Video via Social Media Minute. All rights reserved.

It’s no longer a news that YouTube is moving towards social networking platform. Last year, they launched a social-network-like service called “Community” for its channels, allowing YouTubers to send text messages, images, and polls to their subscribers in addition to uploading videos or even without videos, encouraging creators to communicate and interact with their audience on this platform itself, instead of on others such as Twitter and Facebook.

But how exactly YouTube can outcompete Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter in social media realm? Over 500 hours of content are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and billions of hours are spend on those contents. Does this huge reach speak everything? Well, reach has become table stake. Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and many other platforms in niche have achieved considerable reach. So no, only reach can’t speak for everything. What makes YouTube unique is the mindset of its visitors – they come here with the intention to watch something. They are on YouTube because they want to watch a video, while it’s quite hard to say that people go to Facebook or Twitter because they want to see a newsfeed post. This is the advantage that other platforms less enjoy.

Then what’s the strategic implication for brands and companies? Not necessary something innovative but important: visual storytelling and community building. Remember I talked about how GoPro uses a social media campaign “Photo of the Day” to engage its customers in community. On YouTube, this company has become one of the most successful brand channels, even ranked No.1 on YouTube’s own “Brand Standing” leaderboard. They are consistently featuring user-generated video content to its channel, engaging customers in conversation, and enhancing brand awareness, utilizing YouTube to encourage a reciprocal relationship.

Other brands and companies are given the even but unique chance as well. People especially the young consume videos in YouTube in a more proactive way, which lends to a bigger advantage of visual storytelling for business. And with its ambitions of building community, brands and companies are provided a more direct and focused approach to be tuned into their customers.

So when witnessing YouTube’s potential to merge into social media platform, don’t hesitate to tap this potential and turn it into your own profit.

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