As we've seen in Part 1, we pitted the two social media heavyweights (Twitter and Facebook) against what services they offer and the potential return on investment.
Again, as we've said repeatedly, social media is a powerful marketing tool, but the only way to be entirely successful is to ensure that it is properly integrated into an existing marketing plan.
Similarly to Facebook and Twitter, YouTube grew out of dorms into the mainstream.
However, when you think about social media, you always go to Facebook or Twitter, but YouTube is another fantastic site that directly connects your business to your customers.
Whether you post advertisements, customer testimonials or how-to videos, with YouTube you're entirely searchable on all search engines.
Further, with YouTube, there is a staggering level of click-throughs to business' main websites. Viewer feedback is secondary, but if you're carefully watching what people are watching, forwarding and commenting on, you've hit a gold mine.
Clearly, you're limited by the platform. Unlike other social media sites, there really isn't a great place for a dialogue between you and your customers (viewers). One of the biggest downsides is that customers must go to another site to connect with you directly.
Also, YouTube is the gathering place for more Hollywood-esque or DIY videos, instead of anything business related. Many businesses are limited by the medium: unless it is a homegrown video, paying for professional video design and implementation is quite expensive.
Sadly, homegrown videos are expected from the average person but not from a business.
The Bottom Line
Frankly, YouTube is one of the best social media sites. Across the board, marketing insiders highly recommend establishing a YouTube channel for businesses.
Fundamentally, YouTube is a great way to link back to your other online channels.
Is it worth the investment? Yes.
Want to see an example? Visit SimplyCast's YouTube Channel, where we display tutorial videos and footage from various events.
43 Things The Good
Completely and totally out-of-the-box thinking for social media, 43 Things puts your business front and center. The "good" about 43 Things is what it does: you and your business set goals publicly. Whatever your business wants to achieve short or long term, 43 Things allows you to share it with the world.
This fabulous platform is entirely different from other social media sites by offering a public testament to what you and your business want to do. This not only makes you accountable, but also allows your customers to follow your progress.
Sure, doing a press release on your 2011 goals is admirable, but there isn't any public accountability. As soon as it is circulated, a press release is archived in the Internet ether and is only reviewed internally.
Through 43 Things, your business is able to link to your website, Facebook and Twitter pages.
The "Cheers" function allows other users to literally cheer you on as your report your progress.
Businesses are slow to pick up with the momentum of 43 Things and the site is mainly dominated with individuals posting life goals.
Unlike regular people where goals flux with life, businesses are a far more stringent. Really, many internal business goals aren't ready for public viewing.
By posting goals publicly, you're really doing two sets of goal setting: one for internal use and the other for public. This is a time-waster and unnecessary for most businesses.
B2B or B2C = The Bottom Line
Really, 43 Things is entirely organic and community-based. This is a fantastic social media tool for small businesses looking for an added boost in their community. However, for 2011 social media trend watches, 43 Things is at the top of the list for business marketing. So, why not give it a go and be one of the first in your industry?
Did you miss Part 1 of this series? Read it here.