I think YouTube is one of the most underused, truly effective marketing tools, and communication inside YouTube is even more of a hidden gem.
How many of you read and responded to all of the YouTube comments you received this week? How many of you even received any comments? YouTube isn’t just a free parking space for your video content. It’s a vibrant community that needs to be nurtured and encouraged – kind of like Facebook used to be!
YouTube just released a new set of tools that will help you process the a large number of comments and messages. (Not getting many comments? Think of this as an aspirational tool because plenty of YouTubers need this to keep on top of their community.)
Quick note: this is one YouTube comment change that shouldn’t lead to a revolution. But you never know. . .
Going forward, YouTube will replace the Inbox with two separate dashboards, one for comments and one for messages.
The comment page has tabs or Review and Spam, just like the old version, but they’ve added a filter feature where you can choose to see comments only on a specific video. There’s also a search box so you can find a specific comment or commenter.
The messaging page is for incoming direct messages. If your account is connected through Google+, you’ll have a send message button on your YouTube about page. If you’re not connected – no button. The page is also tabbed so you can easily scan new messages, delete spam and review your sent messages. Also conversations are now threaded so you can have a conversation.
If you’re a digital hoarder and you have messages piled up in the old Inbox review them now because that box is going away. YouTube has instructions on how to download your messages and contacts right here. May I suggest you give that file a through cleaning before you bother. Do you really need all those messages asking you to check out someone’s channel? No. Let them message you under the new system.
These may seem like small changes, but they’re a big step toward building a true community on each YouTube channel. YouTube understands that this is a business for a lot of people, so they’re giving you the tools to treat it like one. Use them and get into the habit of responding to comments and encouraging engagement. YouTube is a powerful marketing channel if you learn how to use it right.