- Fri, September 30 2011
- Filed under: Social networking and web 2.0
Here are six more great tips for YouTube from Heather Mansfield, author of the new book, Social Media for Social Good. She agreed to me printing her 11 YouTube Best Practices for Nonprofits here. Enjoy these six - and check out the other five in yesterday’s post. I also recommend Heather’s very useful book here.
1. Display Subscribers and Friends
The more “Subscribers” and “Friends” your nonprofit has, the more exposure you get on YouTube. You are also much more likely to get new subscribers and friend requests if you display subscribers and friends on your channel. The avatars of your subscribers and friends also add some color and personality to your channel, and send the message that your nonprofit is engaged in the YouTube community.
2. Send Friend Requests Weekly
YouTube limits the number of friend requests your nonprofit can send per hour to 28, and you can’t send all 28 requests in a row. They have to be spread out over an hour. It can be frustrating, but it’s worth setting aside one day each week to send 10 to 20 friend requests. Over time, you want to build a community of a couple of hundred, and eventually thousands, of friends on your YouTube Channel. Like all communities, the larger yours gets, the more it grows exponentially and increases in power. To begin, search for YouTubers in your area (city, state, or country) and simply send them a friend request. Also, search for YouTubers by issue or cause, and send them friend requests too. It’s also good to be friends with your local media on YouTube, and with foundations and funders. It’s worth noting that subscribers are much more valuable on YouTube because they see your new videos in their video feeds as you upload them, but having many friends helps increase your avatar visibility within the YouTube community. It’s definitely worth 10 minutes a week of your time to send friend requests.
3. Subscribe to Channels Created by Funders and Partners
Subscribing to a channel on YouTube is the highest expression of support on YouTube. Search for and subscribe to channels created by foundations and businesses that fund your nonprofit. If your nonprofit works in partnership with other nonprofits, subscribe to their channels, too. Also, if your nonprofit has numerous chapters, subscribe and send friend requests to all of them. On YouTube, the more you subscribe to others, the more subscribers you get in return. That said, be more selective in your subscribing than in your friending. You want a subscription to mean more than a friendship on YouTube.
4. Sign Up for YouTube’s Nonprofit Program
YouTube offers a nonprofit program for legal nonprofits in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. There is an application process, and take note that nonprofits that are religious or political in nature are excluded from participating in the program. While the application process itself is fast and simple, approval can often take weeks. You can learn more about the application process and program benefits at youtube.com/nonprofits.
5. Integrate Your Videos into Your Website, Blog, Social Networking Communities, and Mobile Campaigns
Using the embed code that is available with every video you upload to YouTube, you can easily copy, paste, and post your videos inside your website and your blog. The code can be customized in just a few clicks to size your videos and include a border, or not. You can also post your video links directly in Facebook status updates and tweets. Also, replacing the “www” in your video URL with an “m” will automatically generate a mobile version of your video that can be sent in group text messages.
6. Create an Annual “Thank You” Video
Donors and supporters always appreciate being thanked for their contribution, but traditionally most nonprofits express their gratitude via text in e-mails, blog posts, and website pages. A more visual, fresh approach is to create a video each year of staff members, volunteers, board members, and the communities that you serve expressing their thanks. It can be a simple 30-second video of 10 people saying “Thank You” (or holding up a “Thank You!” sign), or it can be more elaborate and longer, with interviews, text, and graphics. Again, a great place to feature this video is on your “Thanks for Your Donation” landing page.