Social Video Optimization: How to Leverage YouTube to your Advantage

Written by Robin WildingMarch 11, 2011


Oh YouTube, where would we be without your endless hours of comic relief and social meandering—oh that’s right we would be working instead of spending our office hours watching babies breakdancing. If this doesn’t sound like you then you are the exception to the rule as the average Internet user spends 15 minutes per day on YouTube. Should you be unconvinced of the importance of YouTube…

  • Every minute there are 400 Tweets containing a YouTube link.
  • YouTube is the #2 search engine on the planet.
  • There is currently 150 years worth of video on YouTube.
  • YouTube exceeds 2 billion views a day.
  • 24 hours worth of video are uploaded every minute.
  • Over 3 million people are connected and sharing content to at least one other social network.
  • One automatically shared Tweet results in 7 new YouTube viewing sessions.
  • YouTube Search Accounts For Nearly 28% Of All Google Searches.

YouTube isn’t on most people’s social media marketing radar, but most people are missing the boat. YouTube offers social media marketers an entirely new toolset to work with, and gives them benefits not generally found on other social networking and social media sites, such as:

  • No signup required for people to use the site, which drives greater content distribution.
  • A viral-ness not found on other social networking sites.
  • Integration into other social networking sites.
  • Embeddable material.
  • A ‘sticky’ medium that captures people attention and keeps them focused on the content for longer.


By now you should be realizing that YouTube is a valuable element to any social media marketing strategy. Integrating YouTube with your social strategy is called Social Video Optimization (SVO). SVO is the process of combining online video with social interaction—and YouTube has the market cornered. Through the ability to comment, share, embed, and connect via your social networks YouTube has become the perfect tool to integrate online video into your social marketing. 

There are several ways to integrate and leverage YouTube in your social media marketing strategy:

Create User Participation

YouTube has a huge user community that is free to join and easy to use.  There are two main ways to encourage user participation: through comments and through channels.

The ability for users to leave comments creates a dialogue around YouTube’s content in a way that draws users in. Once users comment on one video they are drawn into an endless stream of content that encourages them to comment again and again, becoming part of the conversation.

Channels offer you a way to setup a page and stream of videos for your business. Once you have setup a channel you can invite users to join your channel s that they can regularly view your content and be alerted to updates. When you have subscribers to your channel they are significantly more likely to get involved in your brand.

Another benefit of the YouTube community is the ability to read user’s comments and suggestions and integrate them into your strategy. YouTube users are famous for telling channels, businesses and brands what they want to see—and businesses can respond.

Another valuable interaction tool is via YouTube’s Insight tool, where you can use your channel’s stats to look up which words are most commonly used or searched about t find or describe your product. This can help you optimize new entries through proper tagging and optimization.


YouTube recently acquired a company called Fflick, a social sentiment software analysis company. Through this new tool YouTube will be able to further integrate itself into social networking indexing. This means that the world’s second biggest search engine just got bigger, and is beginning to further interact with Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites.

While they have yet to rollout the Fflick-based integration solution, YouTube has hinted that they will begin filtering through the 400 YouTube-based Tweets per minute and the hundreds of thousands of Facebook status updates with YouTube videos in them.  This will give channel owners greater analytical tools and a deeper integration into their other social marketing campaigns.

Once Fflick integration is fully operational YouTube will be the biggest social search engine on the web, which means social media marketers will need to fully integrate YouTube into their strategies by linking YouTube videos within their company’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Social marketers looking to get ahead of the curve should begin doing this now so that when the service goes live their social strategy will get a huge boost.

Viral Engagement

Viral content is incredibly hard to create seeing as nobody knows exactly why some content goes viral and other content doesn’t—but the first step to getting viral content is to begin creating YouTube content regularly. YouTube has more viral content on it than any other site, so you have the best chances for viral content.

The best way to do this is to have as many people as possible subscribe to your channel and then integrating your viral-rule-following YouTube content across your website and all your social networking profiles.


When you setup a channel you can use it to further push your branding strategy. From the layout of your channel’s page to the content of your video you can use YouTube to push your branded image even further, especially when it is linked to other branded strategies like Facebook and Twitter.

Embeddable Content

Being able to embed YouTube videos into other websites, including Facebook, is one of the reasons that YouTube is so popular. Being able to share your linked YouTube video across multiple sites will grow your user base and help integrate all your social networking efforts together.

YouTube Suggest

YouTube’s Suggest tool uses predictive text to help you attract even more viewers through increased keyword usage. This tool not only helps boost your YouTube viewership but can also be used to boost your complementary portfolio of SEO and social marketing efforts.


YouTube is becoming an authority on social networking and will be boosting its social networking image even further in the near future. Savvy social media marketers looking to get ahead of the pack will begin creating a solid YouTube social networking campaign now by creating a YouTube channel for their business and by continually encouraging a YouTube-user community around their brand.

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