a few short years is amazing. I like to say that online video is currently in its “silent movie” phase, and will continue to adapt new useful and exciting functionality rapidly as use cases increase.
    Courtenay is right, and I didn’t mean to imply that video should replace your other outreach efforts. I think it’s a great addition to social outreach and blogging.
    Benjamin Wayne and the rest of the team at Fliqz have been doing great work on video SEO for some time, I’ll have to check your blog post out. Thanks for reading!

  • http://tracina.yelp.com Tracy Arrowsmith

    We have existing video of our products in use, some of which is already posted on our website. The problem is that most of it is over the YouTube cut-off for length (10 min.). Is there another site that allows you to upload longer content?

  • http://www.ckwrites.com ckwrites2

    No argument – the statistics are nothing short of staggering. User Generated Content is exploding and will present all sorts of interesting challenges and opportunities for marketers – talk about trying to put the genie back in the bottle NOT!

    Can’t argue with Sean – it takes all kinds and there is plenty of evidence that different people learn differently and prefer different communication modalities.

    Inevitably this is going to segment – there will be B2B and B2C environments curated by companies, as well as plain old grass roots stuff that emerges and finds a viewership.

    A key to moving from the “silent” phase to the “talkies” will be better search and rating systems enabling people to find the content that they are looking for and that is worth looking at.

    Don’t Touch That Dial!

  • Peter Wylie

    Sean,
    I couldn’t agree more. Video is a great way to add another connection to your social outreach. I would also go a step further and echo other comments in saying that some posts or subjects will work best in video and others work better in text. “How to” articles, in my opinion, are more useful in video format, text is better for thought pieces and strategy guides.

  • whistlerheather

    For some reason my home computer would not comment…
    I love the video message – bought a flip last week and signed up for the free 12second.tv I am a learner but will incorporate evrything into my twitter and blog… Thank you Peter,…

  • Peter Wylie

    I hope it helps!

  • http://www.whatifspecialist.com/ Richard Bosworth

    “From the video clips on your blog I knew you before I met you and had decided you were the sort of person I wanted to work with”, was the feed back from a Senior Executive who has just joined my Vistage Key Group. He also admitted that he’d looked at a number of options and decided that my use of social media was the sort of forward thinking and leadership he was looking after.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Awesome endorsement of the positive outcomes of video!

  • Annie

    I love using video for our Facebook page! I just starting filming a Question of the Week on our page and have been so pleased with those who have responded. I always have my flip cam with me and regularly hand it over to students(I work at a university) to capture their days. Our FB page is my pride and joy right now bc of all the fun things we can do with video. :-) http://www.facebook.com/ottawauniversity

  • Maureen

    What I love about video, video presentations and audio is that I can take them with me. If they seem worthy of my time, I upload them to my iPod or iPhone and watch/listen to them in the car and at the gym. That’s what I did with all of the presentations from Mike’s Copywriting Success Summit. All the presentations are on my iPod and I watch them whenever the mood strikes. I also try to sneak in some listening sessions when I take the kids to the park, when I go grocery shopping, etc. I love to learn and you can’t multi-task as well with text. That also makes a case for creating quality video content that is just as good when you listen to it as it is when you watch it (like for listening in the car).

  • http://blog.turnthescrew.com/ Dan Taylor

    I recently produced a product walk through/tutorial for a client. We embedded the video on both the front page as well as the help section, and of course the company blog. In just over a month we’ve garnered over 12,000 views, ultimately translating into a 10% increase in sales conversions. Granted, we had a few other promotions running at the same time, but the jump in percentage can only be attributed to the success of the video (i.e. they’d never seen that much of an increase in that short of a time period).

    To say that video is not hot would be a mighty big understatement. Naturally, the quality of your production does effect it’s impact, but you’ve got to get into the game to know what to tweak.

    Excellent article, and a future resource to point clients to for sure.

  • Peter Wylie

    Annie,
    Sounds like a great example of how easy it is to integrate video into your content strategy. Glad to hear your seeing results.
    Peter

  • Peter Wylie

    Thanks Dan,
    I’m glad you found the article useful. The beauty of video is that once you’ve created it, it can serve multiple purposes within the organization, as your example proves. Video is more engaging than text content (i.e, look at disparity in television viewers vs. newspaper readers) so it’s a great tool to drive potential customers at the top of the sales funnel. Thanks for commenting.

