5 Ways to Make Video a Social Experience

5 Ways to Make Video a Social Experience

Video is very hot

and there’s a strong social media connection. Are you using video to promote your business? Do you know the best ways to leverage this growing form of content?

What follows are 5 ways you can tap into the exploding video frontier—and achieve many social media advantages.

Why Video Now?

The demand for video is already proven: U.S. audiences viewed nearly 28 billion online videos in November 2009 alone.

The demand for video in a social setting is clearly growing: Nielsen reports that online video viewing on social networking sites was up 98% in 2009.

Now is the time to begin integrating video into your social presence. Tap into the rapid growth in social video that’s around the corner by beating the crowds and adding video to your social media routine.

Cynthia Francis, CEO of Reality Digital (which makes social video platforms for enterprise), gives great advice for people starting out in creating video for their social networks.

“Always keep in mind the goal of the video you’re going to create,” Francis said. “It’s not just about driving people to your website with your video, it’s how broad you can make your reach and how many people interact with your video that really matter.”

Here are 5 ways you can tap into the increasingly social nature of video:

1. Post videos to your Facebook profile

This is the slam-dunk, no-brainer way to make video a social experience. The number of videos viewed on Facebook is up an astounding 1800% this year. Due to this tremendous growth, Facebook has become the third most popular video viewing destination online.

U.S. users are already spending an average of 5 ½ hours per month on Facebook, so there’s serious potential that your network of friends or fans will browse your posted videos at some point during their frequent visits. The comment function is also very user-friendly on Facebook; and because all users are already signed in, there is very little obstruction to people making comments about the video you posted and beginning a snowballing conversation.

The same goes for MySpace. However, video viewing has been stagnant there, and overall usage has slumped—so if you’ve only got time to share video actively on one profile, Facebook is the ticket.

2. Be active on YouTube

In the past minute, 20 hours of video content were uploaded to YouTube. That means there is something for everyone on the site, and there are bound to be hundreds of video clips on topics you’re passionate about.

Create a YouTube account and start adding videos to your profile. Find users with similar interests, share your common-themed videos, and use YouTube’s friend feature to develop your social connections.

If you have a webcam, you can record video responses to individual YouTube clips, creating a high level of interactivity. You can also embed those videos on your blog or Facebook to engage across platforms. More than 1 million people have already added the YouTube Video Box application to their Facebook page to enable direct embedding of YouTube content on their profiles.

Here’s an example of a YouTube video box for the movie Avatar.

3. Join live-streaming sites

An example of the programming you can watch live with other users on Justin.tv
Video lets people share thoughts and opinions in real time in a way that static images and text simply cannot replicate.

Sites like Justin.tv and UStream show thousands of live broadcasts daily, including conversations on interesting topics and musical performances.

Most of the live feeds allow for live chat during the live streaming video presentations, as well.

Some frequent contributors to these sites have regularly scheduled times they appear so that a community of fans can gather to discuss the video as it’s shown.

4. Use the video functions on social aggregators

Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon and most other social aggregators have great video functions that let you share video with the community. Once videos are uploaded, you can comment and vote on individual videos you found interesting or humorous.

Digg also lets you share any video you find on the site through many other social networks. All you have to do is click on one of the social network icons underneath a video and you instantly share it with your other communities.

And finally…

5. Shoot your own video blog

This last tip to make online video social is not for everyone, but video blogging (vlogging) is easier than ever. Popular blog platforms like Tumblr and WordPress and video sites like YouTube and Viddler have simplified the upload and sharing process. Video is a more engaging medium than text or photos, and sharing via a video blog adds nuance to your ideas and opinions  social media.

As the prevalence of mobile devices with video capture increases, shooting video of yourself at the moment you get inspired will only become easier. Flip Cameras are also rapidly increasing in popularity, and at their low price of $149, it doesn’t take a large investment anymore to start making videos and sharing them with your online communities.

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