To state the obvious, video is a form of social media. It’s social, widely accessible and definitely scalable. What’s important to remember is that video can work really well when combined with other forms of social media. If your YouTube video is bringing in a few thousand views now, imagine how quickly those numbers would jump with one hundred Facebook shares and tweets.
There should be no doubt that different forms of social media work well together, especially video. But why is social media interconnectivity so effective? Why is what’s trending on Twitter relevant to YouTube stars? Why is a new viral video on YouTube all over Facebook and Tumblr? It all boils down to two main factors.
1. Share Factor
Videos have serious share power! If you see a funny or compelling video, you feel the need to share it with friends and family. Why? Perhaps because video is more of an experience than plain text and images. By stimulating both your visual and auditory senses, video engrosses you and pulls you into the story. You feel emotionally invested in characters (much like you do with your favourite drama TV show) and involved in the storyline (much like you do with your favourite mystery movie).
By stimulating both your visual and auditory senses, video engrosses you and pulls you into the story.
Take the Volkswagen Superbowl Commercial for example. The video has received over 53.6 million views to date. Now imagine a print ad where the little Darth Vader is trying to control the car with the dad standing in the background. Do you think it would have the same effect? There’s something about the buildup that gives videos share factor, which means they spread quickly from YouTube to other forms of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.)
2. Audience Factor
The amount of people who use social media today is off the charts. In fact, eMarketer predicts that there will be 1.43 billion social networking users this year, which is a 19.2% increase from 2011. Yes, that’s billion with a “b”. To give that some context, there are only 34.8 million people in Canada. 65% of Internet users in the U.S. use social networking websites. If you’re looking to reach a big audience, social media is the way to do just that. (But you already knew that!)
Take Justin Bieber’s Baby music video for example.The video has received over 753.5 million views to date (and you thought the VW commercial was popular). Now imagine the music video was exclusively shown on MTV and Much Music. Of course, millions of people would still see the video. But would 753.5 million people see the video? It would only be played a few times a day for a month or two. Then, a new hit would come out and this music video would be lost forever.
Of course, there are many reasons video is turning the social media world on its head. Knowing that 99% of U.S. households have at least one TV in their home, it’s clear that video has mass appeal. By leveraging online video, not only do companies have mass appeal, but they have mass reach as well. Combining video with other forms of social media means businesses can extend that reach even further.