How can you grow your audience with social media video? Start by deciding who you want to reach and how you want them to find your content. Then ask what you need to do to keep those viewers returning for more.
Social media audiences have all the options. People can choose for themselves what they want to see, when they want to see it, and whether they want to share it with friends. Curated news feeds give social media users the ability to choose what they want to watch at any time, day or night.
What does all this mean for digital publishers?
When it comes to building community with social media video, digital publishers need to adjust the way they think and put greater emphasis on the audience’s experience. Content and the audience are parallel in this thinking. Becoming relevant as a publisher relies on your ability to be found by online audiences. The best way to increase your chances of being found on social media is by creating video that matches your audience’s interests.
Building community with social media video also means developing content that’s unique to each platform. As a publisher, you shouldn’t be posting the same video content on TikTok and Twitter. These social media platforms have hugely different audiences, and those audiences have totally different expectations.
What remains true regardless of the platform, is that publishers should be looking at ways to keep people watching their videos for the longest amount of time possible. Once again, audiences on YouTube click on videos with very different expectations than audiences on TikTok or Instagram. Keeping those differences in mind during the production phase of your video projects is one way to ensure above-average performance.
When you are looking at how to build community with social media video, ask yourself these questions:
- What is my audience on this platform looking for?
- What keywords is my audience searching for?
- What would make someone want to click on this video?
- Is this video engaging enough to keep viewers around until the end?
- What can I do to get viewers to share this video?
Growth across social media can come in a number of different ways, but it really hinges on organic viewership. Some publishers will pay for social media advertising as a way to promote their content, but that’s not a viable long-term strategy. Building a community with social media video relies first and foremost on people’s willingness to like, share, and rewatch your content.
Approaches to Audience Growth
There’s a big difference between views, likes, and shares. Any publisher can generate video views with paid advertising campaigns. However, likes and shares are more closely tied to community. If you want to build community with social media video, you need to figure out how to get people to share your content with their own friends and followers.
Let’s take a look at two popular approaches:
Maximum Viewership: With the maximum viewership approach, publishers will prioritize sensational content and videos about trending topics. The goal with this approach is to increase audience size by ranking better in keyword search. When this strategy is successful, it can lead to significant revenue through online advertising within social media.
Community Building: With the community building approach, publishers curate their social media videos so they can reach likeminded people who are interested in the niches or topics they cover. The community building approach is a better option if you are interested in reader loyalty or if you’re hoping to attract a social media audience that could eventually be converted into paying subscribers.
The approach that you choose will depend on your audience and your goals. If you’re not sure who your audience is, or who you’re trying to target, then you might want to use a content analytics platform or survey your existing readers to get a clearer sense of what’s driving them to participate in your community.
To learn more about how to use analytics to nurture your audience, read Publishing 101: The Complete Guide to Understanding Your Audience.