  • http://youtube.com/keepitclassyjen Jen Hinton

    Great post I am a HUGE vlogger and so glad that people are recognizing the importance of intergrating video into this thing we can social media.

  • http://www.unitedlinen.com United Linen

    Thanks for bringing awareness to this awesome marketing tool. We are a small business that believes video created value for our customers and use it for product demonstrations, customer tutorials and relationship building.

    Keep up the good work.

    Scott Townsend
    Marketing Director
    United Linen & Uniform Services
    http://www.youtube.com/user/unitedlinen

  • Peter Wylie

    Awesome, what’s the URL of your vlog Jen?

  • Peter Wylie

    Scott,
    Thanks for reading. I’ll be sure to check out your videos to see how United Linen is using video to reach customers.
    Peter

  • http://DingDongINC.com/ William Francke

    Oye. Yet another tool to learn! But a worthwhile one, for sure.

    Thanks for the “push”. I’ve been waiting and waiting to dive in but that’s not getting me anywhere.

    We’ve got a website @ http://dingdonginc.com but I’ve set up my blog at http://servicebells.com, which is where I’ll post the vids, since it is SO much easier to access the blog myself as compared to having to get out IT/Techie guy involved.

  • http://www.stephaniewonderlin.com Stephanie Wonderlin

    I’ve noticed that my videos get a much better response compared to my regular text blogs. I love doing them and enjoy being creative! I do agree that more people should try them, but they aren’t for everyone.

  • Pat

    You make good sense, Lainie. It’s important to be discerning about how you use your time, especially if you’re a small business owner. If you’re using video to capture your audience, it seems to me that your presentation has got to catch fire right out of the gate.

    At least that’s the case for me. I viewed a video the other day in which the presenter had me from the start. She was charismatic, enthusiastic, sharp, shrewd, and I learned some very useful information. The fact that she chose video enriched her content (which on her blog would have been sufficient), and permitted her audience to experience her dynamism close up.

  • http://www.ericbouler.com/ Eric in New Orleans

    Makes a lot of sense to me. I am in real estate and people want to see things. This is a great way to show off the neighborhoods and lifestyles of the area you are selling. Its just another tool you can use and be creative.

  • http://netpunch.co.uk/ JJ from NetPunch

    Thanks for this you have cleared up a few barriers for me and I agree video is going to change the way we market to our customers online…

  • http://www.kelsiguidry.com Kelsi Guidry

    Yes, I noticed that also. There is also the ability to do screen casts. I noticed that my screen cast video tutorials are some of my highest viewed videos. This can simply be done with something like screenr.com. Even though you are limited to 5 min, this free platform is GREAT!

  • http://twitter.com/TheCocktailClub The Cocktail Club

    Thanks for yet another great list of tips! We’ve used some of your previous ideas to improve our Facebook Fan page (although still a long way to go!) so thank you!!! We’ve also recently bought a webcam so will add some simple clips to the Fan page & use some of your other ideas above. Hopefully our fans/followers will be more engaged, and therefore more inclined to recommend us to friends! Thanks again. http://www.the-cocktail-club.co.uk

  • http://www.montrosevideo.com Deborah Shapiro

    Another place to add video is to your Linkedin profile, which is great for business professionals. It’s not as easy as Facebook where you just add a link. You’ll have to add the application Google Presentation to your profile and add the video through there. Not only does it show up on your profile, but it will occasionally show up on the side bar of your contacts. Depending on how you do your video, it can show you off as an expert and help set you apart from your competition.

  • Pingback: 5 Ways to Make Video a Social Experience | AGIMS Blog

  • http://www.ilovetumblr.com Love Tumblr

    I agree with you here so much, I underestimated the use of Podcasts long ago and regretted it, now I won’t do the same with video.

  • http://www.buyrealfacebookfans.com/ henry pherson

    Hey man posting a video that is no relevance to you or to the events in the present is not really attractive to others. Posting videos that are related to current events, news, hollywood and politics these are the types of videos that can grab attention to others. and have others comment the video on your account.

  • Videolize.com

    Hi, every body

    Communicate trough video and share your life trough video is the most funny’s way to stay in touch with your friends, family and new REAL people. instate af static pages video is more trusted than pictures and text.

    i have finaly found a new way to communicate by VIDEO!
    i want to invite you ALL! to : 

    http://www.videolize.com               its FREE!!

    its coming out the end of december. 2011

    see you all there;)

    Byee

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