Your Social Media Strategy Fully Embraces the World’s Second Largest Search Engine, Right?

 
When you think of social media outlets, the big ones like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are usually the first ones that come screaming out of the gray matter. For some reason though, YouTube never seems to be top of mind when “social media” is the topic. But it should when it comes to your social media strategy. You see, YouTube is not just a social media outlet, it's also the second most popular search engine on the planet behind the great Google machine. Really, it’s true! The graphic to the right wouldn’t break the ninth commandment – especially on a church-related website.
 
So, if you or your church wants to be found online, you need a YouTube account, a noteworthy channel and some optimization basics. Here are some basic tips that we found via a quick internet check to help you get rolling. Do you wanna guess which search engine we used?
 
Go to YouTube and create an account. Now is not the time to break out your creative juices – save that for your videos. Associate your YouTube channel with your church's email address. Don't attach it to a specific person; rather, keep it general so different people can upload videos.
 
Watch some videos! Yes, take the time to search for quality content on YouTube and "like" it or add it to your favorites. Think about this as a chain reaction – you "like" five videos, five friends of yours "like" those videos, your account gets activity, their account gets activity. The more activity your channel gets, the higher your videos get placed in search results. To increase the buzz, share your likes and favorites with all your social media outlets.
 
Create a buzz-worthy channel and start uploading videos. Make your channel visually appealing. Sure, you can keep the standard background that YouTube offers, but you could elevate your channel by customizing the graphics and colors to reflect your church.
 
Create buzz-worthy content. Make sure you create quality videos. Mediocre content isn't buzz-worthy and won't give you the attention needed to justify all the work you do. Think about all the common elements of viral videos before creating your video. And then consider the videos that you actually take the time to watch. When is the last time you opened and video and exclaimed, “YES! A 20-minute clip of a middle-age person discussing his/her love for Jesus in a brain-numbing monotone.” You don’t have to create the next Keyboard Cat to generate buzz, but it does need to be worth the viewers time. There is a lot of competition out there as more than 24-hours worth of video is uploaded to YouTube every 3.5 minutes.
 
An engaging conversation, an awesome sermon or an outside the box explanation of a concept is buzz worthy! A 10-minute video of your quilting group threading needles…probably not.
 
Set your privacy settings for maximum exposure. If all your videos are marked "private," don't expect them to go viral. By marking your channel "public," you maximize the number of people who can see your videos.
 
Getting your video banned for using copyrighted music will really make it hard for people to view your content. While adding the latest track by Toby Mac or Third Day would undoubtedly catapult your video to the ultimate level of viewship, it can and often will get your video permanently deleted. Why? Copyrighted music is a big no-no on YouTube unless you have the proper rights. If you see the words "All Right Reserved," on the source of your track, back away from the track and choose another beat. You can consult your CCLI license to see if it covers online posting.
 
This doesn't mean you can't add music to your videos! Look for Creative Commons licenses – this lets artists share their work with the public while maintaining certain rights. Jamendo has an amazing selection of YouTube approved Christian audio files. Friendlymusic, a YouTube partner, also provides pay per use music files for the low cost of 99 cents or $1.99.
 
Make sure your content matches your church's YouTube strategy? Before you call “quiet on the set” and begin rolling, think about your church’s goals. What types of promotions can accomplish your goals? Who is your audience? What is the call to action? Including a call to action in your YouTube video is easy via annotations!
 
Of course the biggest tip is to have fun and stay focused on the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. By adding YouTube is a key component of your social media strategy, you’ll be taking a quantum leap in getting the message of your church out to your community as well as those all over who might just find what you have say to be just what they need to hear.
 
That’s a wrap!

 

Some of the content above was adapted from a umcom.org article. Click here to read the original.