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YouTube for Small Buseiness.jpgby Chris Brogan


It’s easy to overlook YouTube as a business tool. Most people think of it as a place for unruly teenagers, cat videos and clips from Saturday Night Live so you never have to stay up late to see it again. But that’s not the only value it holds.


First, realize that YouTube serves over a billion hours of video every day while  500 hours of video are uploaded each minute. Also, over 70 percent of YouTube views are on mobile, and that people streaming YouTube onto their TV instead of watching cable has jumped up to 250 million hours a day.


My point: Many people watch YouTube every day and if you’re not one of them, it’s more that you’re behind the curve and not that “only kids use YouTube.”


Second, remember that YouTube is the world’s No. 2 search engine in and it’s owned by the No. 1 search engine in the world.


So, what should you be doing to put a little more YouTube in your life?


Get a Lot More Out of YouTube


First, log in so that you have the option to subscribe. YouTube works hard at trying to guess what else you might want to look at.


Second, start by looking for things you want to watch yourself. Not for work. Just for you. Love pizza? Check out what it’s like to eat a $2,000 pizza. Want to watch people get their necks and backs cracked? It’s the oddities that make us start to get into YouTube.


Third is where we steer this a bit towards your business. Whatever you sell, search YouTube to see who else is talking about it. Let’s say you sell HVAC systems. I searched for “replace your hvac system” and got this. Now you can see how one group did it and decide whether you could make a better and more informative video.


Fourth, start thinking of YouTube when you’re looking for information of any kind. I have a Macbook laptop and wanted to swap out the hard drive for a bigger one. I used this video to do it, easy peasy. There’s an amazing amount of useful how-to information on the site.


To sum up this section: learn how to consume and use YouTube first.


Make Your Own Videos


Starting a YouTube channel is easy enough. If you have a Gmail account, you have a YouTube channel waiting for content. (You can search for “How to Start a YouTube Channel” videos, naturally.)


Your smartphone or the built-in camera on your laptop will get you started. If you want more, I wrote an article called Start Videoblogging on my website that can walk you through it quickly enough.


The content can be anything from interviews, reviews, installation guides, ideas on how to get more out of the product’s use, and any number of other pieces of media. That’s the beauty. Because you’re not a broadcast TV channel, you can use this opportunity however you want. If you look at my YouTube channel, it’s a bit of a potpourri. That’s because I’m not obligated to make a specific kind of a show.


By contrast, however, Good Mythical Morning is a YouTube channel that works hard to build themes, branding, and content consistency and that goes a long way towards earning them a rabidly passionate fan base.


Don’t Ignore YouTube


When I recommend that people start and run a YouTube channel, they almost always nod politely and then ignore the information. They worry. “I’m too fat, too skinny, too old, too something. I have a weird accent.” Join the club, people. There are few “perfect” people in the universe. And yet, plenty of people tune in and love what they see.


Tommy Edison is blind. Owen has some physical challenges. Samuel J Comroe has Tourettes. Shirley Curry is an 84-year-old gaming grandma (with about 750,000 subscribers by the way). Daym Drops is a food review channel by a pleasantly larger guy (you’ll love his energy). Your excuses are just that.


Remember that people want the information. Sure, they’d love to be entertained. But more than that, they need what you know. Make some videos and see if it earns you more business. It’s amazing when it happens, and there are opportunities waiting there. Remember what I said at the beginning of the article:


  • 1 billion hours a day
  • 250 million hours on set top boxes instead of regular TV
  • 300+ million hours on mobile devices
  • And it’s free to have a channel there


It’s yours to make happen.




Bank of America, N.A. engages with Chris Brogan to provide materials for informational purposes only, and is not responsible for, and does not guarantee or endorse any of the third-party products or services mentioned.  All third-party logos and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners and are used under license from Chris Brogan. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.


Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. ©2020 Bank of America Corporation

Instagram has been testing what would appear to be a radical departure for the social network: removing likes. Facebook, which owns Instagram, is considering as well. Plus, kelly-sikkema-56w-xo2ZZM4-unsplash.jpgthere's buzz that Twitter may join the party and hide like counts.


While this may seem like a reason for marketer panic, it isn’t ... or shouldn’t be.


Although likes are a nice ego-boost metric, it’s well known that liking a post is the most low-maintenance way to engage. Rather, a comment, a share, or substantial video watch-time is a much better indicator of how much your content resonates with your audience. Therefore, it’s important to remember that removal of public-facing like counts is not the end of the world. In fact, it’s simply a reminder that you need to find other ways to analyze audience affinity and engagement.


Could Instagram actually be doing marketers a favor?


When Instagram first announced its decision to test removing like counts, I, like many others, questioned the reasoning. “We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get,” Instagram said in July 2019. “You can still see your own likes by tapping on the list of people who've liked it, but your friends will not be able to see how many likes your post has received.


The theory was that like counts foster competition, and the goal of Instagram was to encourage connection and community. A healthy environment was top priority. "We want [Instagram] to be a place where people spend more of their energy connecting with the people that they love and the things that they care about," explained Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri.


While the whole move was positioned as a mental health play - removing likes will help alleviate cyberbullying and downplay competition - I still had doubts. It just didn’t ring true that this was the genuine reason that Facebook/Instagram deeply cared so much. Of course, I believe the company cares about their users’ well-being. However, they also care about making money and ensuring the longevity of their platforms.


So how would hiding likes improve Instagram’s - and Facebook’s - bottom line? I got my answer when more information surfaced last month. Suddenly it started to make sense. 


Three former employees told CNBC that there is a hypothesis inside Facebook’s growth and data science teams: Removing “likes” may be an effective tactic for getting users to post more original content on Instagram.


“The theory goes that by hiding like counts, users may feel less self-conscious when they post photos or videos that don’t receive many likes,” the article states. “This in turn may serve as a catalyst for getting users to post more often.”


Translation: If users weren’t so hung up on public-facing engagement numbers, maybe they’d feel more compelled to publish more content. And, publishing more content means they would spend more time on Instagram. And more time on Instagram means there would be more users for advertisers to target.


Anyone who still has concerns about like-counts being removed only needs to look at Instagram Stories for proof that all will be okay. Social engagement metrics on Stories have never been public-facing. Users and marketers are not consuming other people's Story content, wondering how many people engaged with it, how many people responded to the poll, or answered the questions. They just engage. That’s what’s most important to businesses… and marketers: engagement.


Bottom line: Marketers need not worry too much about hidden likes.


Note that Facebook is also in the midst of testing hiding video view counts. Personally, I really like video view counts as invariably that gives me a strong indication - and sometimes legitimacy - of the content. I find it a tad frustrating when I cannot (easily) find the number of video views on other people’s Facebook videos! Whether that’s a long-term problem remains to be seen.


Moving forward, marketers need to concentrate on creating quality, relevant content for their followers. Focus on engaging with your audience in new ways, such as further integrating the Stories format, as well as video, including Live video and building community in Facebook Groups.


The removal of public-facing like counts should not make any difference to marketers on Instagram, Facebook, or any other social platform. While it seems to be affecting influencers to some degree, that may be a good thing. It will shake out any unethical behaviors, such as artificially inflating numbers, buying followers, etc. In its place will be highly engaged users on the friendly, community-building platform that Instagram wants to be.


About Mari Smith


Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and socialmari_0362xFACE_preview.jpg media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.


Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.


Web: Mari Smith  or Twitter: @MariSmith


Bank of America, N.A. engages with Mari Smith to provide materials for informational purposes only, and is not responsible for, and does not guarantee or endorse any of the third-party products or services mentioned.  All third-party logos and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners and are used under license from Mari Smith. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.


Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. ©2020 Bank of America Corporation

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