Facebook, Twitter and other social sites now play an integral role in the marketplace, connecting businesses with customers, partners and industries at large. We show you how to quickly establish your social presence and get more out of any social media efforts you may already be making.
Facebook and Twitter get all the glory in the social media world, but YouTube is another important site that can help you build your brand. By uploading informative videos on your core subject matter and embedding them in your blog and your Facebook page, you can offer an effortless learning experience for your visitors.
Since Facebook readily embeds playable YouTube video, it offers a low-friction way for your Facebook fans to share content they find interesting. Be sure to get your business branding into any video you create, but again, subtler is better here. A quick mention of your brand and location or a flash of your logo and URL is all most viewers need. Hitting them over the head with repeated mentions of your company and services only dilutes the value of the content you're creating.
YouTube has successfully trained web audiences to expect low production values from its content, so don't worry too much about spiffing up your videos with special effects. In fact, avoid that stuff all together. A steady hand with the camera and a simple, clear narrative will do you a lot more good than a bunch of flashy transitions. Unless you're trying to go viral, all you need to do to create a watchable YouTube video is tell people what you're going to show them, and then show it to them. Keep it simple.
Don't just use your personal YouTube account for company videos, though. Take the time to create a separate account using your company's name (or the closest available approximation of it), so people who click through to your channel don't end up seeing a bunch of your home videos intermingled with your business content. Your YouTube channel is an extension of your brand, remember.
To further brand your channel, log in and click Themes and Colors at the top of your channel page. Here you can select from a variety of preset colour schemes, or you can click Show advanced options to select your own colours for the various elements of the page. Naturally, you want to select colours that are consistent with your brand identity. You can also use this menu to upload a custom background image with your company's logo.
Creating a custom YouTube background is easy. Just pop open any graphics editor and create an image that's about 1400x2000 pixels. Set the background colour of your image to match the background of your logo (or use a logo image with a transparent background for a perfect match) and position the logo on either side of the image. The content area of your YouTube channel is 960 pixels wide, so make sure to leave that much space in the middle of your image.
Consider other sites
Between Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, you'll probably have your hands full giving each channel the attention it needs. But if you do business abroad, or if your business serves a particular niche, there may be other sites you'll want to hit.
For instance, MySpace is mostly irrelevant to mainstream UK users, but still serves at least two markets fairly well: the music industry and Southeast Asia. If either of those markets matter to you, you might want to establish an outpost there.
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- Establish a social presence quickly and efficiently
- Tie it all together